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Gamergaters accuse Anita Sarkeesian of “Armenian appropriation of Japanese culture”

Anita Sarkeesian: Gamergaters still hate her

Cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian may have moved on from videogames, but Gamergaters (yes, they still exist) haven’t gotten over their obsession with her.

Earlier this month, Sarkeesian put out a video on the legendary Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese woman who wrote the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji, a thousand years ago. The four minute video, a slick production featuring elegant Japanese-art-inspired animation, is part of Sarkeesian’s Ordinary Women: Daring To Defy History series, her followup to Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games.

A video about a female writer who lived over 900 years before videogames were invented might not seem like an obvious target for the inhabitants of Kotaku In Action, the main Gamergate (or perhaps post-Gamergate?) hangout on Reddit. But it’s Sarkeesian, so the fake novel-reader boys on KiA rev up their outrage engines.

In a thread inspired by Sarkeesian’s video, a dedicated Sarkeesian-hater called SupremeReader stirs the pot with a trolly claim that Sarkeesian is guilty of “Armenian appropriation of Japanese culture around the Samhain holiday).” In a followup comment, he posts a photo of Sarkeesian in profile to show off her allegedly distinctive Armenian nose.

Others are outraged that her video, which they hated, wasn’t long enough for their tastes, a complaint that brings to mind the old joke about two diners at a restaurant grousing that “the food is terrible—and such small portions!”

“3 f*cking minutes is a joke of a historic video,” complains spatchbo.

Holy shit are people being seriously scammed by this. My professor from Tokyo Broadcasting is going to lose his shit.

Anita you are a horrible historian. Please do more work. This is so bad its a joke of itself. I can actually say I have a far better education on this than she had 30,000$ to come up with. You are a sad state of whatever you are trying to be. Besides a con-artists.

Rygar_the_Beast offers a similar, and similarly badly written, assessment.

You are trying to bring this women up to the light you think they are not in? A f*ck less than a 4 minute video isnt helping.

F*ck, for 3.50 i can give a person the wiki address to the page for this woman that probably has at least as much info about her in the introductory paragraph.

Sarkeesian’s video, while short, is in fact packed with information. It makes no pretense of being the final word on Murasaki, but rather serves as an intellectual appetizer of sorts, inviting viewers to pick up a copy of The Tale of Genji and read it for themselves.

But apparently Gamergaters find it hard to understand videos that aren’t meandering six-hour monologues over still pictures.

165 replies on “Gamergaters accuse Anita Sarkeesian of “Armenian appropriation of Japanese culture””

About the pronounciation of “rhetoric”… The link Dalillama provided also has the british version of the word and I was kinda wondering how one would write out pronounciation guide for it. Does anyone here happen to know? :/

In IPA: ˈɹɛtəɹɪk
Otherwise: ret’rik (the apostrophe symbolizing a stop)
Is that what you were looking for?

Tangential, kind of: I tend to write more complex English, using more fancy words, than I tend to speak aloud. I stick to fairly simple English while speaking, mostly because I can’t pronounce anything complicated.

English is my second language, and I had the unfortunate timing of being born in 1970s, which also meant that my teachers weren’t that well off in English pronounciation and correcting mistakes in 1980s. Later on (in 1990s), when we had a native English-speaker tutoring us, the focus wasn’t on getting us pronounce things correctly, but to make us speak, just try and converse, period.

Plus the whole Finnish language as a starting base; it works out great for Japanese, we only had to spend one hour in class regarding pronouncing it and all of us came out reasonably competent (syllables actually map almost 1:1 with Finnish, with only couple of exceptions, ‘j’, ‘y’ and ‘z’ being the major differences), but English…

English is quite frustrating for my stiff tongue, since from my point of view, y’all skip letters like some sort of alphabetic-phobic kangaroo when you say the words around. Words like “lieutenant” is why I have trust issues!

But, well, at least I can get a participation medal for actually talking in it without shame. Might have to repeat myself couple of times, or pick a different word, but we’ll get there…

Was chatting last night with some Cornish friends about the Samhain = November thing.

They informed me that in Cornish, November is mis Du. That means ‘dark month’.

December is mis Kevardhu. That means ‘month that is also dark’.

@ skiriki

Words like “lieutenant” is why I have trust issues!

Though English can seem tough, you just keep ploughing on there and don’t give it a second thought.


‘Th’ and ‘sh’ are fricatives, if that’s what you’re looking for. Consonants made by forcing air through a small space. ‘Ch’ is an affricate I’m pretty sure, which is second-half fricative and first-half stop – a stop being a consonant formed by completely blocking the airway, and then letting the air explode out all at once, like T or D or P.

^My linguist heart beats faster for you.

Linguistics is my passion. If I had ever gone back to try and finish my Bachelor’s, I would have switched my major to that. I loves me some syntax. Is your education in linguistics, IP?

The career training college stuff I’m doing is not unrelated to linguistics, which is pretty cool, although I am required to take several formal prescriptive English grammar courses in which my teacher likes to say things like “everybody gets this wrong, but the correct word is blah” as I grind my teeth silently with frustration.


Hah! I am not, actually. 🙂


Yeah, my degree is in linguistics and I’m now trying for another one in social work. Can’t find a job anyway, so I might as well learn something instead.

I had a terrible English teacher in high school. Sounds like yours might be similar to her. My English was pretty good before then, but after high school it took years for me to get back to a natural and confident fluency. It’s really amazing how much damage a terrible teacher can do.

What kind of career training are you doing?

Didn’t see your reply at all, IP; thanks for pointing it out in the other thread! Best of luck in social work. I understand it can be very emotionally taxing, but rewarding work.

I wish I could talk about the stuff I’m doing because, disability nonsense aside, I’m actually super into it. The thing is it’s ridiculously niche, so it could potentially compromise my anonymity. It’s cool, though. I like it.

Oh! The Tale of Genji! I’ve read that. I was a teenager and actually wanted to read the Tale of Heiki and got them mixed up, lol.

IIRC every page of my 2 volume English translation had a paragraph of footnotes. I actually marked the date when I finished, lol. It was like a mental workout.

It was interesting though.

On a side note: Linguistics <3

You ever wondered how a new generation of conservatives and neo-nazis would be born in this world of readily available information, there you go. The Channers, Gamergaters, Coontownies, Fedorakin, Brocialists and Brotheists will be your political adversaries once the dinosaurs begin to croak. And you thought the current old men were dumb.

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