Misogyny On The Web

Jul 8, 2013

Credit skippyjon via flickr Creative Commons

In May of 2012, feminist blogger and pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian launched a Kickstarter campaign called “Tropes Versus Women in Video Games.” 

Anita asked for $6000 to make a video series analyzing gender roles in video games; identifying and exploring tropes like “the sexy sidekick” and “the mercy killing.” She raised the money in one day – and eventually raised $158,000. The project’s first video, “Damsel in Distress Part One” hit YouTube in March.

Anita’s successful project has come at a disturbing price. She’s been pelted with chauvinistic insults and even death threats made online. Attempts have been made to flag and pull her videos from YouTube and her Wikipedia page was hacked and vandalized with pornographic images. The attack on Anita is just one of many displays of sexism that got us thinking about the flagrant misogyny online. Does the anonymous nature of web culture encourage, attract or embolden hatred of women? What is the role of online communities, and sites like Kickstarter or YouTube in preventing and challenging sexism online?  Here to discuss these questions about online misogyny and more is:

Brady Carlson NHPR’s host of All Things Considered, and our regular web culture analyst. 

Maddy MyersVideo game columnist for Paste magazine; she writes about feminism and videogames.

Jamin Warren Founder and editor-in-chief of Kill Screen; a video game, arts & culture company.