1. Speaking to the crowd at XOXO Festival, Anita Sarkeesian revealed that “one of the most radical things you can do” to help women who have been harassed is to “actually believe women when they talk about their experiences”.
2. The talk marked the media critic’s first public appearance since she was driven out her home last month when very graphic threats were made against her and her family. She had her own security at XOXO due to further threats.
4. Sarkeesian posted the graphic and upsetting threats that were made against her and her family on Twitter.
In doing so, her audience was given a small but shocking view into the type of harassment she’s experienced in response to her Kickstarter-funded webseries Tropes vs Women in Video Games.
The series, part of Sarakeesian’s non-profit, educational webshow Feminist Frequency, explores the “five common and recurring stereotypes of female characters in video games”.
5. The latest instalment of Tropes is part two of “Women as Background Decoration”.
Sarkeesian is no stranger to online harassment, but as she explained during her XOXO Festival talk, Tropes has sparked a particularly furious (if not violent) reaction in the gaming community.
6. In the talk, Sarkeesian examined the roots of her harassment and the conspiracy theories around her, saying: “Falsehoods about me are initially pushed by detractors who use them to post to 4Chan and Reddit to rally more people to the cause.”
7. “It’s bouncing from Twitter to Tumblr to Facebook to YouTube and back again. Once the cascade reaches a critical mass, it no longer matters what the facts are. It becomes a viral meme.”
“We are blamed for the abuse we receive and regularly told that we are either asking for it or inventing it entirely,” Sarkeesian added.
8. Sarkeesian says her perpetrators “do not see themselves as perpetrators at all” but rather as “noble warriors”.
If you’ve got the stomach to read what these noblemen have to say about Sarkeesian, their response to her talk on Reddit is a perfect example.
10. But the audience at XOXO Festival were nothing but supportive and celebratory of Sarkeesian and her request to simply “listen and believe” women like her.
11. She received a standing ovation.
14. And inspired awe.
15. And gave people hope.
16. And goosebumps.
17. (And even tears.)
18. And when she asked where the “feminist army” was?
19. It appeared to be right there in the room with her.
H/T The Verge