Saturday, 30 July 2016

Why I think Anita Sarkeesian is bad for Feminism.

Ok so I admit that tackling this is a bit of a dangerous road, its also one travelled by many many people. Now I am going to be dealing with the concept of Feminism and being a white male lots of people are likly to read the first few lines and want me to go die somewere for having an oppinion about it when they think I shouldnt. I havent just come marching in to this area with no prior idea or reading though, despite the fact I am a blog writer I actually used to be at University studying polotics amongst other things, so I have read a great deal of books and papers on feminism and feminist ideas. In fact I would very heartily recomend a particular book called Herland and in fact the entire works of a lady called Charlotte Perkins Gilman. One thing I came to realise in my reading though is that there is not any one unified feminist set of beliefs or ideas, lots of diffrent people want lots of diffrent things and have diffrent ideas on how there ideal reforms or situation can be brought to life.

 Now just like there is the current in crowd of pop stars or movie stars political ideas also tend to gather certain faces and figure heads at times, be they book writers or speakers. So who is kind of the number one well known feminist of today? I shudder to ttype this but  Anita Sarkeesian is quite possibly the closest thing to a “face” that feminism has at this moment in time.

I became convinced that Anita Sarkeesian’s contribution to modern feminism was a negative influence when seeing her work on her Feminist Frequency videos, or to be precise on seeing how she tried to prove certain Video games were sexist with very faulty logic and by bending the truth to make it fit her needs.

The Feminist Frequency videos began with her making a Kickstarter  to fund there production it met its funding goals on June 16, 2012, and appeared to suggest a completion date for the videos of December 2012 (this deadline was not met) Her Kickstarter goal of $6,000 was vastly exceeded her getting a sum of nearly $160,000 in the end. So the money litterally had rained in and everyone was treated to a glimpse of her sitting with a pile of games which would make most people very envious. It wasnt long after this that signs of her dishonesty began to surface. The first little nugget was a video of Anita just a few years before her Kickstarter a video of her saying that she was not nor had she ever been a fan of video games. Now this might not sound like anything major but in her attempts to gain funding she had frequently told people that she was a life long gamer, some people basically choose to fund her believing that what they were going to get was a criticism of video games from a legitimate gamer. Gamers are more than used to seeing people judge and attack video games from the outside, we have idiots like Jack Tompson filling lawsuits and attacking something they dont really understand making false claims and allegations in order to try and push there own agenda, thtat is not something that needed funding.  A lot of people thought they were going to get a well balanced thought out look at games and the ways in which they are sexiest, they thought a game lover was going to take a look at the potential ugly side of gaming and come up with some meaningful points for debate. So really the kickstarter backers got duped.

This is not where the duping people ended though, she got more money than she aid she needed , she claimed she needed the cash to get the games to play them and to record the footage from them and yet one of the first things people began to notice was that she was stealing her footage from other videos. Now I can sort of see why someone might be tempted to steal footage when all they really want to do is talk about a game in general and use the footage as a kind of window dressing but when you have basically begged people for money saying you need it to record the footage this is a pretty low move. I haave made a fair few Video game reviews for youtube in my time and I have to admit they were done with much lower production values than Feminist Frequency but I recorded all of my own footage and did my own editing and resisted the easy path of stealing anyone elses work, so this kind of lying to get funds and/or to make your own time easier does annoy me a great deal.
 So when you realise she got far more funding than asked for and yet still didnt either meet her deadlines or record her own actual footage one might fairly question where, exactly, the six-figure sum ended up, was it used for something other than the project? Now I realise that you have to spend time making videos even my own low quality Videos typically took an entire day from wasking up till going to sleep in order to finish them, so I will accept that maybe she decided to treat it like a job and pay herself a wage so to speak but she stole the footage and as I will latter mention she didnt really fully check her facts/staments so I dont think they took anywere as long as they shoudl, put simply I dont think she did a very good job.

Plenty of people have made youtube videos of there own to show that claims she makes about certain games are untrue. She claimed that in Hitman you are encouraged to kill women, when not only do you loose points for killing them but if you listen to them while your hiding they tell such a story filled with woah that youd have to be derranged to not feel sorry for them. She talked about how you could kill female dancers/strippers in Just Cause 3, yes you can but if you do then you will get attacked and most likly die, there are also male dancers/strippers and if you attack them exactly the same thing happens. In the above cases you can argue that she either outright lied or that she knew the full facts but decided to hold back on certain parts of the truth to make the bit she presented fit the conclusion she already had before starting. This is not how a good piece of research works. Research works by comming up with a hypothesis which is basically an educated guess at what the outcome of an experiment/study will be and then using the evidence you uncover to either prove or disprove this hypothesis, in other words you set out to find the truth not to prove that you were right all along.

The thing is some people will not have been exposed to any form of feminism before and when they see someone like Anita descried as a feminist and then notice her use deceit they could potentially be led to believe that this is a feminist tactic. When someone is met with something new Pschology says that what you do is you make a prototype in your mind, a sort of list/explanation for what something is like, this kind of prototyping leads to steriotypes and once this kind of framework is in place you look for information which will help you  prove it and the more proof you get the harder it becomes to change your outlook from that point on. So if you look at Anita's claims and decide that they are filled with bullshit and she becomes your blueprint for what a feminist is, then you could go on to believe that all feminists are full of bullshit.

Feminism is a large term which covers lots of people who think and feel in lots of diffrent ways, so please do not take Anita as the prime example of what all Feminists are like, I have known many diffrent Feminisits in my time, I have met them at various university functions, debated with them in classes and lectures and some of them have been the most honest level headed women I have ever met, some have been willing to take the time to explain there thoughts there ideals and there own take on what Feminism is at length and I thank them for it. If your a white gaming male and you get sick of hearing certain Feminists go on and on about white privalage and how you get everything while your working your arse off on a zero hours contract struggling for every bit of cash you can get your hands onthen  just remember that the way you hate them judging you and lumping you in the same boat as an entire massive group of people with very diffrent lifestyles, oppinions and economic positions other more rational feminists most likly would hate to be considerd as being the same as these ladies.

Some people proberbly think I am very late to the party to be brining up Anita now but her and Zoe Quinn are currrently talking to the UN trying to get something put into place in regards to cyber harasment. If you are already familliar with all of this then you have proberbly seen Anita claim to have been the victim of some threats along with a lot of criticsm some deserved due to her obvious twisting of the truth some not so justified. Now I do not deny that she recieved death threats as well for a start I know they are quiet common, I have recieved them online myself and worse than that when I used to work in a bar I recieved at least 3 death threats a week face to face but you kind of know that a good 99.99% of them are absolute rubbish. Still are the people sending her death threats, insults and threatening rape ecetera wrong to do so? Of course they are wrong they are wrong on so many levels, one they are wrong because thats just not the way anyone should act, no one should threaten the safty of someone else just because they dont agree with what they have to say. Another reason that people are wrong to threaten though is because well if they disagree with her even if they really strongly disagree with her then acting like an idiot is not going to do them any favours in fact all it does is give her victim status strengthening her position while also giving them the status of a thug and making whatever they believe appear to be of no worth whatsoever. The threats also gave Anita a reason to disable comments on her videos there by silencing anyone who wanted to post up a well thought out and reasoned response. The problem is the anti harrasment stuff Zoe Quinn and Anita are pushing for is not just stuff to try and stop people from threatening them its much more than that its stuff to try and make it so that disagreeing with them and putting forward your ideas full stop can be seen as bullying. Zoe Quinn even went so far as to argue that if a Woman accuses a man of something she should automatically be believed and that it should then be up to him to clear his own name not up to her to prove that her claim is true. Now stop and think about this they are not just pushing for some protection here they are pushing to make it so that if a man is accused of harming a woman in anyway then the law will take it as guilty until proven innocent a scary reversal of what most places currently have.

Evolution of the world usually happens due to new ideas, because of debate because of ideas being played with, with people pushing for and against things until the bad bits fall away and the good bits are strengthend, if you get rid of the ability to question someones ideas to tackle them and suggestion where they are in error or where they need to be looked at again from a fresh angle then what do you do to the world around you? Didnt Feminism itself start out from people looking at the systems and ideas already in place and questioning them, pushing back against them? What would have happend if no one was allowed to do this in the first place and the ideas that were already there were deemed perfect and undebatable?

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