Acknowledge and Present Legitimate Criticism of Anita Sarkeesian

  • by: Jordan Owen
  • recipient: CNN, PBS, Gamespot, IGN, WIRED Magazine, Kotaku, Joystiq, Giant Bomb, That Guy With the Glasses,,

We the undersigned are presenting our names in solidarity against the lies, scams and fabrications of Anita Sarkeesian.  We feel that this woman, in conjunction with her intimate partner and longtime collaborator Jonathan Micintosh, has effectively silenced any genuine criticism of her often erroneous and intentionally misleading point of view by portraying all of her critics as a “cyber mob” of misogynist internet harassers.  Given that both gaming and mainstream media outlets have extolled Ms. Sarkeesian’s viewpoint uncritically, we feel that it is time to demand that our voices be heard.

Our specific grievances against Anita Sarkeesian include- but are not limited to- the following:

-Using copyrighted artwork as a part of the "Tropes Vs. Women" brand logo and claiming this as "Fair Use."

-Dismissing any legitimate criticism of factual inaccuracies in her statements, differences of opinion, or any other disagreeing response as part of a “misogynist hate campaign” and, by extension, creating the impression that the garden variety internet trolling she has received is emblematic of a systematic campaign to keep women out of the gaming community.

-Intentionally provoking and creating the appearance of an internet cyber-mob through the controlled presentation of approved comments on her YouTube page to create the impression that there is an extraordinary or unusual backlash against her specifically.  UPDATE 11/13/13: Recent video footage of a lecture just prior to the launch of the Kickstarter campaign shows that, contrary to her original story, Ms. Sarkeesian was actually aware of 4chan and knew what she was getting into with regards to their negative response.

-That she has leveraged this intentionally generated public outrage for monetary gain, not social progress.

-That she refuses to address or acknowledge matters regarding her professional history, specifically that her background is in ethically questionable internet salesmanship and that she worked extensively as an integral part of a company that is heavily inundated with accusations of fraud (see links re: Handwriting University.)

-That despite claiming to have received numerous death threats and to abhor violence in media, she posted and endorsed a fan-fiction on her Tumblr page in which she tortures and murders Gear Box founder and CEO Randy Pitchford in a graphic manner.

-Claiming to be a lifelong gamer during her Kickstarter campaign and being hailed as such in the press despite having stated in a 2010 lecture at Santa Monica college that she is not a gamer, does not play video games, and at the time knew little about them.

-That she played many hours of games in the course of her research (see WIRED magazine article) when in reality she used “Let’s Play” footage that was posted to YouTube by other users.

It is a profound dereliction and degradation of journalistic integrity to unilaterally portray any person’s argument on a controversial matter as being final, unquestionable, and above legitimate criticism. We demand here and now that this privilege no longer be awarded to Ms. Sarkeesian and that the gaming and mainstream media evaluate and present honest and insightful claims against her viewpoint as having the legitimacy they deserve by actively discussing, acknowledging, and holding Ms. Sarkeesian to task on them.

We the undersigned present ourselves as a group that is diverse in our gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, political viewpoints and countless other individual differences.  We converge on the common ground of our love of video gaming and do not wish to exclude anyone from this community for prejudicial reasons.  While there will always be disagreeable and repugnant individuals in any group, we demand that our voices be heard alongside that of Anita Sarkeesian as persons who have legitimate disagreements with her point of view that are not grounded in sexism, misogyny or any other form of gender bigotry and would like to offer our own unique insights into the matters of cyber bullying, gender roles and sexism in video games, and positive portrayals of women and girls in popular culture.  This is a matter on which a single person has been allowed to maintain a one-sided monopoly and the gaming and mainstream media’s unwillingness to acknowledge the legitimacy of other voices has allowed this person to manipulate the current discourse to gain fame and fortune and, by extension, exert an undue level of influence and pressure over game developers and gamers themselves.

UPDATE 9/27/13: PBS has recently likened Anita Sarkeesian to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Harvey Milk.  This is profoundly insulting to the memories of these American heroes.

Below are links to the mounting evidence against Ms. Sarkeesian’s claims as well as relevant information:

Link to the lecture in which Ms. Sarkeesian admits to knowing about 4chan and their actions before the Kickstarter campaign:

Links to the lecture in which Ms. Sarkeesian admits to not being a gamer: (relevant statements begin at 12:00 here)

TEDxTalks appearance:

WIRED Magazine appearance:

Information regarding Anita’s past:

Information on her use of other’s video game footage:

The Randy Pitchford Murder fantasy:

Accusations of fraud against her former employers:

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