The email warns “a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out” against those in attendance, students, staff, and the women’s center. “I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs,” the email continues. “This threat is giving (The University) a chance to stop it….I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”
This email was sent this month in response to a planned speaking event at Utah State University featuring Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist culture critic who recently has been lauded for her research on female stereotypes in the video game industry ….all for challenging sexism in video games. In 2012, Sarkeesian was targeted by an online harassment campaign following her launch of a Kickstarter project to fund the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. At the same time, supporters donated over $150,000 to the project, far beyond the $6,000 she had sought. The situation was covered extensively in the media, placing Sarkeesian at the center of discussions about misogyny in video game culture and online harassment. It would seem that Ms. Sarkeesian has struck a chord with a few people in the gaming world. One could surmise that is probably the result of her uncovering their truths, for if what she said was not true, why get so worked up over it?
This is apparently also crime to some gamers worth threatening rape, death, acts of terrorism, and massacre for. The day before, members of the university administration received an email warning that a shooting massacre would be carried out at the event. And under Utah law, she was told, the campus police could not prevent people with weapons from entering her talk. It was decided that canceling the event was the solution. I however can think of many better solutions that do not involve bowing to misogynist cyber terrorists. While I don’t condone putting Ms. Sarkeesian in harms way I think canceling the event altogether was a huge mistake. This sets the standard that women can be silenced with one threat. It also shows that society will tolerate such behavior. Had I been the decision maker in this matter, first off I would actively be seeking the person responsibility and handing there ass to them by way of a stiff prison sentence. Second, I would not have canceled the event. Okay so the University cant provide security. Can they move it to a place that would? An Event Center? A police precinct perhaps? Minimally make it a webcast & present it at a screening on campus. Or if the University was afraid to do that, why not a podcast sent out to all University email addresses? There are many solutions to this situation. Backing down to sexism and lunacy should not be one of them.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, 48 percent of game players in the United States are women, a figure that has grown as new opportunities to play games through mobile devices, social networks and other avenues have proliferated. Game developers, however, continue to be mostly male: In a survey conducted earlier this year by the International Game Developers Association, a nonprofit association for game developers, only 21 percent of respondents said they were female.
In this day and century , the fact that the permissive attitude of misogyny in many forms and many industries continues to pervade society is inexcusable. Its quite frankly ridiculous. Guys, women make up at last half the population. Its not rocket science. This is the 21st century. Women have jobs and interests in all areas of society. As such its your job to adjust. Move your chair over and make room. Or take your ball and go home..