Pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian launched a Kickstarter campaign a few days ago in hopes of raising $6,000 to make a series of feminist-critique videos about the roles women play in videogames. She ended up getting a bit more than she bargained for: She raised more than $120,000 while generating wrath among the online hordes, who have been harassing her in the crudest possible terms.
In response to the call for funding for her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games project, the 28-year-old California woman has received an overwhelming number of negative comments on her YouTube channel (sample entries: “tits or back to the kitchen, bitch” and “fuck off prude” — more rude remarks are screengrabbed here). The Wikipedia entry about her has been defaced as well.
“I have been running a web series on YouTube for a few years now that both deals with questions of sexism in the media and also has ‘feminist’ in the title, so I’m certainly no stranger to some level of harassment,” Sarkeesian said in an e-mail to Wired. “I knew that delving into videogames might provoke a bit of a misogynist backlash … [but] this level of organized and sustained harassment, vitriol, threats of violence and sexual assault in response to a project that hasn’t even been made yet is very telling.”