What You Could Have Said (A response to Anita Sarkeesian)

Another day, another piece of bad propaganda, straight from the mouth of probably the greatest con artist of our time.  A con artist who has got the entire left-leaning media on her side, while having broken her Kickstarter promises (she has not kept a single one), lied about her being a gamer (Santa Monica 2010 lecture), not even finished the video series that she was paid $160,000 for and asking money for a new one, all while not answering a single piece of criticism.  This woman is a marvel.  An absolute marvel.  Now, as always, another video has been made where she plays the victim card and makes all her detractors sound like would-be terrorists.  The video is called “What I Couldn’t Say.”  I hate that title, namely because it is very close to a piece from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack that hits home with me.  Ugh.  Alright, let’s respond to her.

What I couldn’t say is, ‘fuck you!’

Actually, in a way, that’s all you’ve been saying, to the many people who have leveled honest, fair criticism of you and the work you do.  Like so many, I am waiting to hear you have to answer for that.

To the thousands of men who turned their misogyny a game.  A game in which gendered slurs, death and rape threats are turned into weapons to try and take down the big bad villain.

*obligatory statement that I, in no way, support death threats, so as to not get attacked by the Tumblr and Twitter snowflakes*

Anita, there are so many people who have leveled legitimate criticism of you, without once threatening you.  Myself included.  I have never condoned threats against you.  I never will.  I think you are a terrible person, and are manipulating people toward your own ends, but I don’t condone death and rape threats.  You come right out and make it sound like all criticism of you is nothing but threats, and that is repulsive, to me.  It’s not even seconds into your speech, and you are making yourself out to be the victim, when there are real things to talk about.  Are you so lacking in any argument that you have to make sure that people know that you’re a victim before you even begin the conversation?  Not to mention – there are plenty of women who have leveled criticisms of you as well.

Which, in this case, is me.  My life is not a game.

With the amount of money you’re bringing in, I don’t believe that for a moment.

I’ve been harassed and threatened every day, for going on three years, with no end in sight.

For crying out loud!  Do you think that you are Salmon Rushdie, Anita?!  That was a person in REAL danger from REAL people who, as we saw with Charlie Hebdo, will kill people to protect their religion from any kind of negative criticism.  You’re not him!  You’re a “pop culture critic” on the Internet!  That harassment is not something that you should take seriously!  There’s a reason that people like me were laughing at the Law & Order: Stupid Voters Unit episode, “Intimidation Game.”  This idea that online trolls are going to become like ISIS is absurd!  Can you please STOP putting yourself on a pedestal?!  It’s getting really old.

And all because I started to question the self-evident, obvious sexism running rampant in the games industry.

Which, if you watched her videos, you would see was not backed up with credible evidence or showed any signs of real-world connection.  Not one time, in any over her videos, has she been able to show a real-world correlation between sexism and the gaming industry.  From development to effects on gamers, it’s not there.  Not to mention, she has clearly displayed either a willful lack of concern as to the sexual attraction of lesbian and bisexual women, whom she subsequently uses as a shield to deflect criticism.  Screw this point.  Anita, we don’t take umbrage with you speaking.  We take umbrage with what you have to say.  Freedom of speech works both ways.

Nothing about my experience is a  game.  What I couldn’t say is – I’m angry.  When people who know what I go through on a daily bases meet me in person, they often react with some surprise when they see me and say things like, “I don’t understand why you’re not more angry.”

What have you got to be angry about?  In the last few months, your non-profit organization has gotten over $300,000 in donations.  Yeah, your life is really hard.

Because I’m just me.  I’m generally kind of charming and nice to people.

Really?  You’ve blocked every single person who has disagreed with you.  That’s not a nice thing to do.  Not to mentioned the aforementioned using of LGBT people as a shield, while ignoring what the women in that segment of the population might find attractive.  That’s not very nice either.  And charming?  Yeah, because I can totally see that in your dead-pan, emotionless reads of your prompt on your videos.  Your allies are people in your echo chamber, who won’t ever publicly disagree with you, for fear of reprisal from your army of white knights.  See, this is how scrutiny works.  Once you start scratching below the surface, who knows what you’ll dig up!

But I respond saying that ‘I am angry.’  That I am furious.

About what?  For real, what on Earth do you have to be angry about?  You make a six-figure salary being a professional victim.  You have the easiest job on Earth!  What do you have, you upper-middle class white female, to be angry about?

I’m angry that we live in a society where online harassment is tolerated, accepted and excused.

Stop!  Stop right there!  Who is excusing it?!  For real, aside from the trolls themselves, what people are like, “You know what would really help right now?  Seeing a woman get harassed!”  Next, plenty of sites have mods.  With some sites, that’s harder than others.  Modding things on 4chan, 8chan, Reddit or Twitter can be very difficult, because of the nature of the sites.  There are plenty of sites where you can report harassment and it gets dealt with.  Where is all this problem that you talk about coming from?

Where web services and law enforcement are not taking responsibility for the online harassment that women suffer everyday online.

Anita, I’m getting sick of saying this – not all criticism is harassment.  Next, law enforcement does take stuff seriously.  When a conference you would be at got threatened in Utah, they analyzed the threat, and concluded that it wasn’t credible.  That was something they took very seriously.  Do you want the police to arrest every person who doesn’t agree with you?  Sorry, lady, but that’s not how free speech works!  For every mean Tweet you can find, I can find dozens that are people actually trying to level with you.  What are you going on about?

I’m angry that I’m expected to accept online harassment like it’s the price of being a woman with an opinion.

Who is saying this?!  I really wanna know.  It’s so annoying that you talk about online harassment like that’s all you get!  Are you so desperate to have people treat any dissension like abuse that you will try to paint the Scarlet Letter on every detractor you have?  That’s pathetic, Anita.  It’s one thing to just give the finger to your critics and blow them off.  Uwe Bowl does that.  It’s another to passively try and get everyone to put you on a higher level and make yourself out to be the victim.  You use your gender also like a shield, painting yourself as a damsel in need of rescuing, while calling out that kind of behavior in the media.  Your hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

What I couldn’t say was anything funny.  Most of my friends would describe me as a little bit snarky and a little sarcastic.  And you can occasionally glimpse those bits of my personality in my earlier criticism videos.

You mean there are actually videos where you don’t speak off a prompt?  Where you emote?  That’s just nuts…

But I almost never make jokes anymore on YouTube.  Even though humor can be humanizing, and I like using it, I don’t often use it, because viewers often interpret humor and sarcasm as ignorance.

What?  Um…no..  I don’t hear someone make a joke and think, “wow, what an idiot.”  Unless it’s a really bad joke or something.  I may think that someone is a little off-color, depending on the joke.  Like, someone make a joke about cops beating a room for being black.  But that makes no sense.  There are plenty of informed people who can make jokes about stuff.  John Oliver does it every week on HBO.  Jon Stewart is going to not be doing it at the end of this year.  Stephen Colbert did it for years.  That is so dumb.

Especially if those viewers are male, and the ones make the jokes happen to be female.

Again, no.  I think that you’re ignorant because you steal people’s Let’s Play footage and don’t credit them.  You have stolen a fan-made drawing to use in your company’s logo.  You have lied about your history as a gamer (though don’t tell Stephen Totilo that.  He worked so hard to kiss Anita’s ass about it and make sure we knew that that wasn’t true).  The men like me, who take umbrage with what you say and what you’ve done, do so based on evidence.  I get why that would be difficult for you to get.  After all, your videos have a disturbing lack of it.  You know, the ones that aren’t using people’s Let’s Play footage.

You would not believe the amount of times that jokes are taken as ‘proof’ that I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Or that I’m not a real gamer.

Ah!  I see what you did there!  So, that whole thing in Santa Monica was a joke, eh?  When you told people that you have never been a fan of video games, that was in jest!  You saying that you had to learn a lot to make the video you were showing (in that video.  Videoception) wasn’t true!  You lied to that audience!  Very smooth.  You know, in that dishonest sort of way.

Even when those jokes rely on a deep knowledge of the source material.

What source material?

So, as a result, I intentionally leave that more humorous side of my personality out of my current video presentations.  I rarely feel like spontaneously speaking in public spaces.

No surprise there.  You’ve worked very hard to create the image of yourself as a damsel in need of saving, while also as a warrior fighting against the enemy.  To have that be questioned outside of a set narrative would be damaging to the con you are running.  After all, when Colbert put you on the spot and asked you to name 3 video games that cause violence and misogyny, you couldn’t do it.

I’m intentional and careful about the media interviews I do.

Also true.  You’re a con artist.  If you left something to chance, then your con might start to come apart.  Can’t have that.

I decline most invitations to be on podcasts of webshows.  I carefully consider the wording of every Tweet to make sure it’s clear and can’t be misconstrued.

Ooo!  Like that one where men are the reason behind all school shootings?!  Like that?!  Or how about those ones where it has been shown that you took Johnny McIntosh’s Tweets and reworded them slightly?  How about that?

Over the last several years, I’ve become hyper-vigilant.  My life, my words and my actions are placed under a magnifying glass.

Anita, anyone who has name-recognition in this world is under a magnifying glass.  It’s called celebrity status.  Don’t like it?  Well, don’t become an Internet celebrity.  Oh, right, it’s too late.  You’re complaining about this like you haven’t worked to make it this way.  You’re mad about that?  Well, too fucking bad!  Don’t blame us for what you helped engineer.  What’s more, if you would just fess up and actually talk about shit with people, then we wouldn’t be digging the way we are!  When you work hard to build a wall around yourself, and get a garrison to protect you from anyone who could speak out against you, you have to expect that there will be some dust that gets kicked up.  For all of this, you have nobody to blame but yourself.  All of this could be stopped if you addressed some of the honest criticism you’ve received.  It’s just that easy.

Every day, I see my words scrutinized, twisted and distorted by thousands of men, hell-bent on destroying and silencing you.

It’s nice to see that when women can’t be your shield, their words mean absolutely nothing to you.  Nothing at all.  You are so sexist, Anita.  You really are.  You are one of the most sexist people I have ever seen.  Because, I know that you don’t buy into this SJW shit that you spew.  I’m certain beyond any doubt.  You only care about the money.  So, when you have women who are going after what you say, you can’t attack that like you do men, because then you’d have to actually talk about stuff.  That can be icky.

What I couldn’t say is – I’m a human being.

Yeah, you are.  I totally agree.  You are a human being, capable of making dumb decision and poor choices, just like the rest of us.  And you are a human being who is choosing to ignore her detractors, because of the chance that you will be proven to be wrong.  You have worked so hard to create an iron fortress around yourself, while you have skilled and smart detractors who are finding weaknesses in your defenses.  It’s sad, but it’s true.

I don’t get to publicly express sadness or rage or exhaustion or anxiety or depression.

Actually, yeah.  You could do that.  We wouldn’t ridicule you.  I wouldn’t.  If you were to come out and make a video saying just about anything.  You can talk about whatever you want.  But when you make videos with the levels of dishonesty that you have shown, while doing everything your power to silence dissent, then we will reply.  All you have to do to end the problem is just talk candidly with your detractors.  That’s it.

I can’t say that sometimes, the harassment really gets to me.  Or conversely, that the harassment has become so normal that sometimes, I don’t feel anything at all.

Not for a second do I buy that the harassment gets to you.  You’ve made a career on the back of it.  I don’t believe that it upsets you.  One of the many things you could clear up by actually having a candid conversation with people.  Not one that is tightly scripted and controlled.

The death threats come through on my social media, and it’s just become a routine.  Screen-cap, forward to the FBI, blah, blah, blah.  I don’t get to express feelings of fear or how tiring it can get to be constantly vigilant of my physical and digital surroundings.  How I don’t go to certain events because I don’t feel safe.

Give me 10 instances where online harassment manifested into real-world violence, Anita.  Just 10.

Or how I sit in the backs of restaurants or coffee shops so the least amount of people can recognize me.  I can’t show my embarrassment when I have to ask someone who recognized me as my local grocery store to please not mention the location where they met me.  Somehow, we fooled ourselves into believing that by expressing human emotions, it means that the harassers have won.

By hiding from criticism, of any kind, that is proving that the harassers have won, Anita.  If you wanted to stand tall to the people who say terrible things, you would actually talk candidly with people.  You’d be amazed how open we would be to listening, if you actually talked, and didn’t have a script telling you want to say.

This false belief is largely because, in our society, women are not allowed to express feelings without being characterized as hysterical or erratic and bitchy.  Highly emotional or overly sensitive.

Where is this belief coming from?  I watch YouTubers like Jaclyn Glenn, and I don’t think that she is bitchy or hysterical because she expresses emotion.  I watched the emotional video that Mercedes Carrera made, getting angry at the silence that you and yours had about people like her friend Cytherea, who was the victim of actual violence, as opposed to online harassment.  Why are you trying to sell this image?

Our expressions of insecurity, doubt, anger or sadness are all policed and often used against us.

By who?

But by denying ourselves this space to feel and to share those feelings, we’re just perpetuating this feeling that we should all suffer alone.

You are making more in a year than most people ever will.  Do tell me how you “suffer.”

That we should all just toughen up and grow a thicker skin.  Which we shouldn’t have to do!

I’m about to have a serious moment with you, Anita – yes you should.  Look, you never really leave high school.  That’s the thing about life.  You know those people who get bullied for being fat?  They’re still gonna get bullied.  Only this time, it’s gonna be at their job, in a really snide way.  You know that girl who got picked on for being a pale nerd?  She’ll still get picked on, until she makes a shit-ton of money and then can use it as power over people.  There was that whole “It Gets Better” campaign, and I called that out for the bullshit that it was.  You know why it was bullshit – because it really doesn’t get better.  You have to get tougher.  That’s how you deal with what life throws at you.  If that’s too hard for you, then you shouldn’t be in the position that you are in.  And I find it odd that it is too hard for you, considering how hard you’ve worked to make this performance piece that you do.

What I couldn’t say is – I don’t even want to be saying any of this!  Largely because I still feel fear that expressing human emotions publicly will make me feel insecure.

It’s funny – I recently watched a stream where a new friend of mine, Shadowpaint Lisa, got really pissed at someone who said some really unpleasant shit to her and got her all emotional, because the people she had met and befriended in connection to GamerGate helped her through stuff, and she didn’t like hearing about how awful we are.  Did I think that she was insecure when she starts crying and leaves the stream?  No.  I thought it was sad and, because I’m just a nice guy like that, I wished I had been there because I would have tried to help.  Granted, I could only have helped in Chat, but I still try.  You saying that you think that you will look insecure, that sounds like an excuse, to me.

The truth is that women who persevere and retain some measure of their humanity are not expressing weakness.  They’re demonstrating courage.

What are you talking about?  That feels lifted right out of an inspirational book.

In all the different, messy, honest ways that we respond to harassment, we actually demonstrate how much humanity we all still have in the face of such cruelty and injustice.

Says the woman who has blocked every single person with a legitimate complaint with the things she has said and done.

Thank you

You know, Anita, I got my Bachelor’s in Journalism and Public Communication.  I would like nothing better than to sit down and actually have a conversation where we address some stuff.  Where we can actually talk about things, instead of hiding from them.  The thing that you have been doing for years now.  Hiding from the truth.  I haven’t done a post like this in years, because I actually wanted to give all the context I could, so you could see that I mean to really talk about this.  Because I think that’s important.

You have worked, for years, to build a wall around yourself to keep out criticism, using that wall to claim that any and all disagreement is harassment and you are a victim and need to be protected.  I’m sorry, Anita, but until you actually do have a conversation with someone, anyone, who has real complaints and is willing to listen to your side of the story (as I am), then we will keep working to find weaknesses in your arguments and destroying the house of cards that you have made for yourself.  If that’s too much to handle, then so be it.  The next move is yours.

Until next time, a quote,

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”  -Albert Einstein

Peace out,

Maverick

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One thought on “What You Could Have Said (A response to Anita Sarkeesian)

  1. Props for bringing up Rushdie. It’s a HUGE difference; Anita Sarkeesian didn’t have Cat fucking Stevens going on TV saying that she needed to die and it would be right to kill her.

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