Friday, June 15, 2012

Food for Thought Fridays: It's a bad time to be a woman

I'm a bit off this week as I skipped yesterday's Thumbs Up Thursdays post because I was off doing some offline things.  I know--I have a life offline.  Shocking! ;)

However, I've been collecting a lot of links over the past week, so I have some good stuff for my Food for Thought Fridays post.  But as I was collecting a bunch of interesting, humorous links, two big issues suddenly came to the fore, and they are so important I think they are deserving of their own post.  Fair warning: there is some graphic material in some of these links.

The first big issue to emerge this week was a rash of articles inspired by the attacks against Anita Sarkeesian, who creates the videos on the wonderful Feminist Frequency channel on YouTube.  If you've never watched any of her videos, you should.  She does fantastic analysis of the treatment of women in various types of pop culture.  If you follow the links below, you'll read all about the unconscionable backlash provoked by her Kickstarter project to produce a series of videos about female trope use in video games.  This is a subject about which I am particularly passionate, being an avid, life-long gamer myself.  The one redeeming part of this horrible story is that, as of writing this post, Sarkeesian has raised $143,298--and her original goal was $6,000.  It's good to know a lot of other people are just as outraged as I am.  You can read about the terrible debacle in more detail:

Sarkeesian's blog post about the harassment she suffered, just because she started her Kickstarter project.

The blog Shattersnipe has an excellent a post deconstructing the rape culture in the gaming world.

Kate or Die's comic about the frustrations of trying to discuss rape culture in the gaming world with other gamers.

Slate's XXfactor takes a look at how misogyny online can sometimes be desensitizing, using Jezebel's articles as a jumping-off point.

ThinkProgress's The Guy's Guide to Being a Feminist Ally in Video Gaming.

While I normally try to remain politically neutral on this blog, I feel so strongly about what happened to Michigan House Representative Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield), that I can't stay silent on this issue.  Though the Republican House leadership has changed its story several times, Brown was apparently banned from speaking on the House floor because she had the temerity to use the word "vagina" while speaking this week.  This sparked a Twitterstorm, so it will be interesting to see how the leadership deals with the fallout from this issue.

The theme tying these two items together is the way in which society views and treats women.  As a feminist, I think often about this, and I am really disturbed by the idea that our young women and girls will sometimes have to face this sort of treatment.  I really hope to see this sort of misogyny die a very public, painful death.  I firmly believe in equality for all people, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual preference, or creed, and I hope others will continue to stand up and loudly proclaim their support for equality.