pop culture critic
Anita Sarkeesian set out to shine a light on misogyny and sexism in pop culture. Doing so made her the victim of an online hate campaign. A feminist media critic, her commentary raises provocative questions about how women are portrayed in film, TV, comics + video games.
Anita is best known for "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games," a video series that generated extensive media coverage when a Kickstarter effort prompted male gamers to cyber bully Anita. The harassment didn't silence her. As Wired magazine recently reported, she is a gamer who's "waging a war on sexism."
Look to her to keep bravely pointing out stereotypes so commonplace that we often neglect to see them.
changing gaming | Anita rocked a Game Boy as a kid, and still loves the pastime as an adult. She's a frontrunner in the fight to expose and eliminate sexism + unhealthy attitudes toward women in gaming ~ all as a way of making something she loves even better.
courage | her fight to raise consciousness of the inherent sexism in pop culture made her a target of online harassment and abuse. After her Kickstarter campaign stirred up the gaming community, the abuse skyrocketed ~ and so did the contributions. Rather than hide, Anita now speaks out on fighting back ~ despite death threats, bomb threats + hostility to her family ~ and she's inspiring women in the public eye everywhere to do the same.
2009 | launched Feminist Frequency, producing videos aimed at explaining various ways women are portrayed in pop culture and media. She wants to make feminism more accessible to people outside of college gender studies classrooms ~ while pursuing her own Master's degree in Social and Political Thought from York University
2012 | Kickstarter campaign asking for $6,000 to expand her Tropes vs. Women video series raised $159,000 after she becomes the target of internet trolls ~ including rape and death threats
2014 | received Ambassador Award at Game Developer's Conference
from | to
feminist grad student + media critic | champion of media industry change + anti-harassment movement
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
United States of America
one, a networking engineer
grew up in | lives in
educated at | studied with
California State University, Northridge
~ BA in communications ~
~ Toronto, Ontario, Canada | MA in social and political thought ~
pop culture + feminist theory
advocate for | influenced by
women's rights + stopping online abuse | bell hooks + Buffy the Vampire Slayer
in her spare time
books, television, movies ... and games!
image creditcollapse bio bits
"In addition to gender equity, the end of patriarchy might give us better entertainment too!"Feministing.com | march 2011
"Women are not here for men’s inspiration or celebration or whatever else."Tropes vs. Women: The Manic Pixie Dream Girl | march 2011
"I love playing video games but I’m regularly disappointed in the limited and limiting ways women are represented."Kickstarter campaign | may 2012
"At the very core it's really about working towards the equal treatment of women."From Samus to Lara | june 2012
"Every day I am encouraged by the women who persevere, who continue to engage and who refuse to be silenced."TEDxWomen 2012 | december 2012
"I don’t think that the price of admission to the world of gaming should be to have to disconnect from your emotional capacity or distance yourself from your own humanity. I don’t think that’s a fair trade."Tropes vs Women in Video Games: Why It Matters | may 2013
"The power of pop culture stories should not be underestimated."Tropes vs Women in Video Games: Why it Matters | may 2013
"The truth is that inspirational women are, in fact, very 'historically accurate' and as such there is no excuse for the failure to include heroic female characters."Tropes vs Women in Video Games: Why it Matters | may 2013
"My detractors ... regularly fabricate fake quotes and attribute them to me in an ongoing effort to discredit my series."Mother Jones | may 2014
TEDxWomen | december 2012
The target of an intense online hate campaign following the fundraising for her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games project, Anita took to the TED stage to denounce abuse and empower women to fight pervasive internet harassment and misogyny.
video | Tropes vs. Women in Video Games: Ms. Male Character | november 2013
Anita takes on the Ms. Male character often used by the gaming community to show inclusiveness ~ but basically just puts a bow on a pre-existing male character.
Anita Sarkeesian | Feminist Frequency
standing ovation | XOXO Fest | sept. 13, 2014
At Portland's XOXO Festival, Anita received a standing ovation for her talk about online harassment. This was her first public appearance since being driven out of her home in August 2014 after death and rape threats, and the FBI began investigating bomb threats made against her in March 2014.
Phil Whitehouse | CC BY 2.0 | https://www.flickr.com/photos/philliecasablanca/15089700130