Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yet More Death Threats Against a Woman in Gaming


I spent a lot of time last week arguing with men who are convinced that the various accusations that Zoe Quinn "slept her way to the top" (which is a very old and misogynistic trope) and ranting about how somebody said she single-handedly destroyed some Internet thing or other, somehow, etc. These things are all very much more important to these men than the fact that Zoe Quinn had to deal with a violation of her privacy that sparked a new wave of vicious harassment and threats against her.

When I see shit like that happening in the gaming community - a community which I usually consider myself a part of when I'm not praying to god to cleanse it with fire - I get very upset. I don't want anything like that going on within something I identify with. These misogynistic gamer boys, however, aren't concerned with the quality of the community, I guess. With them it's always "well harassing Zoe is bad but here let me perpetuate unsupported rumors that contribute to the harassment of Zoe" and "well nobody should be sending threats but here's some conspiracy theories we've come up with to justify it."

But really, these are the good ones. The conspiracy theory gamer boys that will actually acknowledge that Zoe's been harassed and that it's bad are few and far between, and they're preferable. To the more common type, that demands "proof" of this harassment despite the fact that they're in the process of perpetuating it or insist that it's not as bad as she's saying. That's always how it is. She must be lying, she must be exaggerating, she must deserve it.

And as they're finally winding down about Zoe, I get news of this:

"Death threats drive Anita Sarkeesian from her home"

Of course, since Anita released another video in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series, the harassment machine has refocused on her. In a big way.

Also, now, she's apparently spent the night with friends after contacting law enforcement about "some very scary threats" against her and her family. She's published a page of extremely violent sexual threats from the person who apparently drove her to call the police; in it, the user mentions the location of her apartment and threatens to kill her parents, who the user names and claims to be able to find.

I read those tweets. I don't recommend doing so unless you feel you can withstand some severely triggering content. They're not just death threats.

So there you go, another bit of "proof" that these women get harassed to add to the mountain. But I guarantee you this will be brushed off by the misogynists who hate her as an example of a single guy who they will claim is mentally ill, because people with mental illnesses always get thrown under the bus when this happens. But this has happened over and over to so many women online, within our community and in others.

As though the less severe harassment and threats she gets constantly don't enable and encourage this kind of threat. As though alternated perpetuating and excusing the harassment this woman receives doesn't tell every guy who's watching and reading that he will get support if he decides to threaten her. His actions will be excused or even get lost in the tidal wave of other threats and vile harassment, because there's so much of it. As though seeing others throw violent language at her constantly doesn't increase hatred and hostility in those who already hate women and want to harm them.

The fact is that any time you call Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn a gendered slur and send hateful tweets and other visible messages and make misogynistic comments on their videos or articles about them, or perpetuate misogynistic tropes and unsupported rumors about them, there's a good chance that a man who truly hates women enough to possibly physically harm them will see it and be assured that he is in the right. That his desire to hurt them is supported, that he is not alone, that everyone feels the same way he does, and he will be defended and hailed as a hero by many others if he threatens or hurts them or their loved ones.

So congratulations, gamer boys who posted vile hate about Anita all over the Internet. This shit is on you. If someone does get hurt or killed, it's on you. Fuck you for that.

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