Many thanks to Linda for supplying this transcript!
[0:00] Thunderf00t: What’s that? Anita Sarkeesian was invited to talk at a conference on digital ethics? Really? Are we talking about the same Anita Sarkeesian who says this about piracy:
[0:13] “Why we need you Veronica Mars”: “That said, you should go out immediately and BitTorrent, pirate, rent, buy—whatever you have to do to watch Veronica Mars.”
[0:20] Thunderf00t: -and the one who laments that third parties cannot flag things as harassment—which means that it was Anita who saw these tweets and thought they were so offensive that they warranted flagging someone off Twitter, and it couldn’t have been third parties.
[0:37] Thankfully, after I was initially suspended, Twitter very quickly saw the light and reinstated my account.
[0:44] Look, Anita, let me explain why random third parties cannot flag stuff for ‘harassing’ someone else. First and foremost, it’s a blank cheque for flagging campaigns.
[0:57] Now I know you like to change the rules such that the internet is just one giant echo chamber for your opinion:
[1:03] Sarkeesian: “How are their forums allowing conversations to happen or not happen? What are—there’s so many things, right? We could brainstorm a million ways that we could create these structural changes. And creating structural change means people have to follow those structures.”
[1:17] Thunderf00t: And I hate to break this to you, but if it does come down to this flagging war that you seem to be itching for, it will be minorities and batshit crazy groups like your own brand of feminism that will be crushed.
[1:31] And even if by some miracle you win, and convince Twitter to turn itself into an echo chamber where only your particular brand of feminism will be allowed:
[1:42] “Feminism in Focus – Anita Sarkeesian”: “But one way that I personally deal with comments is to moderate them, because I really want to create a space where people can come and engage with feminist ideas, where they don’t have to risk being harassed or ridiculed.”
[1:54] The Colbert Report: “That’s right. It’s a safe space where like-minded folks can hear things they already agree with from someone who’s opinion they already know.”
[2:01] Thunderf00t: All you will achieve is to create an opening in the market to be filled by someone who actually does value the robust and level playing field of free speech.
[2:12] But surely, someone with such profoundly thin skin as Anita, feeling that she is entitled that society treat her in a privileged fashion—at least compared to everyone else—would at least treat others as she expects to be treated. Right? After all, she does spend a lot of time composing her tweets:
[2:33] Sarkeesian: “Sometimes I feel this double-edged sword because I’m very careful about what I say. I’m very careful about—I spend hours trying to compose a tweet.”
[2:41] Thunderf00t: Nah, for Anita, she was quite happy to say this about the formidable Christopher Hitchens about two days after he died. Yeah. Smearing a man who’s been dead for only about two days by calling him “a racist, a sexist, and a warmonger” (femfreq).
[2:58] But that wouldn’t be ‘harassment’ now, would it Anita? Oh, but if someone points out that you lied through your teeth in your video series—oh, that’s outrageous criti—sorry—that’s outrageous harassment! But oh if someone blames feminist actions for a feminist’s PR problem—that’s gotta be hatred of women. That’s gotta be misogyny.
[3:20] Got news for you, Anita. Hitchens will achieve more dead than you will ever achieve by being alive.
[3:27] Christopher Hitchens: “If you want to get good people to do wicked things, you need religion. What do I mean by that? I mean to say that, who, when they see a newborn baby arriving in their life—if anyone’s ever thought, even myself, ‘Well, maybe there is something to this. Look at the perfection of this little bundle . . . but they say, ‘I tell you what though, before we go any further we need to get a sharp knife or a stern from somewhere and start hacking away at the genitalia of this little bundle; because if we don’t, we won’t be doing god’s will. Now, where is—no moral person would do such a thing unless they thought it was divinely warranted.”
[4:03] Hitchens: “Is it not the case that the spread of Christianity—about which you spoke so warmly and affectingly in your opening remarks—attributing it to the innate truth of the Bible’s story was spread by that means, or because the Emperor Constantine decided to make Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire? Which in your view contributed more to the spread of the faith?”
Frank Turek: “The Holy spirit.”
Hitchens: “I rest my case.”
[4:31] Thunderf00t: Or blaming ‘toxic masculinity’ and ‘patriarchy’ for a school shooting less than 24-hours after that school shooting.
[4:40] Sarkeesian: “Sometimes I feel this double-edged sword because I’m very careful about what I say. I’m very careful about—I spend hours trying to compose a tweet.”
[4:48] Thunderf00t: That wouldn’t be offensive or harassment, now would it? Yeah, Anita, you might be happy now that Twitter allows people to be offended on other people’s accounts and flag them as such. After all, that is what you and Women, Action & the Media wanted.
[5:05] But damn, you should be careful what you wish for. ‘Cos don’t you know that many people would regard YOUR tweets as ‘harassing’? I mean, don’t ya think that calling someone a racist only two days after they died would be deemed as ‘harassment’ by at least the relatives? And don’t you think that blaming a school shooting on ‘patriarchy’ before the bodies are even cold would be deemed as harassing and offensive by the parents of those children?
[5:38] By your lack of vision, and your lust to be able to control what people are and are not allowed to say, you have been petitioning for the tools of your own demise.
[5:50] And, like I say, even if by some miracle you get Twitter to give you all the privileges that you think that you’re entitled to—you know, like you have on Wikipedia—yeah, not a single word on there about Anita Sarkeesian’s dishonesty. And the fact that her project raised 25 times as much money as it needed:
[6:09] Sarkeesian: “I actually raised 25 times [applause] what I initially asked for.”
[6:18] Thunderf00t: -is now two YEARS overdue, and still hasn’t produced half of the videos that it said it would. Not a mention of these facts on Anita Sarkeesian’s Wiki page.
[6:30] Nah, even if you manage to get Twitter to give you all this special treatment, it will not change the fact that in your own terms, you are just Jack Thompson with boobs—no, I take that back, ‘cos that’s not entirely true. You’re Jack Thompson on steroids, with boobs. ‘Cos not only do they claim that videogames cause violence, Feminist Frequency writer Jonathan McIntosh on Twitter, “Scientific consensus is that playing violent video games increases aggression and aggressive behaviors. Amazing so many people are still in denial” (radicalbytes).
[7:06] Thunderf00t: But they also believe that they cause sexism:
[7:09] “Women as Background Decoration: Part 1”: “In other words, viewing media that frames women as objects or sexual playthings profoundly impacts how real life women are perceived and treated in the world around us.”
[7:18] Thunderf00t: Yeah, Anita. Rich, middle class, white women—the most persecuted class of people in history. And surely, if only you had a penis, then men would take you seriously. Oh no—wait, not they wouldn’t. ‘Cos newsflash, Anita. A bad argument is a bad argument, no matter how many times you tell someone you’re a persecuted woman who finds everything offensive.
[7:44] Hitchens: “If someone tells me that I’ve hurt their feelings, I say, ‘Well I’m still waiting to hear what your point is’. I’m very depressed how in this country you can be told, ‘That’s
offensive!’ as if those two words constitute an argument or a comment. Not to me, they don’t. And I’m not running for anything, so I don’t have to pretend to like people when I don’t.”
[8:05] Thunderf00t: This is why people like me have always argued for the open marketplace of ideas and a robust and level playing field, ‘cos if you can’t convince anyone in an arena like that, then there’s a good chance that you’re talking crap. I guess this is what I’m trying to tell ya:
[8:22] The Avengers: “You’re missing the point—there’s no throne. There is no version of this where you come out on top.”
[8:28] Thunderf00t: But back to the digital ethics. Is this the same Anita Sarkeesian who, if she was judged by her own standards would be blatantly racist and homophobic and transphobic, and even normalizes white supremacy? ‘Whooa’, I hear people say, ‘surely there’s no way you can justify that?’ Actually, using social justice warrior reasoning—or more specifically, feminist reasoning, it’s trivial.
[8:54] You see, you don’t judge work by its content, you judge it by, say, the number of black people in the work. So, when it comes down to the new Star Wars trailer, FullMcIntosh tweets this, and Anita retweets it: “3 faces in the Star Wars trailer are those of a black man, white woman, and Latino man piloting an X-Wing. That matters more than you may think” (radicalbytes) and, “Let’s take time to consider that the first trailer for the biggest most anticipated movie of the decade features zero white dudes” (radicalbytes).
[9:27] Thunderf00t: Now, for me, I really didn’t care about the gender profile of the film. I just sat there scratching my head like, ‘Hang on. Aren’t all the stormtroopers meant to be clones of Jango Fett?’
[9:37] Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones: “Your clones are very impressive. You must be very proud.”
[9:40] Thunderf00t: So, w-why is the stromtrooper black? And why is this woman so small that she can ride on RoboCop 2’s shoulder cannon? And then FullMcIntosh thinks that this guy is a Latino and not some white dude. Personally, I’m surprised that they didn’t tweet how the only woman in the trailer was wearing Islamic-type garb and was therefore promoting the idea that women must cover up their faces to avoid being raped or something.
[10:07] Nah, for me, I found the spoof trailers ripping one Abram’s use of lens flare and the, ‘it’s a new Star Wars movie means you gotta have a new novelty light saber type stuff’, far more relevant, and far more entertaining. Yeah, I know, Anita. Come on, tell us how Abrams’ friends and supporters should be able to flag ALL of this media as ‘harassing Abrams’.
[10:30] But whatever. You get the point. In social justice warrior terms, you judge if a work is sexist or racist by the number of minorities in it.
[10:39] Let’s look at Anita Sarkeeian’s ONLY creation. You know, the proposed videogame which is gonna show us how to free ourselves from the stereotypes, clichés, and tropes in computer games by essentially a verbatim retelling of Prince of Persia: “The player must lead the game protagonist out of the dungeon and into a tower. Doing so requires bypassing traps and fighting hostile swordsman” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_of_Persia_(1989_video_game)
[11:07] Apart from it’s a woman in the leading role—which is totally not a man with boobs trope—‘cos, you know it’s only a sexist trope when men do it. Yeah. Let’s see. ‘No black people, not even a stereotypical person of color, let alone one which is a very interesting character that’s NOT beholden to stereotypes. Therefore, RACISM.’
[11:28] And for those who think that’s harsh, let’s check out Anita’s criticism of “True Blood”:
[11:33] “Beyond True Blood’s Sensationalism”: “-no other black men and no other queer men on the main cast. So, he’s really all we get in terms of alternative sexuality and as far as black male masculinity.”
“We see Lafayette working in the kitchen of Merlotte’s but on the side he’s also a prostitute, and he runs his own porn website, and he’s a drug dealer. I mean, really, could there be any other stereotypes thrown in here?”
“He is every stereotype about black queer men all rolled into one pretty package and it constantly infuriates me because we don’t want to reinforce these stereotypes. We want to dispel them and break them down and make very interesting complicated textured characters that are beyond stereotypes—but NO. True Blood can’t do that.”
[12:20] Thunderf00t: ‘Let’s see, no gay people. Check. Homophobic. No trans-people. Check. Transphobic. Only white people in the entire game. Check. Normalizing white supremacy.’
[12:35] Now, I wonder if FullMcIntosh will tweet about this outrageous racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, in this game concept? I mean, he was quite happy to break down a one minute or so trailer with only three people in it along ethnic and gender lines. I wonder if he’ll do the same with Anita’s game concept? Which, apart from the man-with-boobs lead role, ALL of the characters are white dudes.
[13:02] ‘Yes, this regressive, all-white casting must stop. We need righteous people like McIntosh to lead us in condemning writers of this white supremacist crap. People like Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan McIntosh’. Oh.
[13:22] But let’s keep going. Let’s see. ‘Promotes violence against men. Check. Man-hating and promoting domestic violence. Normalizes the concept that the only way to deal with men, is through violence, institutionalizing feminist supremacy theory’. Oh, and of course, let’s give it the Bechdel test:
[13:44] “The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies”: “The Bechdel test, or the Mo Movie Measure, is a type of litmus test to assess the presence of women in movies.”
“When I call it a systemic problem, what I mean by this is that it’s not just a few people here and there that don’t like women, or don’t want women’s stories told, but rather that the entire industry is built upon creating films and movies that cater to and that are about men.”
“Next time you go to the movies, just ask yourself these few questions: are there two or more women in it, and do they have names? Do they talk to each other? And do they talk to each other about something other than a man?”
[14:18] Thunderf00t: Yes, Anita’s game concept would fail EVERY SINGLE element of the Bechdel test, a test which notably films like The Bikini Carwash Company would pass with flying colors.
[14:31] And yes, this is the same, um, ‘test’ which Sweden has decided to introduce as a film rating in a bid for gender equality (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/06/swedish-cinemas-bechdel-test-films-gender-bias). ‘Cos, you know, where there was a load more films like the Bikini Carwash Company that would sure be one hell of a step toward gender equality.
[14:50] But let’s see, ‘The lead character is neither fat, or disabled. Well, that’s fat-shaming and ableism! Has she no empathy for the special snowflakes on Tumblr with headmates and otherkin?’
[15:04] ‘The lead character is not a dribbling retard, programming the audience through media exposure that dribbling retards cannot, say, break out of jail and achieve things. Dribble-shaming! And retardaphobia.’
[15:19] ‘The main character is heteronormatively beautiful, a purposeful effort to institute game mechanics that undermine the confidence of ugly women. And this is done exclusively to promote and maintain the, uh, privileges that this girls’ club of normatively beautiful women think that they’re entitled to.’
[15:40] Thunderf00t: And what’s with the giant eye-to-head ratio? Did Anita sit there and say, ‘No, I don’t want the women in this game to look like adults. We need to pedomorphize them to give them this really big eye-to-head ratio because we need to normalize and institutionalize pedomorphic sexualization of women in this game while simultaneously portraying the men with appropriate adult proportions, implicitly encouraging the ageist and discriminatory concepts that young, beautiful women are more sexually valuable then old, wrinkly, ugly ones.’
[16:15] ‘And let’s be real, this whole game from start to finish is just one superficial excuse to indulge in armor porn. The lead character is wealthy, normalizing the narrative that rich people can do whatever they want without consequences. And seriously, what message is this game sending our children? That all you need to do to become a rich, happy, white woman is violently assault and kill a load of men. Is that not the narrative that this videogame is promoting? Have you not read this book about how games become reality and influence our behavior? Should
we not prosecute these people for the murders that they are responsible for? Or at least prevent them from spreading this narrative of hate speech at a minimum. Should we not institute structural reform that will prevent them from proposing these hateful things?’
[17:13] Sarkeesian: “And creating structural change means people have to follow those structures.”
[17:16] Thunderf00t: ‘‘Cos once we’ve ejected these sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, fat-shaming, retard-shaming, dribble-shaming, white supremacist bigots—then we can finally have an open and more FREE form of gaming, a more INCLUSIVE gaming community where finally, once and for all, no one will EVER be offended.
[17:41] Hitchens: “If someone tells me that I’ve hurt their feelings, I say, ‘Well, I’m still waiting to hear what your point is.’”
“I’m very depressed how in this country you can be told, ‘That’s offensive!’ as if those two words constitute an argument or a comment. Not to me, they don’t. And I’m not running for anything, so I don’t have to pretend to like people when I don’t.”