Threats Drive Feminist Video Game Blogger From Home

by Jackie Leahy


Video game critic Anita Sarkeesian, who has tackled issues like the Damsel in Distress archetype, Manic Pixie Dream Girls and the Smurfette Principle in her series Tropes vs. Women, was driven out of her home last week by violent, sexual threats in which an internet troll named her parents and posted her address.


After publicizing the threats by reposting them in an image on her Twitter feed, @femfreq, she reassured fans by posting the following (again, on her Twitter feed): “I’m safe. Authorities have been notified. Staying with friends tonight. I’m not giving up. But this harassment of women in tech must stop!”

Sarkeesian is the latest in a series of women in the video game world whose work to establish equal representation in-game and beyond has been met with threats of sexual and physical violence. Indie games developer Zoe Quinn’s encounter with similar abuse following an ex-boyfriend’s spiteful blog post has been raising questions about the ways in which discussions are held in the U.S. gaming community, in which, according to the Entertainment Software Association, an industry trade group, roughly 48% of gamers are women.

Sarkeesian’s crowdfunded non-profit Feminist Frequency sponsors the Tropes vs. Women video web series which critiques the roles that women play in narratives in pop culture. In support of Sarkeesian and other women in the tech/gaming communities, developer Andreas Zecher started a petition, which requests that members of the gaming community join together to stop abuse. The petition has over 1,000 signatures. 

Sarkeesian’s reputation as a feminist critic has been cemented by the controversy her work has generated. Trolls like this one just function as proof that voices like Sarkeesian’s need to be heard and taken seriously. 

Photos courtesy of and

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