Feminist Frequency is a web video project by Anita Sarkeesian. It is a blog and a series of videos about feminist topics. Sarkeesian is presently working full time to produce videos outlining tropes about women in computer gaming.
In 2012, Sarkeesian raised nearly $159000 to fund her her video gaming tropes project, via a Kickstarter campaign called "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games", also known as the "Feminist Frequency Kickstarter".
The Feminist Frequency Tropes vs women in video games videos to date are:
- Damsel in distress (Transcript) (Mar 7, 2013)
- Damsel in distress part 2 (Transcript) (May 28, 2013)
- Damsel in distress part 3 (Transcript) (Aug 1, 2013)
- Ms. male character (Transcript) (Nov 18, 2013)
- Women as background decoration part 1 (Transcript) (Jun 16, 2014)
- Women as background decoration part 2 (Transcript; content warning: extremely graphic depictions of physical and sexual violence) (Aug 25, 2014)
- Women as Reward (Transcript) (Aug 31, 2015)
Her videos produced prior to funding are on her Youtube channel.
- Sarkeesian's Kickstarter attracted widespread harassment including portrayals of physical violence against her.
- The second Feminist Frequency video was the subject of vexatious objectionable content complaints to Youtube.
- Pro-sex-worker activists legitimately criticized the third Feminist Frequency for its use of "prostituted women" to describe sex workers, which is an agency-denying code phrase used by sex-worker-eliminationist radical feminists.
- In August 2014, a Patreon account appeared raising funds to "explore how gaming and tech culture have been hijacked by Social Justice Warriors as well as look into the background, ethics, and methodology of some the movement's most prominent voices" in a hypothetical documentary film entitled "The Sarkeesian Effect". As of August 23, the campaign had 37 patrons and offered "Three nights in Vegas at a luxurious hotel and casino" with the filmmakers, Jordan Owen and Davis Aurini, to anyone who contributes $10,000. Aurini, the author of an article titled "The Empowered Female Parasite" (CW: extreme misogyny), was acquitted of assaulting his girlfriend (CW: domestic violence, ableism) in 2010. Aurini admitted to the assault, but claimed he acted as he did because of his girlfriend's alleged mental illness. Former Occupy activist/Internet troll Justine Tunney is also involved in the film project.
- More broadly, August 2014 marked the beginning of the Gamergate coordinated harassment campaign, which rallied male gamers around harassing Sarkeesian and other women in games criticism.
- On October 14, 2014, Sarkeesian was forced to cancel a speech at Utah State University after receiving death threats and threats of a massacre, and not receiving assurances form the authorities that proper security precautions would be taken.
- Jay Smooth: All these sexist gamer dudes are some shook ones
- PBS Game/Show: Do Gamers Need Anita Sarkeesian's Feminism?
- General criticism at Sarkeesian's Feminist Frequency work has included:
- that Sarkeesian could be Hurting the cause by her less-than ideal work,
- that her criticism is needlessly harsh and that she is being too radical,
- that she ignores or misrepresents aspects of works,
- that by selecting excerpts, she's practising cherry-picking,
- that tropes should not be examined without the context of the entire work
- that she is not a gamer and therefore cannot offer meaningful critique of games
- that she releases videos too slowly, and/or that she was overpaid at her Kickstarter campaign.
- Escapist Magazine: The Big Picture: Tropes vs MovieBob; inspired by Tropes vs Women, but more of a general essay about basic concepts and misconceptions regarding sexism and video games, and especially the discussion of such.
Press coverage and accolades
- Interview on CBC Radio's The Current
- The fifth Tropes video was featured in YoutubeNation's daily roundup of best videos.