The female presenter of a documentary webseries about the representations of women in pop culture narratives has been forced to flee her home after an episode examining the “women as background decoration trope in video games”.
Anita Sarkeesian, who presents Feminist Frequency, was threatened with murder and rape on Twitter after the release of the latest instalment in her webseries, which resulted in her having to stay away from her own house and authorities investigated the threats.
Sarkeesian posted a screenshot of some of the threats she received on Twitter, with one user threatening:
“I’m going to go to your apartment at ____________ and rape you to death. After I’m done, I’ll ram a tire iron up your c**t”
The same user followed up that message with:
“I’m going to kill your parents too. ____________ I’ve seen their house.”
Sarkeesian said she was safe, but called on the harassment of women to stop and continued:
“In my work I witness so many women being harassed. I know how hard it is to watch & how helpless it can feel. Thank you all for your support”
By sending threats like those above, a minority of sexist and misogynistic gamers have proved that there is a problem with the dark underbelly of gaming that needs to be addressed.