Feminism Is: Anita Sarkeesian— Deconstructing Media Stereotypes

December 5, 2014

Anita Sarkeesian is a Canadian-American media critic who stars in the video web series Feminist Frequency, which analyzes the depictions of women in popular culture.  She deconstructs oppressive stereotypes of women in a wide variety of media, including comic books, video games, television, and film.

Sometimes you know you’re hitting the patriarchy hard when they hit back, unfortunately with all the hatred and violence they can muster.  Sarkeesian’s critique of sexism within the video game industry (#GamerGate) has made her the target of a vicious campaign of harassment that has included online vandalism of her Twitter feed and Wikipedia entry, hacking attempts on her personal accounts, sexist and racist insults flooding her YouTube channel, a flash game where players can virtually punch her face, images of Sarkeesian as a video game character being raped, and death threats.

She remains undaunted by the bullies, however, and her Kickstarter campaign to analyze misogyny in video games exceeded its funding goal and raised $160,000 from nearly 7,000 different donors.  Recently she was honored with the 2014 Gamers Developers Choice Ambassadors Award for positive contributions to the video game industry.

Watch Anita Sarkeesian tell her story at TEDxWomen event here.


Alena Amato Ruggerio
Alena Amato Ruggerio, Ph.D. is Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication, Media, and Cinema at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. She is a longtime member of SOU’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Council, including serving as the Interim Coordinator of Women's Studies for one year. She also served for eleven years on the EEWC-Christian Feminism Today Council, and has delivered plenary addresses and workshops at several CFT conferences. Dr. Ruggerio is the editor of Media Depictions of Brides, Wives, and Mothers (Lexington Books), and the coauthor of Feminism in Practice: Communication Strategies for Making Change (Waveland Press). She lives in the southwestern corner of Oregon with her husband Bradley and their astonishingly adorable cats.