Hello Hair Trigger Types Who Read The Title and Immediately RT. DON’T. Read the editors note first. Then read the actual article. Then read the 5 or 6 articles written after that. THEN consider leaving a comment. But you absolutely don’t have to. Enough has been said, really. – KDC (10/12/2014)
by Kristin Bezio
Editor’s Note — Since this post was written in February! 2013!, Kristen has written followup posts about this issue, including “Digital Damsels in Distress: A Simplified Version of a Real Problem in Gaming”
And also Digital Decorating: Sarkeesian’s “Women as Background Decoration: Part 1”
If you want to comment or share this, do so knowing Kristen is a feminist AND a game critic AND an academic, so this is a critical analysis, because The Learned Fangirl’s tagline is “a critical look at pop culture and technology”!
Back in May, the internet exploded both in favor of and against Anita Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter project “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,” with a huge contingent of trolls attacking her professionally, intellectually, and personally. Another less vocal contingent supported her Kickstarter campaign to the tune of approximately $150,000. Since then, Sarkeesian has been a vocal presence in the online and real world communities, speaking out against online sexual harassment and occasionally tweeting and blogging about the games she’s playing (presumably for the video series).
On the surface, much of this would seem to align itself with my own personal sympathies, and for a long time I was also a supporter of Sarkeesian’s proposal and her efforts to defend herself against the trolls. I continue to think that her proposed project is one that needs to be done, and I also continue to think that the treatment she received at the hands of the under-the-bridge-dwelling internet was unconscionable.
I am, however, getting over her.
I think it’s long since been time to stop talking about what happened to her and how awful it is and high time to start taking a more progressive stance on the whole thing. Okay, there’s bad behavior on the internet. I got it. How do we help change it? How do we raise our kids and talk to our fellow gamers about acting like adults instead of infants? Repeating over and over how immature the gaming community is as a whole doesn’t do much.
Painting a picture of the gaming community as cruel, misogynistic, violence-prone basement dwellers is not helping with viewing gaming through the lens of rationality. It also alienates those gamers who are genuinely nice people. And further alienates feminist gamers as “White Knights” (people who will defend female gamers at all costs, no matter how wrong they are) rather than reasonable human beings with respect for all.
As a female gamer, I’ve been subject to sexist, harassing, and misogynist comments and assumptions whenever I play online. I understand and sympathize with her desire to lash back, and with her desire to see that it stops. I just think it’s time that the conversation move somewhere more productive.
But May was a while ago, and while Sarkeesian has been occasionally tweeting about games, she hasn’t managed to release even one video in the series her backers paid for. I’m actually finding myself agreeing with a lot of voices on the internet wanting to know why they haven’t seen anything. People are starting to wonder whether those who donated have any recourse if they don’t ever see videos. And that isn’t helping people to feel any more sympathetic toward Sarkeesian herself.
Yes, she’s been busy interviewing in NPR and doing a TEDx Women talk, and travelling around to universities and conventions and other places. I get being busy. But there doesn’t seem to have been a concerted effort to actually begin the serious production process for the video series. Perhaps she has – I don’t know, because she hasn’t been sharing that. I know she’s got a lot of work to do – a lot of games to play, a lot of notes to compile, and so on. As an academic, I understand the overwhelming nature of research and production. However, she can create videos in installments the way an academic researcher putting together a long-term study or a book cannot.
Most important to me is that the snippets of feminist criticism that I have seen coming out of Feminist Frequency have not inspired confidence, in either her interpretive skills as a gamer or in her ability to separate “feminist criticism” from “pointing her finger at women in games and saying ‘bad.’” Take her tweet on Dishonored, for instance: “Many truly brilliant elements in the game #Dishonored, sadly representations of women are not among them. #Disappointing.”
Here’s my problem with this. Dishonored doesn’t have many “strong female” characters … except for the Empress, the Empress’s daughter Emily, and Callista Curnow. Yes, the Empress gets killed in the first five minutes of the game and Emily needs rescuing (she is 10, after all), but Callista makes a point of doing several things in the course of the game that tell you she’s quite a capable human being. One of the most powerful figures in the game is female (though insane – Granny Rags), and the nation appears to be a matriarchy. Yes, there are a lot of female victims in the game, but there are just as many if not more male victims. In fact, pretty much everyone is a victim at one point or another. And yes, there are female villains, but there are male villains, too.
Sarkeesian seems to dismiss Dishonored as misogynistic simply because it doesn’t contain the stereotype of the “strong modern female” in a game that is about how everyone is at the mercy of arbitrary fate in the form of rampaging plague rats.
My point isn’t that games aren’t misogynistic – there are far more of them that are than that aren’t, and some of them are really blatant – nor is it that someone doesn’t need to have the serious conversation about representations of gender (especially women) in games. I think both those things are true. But if Sarkeesian is going to dismiss a complex and intelligent game like Dishonored out of hand, then I have my doubts about her overall ability to be that voice, at least to the degree that we as an internet gaming community seem to have accepted.
I don’t want me or other “feminist gamers” to be thought of as those that do nothing but whine and yell about how women are underrepresented and misrepresented in games and the gaming industry. I don’t want to see women and feminist men with valid criticisms and interpretive opinions silenced because “feminist gamers” have gotten a negative reputation because of what Sarkeesian has and has not said and done.
What I want, really, is for Sarkeesian to make her “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” series. I want to see what kind of critical approaches she actually takes, and I want to judge her ability to speak for female gamers on the merits of what she has to say about games, in detail, with examples, not based on fleeting tweets and TEDx talks on how internet trolls are horrible people. I want her to make something of quality, and to be successful because of what she’s done rather than what has been done to her.
And that’s how I want all women, gamers, academics, critics, and others, to be successful. Because of what we are capable of accomplishing, not because we have been made victims by trolls, by society, or by individual men (or women). Yes, it is important to talk about what has happened to women, historically and currently, but it is also much more important to talk about what women can do. Let’s talk about how to make the industry better, smarter, friendlier, more tolerant, and more accepting, not just how bad it is now. And if we want our games to change, let’s look at what’s really wrong with them, not just the surface checklist of whether it has a female protagonist or not.
And, finally, let’s stop all the arm-waving and finger-pointing. Videogames don’t cause misogyny. They don’t cause violence. They don’t cause any of society’s ills. Like any other form of popular culture, they reflect those ills and seek to make changes to those things they can. Dishonored puts a princess in a tower (literally) not because it thinks she belongs there, but because it knows she doesn’t.
While I understand the sentiment in this article, I’m going to have to seriously disagree with you on some of the specific points. Sarkeesian has posted updates to the kickstarter project talking about how she’s gathering material and showing the AV setup that the money from the project purchased. She’s been openly asking for specific examples of damsels in distress in games (and collecting them in one place with screenshots http://tropesversuswomen.tumblr.com/ ). So I think she’s clearly working on the project.
I’ve backed a lot of Kickstarters and what’s happening with Tropes vs Women is a normal issue with massive overfunding. Most Kickstarters offer significant stretch goals and as they blow past thousands of percent of their original goal, they feel compelled to add more and more of them. A massively overfunded project generates a daunting amount of work and it’s going to affect the original delivery date. I’ve watched several other projects pull through after this kind of overfunding, but even if the project creator has good support it takes time.
I’m also going to have to disagree with you about Dishonored. I don’t think the game needs modern portrayals of women and my issue with it wasn’t anything to do with the individual female characters the game portrayed. The thing that made me sad about the men and women in Dishonored was the fact that they were presented as having completely separate gender roles and with the exclusion of the Empress, those roles matched with the subordinate roles that our society historically prescribes for women (caretaker, servant, mistress, wife, etc).
Dishonored has a very strong sub-assumption that the virgin-whore dichotomy is how women work and I found that irritating at best. Even many of the female characters who’s jobs aren’t defined by sex have implications of willingness or discussions about their romantic relationships inserted in their dialog. Male characters generally do not.
I don’t want the women to be “like me” or like a modern ideal (which I’m not sure I like so much either). I want them to be more than cardboard cut-outs and to have plot related roles that aren’t sex. The fact that they chose to have a religion run by only men was a choice. The fact that they chose to have the female nobels asserting their political control primarily through romantic relationships was a choice. The fact that the primary conspirators were all male was a choice. The fact that every whore in the game was female was a choice.
They’re writing in a fantasy world and there is no reason they needed to make those choices that way.
It’s important to remember that while Anita claims to be a feminist, she supports the ideas that:
1. Women being portrayed as equal to men is sexist, and falls under the ‘Mrs. Male’ trope.
2. Women should not be portrayed as sexually attractive. A female character’s looks can make her worthless as a character regardless of her background, such as how she considers an intelligent and independent archaeologist with a love of history to be ‘sexist’ just because she larger than average breasts.
3. Research doesn’t matter if the initial reaction makes her conclude that a game is sexist. The classic example is her video of Bayonetta, in which she claims that ‘everything about her is offensive, except the fact that she is a single mother’. Nothing about that statement is remotely true, and again, she’s judging the entire character and game to be sexist just because of her appearance, rather than ever playing it.
4. Constructive criticism should be deleted, and hateful comments should be shown, to make reaction to her videos seem a lot more one-sided than it actually is. This one’s difficult to prove in retrospect, but if you’ve ever spoken to anyone who commented on her videos with a more thoughtful approach, you’ll know that ‘Comment pending’ followed by ‘Comment deleted by moderator’ was almost always the outcome.
5. Sexism is in everything, as long as you look hard enough for it. If you look at her older videos, she comes up with some truly crazy theories, such as how love songs are sexist because ‘women shouldn’t show affection for their husband’, ‘there are no negative portrayals of men’, and that ‘portraying women as strong and interested in her career or hobbies is sexist, because it removes her feminine side’.
I’ve never agreed with her anti-sex pseudo-feminism viewpoint from the very start, but unfortunately, a lot of people reporting on her kickstarter immediately lumped anybody disagreeing with her approach as ‘online bullies who threaten to rape her and want to encourage sexism’. It’s kind of sad.
Anita is not helping or supporting actual gender equality at all, and as such, feminism isn’t even the right term for what she’s fighting for, which mostly seems to consist of nitpicking small traits, and using that to showcase everything about the media in a negative light, judging people, characters, and franchises entirely by their immediate appearances, and claiming female characters are offensive to her no matter what they are; Fighter, dancer, reporter, schemer, attractive, unattractive, helpless, independent, strong, whatever. They’re all sexist tropes to her, she just slots something into a category and then makes a video about how it’s blatant misogyny in the gaming/movie/music industry.
Ah well, at least she’s made me more active in debating these things. It’s just a shame that someone so boldly hypocritical and often somewhat offensive has ended up with over $150,000 in support from people who didn’t look into her past material to see how inappropriate and judgemental her rationality actually was.
This is absolutely ludicrous. Haha.
“Women being portrayed as equal to men is sexist, and falls under the ‘Mrs. Male’ trope.”
Wrong! The Mrs. Male character is a problem because it portrays femaleness as bad. It implies that a strong female character can only be a strong female character if it’s based off of and a mirror reflection of a male character. That is, not EQUAL (equal in their ability to express, change, succeed, fail, et cetera), but identical to a male character (‘Batgirl’ to ‘Batman’, ‘Supergirl’ to ‘Superman’, like infantalised versions of male superheroes). As the TV tropes wiki points out, the mentality is very much “Think of me as you, except with a vagina.” These ‘distaff counterparts’ (distaff means female) tend to be just reflections of the male character and tend to be portrayed in very sexist ways (like the female version of the hero will wear a skirt and have her boobies showing, because she obviously has to be sexualised when the male character is not).
I see you making a lot of strawmen and knocking them down, warping her words in ways that simply aren’t there to fit your own perception of what she’s saying or implying, or how you seem to define a word. I think you need to step back because your bias is showing.
“The Mrs. Male character is a problem because it portrays femaleness as bad.” – No, it’s a very silly trope name for people like, say, the female protagonist from Mass Effect. It shows her as being just as competent, skilled, and confident as if you had chosen a male protagonist. That’s a good thing! To say that it’s somehow bad because ‘she’s just as amazing as a skilled and competent guy’ is bizarre.
“[…] but identical to a male character (‘Batgirl’ to ‘Batman’)” – No. This is why Anita gets a lot of criticism, the sheer lack of awareness. If you think that Batgirl is ‘Batman if he had a vagina,’ you couldn’t be further from the truth. You’re making assumptions from the name alone, and calling it sexist, despite it being completely factually incorrect.
“I see you making a lot of strawmen and knocking them down” – I always love this argument (You’re making strawmen!) because I’m conveying Anita’s views pretty accurately. I’m not warping her words, I’m stating her claims. If her views can be knocked down easily, then hey, I can’t help that. There is no possible way to represent her views without them ending up easily being knocked down, because they’re absurd to begin with.
You can’t just say “Well, her view is clearly and blatantly wrong, therefore it’s a strawman argument! I’m going to call out your strawman argument, and because I saw how easily it was knocked down, those clearly-wrong views must be true after all!” Some arguments are pretty much impossible for people to criticise without them without showing those arguments as being as weak as they are. This is one of those cases.
“I think you need to step back because your bias is showing.” – My bias for levelheadedness, logic, and proof? Sure, I guess that’s showing. I won’t step back though. The mindframe of ‘if you don’t agree, don’t make rational comments, I don’t want to hear them!’ culture is terrible.
“Wrong! The Mrs. Male character is a problem because it portrays femaleness as bad. It implies that a strong female character can only be a strong female character if it’s based off of and a mirror reflection of a male character. That is, not EQUAL (equal in their ability to express, change, succeed, fail, et cetera), but identical to a male character (‘Batgirl’ to ‘Batman’, ‘Supergirl’ to ‘Superman’, like infantalised versions of male superheroes).”
This doesn’t make much sense, now does it?
Mrs. Male femaleness is bad because it is a mirror reflection of a male character and that means they are not equal?
Then tell me how the f*ck they can be made equal? Add boobies and vagina to the male it’s mirroring?
“Women should not be portrayed as sexually attractive.” Well, yes, if you’re influenced by second-wave feminism, women as “sexually attractive” are buying into the patriarchal idea that women should make sexual attraction a goal. It’s a fairly absolute stance, but that doesn’t make it not feminist. I suggest you study the different schools of feminism before deciding if Sarkeesian is a feminist or not.
[…] all the way through before deciding that I must agree with everything that Sarkeesian has to say (obviously not having read the post I made about it before that…). I think that there’s a lot wrong with Sarkeesian’s project, but I do think that […]
These are my thoughts around women in gaming. The way that women are portrayed in gaming is the secondary problem. The real problem is that only 12 percent of the people graduating with a degree in technology are women. Then from that how many of those go into game developing and participating in the creation of online gaming. Once we can generate more interest of girls at a younger age to go into the field of technology there will be an influx of women and more voices raising questions around the hypersexuality of gaming for both genders with an understanding that women are the main point of exploitation. Anita continues to bash without problem solving. As well as only addressing the secondary issue. Another issue that I have with her research is that it was done by someone else around 12 years ago and I have heard no mention of the previous research. She has taken research of others and labeled it as her own. In academia it is important to cite your sources as well as allowing peer reviews in order to validate your point and standing within your community. I am a gamer, woman, feminist, and hold a graduate degree in sociology, and I am very put off by the manner in which Anita is presenting this battle. Yes, change needs to happen, but we need as women to generate interest of girls in technology and this will begin to fix the issue while we also address game developing in a productive manner. Putting a culture of people that escape through technology on the defensive will not generate any change that is long lasting it will only divide and conquer.
Initially I liked how Anita presented her case and how her rhetoric (compared to previous videos staring her) has made a conscious effort to remain more or less neutral. I think this was a very wise decision. My real disappointment with the video series so far is that there appears to be a lack of research being integrated into this project. I work at an academic institution, Anita was a graduate student who would have experience in researching topics such as this one. So when Anita identifies herself as a pop culture critic, I’m really hesitant to take this project as an academic endeavor.
I personally did not donate to the kickstarter project since I always want to know where my donation is going and how it will be used. Therefore, I could not in good faith determine whether my money would be spent wisely given the available information. From what I have read about her project it is behind schedule and there has been a dearth of communication between Anita’s backers and the project team. Since Anita has stated that she would like this material to be utilized in higher education and given her graduate education I was excited to learn more about her sources, research methods, and collaborators. As far as I can tell though there have been no sources published anywhere, I’m unaware of how she is reaching her conclusions, and it honestly seemed that this project would involve whether directly or indirectly the gaming industry. Focused solely on the research methodology of this project so far how can Anita’s research be taken as fact without any sources? This in no way is meant to minimize what Anita is doing, but facts are facts, and it appears that this project is presenting observations and well crafted opinions which in turn are creatively edited in her video series to infer facts. This is not only inaccurate and inappropriate, but would be deemed unethical in reputable academic institutions.
Personally I feel that academia should be a place to promote healthy discord in order to further learning. That’s why it appears to be a shame that this series is neither impartial, nor objective. Is this project research based, journalism, a critique, or documentary? I really can’t say other than it would seem to me that Anita’s project is not truly research based. I honestly hope that the project team turns it around and clarifies what they are basing their findings on, otherwise it appears to be a non-factual project.
“What I want, really, is for Sarkeesian to make her “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” series. ”
—having seen what she produced, do you wish you could turn back time and get her to abandon the idea of making videos and just take the money and move to Hawaii and buy a nice house boat? Because, from what I’ve seen, all she did with the videos was make feminists look even worse. Maybe, if you don’t want people to think feminists are … well… like Anita, you should go to youtube and make your case there, maybe even make a feminist analysis of video games yourself and see if you can create something that’s not such a blatant hatchet job. You might even try, just for the hell of it, making a list of videos that are definitely NOT sexist or at least not sexist against women. That would be nice. And what’s more, you could do it for free.
I’ve made more TLF posts on her videos as she’s released them, but I’ll try to briefly answer your question here. No, I don’t think she should have purchased a house boat. I do think it’s good that she’s making the videos, not because I think they’re particularly good examples of criticism or feminism (although #3 is better than #1), but because we need people to speak up and speak out so that others feel more comfortable doing so.
Yes, that does mean that both “bad” and “mediocre” criticism will appear, but I’m okay with that because it makes people ask 1) why is it bad? and 2) what can I do that’s better? In short, Sarkeesian’s work enables discussion (and trolls), and discussion is what we need to be having about the role of women in and around videogames and gaming culture. I also think that no matter WHAT Sarkeesian had done or said, she could not have been “right” in the eyes of many. I’m okay disagreeing with her, and I think criticism of her critiques is valid and worthy, but I also think her work is just as valid (even if wrong in many ways).
In short, suffragettes had to create a stink to get their point across, and a lot of them were lambasted publicly for being horrible people. And some of them probably were horrible people, but a lot of them were good people working for good reasons. But in order to make it possible for other women to vote, some of them had to be loud, annoying, and pushy, and overstate the point. So think of Sarkeesian as a loud suffragette. She has to make a lot of noise so that other people can speak more reasonably, and for that, I commend her even as I disagree with her critical methodology.
I’d like to point out, on the topic of Dishonored, that I can easily make an argument for how the game portrays negative, sexist, male stereotypes. For instance, when you use the heart on male survivor it says:
“He always eats very well, even as his wife and child grow thin.”
When it is used on a female survivor it says:
“She starves so that her children can have bread.”
When you compare all of what is said about the Female Survivor and the Male Survivor side by side you can see that it never says anything negative about the female, like it does about the male. This could be called benevolent sexism but I would argue that it is equally as sexist towards males (and not in a kind way).
“He spies on his neighbors, and reports to the Overseers.” Negative
“Only after a long day of work will he return to his home and family.” Positive/Neutral?
“He always eats very well, even as his wife and child grow thin.” Negative
“It is in the common man that the Abbey finds its most faithful.” Positive/Neutral?
“He steals from his business partner. A little every day.” Negative
“Some men can still find work along the waterfront.” Neutral
“He didn’t tend to that cut, and now it festers.” Neutral
“A man is only as common as his dreams.” Positive
“All that he had was lost in the flood.” Neutral
“He used to admire the Overseers. Now he hates them.” Neutral
“That work was the best he could do. And still they weren’t satisfied.” Neutral/Negative?
“He is tired.” Neutral
“She hides her hands. They are raw and scarred from the washing.” Positive/Neutral?
‘”The common woman. She fears the Abbey and the plague.” Neutral
‘”She is a seamstress in a shop frequented by the wealthy.” Neutral
‘”There is nothing common about the work she does every day.” Positive
‘”All she wants is to lay herself down in the middle of Framling Street, and await death.” Neutral/Negative?
‘”The fabric of the city is made of stuff such as she.” Positive
‘”She starves so that her children can have bread.” Positive
‘”The common folk, simple minded, selfish, but they can be kind.” Positive/Neutral?
‘”She has only one dress, and wears it to tatters.” Neutral
‘”If only she had a coin for every time she stubbed her toe.” Neutral
‘”Now the littlest one is sick.” Neutral
‘”She can hold her drink as well as any man.” Positive/Neutral
From this should we draw the conclusion that video games send the message that men are morally inferior to women?
[…] Feminist gamer Kristin Bezio criticizes notorious sexual-speech opponent Anita Sarkeesian here: […]
[…] talked about Anita Sarkeesian before on TLF, both prior to her release of the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series, and following the release of each episode on the Damsel in Distress trope (after parts one and […]
You say “Yes, the Empress gets killed in the first five minutes of the game and Emily needs rescuing (she is 10, after all), but Callista makes a point of doing several things in the course of the game that tell you she’s quite a capable human being. One of the most powerful figures in the game is female (though insane – Granny Rags)”
And you have to kill Granny Rags… so, no point.
The Empress dies in the first five minutes!!! Same case with princess Zelda after being Shake.
You don’t HAVE to kill Granny Rags. I didn’t. That’s a choice that is available to you, but it – like most things in the game – is a choice that you can make or not make.
Also, if someone has to die in the first five minutes, it’s better that it’s the Empress of a matriarchal hierarchy than Emily’s father, a swooning maiden, or Emily herself. Focusing just on the fact that the Empress dies misses the importance of the fact that she IS an Empress, rather than just Corvo’s wife or girlfriend with no actual political or social power. Am I saying that Dishonored is the paragon of feminist games? No, of course it isn’t. But it also isn’t a universally misogynist game the way that Sarkeesian’s tweets make it appear. It’s important to recognize both the positives AND the negatives in games, not simply condemn them for one side or laud them for the other.
Dishonored is a good game – a very good one – that has problems, as all games do, but its negative images of women are matched by its negative images of men. In fact, pretty much everyone in that game is awful or victimized or both. Simply because it does have negative portrayals of women doesn’t negate the positive ones it also has, or the strengths of its gameplay, or the negative images of men to match those of women. Neither do those positives eliminate the negatives, but it seems to me that there is more equality in Dishonored (in that it hates both genders pretty much equally) than there is in most games.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Anita’s Tropes vs Women in Gaming supposed to be 13 video series? Yet she’s only made 4 + a game concept. Does regular tropes vs women count to the kickstarter series? And some of her points are opinion based whilst others are hypocritical.
They’re still being made. Yes, at the moment she’s at 4, but given how long those have taken, I would expect that they’ll continue to be released for another year or two.
Ok, I didn’t read this article until now, and now I feel even more stupid than usual. You apparently have been doing – for some time – exactly what I claimed that no-one was doing. Insightful, balanced, intelligent commentary on a subject you know a lot about. The opposite of Sarkeesian, in other words. And that is exactly what troubles me with these media-savvy self-promoting nincompoops, they take the spotlight away from the intelligent people who could actually do something positive, and instead shine it on their own faces. YOU should have $150K and a spot on the lecture circuit.
This is not just a problem for feminism/gaming, I’m sure the same spotlight-hogging exists in every field. What if there are hundreds of articulate, intelligent republican women who never get the chance to speak because a certain photogenic Alaskan wonder woman is the one on every newsroom’s speed dial? And I’m sure there are better arguments to be made for gun ownership than those shouted very loudly by Alex Jones into the face of Piers Morgan. Et cetera.
Thanks! I’d love to accept $150k for doing this blog, and I’m sure Keidra would be happy to have the money come in to TLF, too! (I know you aren’t offering, but it’s a nice pipe dream…)
Every field – academic, political, feminist, and otherwise – has its screaming mimis who draw attention away from the fact that other people are trying to do some real work here, dammit. So the rest of us just keep plodding along, trying to be reasonable and hope that eventually someone will realize that the flames aren’t actually keeping us warm so much as burning down the building.
[…] a week or so ago, I received a new comment on an old TLF post on Anita Sarkeesian’s “Tropes vs. Women in Videogames” […]
[…] a week or so ago, I received a new commenton an old TLF post on Anita Sarkeesian’s “Tropes vs. Women in Videogames” project. The original post was written before Sarkeesian actually released any of her videos (there are […]