After terrorist threat, feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian cancels lecture at Utah university

5d6613f581e8ed513132d6044945e655

*Trigger warning*

Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency was scheduled to give a talk at Utah State University tonight. But she was forced to cancel after someone threatened to commit “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if the event went forward and the state’s conceal-and-carry law prevented the police from taking adequate security measures to address the threat. 

I think it’s worth showing the anonymous threat in full:

f43adaf9-0a46-46d6-9026-cc0f0acf8df0-1This threat is not at all unusual for Sarkeesian. She gets shit like all the time. Earlier this summer, death threats drove her out of her home briefly. Someone threatened to bomb the Game Developers Choice Awards if they honored her, but she went ahead with the event anyway. As Sarkeesian notes on Twitter, the only reason she canceled this time was that she’d requested pat downs or metal detectors but because of Utah’s open carry laws, police wouldn’t do firearm searches. And as #GamerGate continues, other women in the gaming community are facing similar harassment. Developers Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn both fled their homes recently after receiving threats that included their home addresses.

We live in a world in which it’s considered normal that women who critique video games–VIDEO GAMES, for fuck’s sake–face regular threats to their life. As Amy Roth notes at Skepchick, we have a name for this: “This organized, dedicated, on-going, online harassment is terrorism directed at women in an attempt to silence them. And when women don’t shut-up, the threats escalate.” I’ll echo Sarkeesian: “The whole game industry must stand up against the harassment of women.”

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

New Orleans, LA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

Read more about Maya

Join the Conversation