Friday, October 17, 2014

Now Will Sommers Listen?

[Content note: Terrorist threats, misogyny, anti-feminism]

I wonder what (anti)feminist video game culture expert Christina Hoff Sommers has to say about the recent misogynistic, anti-feminist terrorist threat made via email toward Anita Sarkeesian, who was scheduled to speak at Utah State University earlier this week (at an appearance that was later cancelled when authorities would not disallow firearms to be present during the event).

You know, since Sommers spent several weeks looking at video game culture, and all.  In addition to alluding that Sarkeesian is a "hipster with a cultural study degree," Sommers waived away all critique of video game culture, saying:
"I spent several weeks looking at gamer culture, talking to gamers, looking at the data, and I don't see pathology or imminent death.  What I see is a lively, smart, creative subculture consisting mostly of tech-savvy guys from all over the world, but also including a small, but distinct, group of very cool women.  Now, if you love games, they don't really care about your age, your race, your ethnicity, your gender, or your sexual preference, they just. want. to. game. My suggestion to their [feminist] critics: Stand down!"
Now that's a fun reversal, yeah? Because, you see, it's feminist critics of video game culture who are violent, not the misogynists. Just to recap, the person who threatened Sarkeesian, wrote:
"If you do not cancel [Sarkeesian's] talk, a Montreal Massacre attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as the students and staff at the nearby Women's Center. I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs. This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I'm giving you the change to stop it….. 
…. Feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all the others they've wronged."
Anti-feminists have threatened Sarkeesian's life multiple times for merely speaking.

I really wish I better understood what motivates anti-feminist women to excuse, dismiss, and enable male violence toward, and hatred of, other women - particularly feminist women.  I think Dworkin was on to some of these motivations when she wrote Right Wing Women, but with women's expanded opportunities since the 1980s, surely the patriarchal head-pats and protection for being a Good Anti-Feminist Lady are becoming less valuable, right?

Or, do professional ideologues, personalities, and blowhards really even believe half of what they say?

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