It seems to be something of a trend around Anita Sarkeesian. People can seem civilized and intelligent, but as soon as the Sark appears, everyone loses a little bit of their minds.
I am a strong proponent of logic and reason. I don’t want to rely on emotions, and I consider ad hominems and logical fallacies to be insults to humanity. Discussion and debate are some of the most valuable tools at our disposal and I can’t stand people that try to tear it down.
Anita Sarkeesian, to me, is one of those people. She does not seem to understand the concept of discussion, and neither do some of her supporters. I’ve seen her and her followers claim that she is discussing sexism in video games but frankly, Anita Sarkeesian discusses nothing. She opens no discussion. She does not debate anything.
“In my last video, we discussed…”
No Anita, you monologue. You always monologue. You show your side of the story, sometimes carefully omitting valuable information to twist the picture. You present your perception as the author’s intent, sometimes going so far as to claim sexism because you killed two virtual women that the game specifically tells you not to kill.
You even go on to say that punishment received by the player for wrongdoing is supposed to encourage these players to do those things, essentially saying, in familiar anti-rape campaign terms, that “no” means “yes”! And with all of these holes in your stories, have you ever responded to any criticism? Have you ever publicly debated anyone? Have you ever talked with someone who didn’t agree with you and considered their words?
Discussion isn’t simply speaking your mind and plugging your fingers in your ear. Discussion is hearing the other party as well. Discussion is listening as much as it is speaking. If you’re not listening, you’re not discussing. You’re simply closing the discussion before it has begun.
Unfortunately, although there is an overwhelming number of people out there on the internet that vehemently disagree with Sarkeesian and really cannot stand her for her dishonest practices. There are certain platforms that will continue to maintain the silence on the other end of the discussion.
Recently, the Anita Sarkeesian page on Wikipedia has been opened to discussion. Two things appeared on this talk-page that was of interest to me. The first was the discussion that went on between a Wikipedia user and who I guess is a moderator. The user, bringing attention to something that was written on Anita’s old website. Her old website states that she, at one point, worked for a very questionable person, “Bart Baggett”. If I recall correctly, Bart Baggett was considered something of a ‘pick-up artist’, something that is in direct conflict with what Anita claims to represent nowadays. But I digress…
The moderator refused to hear anything of it, stating that an internet archive of Anita’s website was not a credible source of information of Anita, which I find odd. Unless there is some way of tampering with those internet archives, this information comes straight from Anita herself.
Higher up on the talk page, in the Frequently Asked Questions section, it showed a question stating that some blogpost or youtube video had been found presenting critique of Anita’s work, with Wikipedia’s response being that self-published material is not considered to be reliable.
I highly question how appropriate this rule is when the work in question is self-published as well. I mean, it is one Youtube video up against another. What’s the difference in reliability or credibility? There are bad videos out there, but there are also strong ones. I myself am particularly fond of KiteTales’ rebuttal to the Damsels in Distress video, as it demonstrates a completely different side of the story in a very calm, collected and gentle manner.
A discussion I wanted to start on the Wikipedia talk page: Present a broader image in the reception of her Tropes vs. Women series. The current state of that subsection on Anita’s page is that it basically lists off positive reviews and nothing else. However, “reception” based on the opinions of, in total, six people, is hardly statistically relevant data. It’s like saying that because you can find three people with blue eyes, all of humanity has blue eyes.
I wanted to suggest including, in this little list of praise, the fact that at Sarkeesian’s request, comments and ratings were disabled. If I recall correctly, she did at one point unblock ratings for a moment, only to find that the ratings plummeted to negativity in mere moments. Sarkeesian herself interpreted it as “People judging the video before even watching it”, but I really don’t think that’s the only thing, as a lot of people that were drawn to the video were most likely angered by her previous video that they couldn’t respond on, and wanted to grab any opportunity to give her any kind of feedback.
I find it odd that Wikipedia, which is supposed to be neutral, is trying to bury her shady link with Bart Baggett, will not accept criticism of Anita’s work that is presented in exactly the same way as Anita’s work and that they do not add the fact that Anita herself blocks public polling of her work.
Surely, in the pursuit of objectivity, completeness of information is more important than sparing Anita’s feelings? But it appears that Wikipedia is guilty of the same thing that Anita is guilty of, perverting discussion and monologues. Stating the argument and then, not only plugging the ears, but belittling other voices in the debate.
I guess people were right when they laughed at the idea of Wikipedia being a credible source.