Anita Sarkeesian is an award-winning media critic and the creator and executive director of Feminist Frequency, an educational nonprofit that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces.
She has been a panelist at the United Nations and been a guest speaker at various fan, media and technology conferences including XOXO, The Media Evolution Conference, Women in the World and GeekGirlCon. Anita has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Colbert Report.
Anita was named one of TIME's 100 most influential people in the world in 2015 and was the recipient of the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award. In 2016 Anita was awarded an honorary PhD from The New School in New York City.
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Tropes vs Women in Video Games
It’s no secret that the video game industry boasts some of the most sexually objectified, stereotyped and downright oppressive portrayals of women in any medium. In this talk, Anita Sarkeesian explains why. She will give a broad overview of the culture that sustains harassment, exclusion, and objectification in gaming, from the dynamics of sexist cyber-mobs to recurring tropes in video games that reinforce sexist conceptions of women, before concluding with a look at a few games that manage to get it right.
I'll Make a Man Out of You: Redefining Strong Female Characters
Over the past few decades there has been a significant increase in the number of television shows and movies that showcase female action heroes. These roles have helped transform and challenge historical representations of women in the mass media. But are these examples of Strong Female Characters or are they just replicating traditional masculine archetypes in a sexualized, female body? In this lecture, Anita Sarkeesian will deconstruct the Strong Female Character and argue for a new character archetype that supports feminist values and breaks out of traditional oppressive gender binaries in order to promote, encourage, and envision a more just society.
Equality or GTFO: Navigating the Gendered Minefield of Online Harassment
It seems that whenever women on the internet dare to speak about social issues they are met with violent, aggressive and often invasive attacks. These large-scale sexist harassment campaigns targeting women have seen a sharp increase in recent years. Because of her work on women in games, Anita Sarkeesian has become the ongoing target of a massive, vicious harassment campaign. In this talk, she will share her experiences to help define and deconstruct how these hostile cyber mobs operate and offer some insights into why gendered harassment is so prevalent in gaming spaces and communities. She will also discuss the severe consequences to the women targeted and the larger community. Anita will conclude with some steps to help us move towards more inclusive digital spaces for all people.