After Exposing Sexism In The Video Game Industry, This Woman Received Rape Threats On Twitter

Anita Sarkeesian
Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian. Feminist Frequency

Anita Sarkeesian was forced to leave her home and stay with friends after she recieved an outpouring of violent threats over Twitter.

Sarkeesian is a a media critic and the creator of Feminist Frequency, a video web series that explores how women are portrayed in pop culture.

Lately she’s been digging into the appallingly sexist world of video games. She just posted a video that showed how many video games treat woman as sexual playthings and “the perpetual victims of male violence,” as the video is described.

Whenever someone (particularly a woman) criticises the way women are portrayed or treated in the gaming industry, that person is almost certainly guaranteed to be subjected to threats of violence.

We’ve heard a lot of horrifying stories like this with Sarkeesian’s among the worst. After the video was posted she tweeted:

Then tweeted she was leaving her home:

Today she added:

And here’s the most horrifying part. She also shared the specific list of threats being tweeted at her (warning: it’s very graphic). They are so appalling that we won’t run them on Business Insider. What we will say is that a person threatened to rape, mutilate, and “drink her blood.”

She also shared an anonymous message from someone who emailed her via her website, calling her obscene names.

All because she’s pointing out that the video game industry is poorly representing half the population (a half who likes to buy video games).

As The Journal reported, this stuff was so bad, famed Hollywood writer, director and producer Joss Whedon came to her defence on Twitter for both the documentary series and the scary tweets. (His credits include “The Avengers,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “Toy Story.”)

The situation is going viral on Twitter right now.

This isn’t the first time. In 2013, GameSpot’s Carolyn Petit wrote a mostly glowing review of “Grand Theft Auto V,” but threw in one critique that the game glorified “male sexuality while demeaning women.” The comments exploded attacking Petit. A petition was even signed by tens of thousands to get her fired.

Female game programmers also took to Twitter last year to share stories of harassment in a string called #1reasonwhy.

And another person was subjected to similar threats by speaking out against harassment as a woman who organizes conferences events where people wear costumes (known as Cosplay).

Video games are supposed to be fun (and they are). But as Sarkeesian said: This kind of thing has just got to stop.

We reached out to Twitter and Sarkeesian for comment and will update when we hear back.