Last summer, Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency and online blogger, began raising money to launch a series of short video games titled “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” to discuss gender roles in video games. Her first video in the series, titled “The Damsel in Distress,” released Thursday and so far has had more than 750,000 views.
There was a lot of backlash to Sarkeesian’s series while she raised money for it on KickStarter. Blogs were written about her, including threats of death, sexual assault, rape and violence. Her Wikipedia page was vandalized while she was still raising money for the series. One angry individual even created a Flash game where other angry gamers and cyber bullies could beat her picture up. Because of the backlash, comments and YouTube ratings have been removed from the video.
Sarkeesian did not deserve to receive the harassment for trying to inform others and acting as a role model for young female gamers. Her videos aim to advance our worldviews, but people didn’t want to hear it.
Sarkeesian fought the negative reactions by creating a Ted Talk about being targeted by cyber bullies.
This is just one real-world, recent case of cyber bullying that proves that cyber bullying is not just something that happens to tweens and teens on their Facebook and Twitter profiles. It’s something that can still happen when we’re in the workforce, and as “mature” adults.
Although it’s not possible for all victims of cyber bullying to launch a Ted Talk when dealing with the situation, there are alternative routes we can take as students if this is to ever happen to us:
—Reply to the cyber bullies at least once to let them know their comments are hurtful.
—Let friends or family members know what you are dealing with so you can get some support on the situation.
—Do not let the comments get to you; that’s what the cyber bullies want.
—Block, report and flag any comment sent by a cyber bully.
As students, we should be educated enough to think before we post hurtful or insulting comments on other peoples’ social media and blogs. It’s not just the person we’re bashing that we hurt; it’s our own reputation as well.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.