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QotD: “Anita Sarkeesian cancels talk at Utah State University over threats of ‘the deadliest school shooting’ in US history”

Originally posted on Anti-Porn Feminists:

The feminist pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian has been forced to cancel a talk at Utah State University, after a threat of a “Montreal Massacre-style attack”.

Sarkeesian, who is best known for her YouTube series “Tropes v Women in Video Games”, assessing various anti-feminist trends in gaming, was scheduled to talk at the university on Wednesday, when the unsigned email was sent.

The author of the email threatened that if the talk was not cancelled, they would carry out an attack in the style of the 1989 Montreal massacre, when Marc Lépine murdered 14 women, claiming he was “fighting feminism”.

“I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs,” the letter said. “This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I’m giving you a chance to stop it.”

“You have 24 hours to cancel Sarkeesian’s talk … Anita Sarkeesian is…

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“He For She” (or, “What About the Men?”)


Radical feminism. Of course it’s threatening to men. Demolition, not renovation — then we can see the stars. Thank you, phonaesthetica.

Originally posted on phonaesthetica:

This is a joint post with the brilliant Hypotaxis.

It’s review day. Let’s clarify, once more, the differences between radical and liberal feminism.

Liberal feminism asserts that women’s liberation comes through equality with men, and therefore positions men as a benchmark, the “best possible case,” the default setting, the gold standard, the brass ring – if only to be respected like a man, if only to be paid like a man, or to be free to “choose pornography” or fuck anything that moves like a man. In liberal feminism, male is aspirational.

In liberal feminism, society itself isn’t broken, we just need to learn how to better exist within it – like men.

Radical feminism, on the other hand, understands that if you polish a turd, it’s still a turd. Radical feminism posits that the system itself is broken and the game is rigged. Radical feminism asserts that pornography…

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Lately people have told me, in various ways, that they admire my tenacity. I’m getting a new reputation over the last few years. If you ask me to do something, I will do it. If you offer me a challenge, I will rise to it. Like this–in late 2002 or early 2003, a woman I admire, and to whom I went for help, suggested I apply to go to Graduate School. i would not have come up with that idea myself, having long ago discarded the belief that I was smart enough or disciplined enough to return to school. But she thought I could do it, and she knew some people at the university I could talk to, so I did. I went to talk to the women she recommended, both professors in the department i was going to apply to, and i gathered recommendation letters, and samples of my writing and figured out some ideas of questions I’d like to ask, things i’d like to study. One of the professors said, “Where do you want to go, what organizations or groups do you want to understand? Think of it as an opportunity to learn anything you want about other people and places — how it all works together”. But I didn’t want to go and study other people. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I didn’t want to insert myself in someone else’s place and poke around in their business. I did want to understand more of a big picture — what the hell was going on that there was such a rapidly growing divide between the haves and the have-nots? what was going on that women were in increasingly grave danger? Why am I working so hard, and losing sleep and not accomplishing anything? Why are women who should be my allies so far away from me? we’re so  far away from each other…Anyway.

So my friend and mentor said, “you should try” and I did. And I got into graduate school! Then I got  Master of Arts degree, because teachers and friends and loved ones said, “I think you can”, and even though there were times when i did not believe I could, I did. Then I applied for PhD school, because I wanted to teach, and there were few opportunities I could see around me, but knew I would have more in post-graduate school. Even though i didn’t really believe that I had the necessary discipline or tenacity or focus to do it, other people said, “you can. Try it” so I did. And I was accepted into the program.

Now i’m a Doctor of Philosophy. and at my defense, my advisor said, “Erin is one of the most tenacious women I know”.

Over and over, I have said, “well, okay, if you think I can, I’ll try” and I have, in that manner, taken on new and frightening and challenging and enriching adventures. I teach now, I’ve gone to many conferences all over the place — Denmark, Turkey, New Brunswick, Chicago…the only thing I had to do was say yes. And then do the work that was required.

So, okay, i’m tenacious, in a way. If you ask me to consider something, if you ask me to do something, if you ask for help, I will do it.

But I realized that I do not initiate. I wrote an opinion piece for a newspaper, based on my doctoral defense. I sent it to a couple of papers so far, but haven’t heard back. I called the editorial section editor of one of the papers and left a message on their voicemail. But I’m too self-effacing. “I think i have a unique perspective on this topic” I said, but didn’t say exactly WHY.  I don’t know how to say, “Pay attention to me, I have ideas worth considering.”

Girly behaviour, that. I am too old to be waiting around for “prince charming” (metaphorically, of course)– but here I am. I am still responding, but not proposing.

I’ll post that opinion piece here soon, but first I have to fix it up and send it to someone else, and this time follow up with an assertive phone call. “this is an important perspective, I have something important to contribute to the discourse”.  damn. the very idea makes me anxious. Why, though? it’s part of my promise to others, it’s my responsibility — it’s not just about me. I’m not serving anyone with this false humility. argh.

okay. lookit. I have to go, meet a commitment I made but have resisted. I will post again another time.

“On Boycotting Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival”

Originally posted on Anti-Porn Feminists:

As the yearly debate about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival heats up, I have been having a lot of thoughts around boycotts, artists pulling out from the line-up, or artists who have stated they will not play again until the intention of the festival is changed from a gender/sex separate space to only a gender separate space. Artists and trans activists such as Red Durkin have made a lot of statements about why they will not play or why the festival should be boycotted, but I find them to be vague, condescending, emotionally manipulative, and intentionally inflammatory.

The artists statements, while varied, all imply that any connection to MWMF and Lisa Vogel is untenable. This claim deserves deconstruction. Let’s try playing Ok Cupid! With this situation, shall we? Let’s imagine that artists and venue owners fill out a political survey and the results will show the percentage of friend/enemy each…

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Social Determinism Versus the Essentialism of “Cis Privilege” Theory

Posted on

Social Determinism Versus the Essentialism of “Cis Privilege” Theory.

Prostitution and Some Left-Wing Men

Posted on


this is what’s wrong with some arguments from the left about prostitution. Here’s an excerpt: Those who are oppressed are not often in a position to end their exploitation without advocacy on the part those of us who are not quite so oppressed. Yes, they can fight for themselves. But Baglow fails to recognize that the women of the coalition are doing just that: fighting for themselves. He says we should not see prostituted women as “hapless victims upon whom unspeakable violence and degradation are perpetrated.” Well, certainly not hapless but yes, often victims upon whom unspeakable violence and degradation are perpetrated. Is that really even arguable?

Originally posted on mirabile dictu:

… like John Baglow.

I think it’s fair comment to point out that the photo chosen by blogger John Baglow to accompany his piece on prostitution posted at rabble is from a campaign organized and funded by the brutal Irish pimp Peter McCormick. I’m sure it was accidental so I will go no farther with that line of inquiry. There are too many other accidents in Mr. Baglow’s piece that require response.

I have no problem when a blogger or any writer of an opinion piece declares their bias – “opinion” – I get it. But Mr. Baglow also points out that he “is a former VP of PSAC, currently a writer and researcher, public policy consultant, occasional academic and poet”. In that case I expect a cogent presentation of the issues involved in debating the merits or lack thereof of proposed legislation to protect communities and exploited…

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Notes from a non-cis woman

Originally posted on Paperhouse:

If cis means not-trans, then I am cis. I have been told repeatedly that cis is a label that belongs on me, and assured by those applying it that it’s not an insult – even while in many cases its use has clearly implied that, as a cis woman, I have certain privileges that preclude me from being listened to on certain issues. What are those privileges? Julia Serano defines the state of being cis as the condition of enjoying agreement between one’s physical sex and “subconscious sex”:

I suppose that when a person feels right in the sex they were born into, they are never forced to locate or question their subconscious sex, to differentiate it from their physical sex. In other words, their subconscious sex exists, but is hidden from view. They have a blind spot.

Julia Serano, Whipping Girl, p. 87

There is no substantial definition of…

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