Posted on | February 23, 2016 | 49 Comments
In last night’s post about Anita Sarkeesian ( @FemFreq on Twitter), I neglected to point out this: Nowhere in her Monday blog post about “shadowbanning,” etc., does she say whether she is for or against the suppression of anti-feminist dissent on Twitter.
If you are a student of rhetoric, consider the method of cunning sophistry she employs. She mocks as paranoid conspiracy theory the suggestion that she has any influence over Twitter’s policies, citing a number of individuals who attribute to her this influence she insists she does not have. She asserts that any such suggestion can only be explained as “a manifestation of misogyny . . . a deep distrust and hatred of women.” This unsubstantiated accusation — do you hate and distrust women, deeply or otherwise? — is a defensive counterattack, an attempt to discredit her critics. Like other feminists and sociopaths, Ms. Sarkeesian uses DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender) tactics to deflect scrutiny of her own actions and motives by implying that anyone who criticizes her is guilty of some moral failing. Because she has so many critics, it is impossible for her to engage in character assassination against each of them individually. Instead she offers the blanket accusation of “misogyny” as her one-size-fits-all defense. Everyone who disagrees with Anita Sarkeesian is a misogynist. Quod erat demonstradum.
— ?'-l? ?'-l? k?-n?' ? (@IloiloKano) February 22, 2016
Let us stipulate that (a) “misogyny” describes a real social phenomenon, (b) this anti-woman attitude can be found among many men who play videogames and/or work in the videogame industry, and (c) many negative comments about Anita Sarkeesian are therefore proof of the existence of the problem to which she has dedicated her career. Even with these stipulations, however, it still does not follow that (d) every critic of Anita Sarkeesian is a misogynist, nor that (e) anti-woman attitudes are so pervasive in the videogame industry as to constitute a societal crisis requiring Ms. Sarkeesian’s intervention, and of course not that (f) all criticism of Ms. Sarkeesian is invalid. The most obvious criticism of Ms. Sarkeesian is that she is an opportunistic parasite enriching herself by deploying her feminist “critical theory” as a shakedown racket, the same way Jesse Jackson and other such dishonest “civil rights” hustlers used accusations of racism to get major corporations to pay them off.
Anyone has read Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers knows how this kind of scam got its start back in the 1960s. Scarcely had the ink dried on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than various “community organizer” types started looking for ways to cash in. The Black Panthers were the most flamboyant (and most obviously criminal) example of this kind of racial racketeering, but during the ensuing decades, variations of the same Mau-Mau operation flourished.
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are the best-known of these grifters, but back in the day every major city in America had its own Local Civil Rights Reverend whose “ministry” seemed to consist entirely of leading protest marches and being interviewed on the nightly TV news. Most people probably never understood the raw cynicism of the Local Civil Rights Reverend pay-for-play racket. “Give us money, and we will stop accusing you of racism,” was the basic transaction offered, which was soon improved and enhanced. “Give us enough money on a regular basis,” said the Local Civil Rights Reverend, “and we’ll help defend you against discrimination claims, because it would be a shame if your business had to pay out millions of dollars to settle a federal class-action suit filed by our friend, the Local Civil Rights Lawyer.”
It has to be understood that Corporate America didn’t just spontaneously decide to start blabbering “diversity” rhetoric in the 1990s. No, that was all about protecting themselves against discrimination lawsuits, and feminists were eager to take advantage of this situation. Quite ironically, the primary beneficiaries of “affirmative action” were white women from privileged backgrounds. The original rationale of affirmative action, as articulated by President Lyndon Johnson, was to remediate the harms black Americans had suffered from unjust racial discrimination. By the late 1970s, however, after feminists claimed women had suffered from similar forms of discrimination, the specific original purpose and meaning of affirmative action was forgotten. Now college-educated white women — in many cases, the daughters of quite wealthy families — could use the threat of lawsuits to force employers to dance to their tune. The rhetoric of “diversity” became a way to make it seem that hiring women (or Asians or homosexuals) sufficed to prove a company’s bona fides, in terms of defending against claims of discrimination, no matter what the number and status of their black employees.
All that background is necessary to understanding Anita Sarkeesian’s racket. Here was the multi-billion-dollar videogame industry, a lucrative business sector that scarcely existed 25 years ago, where reportedly almost 80 percent of the employees are male. Never mind the reasons why this industry is male-dominated; from the standpoint of Mau-Mau racketeering, videogame companies were sitting ducks for accusations of sexist discrimination and — lo and behold! — here was Anita Sarkeesian producing YouTube videos about sexist “Tropes vs. Women.” Give her money, or hire her as a consultant, and becoming an Official Friend of Anita can thereby help inoculate yourself against any future accusation that your company discriminates against women.
This has nothing to do with actually helping women in general, and everything to do with helping Anita Sarkeesian in particular. And if you are hopelessly naïve, let me clue you in on the secret of this hustle: Just because an organization is “non-profit” doesn’t mean nobody’s making money. “Feminist Frequency is a 501(c)3 non profit,” Anita’s page says in soliciting tax-deductible contributions for her alleged humanitarian philanthropic enterprise, but how much of this non-profit organization’s annual revenue is paid to Anita Sarkeesian in one form or another? Furthermore, doesn’t Feminist Frequency function as a publicity platform that helps Ms. Sarkeesian get income in other ways that don’t show up on her organization’s Form 990? How much free travel and how many free meals does she get every year? What sort of opportunities can a shrewd opportunist leverage from a 501(c)3 racket like that?
— Lissa (@LissaKay) February 23, 2016
Oh, I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night, and you’re never going to convince me that Anita Sarkeesian is an extraordinarily benevolent and charitable person who collects only a modest stipend for her “work.” If her 501(c)3 paid her less than $150,000 last year, it’s not for a lack of greed or ambition on her part, but simply because Anita Sarkeesian has not yet maximized the value of her personal Feminist™ brand. A hustler’s gotta hustle, and there are plenty of other Feminist™ hustlers competing in the same basic racket, so perhaps Ms. Sarkeesian made less money last year exploiting videogame “misogyny” than Jaclyn Friedman made exploiting “rape culture.”
We return, then, to the original question: Is Anita Sarkeesian for or against the suppression of anti-feminist dissent? Do you think that Ms. Sarkeesian would support me having access to Twitter so that I could tell the truth about her Feminist™ racket? Could she be bothered to answer questions about the personal financial gain she has made by accusing the videogame industry of “misogyny”? Well, good luck trying to get Anita Sarkeesian to answer any questions you might have about what she does, or what she gets paid to do it. She does not allow comments on any of her blog posts or YouTube videos and she routinely blocks anyone on Twitter who dares to criticize her. In fact, if you have a Twitter account, you may discover that Ms. Sarkeesian has pre-blocked you, even though you have never had any previous interaction with her.
What has happened in the past year is that feminist claims of “harassment” on Twitter have been taken as seriously as feminist claims of “misogyny” in videogames. #GamerGate, which began as an effort to expose how dishonest liberal journalism was being used to promote feminism and other “social justice” agendas in the industry, was turned around (by dishonest journalists) to mean something else: Misogynist gamers were harassing women, and therefore Anita Sarkeesian’s claims about misogyny were right!
“Women are an oppressed class. . . .
“We identify the agents of our oppression as men. . . . All men have oppressed women.”
— Redstockings, 1969
“Feminist consciousness is consciousness of victimization . . . to come to see oneself as a victim.”
— Sandra Lee Bartky, Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (1990)
“As one student explained to a New York Times reporter, she needed a ‘safe space’ after briefly hearing a conservative speak on campus because ‘I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs.’ Safe spaces are not about freedom from harassment or physical threats. They’re about freedom from intellectual opposition.”
— Robert Tracinski, Feb. 22, 2016
Feminism begins with the belief that all women are oppressed, and that all men are complicit in this oppression, and confirmation bias will always lead them to find “proof” of this belief. Having built their worldview around a belief in their own oppression, feminists are incapable of coping with facts and logic that contradict their worldview. No matter how privileged Anita Sarkeesian actually is (as attested by the fact she could afford to travel to England to get her master’s degree), she nonetheless always presents herself as a victim because, according to the feminist worldview, all women are victims. However, feminists also insist that they are courageously fighting patriarchy. And how do they “fight”? By constantly lecturing us about how victimized they are!
Thus, like other prominent feminists before her, Ms. Sarkeesian strikes an absurd pose: The Heroic Fighting Victim-Martyr, whose endless tales of suffering function as proof of pervasive male evil. These tales require scapegoats and so I find myself accused of “violating the Twitter Rules” for allegedly “participating in targeted abuse,” and banned from Twitter. Was it Ms. Sarkeesian who made this accusation? Or was it some other would-be Heroic Fighting Victim-Martyr like “Zoe Quinn,” Randi Harper, “Sarah” Nyberg or “Brianna Wu”?
When Twitter announced on Feb. 9 that Anita Sarkeesian had been appointed to its “Trust and Safety Council,” I called her a “totalitarian ideologue,” and within two weeks — surprise, surprise! — my Twitter account was suspended. Do you believe this was a coincidence? Do you want to ask Anita Sarkeesian if she believes it was a coincidence? Do you trust a totalitarian ideologue to answer you truthfully? Do you expect her to defend critics who tell the truth about her selfishness and dishonesty?
Feminism is always a lecture, and never a debate. Do not expect a feminist to provide an honest answer to a direct question. Be prepared for accusations of “harassment,” and threats of reprisal intended to silence you, if you persist in criticizing feminism and its adherents.
— Barbara McMahon (@southsalem) February 23, 2016
— KotakuInAction (@KotakuInAction) February 23, 2016
— Aleister (@AmericanGlob) February 23, 2016
— Instapundit.com (@instapundit) February 23, 2016