Utah State University didn’t even tell her

Good grief. I didn’t know this part: Anita Sarkeesian tweeted 16 hours ago:

Feminist Frequency @femfreq · 16h
USU acted irresponsibly. They did not even inform me of the threat. I learned about it via news stories on Twitter after I landed in Utah.

Holy shit. They can’t ban guns at her event, and they didn’t inform her of the threat.

I’m reeling.


  1. Ysidro says

    My F-in-L thinks (as I knew he would) that it’s right and proper Utah cannot ban guns from anywhere.

    Upon reflection, I’ve decided firearms serve the same purpose for some adults as a security blanket or pacifier does for some toddlers.

    Therefore, I shall now refer to guns as “death binkies.”

  2. freemage says

    Ysidro: “Death Binkies”. I like that.

    And this? This officially removes the sympathy I’ve been trying to generate for the university. Absent evidence, I was trying to grant the benefit of the doubt, that they were just being forced to not check for guns by the assinine state law. Now, though, it’s obvious they just have no idea what they’re doing–or are actively complicit in letting Sarkesian be silenced.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    Looking on the bright side, Anita did get featured on a segment of today’s CBS This Morning, so the #gamergate whines and howls are starting to look like they backfired.

  4. Hj Hornbeck says

    There’s a bit of confusion over that tweet:

    Sarkeesian said that campus police did not alert her to the threat until late Tuesday, after her plane had landed at Salt Lake International Airport and she already had seen news stories about it. Vitale said police had been exchanging emails with Sarkeesian’s personal assistant starting about 8 a.m. Tuesday in their attempts to contact her while she was traveling. Sarkeesian said she did not leave the airport while in Utah.

    I’m guessing it’s just miscommunication; Sarkeesian was in radio silence during her flight, then checked her Twitter feed before her emails. Whatever the case, that article has plenty of nightmare fuel:

    Sarkeesian said she asked for metal detectors or pat-downs at the entrance of the Taggart Student Center auditorium, but USU police said they could not prevent those in attendance from carrying weapons into the lecture if they had concealed weapons permits. Though she said, “in hindsight, I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with any weapons in the auditorium.” Police instead promised more officers and a backpack check at the doors. Sarkeesian said she asked whether police could screen the audience for guns and let them in if they had permits, but Vitale said campus law enforcement officers believed that would have been needlessly invasive for the audience.

    “If we felt it was necessary to do that to protect Miss Sarkeesian, we absolutely would have done that,” Vitale said. “We felt the level of security presence we were putting into this was completely adequate to provide a safe environment.” […]

    USU always has allowed guns at campus events, including speeches by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2008 and actor and activist Danny Glover, whose commencement address in 2010 was targeted by hate mail but nothing rising to the level of a death threat, Vitale said.

    Sarkeesian said she has not had metal detectors or pat-downs at her speeches previously, but that she also hasn’t been threatened with guns specifically in any of her public appearances. She has been receiving threats of violence since 2012, when she began fundraising for a video series examining the roles of women in video games.

    Sarkeesian was a more enticing target than Danny Glover? Damn.

  5. Hj Hornbeck says

    Ah, a minor detail:

    USU officials and Sarkeesian on Wednesday revealed new details about the threats. After the mass shooting threat was sent to the school late Monday, a second threat arrived Tuesday.

    So either it wasn’t viewed until early Tuesday, or they sat on it overnight. But if it wasn’t viewed until early Tuesday, how did the police jump on it so quickly? Campus police would have been active 24/7, so if the threat came to them they’d have contacted her earlier.

  6. Hatchetfish says

    I’ve been wondering who interpreted Utah’s preemption to include banning even -searching- for guns. Sure it apparently restricts the actions that can be taken if one is found, but how is a search in itself a problem, given there are people (non-licensed people) who would in fact be breaking laws carrying concealed weapons. It’s seemed like another way they just abdicated responsibility in the whole thing: “We can’t take guns away from some people, so we’re not going to bother searching anyone.”

  7. Morgan says

    Sarkeesian said she asked whether police could screen the audience for guns and let them in if they had permits, but Vitale said campus law enforcement officers believed that would have been needlessly invasive for the audience.

    What the fucking shit.

  8. jenniferphillips says

    Good news: CFI published a condemnation of the threats agains Sarkeesian. Bad news: the comments on the Facebook link to that post are awful. There’s a video there, claiming that she made the whole thing up that I don’t have the stomach for.

  9. John Horstman says

    The gaslighting in which even the less pernicious members of #GG are engaging is the oddest part of this to me. This particular controversy is only a couple of months old. A lot of us were watching the initial meltdown and saw the genesis of #GG in realtime, which was Adam Baldwin deciding to apply a -gate controversy label to fabricated charges against a feminist game developer who had the audacity to have sex with people. This was only a couple months ago! And there are easily-accessible records! I’m reminded most of politicians claiming they didn’t say the thing we just watched a video of them saying. In what environments do these people live where this kind of bullshit ever flies?

    The first question for every person who claims to support #GG in any way and also claims it’s not a misogynist harassment mob needs to be, “Then why did you adopt the hashtag of a misogynist harassment mob instead of making a new one that actually relates to e.g. ethics in journalism in some way?” #GamePressEthics is one example of a punchier (trochaic dimeter is fierce, though the tag is six characters longer which I guess might be an issue for Twitter – #Gamethics?) and more on-point tag for a discussion of journalistic ethics in the gaming press. The fact that the “-gate” to which the tag refers was a complete fabrication is enough to dispel any claims of a good-faith origin for #GamerGate, and that’s something that any supposed good-faith #GG supporter needs to address if he (becasue it’s almost exclusively a group of men and boys) wishes to be taken seriously and not simply lumped in with his hateful misogynistic brethren who run around making terrorist threats.

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