Joss Whedon has spoken

Anita Sarkeesian has a defender.

I watched a bunch of women get sliced up in video games and now I’m watching it on my twitter feed. @femfreq is just truth-telling. Deal.

The anguish of the fanboys is a wonder to behold.


  1. skasowitz says

    Skimming through some of the replies to that is pretty wonderful. You have some people discovering both the Feminist Frequency channel and the brutal hate it receives. Then there are the fanboys wishing and pleading that Joss is joking around. Some of course feel he just needs to be educated, and at least one suggests Thunderf00t as a good source of info on why Anita Sarkeesian deserves an endless barrage of attacks.

  2. says

    @ #1: Agreed. It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering his rap sheet, but it’s still great to see it in writing.
    @ #2: It’s from a comic book, not the original series or movie.

  3. azhael says

    It’s Whedon, i didn’t expect any less of him. I must binge on Buffy episodes some time soon…make a day of it :P

  4. says

    @ #4, Erlend Meyer

    Got it, thanks. I wasn’t aware of any comic book… should have looked around instead of crying about the end of the series all those years…

  5. brucegee1962 says

    Here’s the thing I find is the funniest (and coolest) part of Sarkeesian’s video series:

    There seems to be a whole subtext that is saying to game designers, “Look, if you won’t quit doing this stuff in your games because you respect the basic rights of women to exist as independent, sentient humans, then you ought to at least quit because IT’S SUCH A FRIGGIN’ CLICHE!”

    And I suspect that that will be the message that might actually get through.

  6. Esteleth is Groot says

    I have my issues with Whedon, but I still love his reply to the question (that he says he invariably gets whenever he’s interviewed) “Why do you write these “strong women” characters?”

    To wit:

    Because you’re still asking me that question.

  7. toddsweeney says

    Grr. Argh.

    This makes me so angry. Just got into it with a friend (who is in the industry himself. And, no, doesn’t get it.)

    “There’s sexism in games. We need to talk about this.”

    That’s what Sarkeesian is trying to say, but there’s this huge uproar. They don’t want to move on to the “let’s talk” part. Instead they want to whine and bluster and threaten and lie about it not being there, it’s not really a problem, examples are taken out of context, that’s just the way it is, and why does this girl have to be so uppity and can’t we just talk about something “more important.”

    There’s sexism in games — in the product, in the community of users, among the developers. Deal with it. Sarkeesian has done excellent pioneering work in describing and documenting the forms in which it appears, and embedding that into the established tools of criticism and analysis.

    It angers me so much that just this — defining and establishing the ground rules of discussion — is getting the worst effluvia of the internet to slop over in a giant hormonally driven slime pit of rage and privilege and an unwillingness to take criticism.

  8. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Not a fan of Whedon’s work, at all. But love what Whedon has said and is saying. He seems like an awesome human being.

  9. knowknot says

    @13 toddsweeney

    “There’s sexism in games. We need to talk about this.”
    That’s what Sarkeesian is trying to say, but there’s this huge uproar.

    Oh my shiny teapot yes.
    – I hate stereotyping of ANY kind, even when it hurts not to use it, but there is one I have not been able to avoid: There is a kingdom (currently in disaspora, and which may or may not be ruled by Louie Gohmert) composed exclusively of people for whom “we need to about this” translates directly and immediately to “I am the right hand of Satan and I will be having your children for dessert as soon as I have made a necklace of your arteries and burned all that is good and true to nothingness.”
    – All other known forms of the first of these two phrases result, at best, in darker, more threatening translations.

  10. says

    @samihawkins #18 & @Josephine Emantsal #9

    Woman who can’t be a strong female lead according to Joss Whedon here. That’s the one that put him on my shit list. It’s hard for me to get too excited watching him burn anyone after he went and doubled down on being a cissexist asshole never to be comment on it again (as far as I know). It’s even harder to let go of after getting into arguments with others about how I was just whining and going too far in criticizing one of my “allies”. It’s always whining and complaining when it’s not you. All extra disappointing to me considering the few hours we got of Firefly and Serenity are my favorite hours of just about any sort of entertainment.

  11. Matthew Trevor says

    Alice Wilde @ 19

    That is terrible. It’s almost verbatim the same kind of idiocy uttered by Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik just over a year ago, but it didn’t seem to get anywhere near as much negative attention.

  12. ceesays says

    It’s good that he partially gets it and is speaking out about it. may a broader comprehension become his one day, though.

  13. Scr... Archivist says

    The first link in PZ’s post here takes you to the tweet by Joss Whedon. And (as I write this) that message is followed by two “Related Headlines”, one of which is “Feminist pop culture writer leaves home after Twitter threats”. The story about how Anita and her family had to leave home after specific threats is some scary stuff.

    But since we are on an atheist blog, I found it interesting that the article also contains a screenshot of someone harassing Anita and promoting Thunderf00t. It seems like he has moved on to a swell, new audience.

  14. says

    It’s so fucking tragic that it’s almost effortless for a dude to get an incredible feminist rep but so few find this to be anything but a vile and emasculating suggestion.

  15. =8)-DX says

    What’s annoying to me is you get honestly pro-women people who because they just aren’t interested in feminism as activism or haven’t thought much about it, tend to interpret the few minutes of Anita’s videos they’ve watched in the worst way possible (hating men, men are savages, not all men, men get stereotyped too, there’s violence against men too), when Anita herself mentions all these things in her actual videos!

    Watch the videos people.. watch them all from start to finish and you’ll see Anita is basically catalogueing only certain specific women-including “tropes”, but she is *not* leaving men out – for each example she’ll contrast examples of treatment of men in the same games with that of women, idfferences between sexualised and romanticised violence against women and that against men, types and diversity male and female characters, etc. Despite her whole series being Tropes vs Women, not Tropes vs Men (and Thunderf00t is not intellectually capable, honest or educated enough a person to do that series), she actually does mention men (and male gamers) all the time, without lumping us all in one bag.

    It’s simply not true that Anita isn’t talking about the men!

  16. says

    And now Anita Sarkeesian has been driven from her home by credible rape and threats of violence responses to her vid. Fucking men, you need to fix this! (See also Mary Brandon, a British woman brutally attacked for pushing a man away for sexually assaulting her)

  17. bigwhale says

    I was a FemFreq watcher from before these tropes vids. I’ll admit I was a little put out by how much money she got from kickstarter for this series on tropes, but I was trying to reserve judgement until the series was over to make a decision. I think the series is getting better with more insight than simply listing examples of tropes. Anyway, the point is that you couldn’t pay me enough to be in her shoes right now.