Two months ago, feminist blogger, Anita Sarkeesian created a Kickstarter project to fund a five-video series to examine sexism and female stereotypes in videogames. In addition to raising almost $160,000, Sarkeesian also received what she described on her blog as “a staggering tidal wave of hate and harassment,” including threats of death and rape. This latest jab at Sarkeesian, however, puts all of the others to shame while at the same time being completely shameful.
In an New Statesman article, which catalogs the various types of harassment that Sarkeesian has been enduring recently, it pointed out a videogame, supposedly created by Ben Spurr (a.k.a. Bendilin), a 25-year-old man from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
In this game, players get to beat up Sarkeesian until she’s black and blue. It’s called Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian.
The game, which seems to have been posted on NewGrounds.com, has been pulled. But Bendilin’s comments remain.
“Anita Sarkeesian has not only scammed thousands of people out of over $160,000, but also uses the excuse that she is a woman to get away with whatever she damn well pleases. Any form of constructive criticism, even from fellow women, is either ignored or labelled to be sexist against her.
“She claims to want gender equality in video games, but in reality, she just wants to use the fact that she was born with a vagina to get free money and sympathy from everyone who crosses her path.”
Bendilin defended his position on Twitter until his account was suspended. Tumblr poster, SoDisarmingDarling, captured a few of his comments, here. They include, “I wanted to express my distaste for what she’s doing in a way that she would listen.”
Where do I begin to criticize this?
I’ll start with logic.
You’re going to make Sarkeesian listen to you…by virtually hitting her. Hmm, I would think that virtually beating someone is a poor way to get someone to listen to you. She’ll be too busy running away to hear what you’re trying to say.
To quote SoDisarmingDarling, “Even after admitting that he created the game to upset Sarkeesian and get her attention, Spurr cries freedom of expression and tries to make this an issue of censorship. Sorry dude, but everyone knows you didn’t create this out of some artistic need—you did it to frighten, intimidate, mock, and shock. Sounds a lot like something an actual abuser would do, doesn’t it?”
As it happens, I had just interviewed Sarkeesian for another article (currently in progress) about sexism in gaming. She said she found comments made about Felicia Day to be “disgusting and despicable.” Those words apply to this too, but to the 10th power.