Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to host a lecture about feminism at the Utah State University during October 15th, however the day before at October 14th during 7 PM, it had to be cancelled due to a threat claiming to commit “the deadliest school shooting in American history”, which is assumed to be in response to the current #GamersGate campaign which feminism and gaming has a major impact towards.
“Tropes v Women in Video Games” is a YouTube series which Sarkeesian uploaded where she discusses how tropes such as being a ‘damsel in distress” is commonly overused and constructs a certain stereotype upon the female gender identity, conveying that men are stronger than women and women must be the damsel in distress for men to rescue. Of course the topic is quite controversial, sparking many debates upon the ethics of how video games are created and how their characters of specific genders are portrayed.
So when Anita Sarkeesian decided to host a lecture at the university, an email was sent threatening an attack with a “semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs” towards the university, mimicking the brutal attack which Marc Lépine committed in 1989 which was also linked to the topic of feminism.
“You have 24 hours to cancel Sarkeesian’s talk … Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman, and she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU. I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”
The threat evidently alerted alarm bells to both the university and Anita Sarkeesian herself, however she was still committed to the lecture as long as there could be security by the police in order to prevent any weapons being smuggled into the building; however disgustingly enough, the State of Utah law overruled her request stating that “if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit”… “they are permitted to have it at the venue”.
Unfortunately, the disgusting behaviour from the threat and the firearm abiding law got the better hand of the situation which involved cancelling the talk, allowing the person behind the threat to have his/her own personal victory. Hopefully the state of threatening feminists and people behind the voices of the gaming industry doesn’t become a common technique to get what they want, but thankfully there were no killings or signs of an attack.