Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Digital Ethics Symposium due to some unforeseen circumstances Friday. I would have like to see Anita Sarkeesian and Sara Perry speak. As a guy I was never really aware of the digital harassment that goes on pretty much everywhere. I knew it existed in the gaming community as I have played a good amount of Call of Duty in my day. Obviously I know harassment exists and happens everywhere daily, I guess I was a little oblivious because it hasn’t happened to me.
After reading Sara Perry’s article Academics Face the Cyber creeps Alone, I was a little angry that even working professionals have to deal with this sort of crap. It really makes you wonder who is doing the harassment and it makes me sympathize for those who have to put up with this. From Anita Sarkeesian’s stand point she has to constantly deal with anonymous threats (in this instance) from the gaming community. Who in my mind consist of a mostly male culture, who believe they can say whatever they want because they are behind a screen in the comfort of their own home. The anonymity of this situation in Anita’s case creates a deeper threat. In a mostly male driven culture Anita is fighting the good fight bringing light of this situation. Before we talked about Anita Sarkeesian in class I only knew about trolling online. It is frustrating that somebody would go out of their way to threaten someone’s life over video games.
Sara Perry is also facing harassment digitally, however her case is a little more alarming because it is not anonymous. It is shocking to hear that even in a professional environment Sara Perry and God knows how many other women have to deal with what she goes through. As a man I can’t help but feel disgusted that other men are subjecting women to this sort of treatment. I can’t relate to the men who are harassing but can only guess they come from a troubled past or are simply trying to compensate out of jealousy or whatever they are lacking.
One can only hope women like Sara Perry and Anita Sarkeesian keep standing up for themselves, and keep empowering more people to put an end to digital harassment. Hopefully someday the gaming world can be an equal playing field, everyone can play it, so everyone should feel welcome. In Sara’s case I hope the people making her feel uncomfortable are dealt with, and her story gives more people the confidence to speak out against harassment.
Written by: Colin McCall