Cathy Young on GamerGate and Feminism


jontintinjordan / Foter

The saga continues, with front-page coverage for threats against feminist gaming critics—notably feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian, who canceled a lecture on a Utah campus due to an email threat of a massacre—and with female GamerGaters taking to the online airwaves to give their side. Amidst the charges and countercharges of harassment, thought policing, and unethical conduct, the GamerGate debate always comes back to gender issues. There are valid concerns, shared by at least some GamerGate supporters, about sex-based harassment in gaming groups and stereotypical portrayal of female characters in videogames. Unfortunately, writes Cathy Young, critics of sexism in videogame culture tend to embrace a toxic brand of feminism that promotes antagonism, grievance, and intolerance of dissent, not equality or empowerment.