Anita Sarkeesian cancels speech after terrorist threatens a ‘massacre’
Feminist video games critic Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel a speech at Utah State University after a terrorist sent a letter to the school stating that unless her talk was cancelled, he would go on a shooting spree, murdering her and as many other feminists as he could.
The letter-writer threatened a “Montreal Massacre” style attack if “Feminist Frequency” producer Sarkeesian was allowed to speak–referencing the 1989 mass murder in which 25 year-old Marc Lepine killed 14 women and injured 10 others while screaming about how much he hates feminists. Charming.
These sort of threats are, sadly, par for the course for Sarkeesian. She and her family were driven from their home this past August after a Twitter user tweeted her address along with threats to rape and murder her. In fact, the FBI representative told the Standard-Examiner,”they determined the threat seems to be consistent with ones (Sarkeesian) has received at other places around the nation. The threat we received is not out of the norm for (this woman).”
What the actual hell? How gross is it that we live in a world where this kind of threat is “not out of the norm” for anyone?
Now, I’m sorry if you don’t like what Anita Sarkeesian has to say about video games. I’m sorry if you are really upset because you don’t think her video series warranted a Kickstarter fund. However, lots of people say things we don’t like, and indeed, many people crowdfund things we think are dumb and unworthy of funding–such as potato salads and Zach Braff movies. Tough fucking shit. We don’t then go around acting like they just killed, dismembered and ate our mothers. I read about things I am deeply offended by all day long–including this!–and yet I manage to not threaten to rape or murder anyone.
Although Sarkeesian regularly receives death threats like this one and goes on to speak anyway, she canceled this event because the police were not able to provide adequate security. Why? Because due to Utah’s concealed carry laws, they can’t actually bar anyone from entering the facility with a gun. Even when there is a terror threat.
Think about this for a minute. A person can get actual, credible death threats, from someone planning a massacre, and the police can’t do anything to prevent someone bringing guns to this venue because of these concealed carry laws. But bringing moisturizer on a plane in a bottle larger than 4 ounces, well, that is simply verboten. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that I think our priorities may actually be a bit out of whack here when it comes to what we are doing to prevent actual threats of terrorism.
I have no problem calling this person a terrorist, because he is one, and so are the rest of these asshole cowards threatening to rape and murder women because feminism gives them a sad. Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political gain”–which is exactly what this is. The point is not just to prevent Anita Sarkeesian from speaking, but to scare other women as well, and keep them from speaking.
These are not merely empty threats, either. In addition to Marc Lepine, there have been several other mass murderers motivated entirely by misogyny. George Sodini, Elliot Rodger, George Hennard, Seung-Hui Cho, Adam Lanza–just to name a few. How many more people have to die before we take these things more seriously?