amanda marcotte

CTV News Channel Interview on Steubenville and Rape Culture

cap1by Jarrah Hodge

Earlier today I joined Slate writer Amanda Marcotte live on CTV News Channel to talk about the developing story around the gang-rape in Steubenville, Ohio, the protests after another gang-rape in India, and larger issues around rape culture. The video isn’t available for embedding but if you want to watch the whole clip, you can see it here.

I appreciated that the hosts avoided treating the rapes like isolated incidents (they also drew attention to the case in Pitt Meadows in 2010, which had many similarities to Steubenville in terms of the use of technology to humiliate the victim as well as the seeming community code of silence after the fact). They also didn’t fall into the trap of being holier-than-thou when looking at the situation in India, as some other articles have done by blaming the incident on India’s culture while implying no similar issues exist here (read Emer O’Toole in the Guardian on why this view doesn’t hold water).

I’m not going to go in-depth into the issues at play but I’d encourage you to watch the CTV clip and also to check out some of the following articles, which have done a great job explaining the complex issues in Steubenville in particular, as well as the way this incident is part of systemic rape culture.

 

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Feminism 1 Comment

Geek Girl Con: Speaking Out on Online Sexism

Anita Sarkeesian and Maile Martinez

by Jarrah Hodge

(trigger warning for misogyny and language)

This past weekend I headed down to Seattle for the second annual Geek Girl Con, which I’d been to the year before. Last year I really enjoyed the Con but found there was a bit of a lack of panels taking a really critical look at sexism and misogyny within geek culture. This year was a huge improvement on that front, and since I went to a whole bunch of panels in this general vein, I’m not going to recap every single one. Instead I wanted to broadly share some of the problems/issues the various panels identified in this post, then do a follow-up looking at panelists’ tips and suggestions for change (as well as posts on some other issues/topics covered at the Con).

On the issue of the sexism, harassment and misogyny that exists in geek culture, there were no shortage of truly appalling examples presented. Anyone who went to the panel: “Go Make Me a Sandwich: Barriers in Online and Fan Spaces”, would not have been able to argue that there was no sexism online. On the panel were Regina Buenaobra, a Community Manager at Arenanet; Colette Vogele, an attorney involved with the group Without My Consent; Feminist Frequency vlogger Anita Sarkeesian; and Grace, Co-Founder of fatuglyorslutty.com.

Even having followed the blogging and reporting around Anita’s recent experience with violent sexism in the gaming community, it was disturbing to see examples of some of the YouTube comments and tweets she received projected on the big Con screens. She broke down what she saw as the main factors in this online harassment, noting that it is: a manifestation of real-life privilege, designed to silence, violently defensive of the status quo, rooted in entitlement and male privilege, and involved in the policing of masculinity and performing misogyny through invites by community members to others to “one-up” each other through more extreme forms of harassment. Read more

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Feminism 4 Comments