Lindenwood hosts open discussion of feminist video

Photo by Devin King Geremy Carnes, Elizabeth Fleitz and Andrew Allan Smith present a video by Anita Sarkeesian in Young Auditorium on Sibley Day.

Lontreal Farmer | Reporter
Feb 18, 2016; 10 a.m.

Lindenwood’s annual Sibley Day held an event to preview Anita Sarkeesian speech at the J. Scheidegger Center on Feb. 16.

Photo by Devin King Geremy Carnes, Elizabeth Fleitz and Andrew Allan Smith present a video by Anita Sarkeesian in Young Auditorium on Sibley Day.
Photo by Devin King
Geremy Carnes, Elizabeth Fleitz and Andrew Allan Smith present a video by Anita Sarkeesian in Young Auditorium on Sibley Day.

“Tropes vs. Women in Video Games: A Viewing and Discussion” was hosted by Andrew Allan Smith, Germey Carnes and Elizabeth Fleitz in Young Auditorium from 2-3 p.m. The hosts showed one of the feminist media critic’s popular YouTube videos from her “Feminist Frequency” channel titled “Women as Background Decoration: Part 1 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games. This video covered women being used as sexual objects in interactive media.

The video highlighted the over sexualization of women in video games. According to the video, many female characters are portrayed as prostitutes or objects of desire. They are always in the background, with no major role to play in the overall story. Their dialogue was always sexual and even submissive to the male characters.

The next point of the video is the violence toward female characters. Following the video, Smith, Carnes and Fleitz encouraged open discussion about the topics covered.

There were many reactions of disgust and shock at the depictions of women in video games as sexual objects to be used and abused as the player saw fit. Smith gave a brief overview of the history behind the culture of “gaming.”

There was not much argument as most people in the room agreed with Sarkeesian’s points.

There was one voice that called out from the back of the room, hidden by the balcony, who decided to play devil’s advocate. He questioned whether this was an actual case of sexism, because the acts of violence committed against women could also be committed against men in the same games. Smith pointed out that Sarkeesian addresses this in the video. It is not just the violence in the games, it is the sexualized violence, which is exclusively used against the women.

The event was a successful preview of the topics that would be covered in the main event held later that night.

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