Trending @ LDC

‘Massacre’ threat forces Anita Sarkeesian to cancel university talk

Anita Sarkeesian, creator of the popular Tropes vs. Women video series, is at the center of yet another death threat. The Standard Examiner reports that the director of Utah State University’s Center for Women and Gender, along with several other people, received an email promising a mass shooting if they didn’t cancel a speaking engagement for Sarkeesian, who was scheduled to talk at the center on Wednesday morning.

Sarkeesian later announced on Twitter that she had been forced to cancel the appearance because of security fears; requests for firearm searches at the venue were turned down because of Utah’s relaxed open-carry laws. A member of the Center for Women and Gender confirmed to The Verge that the threat was real, although she and campus police declined to provide more details.

THE LETTER REFERENCES THE DEADLY ‘MONTREAL MASSACRE’ OF 1989

The Standard-Examiner has printed what it says are excerpts from the letter, in which the unknown author (who claims to be a Utah State student) claims to have “a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs.” More specifically, they threatened to carry out a “Montreal Massacre-style attack” against Sarkeesian and anyone who attended the talk. “Feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge,” reads the email. The Montreal Massacre, carried out in December of 1989, was a mass shooting directed at engineering students in Montreal’s École Polytechnique. The killer, who also claimed that his life had been ruined by feminists, singled out women and murdered 14 before killing himself. Today, its anniversary is commemorated in Canada as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The threat is far from the first directed at Sarkeesian and anyone around her. Organizers of the Game Developers Choice Awards confirmed in September that they had received an email in which an anonymous critic threatened to bomb the ceremony if they did not revoke an award they were giving to Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian herself has been the subject of a virtually nonstop harassment campaign since 2012, and in August, she called the police and left home because of very specific and violent death threats.

SARKEESIAN ISN’T THE ONLY WOMAN IN GAMES TO HAVE BEEN HARASSED RECENTLY

Nor is she the only woman in games to have been harassed over the past three months. Game developer Zoe Quinn left home in August after an ex-boyfriend posted details of their relationship online, implying (intentionally or not) that she had started romantic relationships to get good press coverage. While these claims were debunked almost immediately, she’s remained a major figure in the “Gamergate” controversy that’s taken over large parts of the gaming community.

Gamergate, a loose movement whose members say they want stricter ethics policies for journalists and an end to “political correctness” in games writing, has nonetheless fostered a group of angry trolls who have prompted some people to leave the industry because of harassment. Most recently, game developer Brianna Wu left home after a series of violent threats to both her and her husband, apparently because she had tweeted images making fun of Gamergate. These messages have included personal details like addresses and the names of family members.

Some members of Gamergate have accused women in games of going so far as to fake threats in order to get attention, or others of carrying out “false flag” attacks to damage the movement’s reputation. But a police spokesperson confirmed that Sarkeesian had filed a report with them in August, saying that the case had been referred to the FBI (which neither confirms nor denies that it is investigating it.) Earlier in the summer, the FBI metwith the International Game Developers Association to address online harassment of developers, whether as a result of political differences or simply changing a game’s balance. So far, none of the messages to Sarkeesian and others have been acted upon, but this is unlikely to be the last time someone on the internet threatens to murder women who make or talk about video games — and anyone who supports them.

Update, 10:10PM ET: This article has been updated to reflect that Sarkeesian has canceled her talk

Source:  The Verge

 

Women as Background Decoration (Part 2)

August 25, 2014

This is the second episode exploring the Women as Background Decoration trope in video games. In this installment we expand our discussion to examine how sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence.

The Women as Background Decoration trope which is the subset of largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players. Sometimes they’re created to be glorified furniture but they are frequently programmed as minimally interactive sex objects to be used and abused.

In part 1 we discussed the concept of Sexual Objectification and looked at a specific subset of non-essential female characters which I classify as Non-Playable Sex Objects.

Press Image for Media Use: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anitasarkeesian/15034097635/

LINKS AND RESOURCES

ABOUT THE SERIES
The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects. This video series is created by Anita Sarkeesian and the project was funded by 6968 awesome backers on Kickstarter.com

GAMES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE

Assassin’s Creed 2 (2009)
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010)
Bioshock (2007)
Bioshock 2 (2010)
Dead Island (2011)
Dishonored (2012)
Dragon Age: Origins (2009)
Fable 2 (2008)
Far Cry 3 (2012)
God of War 3 (2008)
Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
Hitman: Absolution (2012)
Hitman: Blood Money (2006)
Kane & Lynch (2007)
L.A. Noire (2011)
Mafia II: Joe’s Adventures (2010)
Metro: Last Light (2013)
No More Heroes (2008)
Papo & Yo (2012)
Prototype (2009)
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Saints Row (2006)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)
The Darkness II (2012)
The Witcher (2007)
The Witcher 2 (2011)
Thief (2014)
Watch Dogs (2014)

(more…)

Filed under: Video Games
Tags: Tropes vs Women, Tropes vs Women in Video Games
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Women as Background Decoration (Part 1)

June 16, 2014

In this episode we explore the Women as Background Decoration trope which is the subset of largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players. Sometimes they’re created to be glorified furniture but they are frequently programmed as minimally interactive sex objects to be used and abused.

Sexual objectification is the practice of treating or representing a human being as a thing or mere instrument to be used for another’s sexual purposes. Sexually objectified women are valued primarily for their bodies, or body parts, which are presented as existing for the pleasure and gratification of others.

Press Image for Media Use: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anitasarkeesian/14431537812/

LINKS & RESOURCES

ABOUT THE SERIES
The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects. This video series is created by Anita Sarkeesian and the project was funded by 6968 awesome backers on Kickstarter.com

GAMES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE

Out Run (1986)
Chequered Flag (1988)
Snatcher (1988)
Super Off Road (1989)
GP Rider (1990)
Rise of the Dragon (1990)
Quest for Glory II (1990)
Sunset Riders (1991)
Eliminator Boat Duel (1991)
Lucky & Wild (1992)
Cruis’n USA (1994)
Rave Racer (1995)
Need for Speed: Underground (2003)
Ridge Racer 2 (2006)
Need for Speed: ProStreet (2007)
MX vs ATV Alive (2011)
Forza Horizon (2012)
Mortal Kombat (2011)
God of War: Ghost of Sparta (2010)
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
The Witcher 2 (2011)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)
Yakuza 4 (2011)
Hitman: Absolution (2012)
Mafia II: Joe’s Adventure (2010)
The Darkness II (2012)
Dishonored (2012)
Fallout: New Vegas (2010)
Metro: Last Light (2013)
Just Cause 2 (2010)
Sleeping Dogs (2012)
Fable II (2008)
Watch Dogs (2014)
Max Payne 3 (2012)
Far Cry 3 (2012)
Binary Domain (2012)
Shellshock: Nam ’67 (2004)
Fable: The Lost Chapters (2005)/Fable Anniversary (2014)
Grand Theft Auto 4 (2008)
The Godfather II (2009)
Mass Effect 2 (2010)
Hitman: Blood Money (2006)
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
The Saboteur (2009)
Assassin’s Creed IV (2013)
Saints Row (2006)
Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea (2013)
Duke Nukem 3D (1996)
Dragon Age: Origins (2009)
Fallout 3 (2008)
Saints Row: The Third (2011)
Killer is Dead (2013)

(more…)

Source: Feminist Frequency

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Thank you “Ya Michigan”

logo

Eid Al Adha, the festival of scarifice, falls during the hajj season

 What do Muslims do during Hajj and what the festival is about?

Hajj

A look at some of the more interesting rituals and rites that Muslims perform during the annual pilgrimage of Hajj in Saudi Arabia

An aerial view of the Kaaba during the Hajj
Hajj is an annual Muslim pilgrimage that takes place in Saudi Arabia.

It is a religious obligation on all Muslims who are healthy, financially able, of sound mind and of age to perform this pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.

It is one of the largest gatherings of humans in the world with more than 2 million people expected to take part this year from around 188 countries. Hajj season for 2014 falls between 2 – 7 October.

The pilgrimage rituals take place over a period of several days and culminates in Eid Al-Adha, a day of celebration enjoyed by Muslims around the globe whether or not they took part in the Hajj itself.

One of the philosophies of the Hajj is that of spirituality and unity. All Muslims perform the same rites and are encouraged to share in a spirit of equality.

All pilgrims are to remain in a state of purity and simplicity during the Hajj as much as possible. This includes wearing simple clothes, which for men includes two pieces of white unsewn cloth. Women are not restricted to a specific colour but are also encouraged to wear non-elaborate clothing.

 

Mina

Having arrived in Mecca, on day one pilgrims leave the city and head to an area called Mina where they spend the day in prayer. Here over 100,000 tents have been set up as temporary shelter and accomodation for the pilgrims in what looks like a huge tent city.
An aerial view of some of the pilgrim tents in Mina

Arafat

On the Day of Arafat, pilgrims spend the entire day on, or near, a hill known as Mount Arafat – the Mount of Mercy. This is considered to be a great day of forgiveness and the day is spent repenting for past sins.

Muslims believe that if you spend this day in a state of true repentance, all past sins will be forgiven.

Muslims around the world who cannot physically take part in the Hajj, also spend this day engaged in prayer, fasting and supplication.

Pilgrims converge on the Mount of Arafat

 


Muzdalifa

Pilgrims spend a night in an area called Muzdalifa, which is part way between Arafat and Mina.

Pilgrims spend their time here in prayer and also gather pebbles to be used in a ritual the next day called the Jamarat.

Pilgrims in Muzdalifa gather small pebbles to be used in a ritual the following day

 


 

Jamarat

The Jamarat is a ritual and symbolic stoning of the devil. Three pillars – small, medium and large – are stoned by pilgrims with the pebbles they collected on their route from Muzdalifa the night before.

The story associated with the stoning of the devil relates to the devil’s attempt to dissuade Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) from obeying Allah’s commands. It symbolizes the stoning of the devil within.

 

Jamarat is the ritual and symbolic stoning of the devil in which pilgrims throw pebbles at three walls

In past years, so many people gathered to take part in this ritual that people were crushed and trampled. That has led to the Saudi authorities attempting to modernise the walkways and access points to the area to make it safer for pilgrims.

 

Pilgrims on their way to perform the Jamarat ritual

 


 

Eid

Pilgrims return to Mina for the first day of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice. This is the second of the two annual Islamic holidays.

Muslim throughout the world celebrate Eid on this day. In remembrance of the wiilingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to make any sacrifice commanded of him by God, Muslims on this day sacrifice an animal – usually a sheep – and distribute a portion of that meat to the poor.

On this day pilgrims also cut their hair. While men may shave their heads or cut their hair short, women are only required to cut a lock of hair.

 

Vendors sell balloons to children as Indonesian Muslims gather to take part in special Eid prayers

 


Farewell tawaf

Pilgrims return to Mecca for the final tawaf – circling of the Ka’aba. The Ka’aba is an ancient stone structure in Mecca towards which all Muslims around the world face to pray five times a day.

Muslims believe that the Ka’aba was the first place of worship built on earth and that it was originally built by Prophet Adam, the first man created by God.

Pilgrims walk around, or circumambulate, it seven times in a counter clockwise direction.

 

The Ka’aba is an ancient stone structure in Mecca which pilgrims circumambulate

Although not a part of the Hajj itself, many people round off the pilgrimage with a visit to Medina and the site of the grave of the prophet Muhammad since, for most, this will be a once in a life-time journey.

 

Online research

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Askwith Recommends: Just Gender

Through the stories of transgender individuals and their spouses, friends, and allies, Just Gender explores the confusion, the isolation, and the fear felt by many transgender persons. It also reveals their growing awareness and acceptance, and ultimately their joy in blossoming comfort as transgendered persons.

Mirlyn Record

Tagged ,

October is..

From interfacing October, is National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month in the United States. Here at Facing History and Ourselves we are proud to offer several resources that can help you address bullying year-round, including a Bullying and Ostracism resource collection and teaching strategies to help create safe and engaging schools. Here are a few videos, multimedia study guides, and online readings to consider as you prepare to talk about this important topic with your students.

 

From Women in Business October is “National Month” Calendar

 

From Wikipedia

 

 

Rosh Hashanah (Happy New Year)

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה‎, literally “head of the year”) is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days or יָמִים נוֹרָאִים Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. The day is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of humanity’s role in God’s world. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year”.

Source: Wikipedia

 

 

 

LDC Trending Today

Good Afternoon All

We are following these stories today. Askwith Mike asks, Can we really be this insensitive?

Oklahoma State Fans Hold ‘Trail of Tears’ Banner for College GameDay

Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/08/30/oklahoma-state-fans-hold-trail-tears-banner-college-gameday-156681#.VCLG6jYLFqE.email

5 Things I Learned as the Internet’s Most Hated Person

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-i-learned-as-internets-most-hated-person/#ixzz3EFjwNhTa

 

Askwith Recommends: Toilet Training: Law and Order

Silvia Rivers Law Project

“Addresses the persistent discrimination, harassment, and violence that people who transgress gender norms face in gender segregated bathrooms. Using the stories of people who have been harassed, arrested or beaten for trying to use bathrooms, this groundbreaking film focuses on bathroom access in public space, in schools, and at work”

View Clips

Mirlyn Record

 

Trending thought this week

Good Friday Afternoon All,

This link  has made it’s way around the LDC (Library Diversity Council). Click on headline to read post.

He Dropped One Letter In His Name

While Applying For Jobs, And The Responses Rolled In

 

 

What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege

askwithmike:

Some people misunderstand or have a hard time understanding the term “white privilege” and this provides a way of thinking about it that might be easier for some people to get. -Sara

Originally posted on A Little More Sauce:

The phrase “white privilege” is one that rubs a lot of white people the wrong way. It can trigger something in them that shuts down conversation or at least makes them very defensive. (Especially those who grew up relatively less privileged than other folks around them). And I’ve seen more than once where this happens and the next move in the conversation is for the person who brought up white privilege to say, “The reason you’re getting defensive is because you’re feeling the discomfort of having your privilege exposed.”

I’m sure that’s true sometimes. And I’m sure there are a lot of people, white and otherwise, who can attest to a kind of a-ha moment or paradigm shift where they “got” what privilege means and they did realize they had been getting defensive because they were uncomfortable at having their privilege exposed. But I would guess that more often than…

View original 1,639 more words

Speaking of Public Trust

From Mike McLean and not necessarily the LDC.

We know why “the media”* employees idiots to spew their brand of hate and frustration. The media is owned by multinationals who also sell cookies, soap, shampoo, war, drugs, weapons. These same multinationals, finding that they can pay cheaper taxes in another country will move there and still influence American public policy. That last part is our fault. I know, but if we keep buying their products they’ll continue to buy our politicians, police, military and airwaves. This allows them to manipulate the population into any frenzy they choose. We should know better but that’ll have to wait for a discussion on learning in America.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/opinion/charles-blow-bill-oreilly-and-white-privilege.html

If Bill O’Reilly wasn’t such a dope no one would buy his soap. He has developed his particular type of manipulation into a well-paying position. Such is our world and our times when buffoons can garner any consideration and discussion. There are a lot of people who support his point of view and those who don’t must push back against his sewage. As a human being I think he is a trickster, a hoaxer who has become his media personality. He is a spokesperson for many of the “Proud, White and Terrified” crowd who refuse and won’t allow change. There’s a lot of money to be had if things stay the same and as you know they will do everything, and I mean everything, in their power to keep it so.

*”the media” Yes, quotes, I do lump them all together. Radio, Television, Film, Internet search engines, some website and some blogs, most of them are out right complicit if not they are in collusion.

 

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