Feminist media critic, podcast host & activist
History vs. Women
Sexism in popular culture
Women in tech
Los Angeles, USA
Anita Sarkeesian is a prominent and award-winning media critic. Her work deconstructs the stereotypes attached to women in popular culture and exposes the harassment of women online and in gaming spaces.
She is also the founder and executive director of Feminist Frequency, an educational non-profit examining the depiction of women in pop culture narratives.
An experienced speaker, Anita has been a panellist at the United Nations and delivered keynote speeches at tech, media and fan conferences around the world. She has been featured on prominent media platforms such as Wired, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Good Morning America and The Colbert Report.
She has been the recipient of a variety of awards and honours, such as being included in TIME's 100 most influential people in the world in 2015. In 2014 she received the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award, and in 2016 was awarded an honorary PhD from The New School in New York City.
Anita's first book History vs Women: The Defiant Lives That They Don't Want You To Know, co-written with Ebony Adams, was published in October 2018. Here, she reframes the commonly accepted narratives that shape our understanding of 25 remarkable women from history.
Through her penetrating analysis, humour and charisma, Anita exposes the stereotypes associated with women in popular culture, particularly in the gaming and social media spaces. Drawing on her own experiences of receiving online abuse and death threats, she galvanises audiences to think critically about the gendered dynamics of the online world, and how to affect positive change.
Some sample speech themes include:
I Am So Tired: The Costs of Online Harassment
What is it like to be a public figure who is known more for the targeted acts of aggression and hate directed at you than for the creative or scholarly work you produce? Despite garnering critical acclaim and popular support for her groundbreaking feminist exploration of video games, media critic Anita Sarkeesian knows that her public perception remains tied to, and is often overshadowed by, her experiences during GamerGate. In this talk, Sarkeesian recounts the formative experiences that made her into the activist she is today before she unpacks the ways that the behaviour of online harassers upholds and furthers a reactionary political agenda and silences the voices of women everywhere.
Space Invaders: The Fight for a More Inclusive Gaming Industry
From the earliest days of video arcades to the most current home console hits, women have been treated as invaders in the male-dominated games industry; a reality that’s reflected in games themselves, and in the surrounding culture. This talk examines the past and present of gaming to illuminate how some bold industry intruders have begun to change gaming culture for the better, and what we need to do to continue making video games the inclusive industry that it should be.
History vs. Women: Resistance is Fertile
Throughout human history and across the globe, women have been quietly — and in some cases, not so quietly — resisting the forces that seek to contain their brilliance, creativity, and power. As their stories fade into myth and their lives vanish from our memories, our understanding of who we are, and who we can be, is all the poorer. This talk shares the stories of some of the amazing women our history books have left out, and offers an argument for the reasons why knowledge of their accomplishments is so dangerous to the forces of patriarchy.