In ancient Greek mythology, King Sisyphus was cursed for an eternity to heave a massive boulder up a steep hill, only to watch the rock roll back down again and again when he nears the top. Compared to the struggles of women everywhere for equality and respect, you could say Sisyphus had it soft. At the current rate of progress it will take at least 81 years for women globally to achieve global equality in key areas, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). Meanwhile, from the studios of the CBC to the streets of New York, recent stories of harassment and violence against women abound.
Somewhere along the way, we lost track of what the feminist movement stands for and what it doesn't. Just this week, a prominent feminist media critic, Anita Sarkeesian, cancelled a speaking engagement at the University of Utah to talk about the portrayal of women in video games, under threat of a "Montreal Massacre style attack." Really ladies...are we out of the woods yet?
Just when I think I've come to place of being comfortable in the video game industry, something happens that has made me question what I'm doing here. I'm talking about the harassment and hatred directed at feminist media critic and gamer Anita Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian is experiencing a hostility that many women in the games industry have experienced to varying degrees for many years. And it's ugly.