On Friday, Anita Sarkeesian, host of the Feminist frequency YouTube series and frequent target of GamerGate-related online harassment, released year-end financial report as per corporate requirements FF as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The report included an open letter to supporters, a wealth of statistics, and a detailed list of the nonprofit’s plans for the new year, including an expected series of videos, but also an official hub to focus on “online sexual harassment.” ‘.
After describing the genesis of Feminist Frequency as a video project intended to “bring discussions of feminist theory to a wider audience” — a pitch she used in her successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign — Sarkeesian wrote that her experiences of the past two years, filled with “daily vitriol” from online commentators, have forced her to reexamine her organization’s purpose. “That’s why we’ve expanded Feminist frequencyIts mission is to include advocacy around ending hate and abuse online, as well as analyzing and raising awareness of how gender-based harassment works online,” she wrote.
The letter stated that current efforts include consulting gigs with “technology and games companies” regarding online harassment within their communities, along with helping other active online feminists to “create long-term solutions to address the address the epidemic of online abuse and create mechanisms for support.” The report’s list of plans for 2015 doesn’t specify exactly how that mission might change or grow, other than hoping to “create a network with a variety of different programs and hosts that analyze media from a systemic/intersectional/anti-suppression lens.” “.
While describing the organization’s future YouTube content, Sarkeesian revealed two new video series that will launch this year. Both appear to be aimed at the series’ loudest critics who complained that Feminist Frequency videos focused too much on the heralded, and hitherto under-explored, subject of negative female portrayals in games. One will focus on “representations of men and masculinity in video games,” and the other will highlight gaming’s “positive female characters.”
The report included detailed social media and traffic breakdowns, along with a list of Sarkeesian’s top media appearances over the past year and a full disclosure of the nonprofit’s revenues and expenses. The operation apparently ran on peanuts until the fourth quarter of last year, after which it received a wave of donations — nearly $398,000, which accounted for 90 percent of Feminist Frequency’s revenue. Sounds like a Colbert punch to us.
In a Kickstarter update, Sarkeesian also took the trouble to detail how the original $158,000 Kickstarter grand total was spent through a pie chart. In that update, she went on to talk about online bullying — “sexual online harassment is not a new phenomenon, but the intensity of cyber mobs, especially in gaming, is increasing in frequency and severity” — and came to the final conclusion that her work is worth it . “Developers responsible for some of the games I’ve criticized in my series have graciously accepted the criticism and pledged to do better in the future,” Sarkeesian wrote.