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BC Library Conference 2017

April 19–21, 2017

Vancouver, BC

Closing Keynote - Equality or GTFO: Navigating the Gendered Minefield of Online Harassment

Friday, April 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM–4:30 PM PDT
Harbourfront Ballroom
Session Description

It seems that whenever women on the internet dare to speak about social issues they are met with violent, aggressive, and often invasive attacks. These large-scale sexist harassment campaigns targeting women have seen a sharp increase in recent years.
Because of her work on women in games, Anita Sarkeesian has become the ongoing target of a massive, vicious harassment campaign. In this talk, she will share her experiences to help define and deconstruct how these hostile cyber mobs operate and offer some insights into why gendered harassment is so prevalent. She will also discuss the severe consequences to the women targeted and the larger community. Anita will conclude with some steps to help us move towards more inclusive digital spaces for all people.


Anita Sarkeesian

Anita Sarkeesian is an award-winning media critic and the creator and Executive Director of Feminist Frequency, an educational nonprofit that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces. Anita earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies at California State University Northridge and her Master’s degree in Social and Political Thought at York University.

Anita lectures and presents at universities, conferences, and game development studios internationally. She has been a guest panelist at the United Nations and a guest speaker at various fan, media, and technology conferences including XOXO, The Media Evolution Conference, Women in the World, and GeekGirlCon. Anita has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Colbert Report.

Anita was named one of TIME's 100 most influential people in the world, was the recipient of the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award, was given the 2013 honorary award from the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers, and was nominated for Microsoft’s 2014 Women in Games Ambassador Award. In 2016 Anita was awarded an honorary PhD from The New School in New York City.