Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Anita Sarkeesian’s ‘Feminist Frequency’ to shut down completely in 2024

Feminist Frequency – the award-winning non-profit from Anita Sarkeesian – is officially shutting down in early 2024.

Anita Sarkeesian originally created Feminist Frequency back in 2009, where her YouTube videos analyzed, examined, and criticized the ways women were portrayed and treated in video games through a feminist lens. Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs Women series often looked at different tropes within media, such as the damsel in distress, women as rewards, and the sexy lamplight theory.

Speaking to Polygon about her departure and the ceasing of operations, Sarkeesian stated her reasoning for ending Feminist Frequency was because of burnout. “I can’t vacation that off. I can’t offload that anymore.” This isn’t at all surprising, considering the overwhelming amount of hatred that followed Sarkeesian and her team at Feminist Frequency throughout the years, from 2009 to even now — where a sleuth of bigotry and ignorance has been levelled at the non-profit even on their goodbye post. It cannot be understated just how terrible Sarkeesian and her team were often treated, with incidences such as

Yet despite this wave of hate, Sarkeesian and the team have made a name for themselves in providing resources and help for the video game community. One such resource is the creation of the Games and Online Harassment Hotline in 2020, which allowed people in the USA to get support from online hatred and offered help for streamers who may have been doxxed. Unfortunately, this operation will, too, be closing down by the end of September. Once it is shut down by September 30, Programs Manager Jae Lin will continue to operate its accountability support space ReSpec, and the website will stay live with critical resources for building a safer games culture. 

Other changes include Feminist Frequency’s podcast, Feminist Frequency Radio – which will continue with co-host Kat Spada at the helm. Other resources such as the Tropes vs Women series will be readily available indefinitely.

As for Sarkeesian, she’ll be taking time away from the spotlight to recover. What comes next for her, professionally, remains to be seen.

With over 15 years making important and significant changes within the games industry, Feminist Frequency may be shutting down, but its impact in making video games more inclusive will never be forgotten.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.