Since 1980, 3000 native Canadian women have been murdered/gone missing. Indigenous women are five times more likely than other women to die as a result of violence. Sixty percent of known perpetrators are white men.Justice for all Indigenous Women! by Jessica Sabogal | Montréal
Despite push from the UN for a national inquiry, Canada continues to largely ignore the violence against Native Women. x
Anita Sarkeesian, whose excellent Tropes vs Women in Video Games series is an important contribution to the discussion of gender and games, has been driven from her home by enraged male gamers whose stalking, and explicit, credible threats of sexual violence against her and her family convinced her to go into hiding.
In so doing, these men have ably demonstrated the point Sarkeesian sought to make all along: that gaming is riddled with misogynistic violence, and that this violence reflects a real-world misogyny rampant within the gaming world.
Trolls drive Anita Sarkeesian out of her house to prove misogyny doesn’t exist [Adi Robertson/The Verge]
VidCon’s agenda went live recently, and I found myself curious about the degree of equal gender* representation – of the conference generally, but especially of the panels. Panels are a platform, literally, given to people perceived as legitimate and qualified to give advice; they’re a quick measure of whose opinions we value on what topics. And the representation of women on these panels is horrifyingly low.
As with everything related to media, representation matters. The lack of women on these panels both reflects and perpetrates a refusal to acknowledge the validity of women’s voices, experiences, and expertise. This is especially dangerous given the statistically young and female demographic who’ll be watching these panels at VidCon. VidCon could be an opportunity to catalyze a shift towards valuing everyone instead of, overwhelmingly, cis white men… But if the People In Charge ever DO decide to live up to that moral obligation, they certainly won’t be doing so at this year’s conference.
Below is a full list of which panels fit into the categories detailed in the above charts. If you don’t feel like reading that entire list, here are a few “highlights”:
- Of the 4 all-women panels, all 4 of them are heavily gendered: “Beauty Bloggers”; “Women on YouTube”; “Starting A Beauty Channel”; “A Focus on Beauty”
- Of five panelists, there are 0 women on the “Online Gaming Strategies” panel
- Of eight panelists, there are 0 women on the “Faceless Channels” panel
- Of seven panelists, there is 1 woman on the “YouTube and Your Music Career” panel
- Of eight panelists, there is 1 woman on the “Writing Comedy for YouTube” panel
* a similar report on the representation of POC on VidCon panels will be coming shortly. Spoiler alert: it’s even worse than this one.
FULL LIST OF PANELS**:
I participated on 4 panels/discussions this year: “Women on YouTube,” “Education + Entertainment: Is it possible?,” “Sexism on YouTube,” and The Brain Scoop Q&A.
There is a lot that can be changed and improved about the makeup of the panels at a convention as large and far-reaching as VidCon. I understand scheduling is a complicated process, but having the “Women on YouTube” panel occur at the same time as “The Future of Online Video” left a bitter taste in my mouth. While I’m proud to sit on a panel with some of my personal heroes and friends on “Education + Entertainment,” I can’t help but feel a sense of awkwardness at being the only woman up there. My opinions do not represent the entirety of women educators in online video.
We also run into a frustrating problem with feeling as though we’re preaching to the choir on the “Sexism” and “Women on YT” panels - while those may arguably some of the most important discussions occurring during the convention, we’re not attracting audiences that otherwise wouldn’t be inspired to attend. When I went to ScienceOnline the first 4 hours of the conference was devoted to issues of gender and race representation inequality - so if you didn’t go to any panels you were actively choosing not to participate in the first quarter of the conference. I’m not suggesting we force people to go to a panel they don’t want to - but structuring the timing of these discussions in such a way sends an encouraging message of support from the convention organizers. It is powerful.
Next year, it’d be great to see “Women on YouTube” on the mainstage. I would love to have a few men participate in the discussion. Let’s not see the ‘Future of Online Video’ represented solely by men. When you ask how you can help women reach a more equal platform, the answer is that you speak up, and you participate. We need your voices.
"Some women are lost in the fire. Some women are built from it."
[audible gasp] they included Michonne and Clementine!!!
Hermione punching Draco <3
Final for my Time Arts class. Nothing gets you in touch with your own anger quite like listening to this and thinking about all the times you’ve been objectified and belittled.
this is amazing
i love sir patrick stewart more with each passing day.
See, guys. This is how you do it. Notice the words “Not all men are like that” are never spoken.
I get this completely irrational and projected feeling that Patrick Stewart figured something out when he was 65 that he needed to figure out his whole life and that made him finally able to be happy and it makes me so happy to see him happy I just want to cuddle the idea of his happiness.
DAVIS: I know. It really does boggle the mind. In family films and kids television shows, for every one female character, there are three male characters. But lest people think that it’s all bad news, we were able to see an increase in the percentage of female characters in family films, such that if we add female characters at the rate we have been for the past 20 years, we will achieve parity in 700 years.
DAVIS: And my institute, we have dedicated ourselves to cutting that in half. And we will not rest until it’s only 350 years.
LYDEN: Why is this the case?
DAVIS: My theory is that since all anybody has seen when they are growing up is this big imbalance that the movies that they’ve watched are about, let’s say, five-to-one as far as female presence is concerned. That’s what starts to look normal. And let’s think about in difference segments of society - 17 percent of cardiac surgeons are women, 17 percent of tenured professors are women. It just goes on and on. And isn’t that strange that that’s also the percentage of women in crowd scenes in movies? What if we’re actually training people to see that ratio as normal so that when you’re an adult, you don’t notice?
LYDEN: I wonder what the impact is of all of this lack of female representation.
DAVIS: We just heard a fascinating and disturbing study where they looked at the ratio of men and women in groups. And they found that if there’s 17 percent women, the men in the group think it’s 50-50. And if there’s 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.
LYDEN: Oh, my goodness.
DAVIS: So is it possible that 17 percent women has become so comfortable and so normal that that’s just sort of unconsciously expected?
LYDEN: Why else, Geena Davis, do these kinds of disparities matter?
DAVIS: What we’re in effect doing is training children to see that women and girls are less important than men and boys. We’re training them to perceive that women take up only 17 percent of the space in the world. And if you add on top of that that so many female characters are sexualized, even in things that are aimed at little kids, that’s having an enormous impact as well.
It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions? How often had I sped past them as I learned of male achievement and men’s place in the history books? Then I read Rosalind Miles’s book “The Women’s History of the World” (recently republished as “Who Cooked the Last Supper?”) and I knew I needed to look again. History is full of fabulous females who have been systematically ignored, forgotten or simply written out of the records. They’re not all saints, they’re not all geniuses, but they do deserve remembering.