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Deferring to Jay Smooth on trolls

by Shari Graydon
Don’t take my word for it… On the retrograde troll front, I defer to hip hop DJ and vlogger, Jay Smooth, who recently weighed in on the classic, cautionary Internet story involving media critic, Anita SarkeesianHe offers a compelling and persuasive analysis of an issue I’ve tackled before— but does so from a distinctly male gamer perspective.

My favourite line — and the one most relevant to Informed Opinions — is this: 

When you bully and harass a woman for speaking her mind, all you do is show us that you’re afraid of that woman’s voice and you don’t think you can beat her intellectually without using a cheat code.

A videoblogger herself, Sarkeesian had launched a Kickstarter campaign in May to raise money for a new series of videos about sexist stereotyping in video games (a subject ripe for critique, if there ever was one).

Predictably, the anti-women troll community (many of them avid gamers) went into overdrive, responding with the kind of hate and vitriol now familiar to anyone who spends time in comment sections inspired by articles, commentary or, apparently, funding appeals by women with opinions.

The irony — and we’re really celebrating this — is that the misogynist spewing fueled an astonishingly supportive backlash. Although Sarkeesian asked for only $6,000 worth of funding, she ended up with $158,922!

Now if only there were a way for other progressive writers and media makers, male and female, to harness that same energy.

Jesse Brown, who blogs on technology for Maclean’s, summed up the good news/bad news nature of this event in How misogynist trolls accidentally funded feminism, also worth a look.

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