Many of you are probably following this story, an offshoot of the insane outpouring of misogyny known as GamerGate. The latest news is that Anita Sarkeesian decided to cancel her speech at Utah State University yesterday. A news article from the Salt Lake Tribune explains:
A nationally known feminist media critic said Wednesday that “it would be irresponsible” to give a lecture amidst mass shooting threats at Utah State University, knowing that police would not screen for weapons at the door.
In a phone interview from San Francisco, Anita Sarkeesian said she canceled Wednesday’s lecture not because of three death threats — one of which promised “the deadliest school shooting in American history” — but because firearms would be allowed in spite of the threats.
“That was it for me,” said Sarkeesian, who has kept multiple speaking engagements in the face of death threats, including one last week at Geek Girl Con in Seattle. “If they allowed weapons into the auditorium, that was too big a risk.”
She also pledged never to speak at a Utah school until firearms are prohibited on Utah’s campuses and called for other lecturers to join her in boycotting the state.
Wait–why would any sane polity or university let guns into a university lecture hall?
Oh, yeah: “USU officials also pointed to a 2004 state law preventing public universities from restricting guns. Sarkeesian said she asked for metal detectors or pat-downs at the entrance of the Taggart Student Center auditorium, but USU police said they could not prevent those in attendance from carrying weapons into the lecture if they had concealed weapons permits.” Right: people with guns have rights that people armed only with ideas don’t. So liberal concealed- and open-carry laws end up shutting down unarmed feminists and amplifying the ideas of people like this:
The most detailed threat, which has prompted an FBI investigation, does not identify as a GamerGate action but rather a USU student attacking feminism.
“We live in a nation of emasculated cowards too afraid to challenge the vile, misandrist harpies who seek to destroy them,” the threat stated. “Feminism has taken over every facet of our society, and women like Sarkeesian want to punish us for even fantasizing about being men. This is why I’ve chosen to target her. Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman, and she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU. I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”
(Why are you “fantasizing about being men?” Are you not a man? What “punishment” do you fear? Can you not function as a man IRL? So what part of that is the fault of feminism in general, or of Anita Sarkeesian in particular?)
What a pathetic little $hit. His threats are probably as impotent as the rest of of him, but I completely understand why Sarkeesian cancelled her speech at USU. This is a prime example of how supposedly neutral liberal gun laws empower only certain people and silence only certain ideas. Because of the historic association of gun ownership with men, especially white men, in states like Utah and Colorado they now have the power to shut down women speakers whose ideas they dislike, especially feminist women.
As the kids today say: it’s a feature, not a bug!