Web series review: Feminist Frequency
Anita Sarkeesian's throught-provoking videos explore female representation in pop culture
Are you one of the 29 million people who bought the new Grand Theft Auto? If so, you’ve probably spent a significant amount of the past month thinking about it. But what do we really think about when we think about video games? Games are an intrinsic part of our pop culture, but we don’t often stop to think about what they’re teaching us about gender and power.
So began Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency, a series of videos exploring female representation in pop culture. The first triptych of ‘Tropes vs Women’ videos discuss the theme of the damsel in distress, covering the spectrum from 90s classics Earthworm Jim and The Secret of Monkey Island to rebooted platformers Mario and Donkey Kong – and, of course, GTA.
The videos lay out their points succinctly and are enjoyable to watch as well as thought-provoking. Sarkeesian has been subjected to a strong online response from other gamers, but as with all controversial statements, it’s often best to watch them yourself before choosing a side. Whether you agree or disagree with Sarkeesian’s views, there’s no doubt that these videos encourage a deeper engagement with the narratives we consume.