It’s here! It’s finally here! The trailer for Jordan Owen and Davis Aurinini’s documentary that will supposedly expose Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian as a fraud and the devil of video gaming is live and it is just as gloriously terrible as it ever promised to be.
Let’s poke it with a stick, shall we? Here's the most cringe-worthy moments in the Sarkeesian Effect trailer.
7. “On Paper I am a White Nationalist”
The trailer opens with various clips of news anchors talking about Sarkeesian and #GamerGate and right off the bat there’s something off about it. It took me about three watches to get it but most of the people featured talking about Sarkeesian are people of color. Melissa Harris-Perry gets the most screentime from the early montage. Normally this is something to applaud, greater diversity in media and all, but considering that Davis Aurini is widely seen as a white nationalist it sort of feels like “the minorities are manipulating the media to sell you this con artist.”
To Owen and Aurini’s credit they did find a few minorities to interview but the people that appear in the trailer are overwhelmingly white male.
6. The W-Word
The first person interviewed for the film that appears in the trailer is author/economist Aaron Clarey, and the very first sentence he says contains the word “whore”. Yes, angry commenters heading to call me corrupt, Clarey is speaking about prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto, but considering the charges most often labeled against Sarkeesian’s detractors are sexism and misogyny don’t you think it might have been better to edit that bit out? Certainly not make it the part of the first statement we hear from your side.
5. The Continued Failure to Understand Comments Sections
Probably the dumbest charge Sarkeesian gets is that she shuts down criticism and censorship because she closes the comments section on her YouTube videos (The fact that this means she also doesn’t see support that way never seems to come up). Game developer Jason Miller repeats the claim that this enables Sarkeesian to be “right” because she never hears criticism. Conveniently this ignores that you can comment on her Twitter and Facebook, not to mention that there are hours and hours of video on YouTube of people telling her how wrong they think she is and THE FREAKIN’MOVIE WE ARE WATCHING THE TRAILER FOR THAT DOES THAT AS WELL!
Seriously, one of the descriptions the trailer makes of Sarkeesian is that she’s a critic that can’t be criticized in a film doing exactly that.
4. Oh Paul Elam
One of Houston’s greatest shames and the head cheese of the Men’s Power Advocacy website A Voice For Men accuses Sarkeesian of focusing on money first and ideology seconded. In related news, here’s Paul Elam admitting that he pockets AVFM donations for his own living expenses. Again, you couldn’t find anyone with slightly more integrity to pull out the old chestnut that this is all a money making scheme? At least Sarkeesian declares how her money is spent in an annual report.
3. Jim Goad Misses the Point
There is something so amazingly transcendental about watching two white dudes roll their eyes at the concept of things like micro-aggression that they will never, ever experience. Writer Jim Goad dismisses the concept as irrelevant because “do they even have that in Sub-Saharan Africa?” You know what else they don’t have in Sub-Saharan Africa, Jim? The luxury of time and availability to make a living writing for a Libertarian online magazine so maybe we should stop dismissing other people’s thoughts simply because they aren’t the absolute worst thing going on in the world.
Side note: If you ever see two men questioning whether an aspect of sexism even exists to each other, trust me, it does.
2. No Skulls
Davis Aurini is famous for making sure human skulls are randomly in the background of his YouTube videos, and object of great hilarity to those of us who understand how high school edgy that is. There are none in the trailer, depriving me of much joy. Maybe you can’t take them on a plane or something.
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1. The Cliffhanger is Hilariously Ridiculous
The trailer ends with Jordan Owen standing outside a building claiming that it is the address that is listed on the Feminist Frequency tax return, implying that we’re going to see something monumentally shocking about her business. Being a registered non-profit that information is available free from the government by the way, and I went and looked it up… it’s service that allows you to receive mail. Regular PO Boxes can only receive USPS, but this service allows for UPS, etc.
In short, it’s a fancy post office box. Of course it is. She’s Anita Sarkeesian. Do you really think she’s going to have an office address made public with the sort of things that get sent her way just on the Internet? The biggest reveal that The Sarkeesian Effect teases in its trailer is that she forwards her mail… this really is going to be the God’s Not Dead of documentaries, isn’t it? Check it out below.