"Calling the derision of Anita Sarkeesian rational debate is an insult to both her and the idea of debating ideas." Writing for The New Statesman, Ian Steadman gives a thorough and well-reasoned rebuttal of many of the most popular arguments raised against feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian ever since she started her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series.

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The essay is admirable for how handily it counters the extreme rhetoric and violent behavior that Sarkeesian's detractors use to decry her work. But, perhaps more importantly, this is a touching, heartfelt cry for a more reasoned and mutually respectful debate about gender and sexism in the modern video game industry. We could all stand to learn a thing or two about that, I think. Please give the piece a close read.

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DISCUSSION

See, this bugs me quite a bit. Back when she released her first video, I felt there were some problems with it, so, as best I could, I explained why I felt that way. People chose to take it as "concern trolling," and much, much worse. Her defenders, at the time, remind me of the same people who attack and deride her.

So it's a bit hard for me to swallow the idea that any criticism of her work is inherently irrational and wrong. Because it isn't. She's got some pretty severe problems in what she's saying that I feel needs addressing. But... no, I can't. I'm not allowed to speak. Because anyone who criticizes her is a bad, bad person who musn't say anything.

I only care about good storytelling. That's my only investment in this. I think Sarkeesian raises some valid points, but I think she also raises some which promote bad storytelling, and I think we need to talk about that.