So it’s been about a month since feminist activist Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel a speaking event at Utah State University due to the school refusing to take security measures after threat someone made about shooting her and everyone that attended the event as well. Anita Sarkeesian, as I may have mentioned her before in one of my other posts, is a popular culture critic who explores sexism in video games.
However because she is so outspoken about her criques of sexism she often finds in some video games, she is often the victim of very harsh criticism from the gaming community, even unfortunately to the extent having to disable comments on her Youtube videos because of threats of violence, rape, and murder where her home address was even posted a few times. However about a month ago as Anita was planning to speak Utah State University, the school received an email a few days prior to her speaking saying “This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history, and I’m giving you a chance to stop it,” in which the person went on to say that they also possessed several semi-automatic weapons and pipe bombs made as well.
When Anita was made aware of this threat to her and the patrons planning on attending her event, she requested that Utah State University take security measures such as providing metal detectors, pat downs, bag checks for everyone attending the event. Unfortunately Utah State University refused to provide such security measures because they felt that such security measures would violate people’s open carry rights where students can legally carry firearms on them on campus. Therefore in order to ensure the safety of herself and others who attended the event, Anita was left with no other option but to cancel her event.
Though I am aware that Utah State University did this to uphold the open carry policies of the state, I also feel that they were more concerned with upholding the state’s open carry policies than they were about Anita being able to safely speak about her work in researching sexism in video games. In other words, I feel as though they were more concerned about people temporarily giving up their right to openly carry a firearm than they were about Anita’s right to speak safely at an event without her life or others being put in danger. I’m still quite outraged about this because in honest opinion is wrong of Utah State University to not provide security measures to ensure the safety of patrons and Anita just because they would rather allow people to openly carry firearms during the event. Regardless, I hope Anita continues to speak out against the sexism she finds in video games and that other schools take measures to protect her and other, and she continues spreading her message without experiencing any violence.