I don’t tend to be someone who dwells on my achievements and accomplishments much. In fact, I have friends who like to troll me by telling me statements of fact about myself and watching me writhe in discomfort as I attempt to disclaim those facts. There’s also the issue that I prefer to avoid things that could be seen as gloating, because there are lots of people (dudes) out there who already think I’m “conceited” and “arrogant” enough without me adding fuel to the fire. But today marks the sixth anniversary of my very first post on Go Make Me a Sandwich, which is the sort of landmark that provokes a fair amount of introspection. And while I can deflect compliments with the best of them, it’s impossible to deny that this blog has made a difference, and that I have achieved a number of things through writing it that I will always be proud of.
In the six years since I started it, Go Make Me a Sandwich has amassed more than 2.3 million views. Since ending my hiatus in 2014 and restarting this blog as a Patreon-supported blog, I’ve gone from an initial 17 patrons to a current count of 105 patrons – which puts me in the top 4.7% of all creators on Patron (43,788 total creators at the time of writing this post, according to Graphtreon) by number of patrons. The things that I’ve written here have been read and promoted by a variety of industry thought leaders – publishers, activists, and critics.
The visibility gained through this blog has helped me accomplish a number of things outside of this blog that I’m even more proud of:
- The things I’ve written here have affected how publishers approach art direction. I’ve worked directly with Paul and Shannon Riddle on improving art for Undying and am currently doing art direction for Katanas & Trenchcoats. I’ve also done consulting work for Wizards of the Coast regarding portrayals of women in D&D products. And those are just games that I’ve talked directly with the creators about.
- The post that I wrote about my experience of sexual assault at GenCon led to me being able to connect with GenCon leadership, who subsequently implemented a harassment policy. I’ve also worked with Pelgrane Press and co-authored their 13th Age event harassment policy.
- While I certainly can’t take credit for something that took years and the hard work of many to accomplish, I know that the posts that I’ve made here and the conversations that I pushed around diversity of GenCon’s Industry Insider lineup were part of the reason why GenCon was able to smash the old gender disparity of its Featured Presenters in such dramatic fashion this year.
- My work here also enabled me to actually be an Industry Insider this year, where I sat on panels with game industry and culture luminaries like Wes Schneider, Katherine Cross, Ken Hite, and Nicole Lindroos.
All of that is great! And incredibly satisfying! But that stuff isn’t nearly important to me as the conversations I’ve had with women who have given me their sincere thanks while telling me heartbreaking stories about themselves and their experiences in the community. I struggle with imposter syndrome and lack of self-esteem, so in my lowest moments I have a tendency to dismiss my own work as angrily yelling my feelings at the internet – which is something that anyone can do. (I mean, just look at Twitter.) But that is doing myself a disservice, because there is something inherently radical about being a woman who expresses feelings about games openly and without apology. I know, because there are so many women who have told me that I have said things that they either didn’t have the ability to say, the courage to say, or the words to say it in. And that means more to me than all the rest, because those big quantifiable achievements feel remote and abstract, whereas the real human feeling behind these conversations I’ve had is something that feels “real” and important.
While it is undeniable that my blog has resulted in positive change in some parts of the games industry and community, that change has come at tremendous personal cost. First and foremost, it’s cost me my reputation; because of this blog, I will always be “controversial”. Go Make Me a Sandwich started as a personal project, something that I started as a hobby because I wanted to write about something that was a growing area of interest for me. By the time it took off, the damage was done; my Google Rank has inextricably tied my name to feminism forever, and that can be dangerous. It’s certainly translated into a level of difficulty in my meatspace life that I never anticipated before starting this blog.
Writing this blog has also taken a tremendous toll on my mental health. The backlash that I’ve faced because of what I do here has been terrifying. When the level of rhetoric being used against you is the same as what was sufficient to launch a hate movement against Zoe Quinn, that is incredibly unnerving. When there are men who seriously argue to their fans that I am a bigoted anti-gay lunatic, that I am literally destroying gaming, that I am an evil cancer on the games industry that no moral person should support… When professional artists sic their fans on me to get me to shut up and stop criticizing a thing that they like and I get 29,000 views in 24 hours from people desperate to tell me what an ignorant judgemental cunt I am… When someone hates me so much that they write 11,000 words in a single week about what a terrible person I am… It’s impossible not to look at women like Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu and know that however bad what I’ve gone through feels, it has the potential to get a million times worse. And really, there are only so many times that you can read horrible things about yourself before it starts to take a toll – especially when the things people say are so detestable. The misogynist backlash I’ve gotten isn’t the only thing that caused my anxiety, but it was definitely a primary factor in me developing anxiety. Anxiety which I now get to keep, which will be with me for the rest of my life.
For those of you with no experience of anxiety, it would be impossible for me to convey to you how immense a cost that is. Anxiety is a hole I have spent two years climbing out of. It has damaged friendships, tested my marriage, and at times makes me too physically sick to function or take care of myself for weeks on end. I wrestle daily with wanting to get back to the person that I was before anxiety and knowing that person is gone forever. The genie is out of the bottle, and anxiety is my life now.
So the question becomes: how do I weigh the good that this blog has achieved in the face of everything that it has cost me? And increasingly, I’ve been feeling like the benefits that this blog achieves are not worth the costs, and I know that it shows in my work. When I first started writing Go Make Me a Sandwich, I wrote because it was a subject that I was passionate about – and my earliest work, while it reflects a lot of problematic ideas and lack of education around certain issues – reflects an energy and enthusiasm for the subject I haven’t felt for a long time. Over time, however, that passion was eroded in the face of misogynist hatred, and comedy became a tool that I used less and less, because it just got too hard to find the humor most of the time. When that happened, I still stuck with it, because I believed that my blog was important and because I was helping to make a difference. And when that stopped holding water as a reason to keep moving forward, I tried to hang on to my sense of obligation to my daughter – to make gaming a safe space for her to exist in and play games in – as a motivation to keep going.
But the reality is that I’m only one person. The years of sexist abuse for the simple crime of being a woman who has opinions about games have taken their toll, and for the past several months I have been wrestling with the dilemma: do I go or do I stay? Because much as I believe in what I do, I’m only one person, and my resources are finite.
Wrestling with all of this is why I recently observed on Twitter:
Real talk: the gaming community is misogynist. It grinds down women and spits them out. Especially women who do work as creators or critics. The backlash you get as a woman for daring to take up intellectual space is horrific. Inevitably, some women reach a point where they can’t take anymore and they quit and/or leave the community altogether. But it’s not a “loss” when a woman decides to leave. She is not obligated to sacrifice her health for the perceived greater good.
To which I received this incredibly cogent response:
And friends? That is some cold, hard, brutal, honest motherfucking TRUTH right there. And it is exactly why the idea of trying to keep up the good fight feels hopelessly futile. The known abusers? They’re all still here. They’ve harassed people out of the industry, or out of the community entirely – lots of people. Good people, whose voices I still miss keenly and whose absence is a blow to the state of game design. But the abusers are still here. Still lionized, still engaged with, still celebrated, still excused. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard apologists for my primary harasser begin a sentence in his defense with “he’s an asshole, but…” I certainly wouldn’t need to worry about pinching pennies quite as often as I do now.
There are SO. MANY. PEOPLE. Who know that the harassers and abusers are harassers and abusers and just don’t care. Because, you know, they do good work and it’s not a problem that affects them. You have to separate art from the artist and all that. Anything to justify the fact that they are actively rooting for the status quo, and the status quo is one that harms and traumatizes women and other marginalized people right out of gaming.
Or because they just don’t have a horse in the race. They don’t want to pick “sides” or get wrapped up in “another argument on the internet”, so they say nothing and their silence speaks for them. My internet is full of the silence of men who can’t be bothered to defend the targets of this kind of abuse. There are so many men in our community who know about the treatment I have received and who have never said anything publicly, not even once. In their ringing silence, I hear only indifference to my suffering and am reminded that I will always be seen as less because of my gender, and I will never be able to change that. And because of that, it will always be my responsibility to fight my own oppression.
There are also those who know about the abuse and choose to believe that the abusers aren’t the problem. The real problem is me: my feelings about my experiences of marginalization and harassment and how I express them. There are many in our community who think that it’s a bigger problem that I’m not nice about my feelings toward my abusers than it is that I’m being abused. So instead of holding the abusers accountable for their abuse, which is known and well-documented, they instead decide to publicly castigate me for committing the womanly sin of having feelings about a thing incorrectly.
All of that shit right there is why writing this blog feels like pissing into the wind. Because for the abusers, there are no negative consequences. They’re able to leverage the controversy generated by my existence into increased sales and awards, while for me the consequences are always negative. There is only ever a progressive, steady toll on my health, sanity, and relationships. I might succeed in changing things behind the scenes at a few gaming companies, or at affecting the lineup of speakers at a single convention, or seeing harassment policies implemented at a handful of conventions and events. But none of that does anything to change the daily lived reality of what it means to be a woman in games.
People have told me more times than I can count that I’m “brave” for writing this blog. I’m “brave” for being open about my feelings and experiences, and I’m “brave” for saying what I think without apologizing or minimizing in any way. And to them, I always say the same thing: I’m not brave! I’m stupid. Doing what I do is like beating my head against a brick wall on a daily basis. Every once in a while, I might knock a tiny chip off the wall, and people may applaud and say, “look! Progress!”. But ultimately, nothing I do is every going to seriously harm the wall, but it will seriously harm me if I keep at it long enough.
Worse than the abusers, the indifferent, and the apologists, however, is getting blindsided by people I trusted. People who I thought had my back, who told me that they wanted me to succeed and then threw me under the bus because it was politically expedient. I’m controversial, after all. And a self-admitted crazy person. And I’m not nice.
At least with the abusers, the indifferent, and the apologists, I know what to expect. After a while, it gets easy to prepare yourself emotionally to read what someone is going to write about you when you know what camp they fall into. “Oh okay, that’s just the abuser party line with a few new tweaks. No big.” Or, “oh look, silence from that whole corner of my internet again, despite everything going down right now. I see where their priorities are, but whatever.” Or, “oh sure, whatever you need to tell yourself to be okay with the fact that you’d rather support a known abuser than possibly maybe have to be uncomfortable or actually do something.”
But when you think you know where someone stands, you think that they wish you well and they unexpectedly side with your abusers… that pain is indescribable. And, unfortunately, not unique. It’s happened many times in the past, nor do I have any reason to believe that it wouldn’t also happen many times in the future.
All of which leads me to an inescapable conclusion: I can’t keep doing this. It is bad for me. I have to stop.
Before Origins, I ended up crying in a bathroom as I chatted with friends online about the vitriolic response to a thing that I’d written. It made me doubt myself so much that I actually wondered if it would be worthwhile going to Origins. Would I even be welcome there? (Spoiler alert: I was.) Fast forward two months to a different crisis before a different convention, which saw me crying for more than a week in the runup to that convention. Truth is, I’ve done a lot of crying about my blog in the past year. But I didn’t let myself think about that, because I had to keep moving forward. I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I had to keep my head above water and just. Keep. Fighting.
Or at least that’s how I was approaching things until several weeks ago, when the final straw happened. As is the way with such things, it was so small. Such a quiet thing those most community insiders, even, probably missed. Really, it doesn’t even matter what the event was. What matters is that it represented a tipping point – the moment in which I finally had to confront the fact that I haven’t felt passionate about what I do here for a long, long time. And for most of this year, I’ve felt only resentment. That this stupid blog has cost me so much, and I feel trapped by it. A victim of my own success – forever tarnished by my connection to it, and yet dependent on the income it provides, that I require because of the damage it’s done to my reputation. (See what a vicious cycle that is?) The final straw made me realize that I don’t want to do this anymore, and indeed, that I was rapidly approaching a point where I couldn’t do it anymore.
Of course, this is made harder by the fact that I hate losing. And there will be people who will celebrate, people who call this a victory, which only intensifies my feelings of defeat. My feelings of weakness. I feel like I’m giving up, and it kills me because I’m competitive! I’m contrary! Telling me not to do a thing is enough to make me want to do the thing. I don’t give up on things and I hate losing. But in this situation, I have to accept that there is no winning play. No win condition. I’m one person at war with an entire culture, and there just aren’t enough people who give a damn, and I’m not willing to continue sacrificing my health and well-being on the altar of moral obligation. If this fight is so important, then let someone else fight it for a while.
I hate feeling like I’m letting my patrons down. My patrons are wonderful, amazing, supportive, generous people, without whose support I never would have been able to accomplish half of what I’ve done here.
I hate feeling that I’m playing into a generational story of defeat. My mother was run out of STEM because of sexism, ruining a career as a brilliant research chemist. She has her name on 12 patents! And the fact that I couldn’t persevere makes me feel hopeless. How can I tell my daughter that she can achieve anything of meaning when I have only stories of defeat to offer her? How can I tell her that she can beat the odds when her mother and her grandmother are both strong women who have been ground down into silence?
MY WHOLE GODDAMN LIFE I’ve been told that I was “too much”. Too loud. Too opinionated. Too brash. Too arrogant. Too abrasive. Too bossy. My whole life, people have been trying to shove me into a box that I just don’t fit in, no matter how hard I try – the box of proper womanhood. This blog was my place where I could be ME. Unapologetically. Loudly. Defiantly! And walking away from that feels like walking away from part of myself.
It feels like climbing into the box voluntarily.
It feels like capitulation. Like surrender.
I’m sorry I couldn’t be stronger.
44 thoughts on “You say hello”
Big support here with whatever you decide to do – I certainly wouldn’t want you to keep fighting this battle on a front that’s costing you dearly when you’ve already achieved so much. Similarly, nobody should be disappointed you haven’t made this a fight to the death or single-handedly fixed everything, and I hope part of this blog’s legacy is that more RPG fans/creators take an active role in demanding better from the hobby.
I know it’s incredibly frustrating to see known awful people being not just tolerated but lauded as people willfully ignore the clear evidence of harassment out there – I wish I had a solution for that. Seems that nobody does, but you have done far more than most to work toward it and make gaming more inclusive and I’m happy that my patreon bucks have been a part of that. Good luck with The Watch, and whatever else you end up making afterwards!
I’m sorry to see your blog stop, I enjoyed it since I found out about it (via We Hunted the Mammoth iirc). But I fully respect your choice and I’m glad you took the time to explain it instead of just disappearing. I was happy to support you on Patreon, and I hope the money wasn’t too much of an incentive to keep doing something you started to hate.
Take care of yourself, but maybe consider that blogging isn’t the only way to engage with the culture. Maybe there are other ways to continue the good work that you do in ways that expose you less vitriol.
Also remember that you are NOT alone. This is both depressing (i.e. a lot of other women have made the same choice) but encouraging (you have/can find support networks).
Will you still use twitter e.g. to announce new projects of yours, or is this going to be a total social media freeze? I’d like to find out if you move on to something else.
I’m not leaving social media altogether. Although I imagine Twitter will be the only place I post publicly anymore. I’ll definitely be announcing The Watch when it’s a thing.
I keep trying to figure out the proper words here to express both my sadness at losing your blog, but also my complete support for you stepping away. It’s been a privilege to read your posts for six years, and I’m so glad I can call you an internet friend. I hope this move gives you some of the peace you’re seeking.
You did some wonderful things, both here and at conventions, and I’ll miss your voice for sure. You need to take care of yourself first though, and I fully support that.
If and when you decide you want another crack at it, the gaming industry will still be there—and probably still need cracking on. If not, you did far more than most, and you have plenty to be proud of. Thanks for it all.
Little I can say here, except “what Matt said”. The efforts you have made will continue to be appreciated. You have inspired others to do the same. Thank you.
Hey hon — this is a thing, and you did it. You don’t have to do it forever. Nobody does anything forever, as a matter of fact. If it’s time to move on to the next thing, then so be it. Do so, and know that you made a difference and there are people who will step up after you’ve moved on to something else. You don’t have to wreck yourself to continue something, no matter how good it’s been. This is okay, and I celebrate the things you’ve accomplished. You’ve done good.
Sad to see the blog closing, but totally understand your reasoning. Thanks for all the great, thought-provoking posts I’ve read here over the years.
For what it’s worth – not much I know – what you describe pains me as a gamer myself. It also makes me cross that being seen as a feminist is any sort of liability. I’m sorry you’ve gone through all this.
In addition, my daughter – 8 – is already starting to take part in roleplaying and is planning to GM her first steampunk adventure. So I would also like to thank you on her behalf for your efforts in making the gaming community a better place for people like her. There’s no dishonor in stepping out and letting somebody else take a turn in the trenches.
You’re amazing. I’ve read this blog for years, I should have commented more and said more words of encouragement – not that it would have changed anything, but just to let you know. You have done much good. You will continue to do much good: it is your nature.
I am so sorry to read this, and bitter too. Not at you, but precisely, as you say, at the fact that we’re not losing you, you are being pushed out. I am not an industry insider, I am not even really part of the gaming “community” – I love gaming but I don’t go to events or conventions, so I can only repeat what I have said in comments before, this time for the record: it was your blog, back in 2011, that caused me to realise for the first time that sexism isn’t some vague bad thing I am against in an abstract way, but a very real phenomenon that affects everyone, and that I as male am often complicit in. Feminism has since become an important aspect of how I view society and go about daily situations, and it was here, on your gaming blog, that I first started really thinking about it.
Thank you for that. Whatever you decide, whatever you do next, you are more useful to us alive than dead, loud rather than silent. If you decide to stop blogging, it is sad, but I am certain your unique voice will always be there in your future projects.
It is TOTALLY OKAY to step out of the line of fire when it’s hitting you like this. There’s lots of us in the fray, and we can and will overcome, though it will continue to be slow and painful and resisted by the hateful bitter dinosaurs as much as they can manage. You are not alone.
Thank you for doing what you’ve done, thank you for being willing to fight some of the battles and for having the wisdom and bravery to know you can’t — and don’t have to — take them all on. This is not forever, this is not being cast down into the irrevocable chasm of defeat. This is you taking some time to rebuild and re-muster. Everyone does it.
So much love in my heart for you. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.
There’s no rule that says you have to do something forever or that you have to do it until all sexism is defeated. Ignorance and hate will always be around, but you played an important part in shedding light to just how awful and damaging this type of abuse is. If there is anything I can do or could have done to be a better support to you, please let me know. I definitely understand your frustration in being attacked with people just standing on the sidelines and letting it happen. It’s fucked up and beyond cowardly. I’m really proud of you and the work you’ve done. You’re are a kind, sensitive and beautiful person. I hope we can stay in touch and that you are able to deal with your anxiety and PTSD (believe me, I know how shitty these things are). If you ever wish to come back to share your views in your patented sharp and analytical way; there is always a space for you to do so. You’re not fighting this fight alone and again, I’m just really proud of you. You deserve a happy and healthy life with your husband and daughter. /hugs
Thank you for your thoughtful, necessary writing and all you have done to make the hobby a better, more inclusive, safer place. I hate the abuse you have been forced to deal with, and while you will be dearly missed, your happiness, health, and safety come first, always. Be well, be happy, and know that we will try our best to carry on your work and make you proud.
You’re stronger than you know and while your voice will be missed, the impact you have made already cannot be overstated.
Changing the paradigm of non-inclusion is not a fight any one of us can win; it is a group effort, a collaboration. The weight is not just upon you (though it likely feels that way!), but upon all of us. We will forge on, for a better world!
I hope to see you sometime at Origins; you’ll always have a seat at one of my game tables!
I’m so sorry, Anna. But everyone who’s saying you’re not *obligated* to do this, or to do it forever, is right. I’m heartbroken to see this, but you have to take care of yourself first.
You are exactly strong enough. You are also smart enough to fight the battles that will matter.
I am so grateful that even with this act, you’re giving me a visible lesson I needed to see.
Thank you so much.
Don’t be sorry. I have no connection to you really as I am not a gamer and so have only heard peripherally of this “controversial woman” on the Internet from friends. This is the first time I have seen your blog. I am sorry that it is going to be the only time, I guess. So.. from a complete outsider, but someone who is passionate about acknowledging and loudly talking about the rape culture and misogyny prevalent throughout our society, please, don’t be sorry. You did what you could when you could. People come and go. What you have contributed will not be forgotten and will not be without value. It will be built upon by others. Of that there is no doubt. You have begun to build a wall of your own that will oppose the wall you have been banging your head against. It will take many hands and lot of time to build that wall. So after you have time to grieve and pick yourself back up, be proud. You did your part well. Your daughter will think so too.
Take care and thank you
My heartfelt thanks for your post. I am sorry I never had the opportunity to bash some of your trolls beside you – I only discovered your blog today. Please be well, and know that I will always fight those trolls for you, for my wife,for my daughter, for every woman, and – primarily – for the sake of my own sanity.
Thank you so much for all you have done. You made a difference on a large scale, but I think that you may have achieved even more than you realize.
Here’s an example of what I mean: before I started reading you, when I picked pictures on the internet to illustrate PNjs, booplates bothered me, but only because they were unrealistic. Other than than, I looked past them. Now, I spend hours finding pictures that I like. I even considered learning to draw.
Then, there’s my 13 yrs-old daughter, who has been playing Guild Wars for 2 years, exclusively female characters. She has never read your posts. A few months ago, she started complaining about boobplates. And skin shades. And body shapes.
I can’t remember a specific conversation on the topic with her, although I certainly made off-hand comments, that I would not have made had I not read your posts in the first place. And I know that she now speaks her mind about that she plays online, or talks about online games with her schoolmates.
Small differences like these eventually add up to something bigger. You started something with your writing. And it has now a life of its own. Small differences will keep adding up, even after you quit. I will miss your voice, and be angry forever against those who silenced you. Still, I’m a better gamer and a better father than I was before I came to read you.
Thanks for that. Take care.
Trust me, you won. You’ve made your mark far and wide, and started a fire that won’t go out.
i can’t think of any reason why you would need to apologise. if anyone had to, it would be us. maybe we could have done more, could have fought more, could have supported you more. i know i’m sorry i didn’t do more to help. you most definitely don’t have anything to apologise for. your health, your happiness, your well-being comes first. always!
you have a lot to be proud of, the work you did was valuable to many people.
your blog helped me become aware of a lot of shit women face in gaming every day and i hope i am now more considerate and supportive because of it.
i wish you all the best,
I can’t believe you’ve had such an awesome blog all these years and I never once found it in all my late-night dives into feminist gaming media. You are absolutely 100% not any of those things you might be feeling right now (though it is also absolutely okay to be feeling them — anyone would!). You are, in fact, one of the reasons I’m still dabbling in martial arts and learning about this blog has just made you that much more amazing. And you are amazing. It’s okay to step back and heal and let others be on the front lines for a while. ❤
Holy crap, it’s been like a million years!
Did you know I married a former OW!er? 🙂
It has been a while! OW! left me with a bunch of great online friends. It’s wonderful when I can reconnect with another alum. I was actually pen-and-paper-through-the-mail penpals with your husband for a little while there waaaaayyyy back when. 🙂
Continuing to exist and thrive and add positive content to the world is the best victory, not continuing to fight over a space that is filled with bile. Stepping away is not a loss, not for you, not for anyone. It’s widening the path, not leaving it.
I don’t know if I want to write or play games anymore.
I’m sorry I didn’t do and say more to help.
I was too scared.
God damn me.
You don’t have to apologize for anything
Well, I’m sorry for posting that at least. I feel a bit better now.
I keep thinking of what you said about supporting women authors. I just want to pretend that “the industry” doesn’t exist except for a handful of decent people, even if that means never infringing on spaces run by white cismale terrorists.
I feel like those games and fandoms don’t deserve to exist if you’re not welcome there.
You did a lot of great things, and you will continue to do them. You started a great many things, and others will continue them. I hope, someday, you can come back to a safer, saner and healthier industry. Thank you for fighting as long as you have.
[…] a lot more on the original post, which you should read, because it underlines in very stark detail what the problem is and how […]
I break my vow of internet silence here,
I have followed your blog since it began and today I bid it farewell.
A boy of 14, straight, white, and cisgender, who has no mental illness or physical disability.
Who in short has no reason to be on this blog, except for this:
you made me better.
P.S Dark Souls, the game you once said you hoped was the best game ever, is quite close to being it.
I break my vow of internet silence here,
I have read your blog since it began and now I bid it farewell.
I am not L, G, B, T, Q, or A
I am white
I am 14
I have never been marginalized in any way, shape, or form.
In short, I have no reason to be reading your blog except for one:
I want to be a good person.
You made me one.
P.S. Dark Souls, a game you once offhandedly said you hoped would be the best game ever, came quite close to being so.
except for my accidental redundancy
[…] (5) LOST LIGHT. James Davis Nicoll sent this link with the note, “Female blogger silenced.” After six years in the fight, wundergeek’s (Anna Kreider) game industry blog Go Make Me a Sandwich (how not to sell games to women) is signing off. […]
Thanks for what you’ve done, Anna, which is no small thing. I’m glad you’re doing what you have to, to take care of yourself. I’m sorry people have been so shitty to you and I hope better times are to come for you.
Thank you for everything you’ve done, Anna. I edit for game companies, and the things you’ve written have helped me help make their games more inclusive. You’ve had an enormous and extremely positive effect that will continue to grow. Six years is a long time for this sort of work. You’ve left a strong legacy, one to be extremely proud of. Thank you for holding the torch high when it was hardest to do! There are many of us here who will take it up as you pass it along.
Thanks for all you’ve done. You’ve accomplished some great things. I don’t comment much but I’ve appreciated and learned from your posts. Thank you for all you’ve done.
Take care of yourself. Anxiety is hard, I know. Do what you need to. Cat Rambo says some really smart things I agree with.
May you find your passion and enthusiasm again. Best wishes for your future endeavors.
I’m tempted to use this post as blog fodder, but that seems pretty damn self-serving about something pretty damn personal.
Instead, I’ll just say that it’s a Goddamn shame. I just watched a televised debate between a strong, intelligent woman whose made a career of serving others and a dude who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near elected office. And while it’s a long-shot that he might actually win the presidency of the United States of America, the fact that so many people are passionately supporting this asshole makes me incredibly sad, angry, and disappointed. I mean the shit that comes out of this guy and his supporters…racist, misogynistic, privileged bullshit. Ignorance and being out-of-touch…hell, political maneuvering…doesn’t excuse the words and deeds that have been on display the last few weeks and months. To say it’s a poor reflection on my country…and on myself, as an American…is a gross understatement.
Trump, however, can only really offend my “delicate sensibilities.” I can only imagine how Hillary Clinton feels about the non-stop attacks she faces on a daily basis. Not that she hasn’t faced personal attacks for decades now, but she’s never been in the limelight as much as now. And, of course, social media wasn’t the same animal in the 90’s. To face the attacks…the hatred she does…must take a strength and a drive far beyond what I can imagine. Hard to imagine simple ambition being enough to muster such perseverance.
Per Carl Bernstein’s 2007 bibliography, Clinton was told “you are really stupid if you think a girl can be elected president.” This was in 1965, when she ran for (and lost) election for class president her senior year in high school. That was fifty years ago. There are millions of Americans who are still saying that (or thinking it) today. And living in South America the last two and a half years, I can say there are absolutely huge swaths of non-American humans who are just as backwards in their thinking if not more so.
It’s probably terribly unfair to compare your work as an artist, writer, blogger, and game designer to that of a career politician, civil servant, and activist. I should probably say there’s no shame in bowing out after all the good work you’ve done. As someone who’s never walked in your shoes…who CAN’T walk in your shoes (being a white male dude and all)…I have no idea what it is to be you, to be subjected to the shit you’ve had to put up with for the last six years. As a consequence, I suppose I have no right to ask you to continue your work: for your daughter, for my daughter, for yourself. Hell, for ME.
But fuck it. I’m a selfish bastard. I can’t do what you do, and I think you make a powerful difference in people’s lives. I wish you’d reconsider. I believe you’re stronger than you know.
And you WILL be missed.
You are the definition of the below quote. If anyone hassles you for walking away, ignore them, because what you’re actually doing is walking forward with the rest of your life. And that’s more important then any blog.
This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, YOU move.”
Maybe a better way to see things is that you’ve won your share of the great war against the malevolent side of masculinity and that’s as much as any one person can do in a lifetime. It’s time for others to pick up the naginata and set out for the fray. The adversaries certainly don’t think that one person can do everything – it’s why their rabble always rush in with gibbering mouthers en masse. No reason why you should have to play by rules that make everything even tougher. You won your share of the fight, even if you don’t know it yet.
You fought the good fight for as long as you could, and you did superbly.
Well, given that the asshats have found this post and are saying things like I need to remove the sand from my vagina, I’m closing comments. Thank you to everyone who said supportive things.
Comments are closed.