Anita Sarkeesian is a widely-acclaimed feminist media critic of Canadian-American origin and also a blogger, internet personality, and public speaker. She was born in 1983 to Varkis ‘Wally’ Sarkeesian and Seta Kegham in Ontario, Canada. Anita graduated from the University of California, Northridge with a degree in communication studies, and went further to obtain a masters degree in social and political thought from York University in Ontario, Canada. Her parents are Americans but moved from Iraq to Canada in the 1970s. She has a sister named Ida Sarkeesian, whom she grew up with under the care of their parents in Burlington, Ontario.
Growing up, Anita Sarkeesian developed an interest in issues concerning gender identity and feminism as a result of which she launched the website ‘Feminist Frequency’ in 2009, while she was still a student at York University. Her main aim was to gain easy access to media criticism and focus on feminist issues. She was brought to the media spotlight in 2012 when she launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance a series of short educational videos aimed at highlighting gender representation in video games in the context of sexism. She received several misogynist threats and harassment from segments of the video game culture as a result of this, however, the negative response also brought much publicity for the project such that she exceeded her initial target by a wide margin.
Anita Sarkeesian eventually released the first installment of the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video series in March 2013. The series ultimately contained a total of 18 episodes which were released from March 2013 to April 2017. Following the success of the series, Sarkeesian has also launched several other educational videos through the Feminist Frequency website aimed at examining the portrayal of women in film, television and other popular media.
In addition to her work on the internet, Anita Sarkeesian has spoken at several platforms including Women in the World, The Media Evolution Conference, GeekGirlCon and xoxo. She has also served as a guest panelist at the United Nations on several occasions. Anita received the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers honorary award in 2013. The following year, she bagged the Harvard Humanist of the Year Award, the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award, and was also nominated for Microsoft’s 2014 Women in Games Ambassador Award.
In March 2015, Sarkeesian was named among the 30 “Most Influential People on the Internet” by Time magazine and the following month, she was also named among the magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world.
Anita Sarkeesian’s Net Worth
Anita Sarkeesian’s net worth is presently valued at about $1 million, which she accumulated from her career as a blogger and media critic. Despite the numerous threats and harassment she has received over the years, Sarkeesian has remained resolute and has established herself as one of the most influential women on the internet.
More Facts About Lady Sarkeesian
Despite the favor she seems to enjoy from higher authorities, some sections of the society still frown at Anita Sarkeesian’s growing popularity as a feminist media critic. Several malicious online campaigns have been launched against her over the years. All manner of attacks have come her way, including death and rape threats, as well as hacking into her social media accounts.
However, all that intimidation has eventually worked to her advantage as it has actually proved that women indeed suffer lots of harassment and abuse in the hands of some unscrupulous anti-social entities. The brave manner in which she handled the incidences has also enhanced her popularity and portrayed her as a very strong, courageous, and outspoken feminist, one that other women should emulate.
The 2012 crowdfunding campaign launched by Anita Sarkeesian on the Kickstarter platform to fund the ‘Tropes vs. Women in Video Games’ series was a massive success. The $6,000 initial funding target of the campaign was achieved within just 24 hours. A total sum of $158,922 was realized from the campaign and thus she was able to expand the project beyond its initial scope.
In 2015, international tech giant Intel partnered with Feminist Frequency on a multimillion-dollar effort aimed at enabling improved career opportunities and positive characterization of women and other minority groups in technology and gaming.