On the morning of Tuesday, October 14th, Utah State University received an anonymous threat from someone claiming to be a student, who promised to engage in terrorist action if feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian spoke at a scheduled event on Wednesday, October 15th.
Sarkeesian, and many other vocal feminist creators, have been targeted by the Gamergate movement, itself started by a spurned ex-boyfriend of indie game creator Zoe Quinn. Under the false premise that they were interested in ethics in journalism, rather than criticizing large corporations the Gamergaters have targeted women and minorities in gaming. Women have been driven from their homes by people operating under the Gamergate umbrella, the network host to neo-Nazis, transphobes, and violent misogynists alike. Families have been harassed, private information has been leaked to the public, death threats and threats of sexual assault have been made. The FBI is currently investigating events related to Gamergate, as all of the threats thus far have been carried out against North Americans.
Anita Sarkeesian, creator of Feminist Frequency and Tropes vs Women in Video Games, has already experienced severe threats for her video series that critique and challenge the portrayal of women in media, including a bomb threat. Her scheduled talk at 11:30 AM at USU’s Taggart Student Center Auditorium was threatened by someone claiming that they’ll kill all the feminists on campus if the event is carried out. The person making the threat promised that dozens would be injured and die unless their “warning” to the staff was heeded. The event is still planned to be carried out as scheduled, with campus security on alert.