This is an amazing artifact: an early Siskel & Ebert episode from 1980 dedicated entirely to violence against women in films. The two critics felt they saw a disturbing trend in slasher movies in the theaters and so they spent one whole show talking about it. And they are MAD.
Part one, Part two
Why does this amaze me? Because Anita Sarkeesian has been dragged to hell and back by angry Internet men for calmly pointing out similar issues in modern video games. She doesn’t get mad, she never once suggests that people who enjoy these games are “vicarious sex criminals,” she just holds up examples of sexist tropes and says “let’s talk about what this represents.”
Meanwhile these two men take one week out of their lives to lambaste an entire genre of film, saying in no uncertain terms that these movies hate women while also implying that there is something wrong with moviegoers who enjoy them.
I’m not saying you have to agree with them. I’m not saying every argument they make is sound (Siskel sounds ready to call for a ban on slasher films, Ebert makes it clear that “nothing should be off-limits”). But goddamn it, these two film critics delivered a rage-filled condemnation of a very popular type of film (at the time) using their own personal politics.
Are you listening, GamerGate fans? Critics calling out art as sexist or even misogynist is nothing new. The fact that Siskel and Ebert hated slasher movies did nothing to curtail the success of slasher movies. Notice they’re talking about the original Halloween and Friday the 13th movies here, two series that would stretch on for decades (to say nothing of their imitators).
it’s not “censorship” to say a piece of art is disturbing.
Critics who reference their personal politics in reviews are not “biased”
NO ONE IS TAKING YOUR MOVIES (OR GAMES) AWAY.