About The Project
Hello! I’m Anita Sarkeesian. In 2012, I launched a modest Kickstarter campaign to fund a small video series deconstructing representations of women. In an astounding, humbling turn of events, Tropes vs Women in Video Games drew international attention—both positive and negative—and Feminist Frequency raised over twenty-five times the amount we sought. We put it to good use: in the four years since, Feminist Frequency has transformed into a non-profit organization devoted to critically engaging with media. Our videos have focused on examining the way women are represented in popular culture, and reimagining the world of video games as a more inclusive place.
Starting today, we’re doing something new: a video series called Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History.
Rather than heroes, leaders and innovators, women are often depicted and treated as secondary characters in history, objects of affections, damsels to be rescued, or merely the wives, mothers and assistants to the men who achieved important things. Instead, we’re taking a look back at the amazing women throughout history who defied gender stereotypes and changed the world, to remind us that the stories we tell about women—in TV shows, comic books, video games and in real life—often reflect the limitations placed on them, rather than the world-changing feats they’ve already achieved.
With your help, we can bring their stories to life and give these incredible women the attention they deserve.
The short answer is: everyone. Given how rarely female leaders and innovators seem to show up in the stories we tell about historical greatness, it might be easy to conclude that women haven’t really done that many extraordinary things. Worse, the absence of women from these narratives not only impacts the way society sees women, but the way women and girls see themselves. In reality, women have always done important and ground-breaking things, even if they didn’t always make it in the history books. We hope that our project can help shift perceptions of what girls and women can do, not just in exceptional cases but in perfectly ordinary ones.
We think the stories of these women are surprising—not to mention incredibly cool—and we hope you’ll feel the same way when you meet them. We also hope that like other Feminist Frequency videos, they can be a valuable teaching tool for educators around the world.
Feminist Frequency has an established record of challenging the status quo in ways that make an impact, and we’re going to do it again. This time, it’ll be with a blend of past and present that makes history feel fresh and relevant. We’re committed to telling these stories the right way: accurately and beautifully.
The series will feature original animation where each episode will have a different visual style inspired by the woman at its center. The episode about Emma Goldman, a political firebrand from the early 20th century, will tell her story through silent era black and white animation. For 10th century Japanese novelist Murasaki Shikibu, we’ll use animation that evokes the aesthetics of Heian period art, pictured below, as well as an original musical score played on a Japanese koto and taiko drums.
Even Anita’s hair, makeup and wardrobe will be informed by the women she’s discussing, with several outfits inspired by styles they wore in famous portraits. We’ve put a great deal of thought and care into each video, and we believe that this attention to detail and nuance will make these stories even more immersive, engaging and entertaining.
While the animation in Ordinary Women is going to be beautiful, it isn’t inexpensive. Feminist Frequency has already invested $20,000 in the project to get the ball rolling, and unlike previous Feminist Frequency videos, we shot in a professional studio with a crew that we paid professional rates. And as always, we’re putting our videos out there for free, so that anyone with an internet connection will have access, and there won’t be any pesky ads getting in the way.