Remember Anita Sarkeesian, the woman behind the pop culture blog Feminist Frequency who launched a successful $160,000 Kickstarter campaign last year to research and report on misogyny in video game culture, much to the howling rage of an internet's worth of misogynist gamers?
Sarkeesian's first part of the series was released last month and even if you're not a gamer, the way she tackles her topic—Damsels in Distress—is both approachable and fascinating. Sarkeesian methodically hits upon everything from etymology to Greek mythology to mustachio'd villains and railroad-strapped damsels, to Popeye and King Kong, eventually illustrating how women became popular objects to be stolen and rescued and stolen again in generations of modern video games with demeaning tags like, Willst thou get the girl... or play like one?
"The damsel in distress is not just a synonym for weak," she explains. "Instead, it works by ripping away the power from female characters... distilled down to its essence, the plot device works by trading the disempowerment of female character for the power of male characters."
If you've already seen this video, congrats! You won the internet! If you haven't, it's well worth your time.