Comprehensively addressing the stupid, intellectually dishonest critique of Anita Sarkeesian

Whenever the feminist games-critic and survivor of countless outraged misogynist stalkers Anita Sarkeesian's name is invoked, there follows a flood of men who want to explain that she brought it on herself, that she isn't a gamer, that she isn't a good critic, and assorted related rubbish.

Indeed, if you mention that Sarkeesian's critics haven't got two coherent arguments to rub together and are obviously motived by sexism and denial that their favored pastime is riddled with casual violence and sexual violence against women, you, too, are accused of being part of the Sarkeesian cabal, or a dupe of her feminine wiles, or of "white knighting" (which is misogynist-creep-code for "man who doesn't believe women are inferior and justly subjugated to men").

In this excellent New Statesman piece, Ian Steadman picks apart the many arguments raised by Sarkeesian's critics, painstakingly explaining the many ways in which they have (seemingly willfully) entirely missed the point:

There's a common trope of framing Sarkeesian's work as "cherry-picked", as she takes isolated examples from many games and presents them as a stream of misogyny in order to create the illusion that all of these games are entirely misogynist, the entire way through. That's a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is Sarkeesian is doing with TvsWVG, and what cultural criticism in general is. These are tropes – they're fragments of a whole. By definition they don't make up the entirety of a work of art by themselves, but are instead definable cultural touchstones which artists, writers, developers etc, can use when creating a fictional reality.

In other words, Anita Sarkeesian only presents sections of games as sexist because she's only talking about the sexist bits of games, and how, of the tropes developers choose to put in their games when designing for female characters, they frequently fall back on sexist ones. Seriously, she couldn't be clearer about this – in the introduction to the very first video she says:

Tropes vs Anita Sarkeesian: on passing off anti-feminist nonsense as critique [Ian Steadman/New Statesman]