Listen And Believe

Listen And Believe

Part of a series on GamerGate. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 11, 2015 at 07:01PM EDT by Tomberry.

Added Mar 11, 2015 at 03:39PM EDT by Tomberry.

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"Listen And Believe" is a phrase coined by internet personality Anita Sarkeesian during her Feminist Frequency panel at 2014 XOXO Festival in order to argue against the concept of victim blaming towards women and their experience with gender discrimination by inviting people to believe in what they have to say about it instead of flat out rejecting everything. The phrase has been taken over by GamerGate advocates mocking its seemingly preaching nature while criticizing the claim that every woman's testimony has to be trusted on the issue no matter what.


Between September 11th and 14th, 2014, the annual art and technology conference XOXO Festival was held in Portland, Oregon. Among the various attendees was Anita Sarkeesian presenting a panel about her Feminist Frequency projet and her own experience dealing with online harassment. Sarkeesian ended her panel with the captions "Listen and Believe", inviting her audience to take a first step and simply believe women's accounts and experience of online harassment and sexism. A video of the whole conference was uploaded to the official XOXO Youtube channel on October 7th (shown below).


On September 13th, A Reddit thread was started on the KotaluInAction sub-reddit about the panel, discussing the arguments made by Sarkeesian. The same day, redditor hockeyday13 commented on the "Listen and Believe" segment, comparing the phrase to Georges Orwell's novel 1984[1]. On September 14th, Kotaku writer and model Liana Kerzner made a video about the panel and its relationship with the GamerGate movement, asking Sarkeesian to "practice what [she] preach[es]" (shown below, left). Another video was made by Blistered Thumbs editor Micah Curtis discussing the quote and GamerGate that same day (shown below, right).

On september 15th, Buzzfeed writer Cate Sevilla posted an article about the panel, supporting the phrase[2]. In the following months, several Sarkeesian detractors wrote opinion pieces about the panel mocking the phrase, such as Men's Rights website A Voice For Men[3] and Lazy Gamer[4]. On November 20th 2014, Youtuber Sargon of Aakad uploaded a video criticizing it (shown below).

On February 9th, 2015, Liana Kerzner wrote a followup article on Metal Eater[5] in which she states:

For a long time I was afraid to publicly say what I really believed. Then Anita Sarkeesian encouraged the audience in an XOXO talk to "Listen and believe women" who claim harassment and abuse. Only women. That hit a nerve. I know three different men who have been falsely accused of abuse, and they had their lives dragged through the mud because too many people just took the woman's word regarding what happened.

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