Online Threats Against Women Now Officially Terrorism

Anita Sarkeesian is scheduled to speak at Utah State University tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15th.

However, The Standard Examiner has confirmed that an act of terrorism has been threatened against the school and Sarkeesian specifically, if the presentation is not canceled. The threat was emailed anonymously, allegedly from one of the students on campus. I would like to reiterate that the threat was EMAILED. This is online harassment taking a terrible turn into what I assume everyone can now finally agree is the “real world.”

Threats include, “a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out” and the terrorist threatens that if Anita is allowed on campus they will, “write [their] manifesto in her spilled blood.” The writer of the threats blames feminists for ruining their life and blames Anita for representing everything that is wrong with feminism.

Uh, you guys, does this sound familiar to you at all? Sound anything like any other recent killing sprees you may have heard or read about? But nooooo, no misogyny to see here. Nope. Just move along…. /sarcasm

This is not the first time Sarkeesian has been threatened with death for merely speaking at an event she was invited to. IT’S HAPPENED MULTIPLE TIMES.

Can we officially call this terrorism? Because I am calling it that. Because it’s exactly what this is and what it has been from the beginning. This organized, dedicated, on-going, online harassment is terrorism directed at women in an attempt to silence them. And when women don’t shut-up, the threats escalate.

Will law enforcement please start taking the targeting of women online seriously?

This has to stop.

If you aren’t speaking up about the harassment yet, it’s time to raise your voice.


Click the image to read the threat.


email threat


Image of the recent threat taken from Standard Examiner post.

Amy Roth

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is the founder and president of the Los Angeles Women's Atheist and Agnostic Group: LAWAAG. She is also the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab and cohost of Mad Art Cast. Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+.

Previous post

Quickies: Science jokes, NY Comic Con, and anti-psychic fliers

Next post

Quickies: Ugly Sexism, Anita Sarkeesian Cancels Talk Due to Terrorist Threats, and Christian Movies


  1. October 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm —

    This guy deserves to have the book thrown at him and to be put away for a long time — he himself, not feminism, is the author of his own ruin.

  2. October 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm —

    Book? Hell, throw the whole library at him. Disgusting.

    Are you happy GamerGate jackasses? Fuck you and your worthless conspiracy theories. Fucking dingleberries. Anita and feminists aren’t what are making you not men, it is your insistence in not growing up that has robbed you of your machismo.

    To this poor excuse of a human being; when they find you (and they will find you, or do you not know how e-mail fucking works) I hope they throw you in a deep hole and refuse to mention your name, wouldn’t want you becoming a hero to other neckbeards like the coward Lepine was to you. Obscurity and no outside contact should be your punishment, maybe you could be on Big Brother with 12 feminists of all persuasions, nobody watches that anymore although I would relish watching a bigot being psychologically tortured by the kindness of those he hates, I’d call that appointment television.

  3. October 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm —

    According to my calculations, just by sending that email, the fucker is liable for 35.5 years of prison and a $26,000 fine:


    76-5-107.3. Threat of terrorism:
    1(a)(i) — pipe bomb threat — Second degree felony: 1-15 years & $10,000
    1(b)(i) — coerceing the conduct of a government organization (Utah state) — Second degree felony: 1-15 years & $10,000
    1(b)(ii) — keeping people away from the building — Third degree felony: 1-5 years & $5,000
    1(b)(iii) — making the cops look into this threat — 1-6 months & $1,000

  4. October 14, 2014 at 9:34 pm —

    I’d like to point out an important detail:

    In order to determine the degree of risk the letter posed, police ran the information they had through the FBI cyber terrorism task force and a number of other statewide database analysis information centers.

    ”They determined the threat seems to be consistent with ones (Sarkeesian) has received at other places around the nation,” he told the Standard-Examiner. “The threat we received is not out of the norm for (this woman).

    This is apparently the norm for Sarkeesian. Let that sink in.

    • October 15, 2014 at 2:14 am —

      Amazing! They’ve got the guy (or guys) in the database and then do zip.
      The main thing is that Anita will be safe!

    • October 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm —

      She has only herself to blame because other people have threatened her as well? Can she sue the shit out of state of Utah (in Federal court) for failing to protect her civil rights?

  5. October 14, 2014 at 9:41 pm —

    So if you’re threatened regularly, they’ll do even LESS?

    Salman Rushdie and Hirsi Ali have something to say about this horseshit. Thirteen years plus of ‘war on terrorism’ and our resident idiots in the prison-industrial complex are STILL trying to avoid doing their jobs.

    Good to know that actual prison time is at least possible for threats like these. But that’s like fines for littering and noise pollution on public transit: they sit quietly on the books and are never, ever, enforced.

  6. October 14, 2014 at 9:58 pm —

    Anita Sarkeesian has canceled her scheduled speech for tomorrow following a discussion with Utah State University police regarding an email threat that was sent to Utah State University. During the discussion, Sarkeesian asked if weapons will be permitted at the speaking venue. Sarkeesian was informed that, in accordance with the State of Utah law regarding the carrying of firearms, if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue.

    Oh look, there’s a contact email listed at the bottom of that page. Be polite, but firm.

  7. October 14, 2014 at 10:10 pm —

    Amy Roth,

    It just ticks me off to no end that people like Anita Sarkeesian have to deal with this. Why!? Because she made a bunch of videos that sexist male gamers don’t like? People can be so immature. I hope whoever is threatening her life gets arrested.

  8. October 14, 2014 at 11:25 pm —

    OSU refused to disallow students from carrying weapons to her talk, after a credible death threat.

    she was right to cancel.

    Free speech in the US is now being held hostage to “gun rights”.

    Universities are supposed to be strongholds for free speech.

    OSU has failed, utterly, to uphold that tradition.

    • October 15, 2014 at 8:04 am —

      I really don’t think that disallowing guns at the event would stop that person from shooting at it if he intended to.

      • October 15, 2014 at 8:33 am —

        Sorry I just am feeling particularly frustrated and cynical today.

        • October 15, 2014 at 10:34 am —

          I do not feel an apology is necessary because you are correct. Disallowing guns would not prevent it. If they find him, I am curious if he will be a student with guns on campus under their concealed carry policy.

  9. October 15, 2014 at 1:05 am —

    Mostly spend my time lurking, but I am a grad student at USU and not native to the state. I only recently learned about her talk and was super excited. Perhaps I can give a little bit of an insider perspective.

    I would encourage people to contact USU and raise hell. Just appreciate that it won’t do much good. A lot of what follows will be opinion.

    The administration here is uncomfortable with the state of Utah’s concealed and carry laws in relation to University campuses. However, they are powerless to do anything about it. State law bars the University from restricting guns on campus in any way. USU would have barred guns at the event if they could. Utah is a very conservative, Western state which means guns are an inescapable part of life here. Elementary school teachers here are allowed to have conceal-carry here without notifying parents, for example (to not so great effect: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58402182-78/teacher-horsley-teachers-carry.html.csp). The University is not to blame; the citizens of the state are to blame.

    Below is the text of an “emergency alert” sent to USU community members. I have only edited to remove extra white space. It then linked to the USU today article that you can find above.

    A message from UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

    Police: No Risk to USU Students Following Email

    Following a disturbing email received late Monday evening, Utah State University police and administrators have been working throughout the day to assess any level of risk to students or to a speaker scheduled to visit. USU police, in conjunction with several teams of state and federal law enforcement experts, determined that there was no threat to students, staff or the speaker, so no alert was issued.

    The safety of our students and visitors is always the university’s first priority. At no time was there any imminent threat. The investigation is continuing.

    The speaker, Anita Sarkeesian, canceled the presentation. She was concerned about the fact that state law prevented the university from keeping people with a legal concealed firearm permit from entering the event. University police were prepared and had a plan in place to provide extra security measures at the presentation.

    All university business will be conducted as scheduled Wednesday.

  10. October 15, 2014 at 2:24 am —

    While I do not count myself among Anita Sarkeesian’s fans, I can’t see how a threat like this would not be terrorist.

    I’m not sure what anyone would hope to accomplish with these kinds of threats, other than to try to silence someone simply because they disagree with her.

    Looks like they got what they wanted though, which is sad. It’s impossible to engage in any meaningful discussion when a person can’t even speak her mind without fearing for the safety of herself or others.

    • October 15, 2014 at 11:43 am —

      That’s precisely what they want: to silence her. I’m sure “they’ll” count this as a win, unfortunately.

      Can I ask why you’re not a fan?

  11. October 15, 2014 at 8:50 am —

    How can this be considered anything BUT terrorism? I couldn’t believe the statement: “The threat we received is not out of the norm for (this woman).” That is their MO: acting in the exact same way terrorists do when confronted with a conflicting ideology, threatening murder, and sometimes committing it. And they’re not overseas. They are here. How many women have been killed in recent years by these kinds of people? When will we (especially those in law enforcement) start taking this seriously?

    They need to find this person and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.

    I don’t know how Anita Sarkeesian, and women like her, keep going, facing this kind of thing every day. I wish I had half of her bravery.

  12. October 15, 2014 at 10:37 am —

    I agree that it is terrorism. However, I am puzzled by the apparent determination to get acknowledgment that it is terrorism. What good would it do if law enforcement and news outlets all called it terrorism rather than a threat to murder a bunch of people?

  13. October 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm —

    Relax, everybody. The safety of students and visitors is always the university’s first priority.

    I wonder if the students agree?

  14. October 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm —

    The only open carry state I’ve dealt with in the past was Arizona, and there was no problem (legally) from refusing to admit theater patrons from carrying guns onto private property – at least, not 20 years ago, and that was long before the Colorado and Florida shootings. The University would, of course, not fall under the category of private property.

    I wonder if there’s any reason (according to their state laws) that prevents them from checking for violations of concealed carry permits? If someone comes in with a large bundle (of concealed assault weapons), could it not be examined? If someone comes in and is found (via metal detector?) to have a concealed weapon, should they not have their permit with them? This wouldn’t stop anyone from openly carrying weapons or carrying legally concealed weapons, but it would filter out anyone who does not have a permit. If Utah’s open carry laws include heavy artillery, security might have at least ideas of who to watch out for? What am I missing?

Leave a reply