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Old August 13 2013, 11:34 PM   #1
Dohlman
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Sexual harassment at SF cons

http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2013/08...is-not-enough/

Has anyone experience sexual harassment at a con? If so, did you feel comfortable reporting it?
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Old August 13 2013, 11:39 PM   #2
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

I've never been harassed, but I've seen plenty of women poked, prodded, squeezed, leered at, and more, much to their discomfort. A friend and I, who attended Chicago Trek Con a number of years back, brought a woman back to our room for the sole purpose of sleeping off a hangover. We had met her and one of her friends earlier in the day, and we hit it off. So we decided to hang around one another during the con. Well, later that night, everybody was having fun getting a little wasted (save for myself, I don't get drunk), and people kept making passes at her. We didn't know what room she was staying in, and her other friend was long gone, so we brought her back to our room, and let her sleep it off. I was worried that if we wouldn't have done so, she would have been at the mercy of who knows what.
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Old August 13 2013, 11:46 PM   #3
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

That was very kind of you. I wish more congoers were like you. I've never been harassed, but the stories that emerged after the SFWA controversy chilled me. That issue should have been dealt with long ago.
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Old August 13 2013, 11:49 PM   #4
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

There's a considerable amount of sexual harassment at virtually all fandom-oriented conventions. The situation is improving, albeit slowly. There's still a long way to go.

Just this past spring, a convention I went to had a bit of a scandal because one of the merchandise vendors was selling body pillows with photos of scantily-clad female cosplayers on them without the consent of said cosplayers, much less any compensation for them. One of the women affected brought it up to convention staff, who initially shrugged it off. It took her repeated efforts to get the guy tossed from the convention. (He never thought he'd done anything wrong, of course.)

There was another con where somebody was going around with a small camera at chest-height, seeking out women who were (again) cosplaying without a lot of clothes on, giving out "free hugs." Most were not aware any cameras were involved, and in any event seemed pretty bewildered by what was going on.

Stuff like that amounts to some of the milder harassment women get at conventions. The stuff J mentioned also reportedly happens, though I've (fortunately) not witnessed it.

This is not just limited to fandom conventions, though. There have been multiple recent scandals involving, of all things, skeptics' conventions.
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Old August 14 2013, 01:19 AM   #5
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

I wouldn't blame a man for staring at a half naked attractive woman, I would probably stare at a half naked attractive man. Especially if he was dressed up as some awesome character from a book I love or something. But touching and grabbing and all that stuff.. I really don't get why some people think that's ok without an actual invitation.

I've never been to a con, but I do occasionally move out of my little den. I don't like going out to clubs and stuff because there are so many poky, grabby people. You can wear a jumper and sweatpants, it doesn't really matter. What REALLY irks me is that girls and women get blamed for it for wearing what they want. "It's your fault, you are sexy. I no longer have a brain because I can see your bellybutton." Even some women think it's the girls fault. At a con, is it really that difficult to understand that a girl is wearing her costume because she loves that costume? Does it REALLY have to mean she wants everyone to touch her? Urrhh!
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Old August 14 2013, 01:46 AM   #6
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

There's a lot of misogyny and homophobia in this subculture, unfortunately. There's regular abuse at convention from "small" abuse to larger abuse.
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Old August 14 2013, 01:58 AM   #7
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

sidious618 wrote: View Post
There's a lot of misogyny and homophobia in this subculture, unfortunately. There's regular abuse at convention from "small" abuse to larger abuse.
There is misogyny, homophobia and racism in all human subcultures. Humans are still primitive.
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Old August 14 2013, 02:08 AM   #8
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

EmoBorg wrote: View Post
There is misogyny, homophobia and racism in all human subcultures.
Not true. There have been, and still are, some matriarchal and matrilineal societies in the world, and societies with a variety of different ways of defining gender roles, including ones where homosexuality is not stigmatized. Unfortunately these are minority cultures in the world today, but they do exist. Humanity is more culturally diverse than most of us give it credit for.
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Old August 14 2013, 03:35 AM   #9
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

Christopher wrote: View Post
EmoBorg wrote: View Post
There is misogyny, homophobia and racism in all human subcultures.
Not true. There have been, and still are, some matriarchal and matrilineal societies in the world, and societies with a variety of different ways of defining gender roles, including ones where homosexuality is not stigmatized. Unfortunately these are minority cultures in the world today, but they do exist. Humanity is more culturally diverse than most of us give it credit for.
I would beg to differ. Some of the most homophobic comments that I have ever heard has come from females whether in college and in the army where I served years back. And some homosexual men can be misogynist towards females. My ex girlfriend did experience gender discrimination from her gay supervisor at her workplace. It does not matter if you are male, female, straight or gay. If you are human and you have some power, you can end up easily as a jerk. We humans are the problem. Look at Christianity. The teachings of jesus christ is timeless and beautiful but many of his followers are the biggest bigots, sexist and homophobes in the world. We humans are the problem because we are still primitive.
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Old August 14 2013, 03:53 AM   #10
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

EmoBorg wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
EmoBorg wrote: View Post
There is misogyny, homophobia and racism in all human subcultures.
Not true. There have been, and still are, some matriarchal and matrilineal societies in the world, and societies with a variety of different ways of defining gender roles, including ones where homosexuality is not stigmatized. Unfortunately these are minority cultures in the world today, but they do exist. Humanity is more culturally diverse than most of us give it credit for.
I would beg to differ. Some of the most homophobic comments that I have ever heard has come from females whether in college and in the army where I served years back. And some homosexual men can be misogynist towards females. My ex girlfriend did experience gender discrimination from her gay supervisor at her workplace. It does not matter if you are male, female, straight or gay. If you are human and you have some power, you can end up easily as a jerk. We humans are the problem. Look at Christianity. The teachings of jesus christ is timeless and beautiful but many of his followers are the biggest bigots, sexist and homophobes in the world. We humans are the problem because we are still primitive.
You may need to reread what Christopher wrote, because your reply is a bit of a non sequitur. He is right, there are currently, and have been historically, cultures that are/were void of misogyny and homophobia. Indeed, my own culture historically embraced homosexuals. You're right that there are jerks in all cultures, but that is not the same as there being misogyny and homophobia in all cultures.
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Old August 14 2013, 04:07 AM   #11
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
EmoBorg wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post

Not true. There have been, and still are, some matriarchal and matrilineal societies in the world, and societies with a variety of different ways of defining gender roles, including ones where homosexuality is not stigmatized. Unfortunately these are minority cultures in the world today, but they do exist. Humanity is more culturally diverse than most of us give it credit for.
I would beg to differ. Some of the most homophobic comments that I have ever heard has come from females whether in college and in the army where I served years back. And some homosexual men can be misogynist towards females. My ex girlfriend did experience gender discrimination from her gay supervisor at her workplace. It does not matter if you are male, female, straight or gay. If you are human and you have some power, you can end up easily as a jerk. We humans are the problem. Look at Christianity. The teachings of jesus christ is timeless and beautiful but many of his followers are the biggest bigots, sexist and homophobes in the world. We humans are the problem because we are still primitive.
You may need to reread what Christopher wrote, because your reply is a bit of a non sequitur. He is right, there are currently, and have been historically, cultures that are/were void of misogyny and homophobia. Indeed, my own culture historically embraced homosexuals. You're right that there are jerks in all cultures, but that is not the same as there being misogyny and homophobia in all cultures.
Being a racist; sexist or homophobic is also being a jerk. I see no difference.
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Old August 14 2013, 04:33 AM   #12
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

The difference is that while being racist, sexist, and homophobic necessarily imbues one with a level of jerkhood, one can also be a jerk whilst not being racist, sexist, or homophobic. So here's the logic you've arranged: All cultures contain jerks, jerks are racist, sexist, homophobes. Therefore, all cultures contain racist, sexist homophobes. But your second premiss is flawed, because not all jerks are racist, sexist, and homophobic. Some of them just drive in the bike lanes, or piss on the toilet seat, or listen to Nickleback or whatever. So while all people who are racist, sexist, homophobes are jerks, not all jerks are racist sexist homophobes, and so there can exist (and have existed) cultures that were not misogynistic or homophobic.
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Old August 14 2013, 04:35 AM   #13
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

I hope that makes sense, I'm on a hefty sleeping pill right now and am beginning to ffeel the effects.!
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Old August 14 2013, 04:52 AM   #14
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

Getting back on topic...

I think it should be expected if you are a female and going some place crowded to get some unwanted attention or get "bumped" into. Organizers really can't police everyone. But as long as you have someone there with you to discourage most of that, things should be fine.
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Old August 14 2013, 05:09 AM   #15
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Re: Sexual harassment at SF cons

Dream wrote: View Post
Getting back on topic...

I think it should be expected if you are a female and going some place crowded to get some unwanted attention or get "bumped" into. Organizers really can't police everyone. But as long as you have someone there with you to discourage most of that, things should be fine.
By "discourage" you mean kick in the nuts?
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