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Harassment in gaming

First, there is NO documentation in her letter which allows actual fact checking of any of her stories.
It's a post to tumblr, not a news expose in the Sunday edition of The New York Times.

People who relate their experiences on a blog or on a place like tumblr are getting their thoughts out, they are talking about their lives, and (in some cases) relating their life experiences.

They are not journalists whom we are required to hold to a certain standard.

Second, you are further victimizing male victims by marginalizing them with the piss poor excuse men are the primary players of RPGs.
This is just the sort of false comparison I was talking about.

One, not incidentally, that has already been discussed at length upthread.

Now then, the issue of women gamers being harassed online (rape threats, death threats, doxing) is widespread. It's been covered online, and to a much lesser degree in print. The topic of harassment at cons and game stories has received less coverage (to my knowledge; somebody correct me here if I am wrong), but the issue is cropping up more and more.

In my observation, when people bring up the issue of sexual harassment of males as a response to the topic of this thread, it's usually done to promote one or more of the following bad ideas/false claims:

1. The argument that talking about the issue of harassment of women means male victims (to the extent they actually exist) are de facto being ignored (they aren't).

2. That idea that the mere act of discussing the issue of harassment of women in gaming means everyone participating believes men are not harassed, ever, in gaming (the logic of which is dead on arrival).

3. The claim that because sexual abuse of all genders is widespread in the world today, therefore men are harassed in gaming just as much as women are (they aren't), so any claim of disproportionate abuse of one gender over another in gaming must be false.

4. To suppress the very important idea that a rising tide lifts all boats--meaning any emphasis on one form of sexual harassment raises awareness of the issue of harassment in gaming in general, and so raises awareness of the issue beyond gaming, so that all forms of harassment are more likely to be recognized and addressed/not tolerated when they happen.

These are all examples of arguments that I believe should not be tolerated in a discussion of harassment of women in gaming.
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I'm confident in asserting that statutory rape jail time when women rape boys is almost certainly shorter than when men rape girls. (actually, according to a Star-Ledger report, 54% of male suspects go to prison, 44% of women go to prison, and men serve an average 1.5 x longer jail sentences). Men are raped more often than women. But, we can't talk about any of that because it doesn't fit the bulli:):):):):) liberal metanarrative.
Your may note that the Star-Ledger report also analyzed 3x as many male offenders as female and the sentence often was affected by the willingness of the victim to participate and male victims participate at a much lower rate, far more often not seeing themselves as victims of statutory rape. So let's cut the liberal narrative BS. It's just more deflection.
 

Rottle

Villager
My take on it is that while Woman X might not need you to stand up, women Y, Z and others might feel emboldened knowing that there are others willing to speak up and help, and that the battle for respect is not one that needs to be fought individually. Allies exist.

Which could translate into others standing up for themselves...and for others.
I just don't want to disempower as I try to help. But I see your point and agree. Better to offer help and be turned down then not offer it when needed. Still I really don't want to disempower someone in my effort to support them. And I totally get my view point is skewed by my size and being male, so just because I don't feel disempowered doesn't mean someone else wouldn't. Life is complicated.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
if you are being harassed what would help you? What should I do as just another person seeing the behavior? Would just standing beside you and voicing my support of you personally help, should I be very public in my support? Should I go to someone in authority and get them involved? Should I comfort the offender personally? What would make you know you are safe, that I will stand beside you, that you are not alone?

Real question I know sometimes I get over protective, I have three sisters and have been told at least a few times I didn't need to step in they could handle it themselves. But their my sisters, they know I have their backs, maybe with a stranger I need to react differently.
Because I know what you meant, I found a small spelling error that you made somewhat amusing: bolded for reference. I am entirely assuming that you meant "confront the offender," as your posting history in this thread would seem to support.


Regarding your question, I think the only good answer is "it depends on how I'm being harassed at the time."

I've described my harassment experience a few times now. If you missed it previously, you can find it here. In my case, I would have desperately loved for something as small as any of the other players smacking the DM on the arm and saying "Dude! Not cool!" Really, anything that made me feel like any member of that group had an ounce of humanity, and wasn't just interested in getting their jollies by watching me squirm at graphic descriptions of being raped, would have been welcome.

If the harassment is of a criminal level, for example if someone groped me or made threats against me, I'd likewise appreciate someone calling the guy out for being a jerk. But, even more than that I'd appreciate a witness to the groping being willing to be a witness, and to tell security and the police what happened (assuming I reported it. I know that I would most likely want to report it, but some women will just want to put it behind them).

Also, if I was being harassed in a non-criminal way I wouldn't have a problem with a man asking if I wanted him to get the attention of someone I could report the harassment to. If I felt I could handle it myself, I could politely decline the offer before cussing out the jerk harassing me. If I felt the harassment was so out of hand I couldn't handle it myself, I'd be grateful for the offer.
 
Darkwing Duck said:
What she's saying is in error and harmful. The fact that you think we should ignore that rather than address the actual problem (which is sexual harassment, not "white male terrorism") in a responsible manner disturbs me.
You have not actually demonstrated that what she has said
She harmfully misidentifies the problem as "white male terrorism." Read the title of her paper. It doesn't say "Tabletop Gaming has a Sexual Harassment Problem." It says, "Tabletop Gaming has a White Male Terrorism Problem."
Misidentifying the problem, then arguing that misidentifying the problem doesn't matter, is NOT helpful to ANY sexual victim.
 
Your may note that the Star-Ledger report also analyzed 3x as many male offenders as female
and..? Your point..?

and the sentence often was affected by the willingness of the victim to participate and male victims participate at a much lower rate, far more often not seeing themselves as victims of statutory rape. So let's cut the liberal narrative BS. It's just more deflection.
When a woman is unwilling to come forth to testify, it is because the judicial system is going to victimize them all over again, (the BS liberal metanarrative says). When men are unwilling to come forth to testify, its their fault they don't get justice (the same metanarrative says)
 
In my observation, when people bring up the issue of sexual harassment of males as a response to the topic of this thread, it's usually done to promote one or more of the following bad ideas/false claims:

1. The argument that talking about the issue of harassment of women means male victims (to the extent they actually exist) are de facto being ignored (they aren't).
I have had women tell me the opposite - that talking about male victims means that female victims are being ignored. I've never heard the claim that talking about female victims means that male victims are being ignored. Throughout this entire discussion, I've said that there is room for ALL victims. You and others like you are the ones protesting discussing male victims.

2. That idea that the mere act of discussing the issue of harassment of women in gaming means everyone participating believes men are not harassed, ever, in gaming (the logic of which is dead on arrival).
I never claimed that everyone believes that men are not harassed. I have been told that discussing male victims alongside female victims is wrong unless we can document cases of male victims (even though such documentation of female victims wasn't required by the person who made that claim).

3. The claim that because sexual abuse of all genders is widespread in the world today, therefore men are harassed in gaming just as much as women are (they aren't), so any claim of disproportionate abuse of one gender over another in gaming must be false.
By simple math, since most people are heterosexual and men are the primary consumers of RPGs, there probably is more sexual abuse of women in RPGs. I never claimed otherwise. What I did claim is that this does not give justification to marginalize male victims.

4. To suppress the very important idea that a rising tide lifts all boats--meaning any emphasis on one form of sexual harassment raises awareness of the issue of harassment in gaming in general, and so raises awareness of the issue beyond gaming, so that all forms of harassment are more likely to be recognized and addressed/not tolerated when they happen.
I'm not the one here protesting mentioning victimization of both sexes.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
She harmfully misidentifies the problem as "white male terrorism." Read the title of her paper. It doesn't say "Tabletop Gaming has a Sexual Harassment Problem." It says, "Tabletop Gaming has a White Male Terrorism Problem."
Misidentifying the problem, then arguing that misidentifying the problem doesn't matter, is NOT helpful to ANY sexual victim.
Sorry, no- addressed that "white male" part of this thing a few pages ago:
In case you missed it, she used the acronym "POC" to describe certain victims of similar mistreatment. That acronym stands for "persons of color"- hence "white" terrorism.

You can also note that 90%+ (could have been all- I don't currently feel the need to go back and check each one) of her personal AND 2nd hand anecdotal exemplars involved heterosexual harassment of women. Hence "male" terrorism.

Given the same personal and anecdotal accounts, coupled with the documented reports of other women in the hobby as participants, reviewers/journalists, and content creators- some recounted as the personal experiences of participants in this very thread- "omnipresent" may be hyperbolic, but not by a hell of a lot. One might even characterize it as a slight exaggeration for emphasis.

Are there women in the hobby victimizing men? Homosexual men or women in the hobby victimizing those of their own gender? It IS possible. But in a niche hobby with an overwhelmingly white male demographic, and a statistical average rate of homosexuality in the USA roughly the same as that of left-handedness, odds favor that most of the bad actors will be straight white males, and most of the victims being women.
See also this post re: "terrorism"
Some of the behavior described in the original article- threats of assault, rape or killing- in order to modify the writer's behavior can actually sustain a conviction for making "terroristc threats", punishable by up to 20 years in prison, depending on jurisdiction and seriousness of the threat.

http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/violent_crimes/terrorist-threats.htm

So, no, her writing isn't an issue at all. It isn't even really hyperbole.
Adding "white male" and "terrorism" together, we get "white male terrorism" as alleged.
 
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Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
What she's saying is in error and harmful. The fact that you think we should ignore that rather than address the actual problem (which is sexual harassment, not "white male terrorism") in a responsible manner disturbs me.
The fact that you're more concerned about someone who has experienced harassment discussing it in a "responsible manner" than actually discussing what the community can do to deter this sort of reprehensible behavior disturbs and disgusts me.
 
The fact that you're more concerned about someone who has experienced harassment discussing it in a "responsible manner" than actually discussing what the community can do to deter this sort of reprehensible behavior disturbs and disgusts me.
Only a "responsible manner" is constructive.
Tell me, if I were to be raped and, in response to my rape, I painted all black men as rapists, would that be responsible? would it be constructive? would it even matter to you or would you be too wrapped up in the delusion that correctly identifying the perpetrators isn't necessary for " the community to deter this sort of reprehensible behavior"?
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Strawman spotted!

She didn't vilify all white males, nor even all white males in the hobby. Operating from personal experience, the reports of others and the easily verified demographics that white males dominate the hobby on the USA, she posited that most of the harassment of women in the hobby has been and continues to be originating with white males.

While you continue to attack the form of her assertions, do you have ANYTHING constructive to say about how to deal with the underlying problem on the merits?
 
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Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
Only a "responsible manner" is constructive.
Tell me, if I were to be raped and, in response to my rape, I painted all black men as rapists, would that be responsible? would it be constructive? would it even matter to you or would you be too wrapped up in the delusion that correctly identifying the perpetrators isn't necessary for " the community to deter this sort of reprehensible behavior"?
/facepalm

Danny tackled this better than I could have.
 
She didn't vilify all white males, nor even all white males in the hobby.
You mean, other than to emphasize the -whiteness- of the attackers and to state that most every other male in the hobby was a coward? Then to emphasize the alleged "omnipresence" of the harassment?

While you continue to attack the form of her assertions, do you have ANYTHING constructive to say about how to deal with the underlying problem on the merits?
Throw out the ignorant and unhelpful broad brush attacks. Build alliances. Don't teach, to use a metaphor brought up earlier, the people who are on fire to run away from the people who are ready and willing to help them (even when those who want to help are *gasp* men) out of fear that those people will just douse them with gasoline.
 

Rottle

Villager
Thanks mech, the advice helps. I think it would have to be obviously case by case, if the harassment is over then asking the person if they would like me to get someone in authority not only offers to help but let's them know they have help at hand. If it on going I wouldn't be entirely comfortable leaving the person in that situation to get help, I would want to stay just in case. Maybe shouting for an authority type or offering to walk with the harassed to an authority figure helps.

Makes me feel this thread has value if I can learn one thing to help or at least really burn it in my mind to look out for those who might need a little support.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
Thanks mech, the advice helps. I think it would have to be obviously case by case, if the harassment is over then asking the person if they would like me to get someone in authority not only offers to help but let's them know they have help at hand. If it on going I wouldn't be entirely comfortable leaving the person in that situation to get help, I would want to stay just in case. Maybe shouting for an authority type or offering to walk with the harassed to an authority figure helps.
I have to admit my ignorance of much of the minutia of cons (I have never been to one before) is inhibiting my ability to participate as fully and informedly as I would like. I don't know if the "someone in authority" usually has an out-of-the-way office/lounge, or if you're able to flag someone over by waving to them. Based on what others have said about the substantive lack of security, the poor overall training of security that is present, and other factors, I'm going to have to assume the former is more likely. And, if that's the case you're definitely right that leaving the person in the harassment situation while you go to get help is not a good idea. I like your idea of offering to walk the person to someone in authority.

My only caveat about walking the person to someone in authority is to pick a public route. If I was being harassed and a person who was walking me to someone in authority appeared to be taking me on a route that might leave us alone together, I'd be a little suspicious (simply because of the rules all of us women are raised with); especially now that I know that there's probably not a substantial security camera presence.


Makes me feel this thread has value if I can learn one thing to help or at least really burn it in my mind to look out for those who might need a little support.
There have been quite a few good moments in these threads. Unfortunately, they also get sidetracked by both legitimate tangents and by people apparently trying to derail the conversation.
 
Throughout this entire discussion, I've said that there is room for ALL victims. You and others like you are the ones protesting discussing male victims.
You're conflating two different actions here, and I am not convinced you're doing it simply because you're confused.

It has been said, repeatedly, that this is a discussion about the harassment of women in gaming. The problem exists. We are trying to discuss what to do about it.

It has also been said, repeatedly, that harassment of women in gaming merits its own discussion. Why? Because the problem is big enough and severe enough. That, and it's just wrong to let the harassment continue.

Now, because the topic merits discussion does not mean that the topic of sexual harassment of men in gaming, and different kinds of harassment of men in gaming in general, is verboten. It just means it's a distraction in this thread.

You're not the first person to construe requests to stop with the distractions as calls to not discuss the issue of harassment of men in gaming. (But the fact that you're the most recent is probably why you're catching such heat.)

So please, if sexual harassment of men in gaming is really that big of a problem, and if you can point users of this forum to similar instances (like what I asked for from you HERE, and still have yet to receive), then by all means start a new thread on the topic.

By simple math, since most people are heterosexual and men are the primary consumers of RPGs, there probably is more sexual abuse of women in RPGs.
Yep. And not just probably. And they're mostly white, too.

And just as a reminder: we're at the point in the thread where debating the actual level of harassment of women is behind us.

Looking forward to your on topic comments about how the harassment of women in gaming can be curbed and stopped.
 
TO THE MODS:

Is there a way to create a pop-up window that appears whenever someone who has not posted yet in the thread decides to do so, that warns them that it's required to read the thread in its entirety first, so posts made that rehash prior issues or that attempt to re-open arguments that derail the discussion, won't be looked at kindly?
 

Eltab

Villager
neither her claims nor any by posters here matter as much as making the change in our collective behavior. Not to me anyway.
As one of the people who has described incidents and resolutions, I find your statement mystifying.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I don't know if the "someone in authority" usually has an out-of-the-way office/lounge, or if you're able to flag someone over by waving to them.
It depends on the size of the convention.

A convention typically will not have a security staffer present in every single room at all times. Some select spaces may have oversight. There will usually be an Operations office, and possibly a Security office as well - not too far out of the way, as people from those offices need easy access to the rest of the convention. So, generally, you can't just wave and have a security person show up. Walking the person to the security or ops space is what's more likely to happen. And, as noted, those offices are generally not far removed from the main populated spaces. A public route will usually be easy.

And, of course, as I noted upthread - the most recent case of men misbehaving at a con I have been involved with was perpetrated by a member of the security staff. The security staff is only as good as the process that chooses them and trains them.
 

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