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Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done

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The specter of sexual harassment has once again risen up in tabletop gaming circles. Conventions are supposed to be places where gamers and geeks can be themselves and embrace their loves. Conventions need clear and well formulated harassment policies, and they need to enforce them. In this instance the allegations from multiple women have taken place at gaming conventions and gathering in different locations around the country. In one case, the harassment was took place over the course of years and spilled over into electronic formats.


The alleged harasser in these cases was Sean Patrick Fannon, President of Evil Beagle Games, Brand Manager for Savage Rifts at Pinnacle Entertainment Group, as well as being a game designer and developer with a long history in the tabletop role-playing industry.

There is a long and untenable policy of harassment at conventions that stretches back to science fiction and fantasy fandom in the 1960s. Atlanta's Dragon*Con has been a lightning rod in the discussions about safety at geeky conventions after one of the convention's founders was arrested and pled guilty to three charges of molestation. We have also covered reports of harassment at conventions such as Paizo Con, and inappropriate or harassing behavior by notable industry figures. It is clear that clear harassment policies and firm enforcement of them is needed in spaces where members of our community gather, in order that attendees feel safe to go about their hobby. Some companies, such as Pelgrane Press, now refuse to attend conventions where a clear harassment policy is not available.

Several women have approached me to tell me about encounters with Fannon. Some of them asked not to be named, or to use their reports for background verification only. We also reached out to Sean Patrick Fannon for his comments, and he was willing to address the allegations.

The women that I spoke with had encounters with Fannon that went back to 2013 and 2014 but also happened as recently as the summer of 2017. Each of the locations were in different parts of the country, but all of them occurred when Fannon was a guest of the event.

The worse of the two incidents related to me happened at a convention in the Eastern part of the United States. In going back over texts and messages stretching back years the woman said that it "is frustrating [now] to read these things" because of the cajoling and almost bullying approach that Fannon would use in the messages. She said that Fannon approached her at the con suite of the convention, and after speaking with her for a bit and playing a game with a group in the suite he showed her explicit photos on his cellphone of him engaged in sex acts with a woman.

Fannon's ongoing harassment of this woman would occur both electronically and in person, when they would both be at the same event, and over the course of years he would continue to suggest that she should engage in sexual acts, either with him alone, or with another woman.

Fannon denies the nature of the event, saying "I will assert with confidence that at no time would such a sharing have occurred without my understanding explicit consent on the part of all parties. It may be that, somehow, a miscommunication or misunderstanding occurred; the chaos of a party or social gathering may have created a circumstance of all parties not understanding the same thing within such a discourse. Regardless, I would not have opened such a file and shared it without believing, sincerely, it was a welcome part of the discussion (and in pursuit of further, mutually-expressed intimate interest)."

The second woman, at a different gaming-related event in another part of the country, told of how Fannon, over the course of a day at the event, asked her on four different occasions for hugs, or physical contact with her. Each time she clearly said no to him. The first time she qualified her answer with a "I don't even know you," which prompted Fannon after he saw her for a second time to say "Well, you know me now." She said that because of the multiple attempts in a short period of time that Fannon's behavior felt predatory to her. Afterwards he also attempted to connect with her via Facebook.

Afterwards, this second woman contacted the group that organized the event to share what happened and they reached out to Fannon with their concerns towards his behavior. According to sources within the organization at the time, Fannon - as with the first example - described it to the organizers as a misunderstanding on the woman's part. When asked, he later clarified to us that the misunderstanding was on his own side, saying "Honestly, I should have gotten over myself right at the start, simply owned that I misunderstood, and apologized. In the end, that's what happened, and I walked away from that with a pretty profound sense of how to go forward with my thinking about the personal space of those I don't know or know only in passing."

Both women faced ongoing pressure from Fannon, with one woman the experiences going on for a number of years after the initial convention meeting. In both cases he attempted to continue contact via electronic means with varying degrees of success. A number of screen shots from electronic conversations with Fannon were shared with me by both women.

Diane Bulkeley was willing to come forward and speak on the record of her incidents with Fannon. Fannon made seemingly innocent, and yet inappropriate comments about her body and what he wanted to do with her. She is part of a charity organization that had Fannon as a guest. What happened to her was witnessed by another woman with whom I spoke about that weekend. As Bulkeley heard some things, and her witness others, their experiences are interwoven to describe what happened. Bulkeley described this first encounter at the hotel's elevators: "We were on the floor where our rooms were to go downstairs to the convention floor. I was wearing a tank top and shirt over it that showed my cleavage. He was staring at my chest and said how much he loved my shirt and that I should wear it more often as it makes him hot. For the record I can't help my cleavage is there." Bulkeley went on to describe her mental state towards this "Paying a lady a compliment is one thing, but when you make a direct comment about their chest we have a problem."

Later on in the same day, while unloading some boxes for the convention there was another incident with Fannon. Bulkeley described this: "Well, [the witness and her husband] had to move their stuff from a friends airplane hangar (we all use as storage for cars and stuff) to a storage until next to their house. Apparently Sean, while at the hanger, made grunt noises about my tank top (it was 80 outside) while Tammy was in the truck. I did not see it. But she told me about it. Then as we were unloading the truck at the new facility Sean kept looking down my shirt and saying I have a great view etc. Her husband said to him to knock it off. I rolled my eyes, gave him a glare and continued to work. I did go and put on my event day jacket (light weight jacket) to cover up a little."

The witness, who was in the truck with Fannon, said that he "kept leering down at Diane, glancing down her shirt and making suggestive sounds." The witness said that Fannon commented "'I'm liking the view from up here.'"

Bulkeley talked about how Fannon continued his behavior later on in a restaurant, having dinner with some of the guests of the event. Fannon made inappropriate comments about her body and embarrassed her in front of the other, making her feel uncomfortable throughout the dinner.

Bulkeley said that Fannon also at one point touched her hair without asking, and smelled it as well. "[Fannon] even would smell my long hair. He begged me to not cut it off at a charity function that was part of the weekend's event." She said that he also pressed his pelvis tightly against her body while hugging her. These incidents occurred at a convention during the summer of 2017.

Fannon denies these events. "The comments and actions attributed to me simply did not happen; I categorically and absolutely deny them in their entirety."

When asked for comment, and being informed that this story was being compiled Fannon commented "I do not recall any such circumstance in which the aftermath included a discourse whereby I was informed of distress, anger, or discomfort." He went on to say "The only time I recall having ever been counseled or otherwise spoken to about my behavior in such matters is the Gamers Giving/Total Escape Games situation discussed above. The leader of the organization at that time spoke to me specifically, asked me to be aware that it had been an issue, and requested I be aware of it in the future. It was then formally dropped, and that was the end of it until this time."

There were further reports; however, we have respected the wishes of those women who asked to remain anonymous for fear of online harassment. In researching this article, I talked to multiple women and other witnesses.

About future actions against the alleged behaviors he also said "It is easy, after all, to directly attack and excise obviously predatory and harassing behavior. It is much more difficult to point out and correct behavior that falls within more subtle presentations, and it's more difficult to get folks to see their actions as harmful when they had no intention to cause harm, based on their assumptions of what is and isn't appropriate. It's good for us to look at the core assumptions that lead to those behaviors and continue to challenge them. That's how real and lasting change within society is achieved."

Fannon's weekly column will no longer be running on E.N. World.

Have you suffered harassment at the hands of someone, industry insider or otherwise, at a gaming convention? If you would like to tell your story, you can reach out to me via social media about any alleged incidents. We can speak confidentially, but I will have to know the identity of anyone that I speak with.

This does open up the question of: At what point do conventions become responsible for the actions of their guest, when they are not more closely scrutinizing the backgrounds of those guests? One woman, who is a convention organizer, with whom I spoke for the background of this story told me that word gets around, in the world of comic conventions, when guests and creators cause problems. Apparently this is not yet the case in the world of tabletop role-playing game conventions, because there are a growing number of publishers and designers who have been outed for various types of harassing behavior, but are still being invited to be guest, and in some cases even guests of honor, at gaming conventions around the country. The message that this sends to women who game is pretty clear.

More conventions are rolling out harassment policies for guests and attendees of their conventions. Not only does this help to protect attendees from bad behavior, but it can also help to protect conventions from bad actors within the various communities that gather at our conventions. As incidents of physical and sexual harassment are becoming more visible, it becomes more and more clear that something needs to be done.

additional editorial contributions by Morrus
 

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prosfilaes

Villager
You're taking Afrodyte's politely worded request as a personal attack.
"Please tell me, what is your bra size?" That's a politely worded request. It's one that's clearly, massively inappropriate. In the right context, it could well be a nasty personal attack.

Apparently the scenario of "Smith asks Jones for something, Jones says no, Smith accepts that answer and moves on" is unfamiliar to you.
We're discussing sexual harassment, and you don't have a clue why that behavior might be inappropriate on Smith's part, why Jones might find a simple "no" vastly insufficient?
 

Mouseferatu

Villager
But on reflection I think you are actually non-ironically making a personal attack against me, calling me a potential harasser?
Calling you a "potential harasser" isn't a personal attack. As far as she's concerned, you are. As far as she's concerned, so am I. So is any man she doesn't know well and trust.

That's the entire point, and the entire problem in our hobby, and our society, that needs fixing. Like it or not, the sad fact is that women have very good reason to err on the side of being too suspicious than not suspicious enough. And men taking that personally, or fighting against efforts to solve the problem, just makes it worse.

The fact that you're treating that list of questions as an accusation, as a list of "harassing behaviors," when it was clearly stated that it wasn't--but was, instead, merely a list of things that, if you've done, should inspire further self-reflection--is not helping your case.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Calling you a "potential harasser" isn't a personal attack. As far as she's concerned, you are. As far as she's concerned, so am I. So is any man she doesn't know well and trust.

That's the entire point, and the entire problem in our hobby, and our society, that needs fixing. Like it or not, the sad fact is that women have very good reason to err on the side of being too suspicious than not suspicious enough. And men taking that personally, or fighting against efforts to solve the problem, just makes it worse.

The fact that you're treating that list of questions as an accusation, as a list of "harassing behaviors," when it was clearly stated that it wasn't--but was, instead, merely a list of things that, if you've done, should inspire further self-reflection--is not helping your case.
It’s akin to being a black man in the south seeing white guys wearing or bearing some form of the confederate flag. Unless/until I get further information on that person, my default position is “that guy is a potential threat to my life, liberty, etc.”

...but worse, it’s all guys.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Calling you a "potential harasser" isn't a personal attack. As far as she's concerned, you are. As far as she's concerned, so am I. So is any man she doesn't know well and trust.

That's the entire point, and the entire problem in our hobby, and our society, that needs fixing. Like it or not, the sad fact is that women have very good reason to err on the side of being too suspicious than not suspicious enough. And men taking that personally, or fighting against efforts to solve the problem, just makes it worse.

The fact that you're treating that list of questions as an accusation, as a list of "harassing behaviors," when it was clearly stated that it wasn't--but was, instead, merely a list of things that, if you've done, should inspire further self-reflection--is not helping your case.
Well, the list of questions may have made him feel uncomfortable. I know it made me feel uncomfortable, and I'm 90% certain my answer to all those questions is "No"...past the age of 18 at least. I'm less certain of my actions during the hormone induced haze that shrouds my teenage years.

But just thinking about those questions in relation to myself was disconcerting and doubt inducing. I went from "definitely not...probably not...what if I did...could it have been seen that way by someone else?"

And making me feel uncomfortable or uncertain about myself or my actions makes me want to mount an aggressive defense, because "F*** You, you don't know me".

Then I remembered I'm also an adult, theoretically a mature individual, and that this is not about me (or about the 5e rules - because petty rules arguments are a hill I will die on) and let it go.
 

Hussar

Legend
Again, I'm not really sure what the massive problem is.

What do people think happens? Woman in a Catwoman cosplay costume feels uncomfortable because some guy has been hanging around just a bit too long. So, she goes to the con staff and says, "Hey, umm, this guy's been kinda creeping my out. He's been hanging around a long time. Could you have a word?"

Do you really think the police are going to get involved at this point?

So, the con staff goes to buddy and pulls him aside politely. "Umm, look, we're all here to have a good time. I'm just telling you now that there has been a complaint that you've been hanging around the cosplay area a bit long and maybe it might be a good idea if you checked out some of the other areas."

99% of the time, that's the end of it. Is buddy a bit embarrassed? Sure, but, in the grand scheme of things, there's no witch hunt, no drama, just some hurt feelings. Better safe than sorry.

Or, maybe, buddy says, "Oh, hey, that's my daughter over there in the Power Girl costume and I'm just hanging out here to make sure she's ok." Again, no harm, no foul. Job done and we move on.

What needs to happen though is that people need to be educated that:

1. Making a complaint is perfectly fine. If someone is making you uncomfortable, it's okay to speak up. You won't be publicly humiliated. You won't be subjected to endless questions about "proof" and "evidence". You can make the claim, and some action will occur.

2. Having a complaint about you is not the end of the world. It might be a perfectly innocent mistake, or it might be a teachable moment. In any case, the protection of women and ensuring that women are welcome at gaming conventions is far, far more important than your momentary discomfort.
 

Afrodyte

Villager
If a woman posted "2+2=4", and you responded with "So you're saying 2+2<4? That's not fair!", then I would just shrug, because at this point it's an established pattern.

You're taking Afrodyte's politely worded request as a personal attack.

You COULD answer "no, that's more than I choose to share with you at this time"
or you could just say "no" and let that be a full sentence.

Apparently the scenario of "Smith asks Jones for something, Jones says no, Smith accepts that answer and moves on" is unfamiliar to you. It's a scenario outside of your known range of human interactions, and also beyond your imagination.

It's more and more apparent, with each of your posts, that AfroDyte has you accurately pegged. And not in a good way.

If a woman were attending her first EN World con, and she told me "I met someone named S'mon and he offered me a ride in his vehicle. Should I trust him, or should I err on the side of safety and treat him as a potential harasser?"
I think your post got cut off.
 

Jeanneliza

Villager
Well here we are day 5 or 6 and still the discussion carries on despite some clear efforts to either derail it or get the thread shut down.
Those of you complaining about Afrodyte's list need to check yourselves. What she listed are in fact what in therapeutic circles are called "red flags". Simply the earliest indicators of potentially harassive or abusive behavior. A red flag is merely a warning to be alert, in themselves they are not actual harassment, but the next steps, escalations likely are. It is one of those protective measures we women again, are taught from the time we are able to talk to keep ourselves safe. And I agree with her on this, too many here on this thread have been flying red flags right and left while simultaneously making it clear they are less likely to believe a woman who makes a complaint than a man is guilty even after he admits it.
I have seen more than a few react to her post as if she is accusing all men. wah wah wah, meantime 6 days of hearing guys suggest ALL women are potentially liars intent on ruining some poor innocent guys life, based on theoreticals, while we cite actual cases that are all ready happening. If you guys hate generalizations so much from women(generalizations that stem from our experience on what it takes to be safe btw), but indulge in them yourselves about women, guess what? YOU ARE the problem.
Now frankly I am never going to go to a live Con, and while these comments are NOT the reason, they suggest my fears are not overblown. See I get the double whammy, I am female, and age doesn't protect me. I also have epilepsy, and high stress situations are more likely to produce seizures. If I have a seizure all your great advice here about video'ing assailants goes right out the window, I am unconscious or semi-conscious and helpless for an extended period. And before you say geez that is a medical emergency, no guy would harm a woman under those conditions? Wrong, I have come out of seizures to find some guys hand down the front of my shirt or pants, and if I say something? "Oh honey he was just trying to do first aid, you are not in your right mind, clearly you misunderstood." If I could invite you to the epilepsy support sites, and I can't they are all locked to membership only because of internet trolls, you could hear many stories of women and men being assaulted or robbed during a seizure. And we can't complain because we were unconscious or semi-conscious, therefore not a reliable witness. These kinds of incidents are why I only game online, and yeah I have had seizures during games even then, at tables with bullies who run unchecked because they are "friends" of the GM. My complaints to the GM were useless, and I eventually ended an 8 year friendship over the BS.
So any of you ever heard the jokes about seizure sex? They have been used in prime time TV shows, the one about the Boston lawyers was one we discussed specifically. (By the way, if you hear. laugh and repeat such jokes, you ARE the problem).
Now I want to add a few things for Afrodyte's list, based on things I have actually experienced gaming, with "decent" guys.
Have you or any of your friends at your table ever referred to their own young teenage daughter as bitches(I have heard this twice at tables, and two different men). If you are this disrespectful of your own daughter I am not going to believe you would treat any woman with respect.
Ever said to a woman eating in public "gee I like how you eat that banana" (or some other phallic shaped food). This is definitely creepy and why I don't eat such foods in public anymore. And it is a COMMON comment.
So while we women change the way we dress, where we go, what we eat, say, think to protect you guys and ourselves from your seeming claimed inability to control your own behavior , and you sit here whinging about even the most minor changes to protect us? GTFU.
Some of you are essentially whining about the need to take precautions women have ALWAYS been required to take.
 
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Afrodyte

Villager
Just an FYI, [MENTION=6843244]Jeanneliza[/MENTION], I didn't make list. That came pages before I joined the thread. I'm the one asking for names, addresses, social security numbers and recent and clear photographs. Just in case.
 

Jeanneliza

Villager
Just an FYI, [MENTION=6843244]Jeanneliza[/MENTION], I didn't make list. That came pages before I joined the thread. I'm the one asking for names, addresses, social security numbers and recent and clear photographs. Just in case.
I stand corrected and thank you. I have been following and commenting on here for several days and after a while some of the mind numbing repetition of the same excuses jumbles stuff together. There are very few women commenting here it should be easier to remember which is which. I think there are a few here who wish we would just shut up, which is pretty much why I DON'T.
 

RedJenOSU

Registered User
You just aren't heading anywhere near that direction with your post; you're raising hackles instead.
As others have said, I posted a bunch of red flag behaviors that were meant to cause self-reflection on the part of anyone reading them. Guess what self-reflection isn't always easy, but it can lead to reevaluating your future choices, growth, and in extreme cases empathy.

Hell, I'm guilty of doing some of the things on that list in the past. In my youth, I was a card carrying Republican and saw myself as a feminist. Then through life experience and getting to know people who were different from me, I started seeing patterns that didn't jive with the most basic goal of feminism. Feminism really boils down to a single ask: Can we treat all people as people?

A guy goes into a bar and gets punched, assuming the police get involved, no one is going to ask him what he was wearing? Did he actually want to get punched and is now regretting it? Why was he at the bar alone in the bar after dark in the first place? Was he signally non-verbally that he wanted to get punched?

A girl goes into a bar and her drink get spiked. She wakes up the next morning not knowing what happened, but call the police saying she thinks she was drugged and had sex without her consent. Every one of those questions is going to come up at the trial. I've sat in the jury box and watched this happen. Along with exactly how much did you have to drink? Do you drink often? Have you ever gone home with someone else after a night at the bar? Do you regularly have sex with people you just met? How do you know you were drugged?

Her sex life and every choice she made up to that point is on trial, forget assuming that she's an adult that may be able to reason and make her own choices. If her past choices put her in a compromised situation, then many would argue it is her fault. Let me repeat that - If a woman is raped, but her past choices put her in what society deems to be a compromising situation, there is a portion of the population that would say it is her own fault for being raped. More often than not in a case of sexual assault (of which rape is only one kind), it is the woman who is put on trial to prove that she didn't instigate her own assault. Tell me why any woman would want to do through that after being assaulted? Who is guilty until proven innocent?
 

Particle_Man

Villager
I heard some “advice” that I could not tell if serious or not. It said that if a woman is raped she should accuse the rapist of indecent exposure instead as it is far more likely to result in a conviction and won’t put her through as much crap. That was some time ago so maybe things are different now.
 

Rygar

Villager
Well here we are day 5 or 6 and still the discussion carries on despite some clear efforts to either derail it or get the thread shut down.
Those of you complaining about Afrodyte's list need to check yourselves. What she listed are in fact what in therapeutic circles are called "red flags". Simply the earliest indicators of potentially harassive or abusive behavior. A red flag is merely a warning to be alert, in themselves they are not actual harassment, but the next steps, escalations likely are. It is one of those protective measures we women again, are taught from the time we are able to talk to keep ourselves safe. And I agree with her on this, too many here on this thread have been flying red flags right and left while simultaneously making it clear they are less likely to believe a woman who makes a complaint than a man is guilty even after he admits it.
I have seen more than a few react to her post as if she is accusing all men. wah wah wah, meantime 6 days of hearing guys suggest ALL women are potentially liars intent on ruining some poor innocent guys life, based on theoreticals, while we cite actual cases that are all ready happening. If you guys hate generalizations so much from women(generalizations that stem from our experience on what it takes to be safe btw), but indulge in them yourselves about women, guess what? YOU ARE the problem.
Now frankly I am never going to go to a live Con, and while these comments are NOT the reason, they suggest my fears are not overblown. See I get the double whammy, I am female, and age doesn't protect me. I also have epilepsy, and high stress situations are more likely to produce seizures. If I have a seizure all your great advice here about video'ing assailants goes right out the window, I am unconscious or semi-conscious and helpless for an extended period. And before you say geez that is a medical emergency, no guy would harm a woman under those conditions? Wrong, I have come out of seizures to find some guys hand down the front of my shirt or pants, and if I say something? "Oh honey he was just trying to do first aid, you are not in your right mind, clearly you misunderstood." If I could invite you to the epilepsy support sites, and I can't they are all locked to membership only because of internet trolls, you could hear many stories of women and men being assaulted or robbed during a seizure. And we can't complain because we were unconscious or semi-conscious, therefore not a reliable witness. These kinds of incidents are why I only game online, and yeah I have had seizures during games even then, at tables with bullies who run unchecked because they are "friends" of the GM. My complaints to the GM were useless, and I eventually ended an 8 year friendship over the BS.
So any of you ever heard the jokes about seizure sex? They have been used in prime time TV shows, the one about the Boston lawyers was one we discussed specifically. (By the way, if you hear. laugh and repeat such jokes, you ARE the problem).
Now I want to add a few things for Afrodyte's list, based on things I have actually experienced gaming, with "decent" guys.
Have you or any of your friends at your table ever referred to their own young teenage daughter as bitches(I have heard this twice at tables, and two different men). If you are this disrespectful of your own daughter I am not going to believe you would treat any woman with respect.
Ever said to a woman eating in public "gee I like how you eat that banana" (or some other phallic shaped food). This is definitely creepy and why I don't eat such foods in public anymore. And it is a COMMON comment.
So while we women change the way we dress, where we go, what we eat, say, think to protect you guys and ourselves from your seeming claimed inability to control your own behavior , and you sit here whinging about even the most minor changes to protect us? GTFU.
Some of you are essentially whining about the need to take precautions women have ALWAYS been required to take.
Just a point of clarification, the two lists are of Micro-aggressions, not red flags. Medicine doesn't recognize any of those lists as "Therapeutic red flags" and none of them are considered harassment in legal terms. I'm not protesting them being discussed, just pointing out that what is being discussed is politics.
 

RedJenOSU

Registered User
Just a point of clarification, the two lists are of Micro-aggressions, not red flags. Medicine doesn't recognize any of those lists as "Therapeutic red flags" and none of them are considered harassment in legal terms. I'm not protesting them being discussed, just pointing out that what is being discussed is politics.
When choosing who I interact with, constant microaggressions are a something I view as a red flag. They may not meet a medical standard, but since I have to be aware of my surroundings in order to protect myself, I am not able to always let things get to the level of meeting a "standard" before I make a judgement call.

Edit to add a comma
 
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Jeanneliza

Villager
Just a point of clarification, the two lists are of Micro-aggressions, not red flags. Medicine doesn't recognize any of those lists as "Therapeutic red flags" and none of them are considered harassment in legal terms. I'm not protesting them being discussed, just pointing out that what is being discussed is politics.
Times change, terms have changed, I have noted this before. I am not getting into semantics here, I am referring to the terms that were used in women's groups and women's therapists to help women who have all ready been victimized to identify behaviors that serve as early warning signs that this individual may be a problem. I don't care what you call them, back then or in the present, they serve the same purpose, so vulnerable groups can do as we are constantly advised, avoid potentially harmful situations/persons. Whatever they are called now, I recognized the list from back in the 80's and they were called red flags.
But this is again losing sight of the forest for the trees as it were. Many men on here have made it pretty clear that they perceive ALL women as potential threats to their reputations(false allegations) and are angry that women rebuff their overtures because of the currently "PC" climate that paints all men as potential dangers. The entire time thy are doing this they are literally waving red warning flags, and how the hell are they going to figure this out if no one tells them?
It also distracts from the statistical historical fact women have had to live a daily strategy to protect themselves and submit a much higher standard of proof than men who have been falsely accused of any crime or aggression against a woman needs to meet. The insistence that lowering the bar of proof puts them at risks, while ignoring the fact that failing to do so puts us at greater risk, should be a flag.
 

Catulle

Villager
I don't think it's particularly helpful to get caught up in the therapeutic settings thing - it's pretty clearly about assessing and managing risk to one's person.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Soooo...

(trying to use a wet paper bag to stop a runaway freight train)

Realizing that there are no panaceas; no magic bullets, what can be done? More precisely, what more can be done at cons and similar gatherings?

I’ve always thought such events- regardless of type- were kind of understaffed. (Even when I was taking classes with the IAAM.). Modern venues are doing more with facial recognition and other electronic surveillance.

If we want Las Vegas casino levels of security, how much more would we be willing to pay?
 
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RedJenOSU

Registered User
Soooo...

(trying to use a wet paper bag to stop a runaway freight train)

Realizing that there are nompanaceas; no magic bullets, what can be done? More precisely, what more can be done at cons and similar gatherings?

I’ve always thought such events- regardless of type- were kind of understaffed. (Even when I was taking classes with the IAAM.). Modern venues are doing more with facial recognition and other electronic surveillance.

If we want Las Vegas casino levels of security, how much more would we be willing to pay?
Honestly? Self-policing through positive peer pressure is one of the most impactful things that can be done. Having people who share the same or higher level of power/privilege point out poor behavior as it happens is a way to exert positive peer pressure. Saying something right after you witness bad behavior, like, "Dude, that (insert behavior here) is not cool/not tolerated here/offends me." It could be "Hey, I was hoping to talk with that person, but if you continue to scare the people I'm interested in away, I'm going to get a new wingman."

This is just being aware of your surroundings and taking an active part in making the environment more inclusive and it is free.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Clearly, but self-policing and “see something, say something” have been discussed and advocated for years- at least, here on ENWorld. And yet, as this thread’s title implies, whatever progress as has been made is still...less than satisfactory.

You can’t eliminate bad human behavior without eliminating humans. Trying to do so becomes increasingly expensive and impractical. There’s even an economic concept called the “optimum level of crime”- the point at which spending on crime prevention is so prohibitably expensive that it makes far more sense to spend the money in other ways.

So it’s not A question, but a series:

1) what more can we do?
2) will it be effective?
3) will it be cost effective
4) will we be actually willing to pay for it?
 

Riley37

Villager
"Please tell me, what is your bra size?" That's a politely worded request. It's one that's clearly, massively inappropriate. In the right context, it could well be a nasty personal attack.
Three true statements, one after the other!

If you are running gaming cons, at which no man ever asks that question to a woman in a cosplay outfit: congratulations, you are running the kind of con Morrus wants to host. How did you accomplish this? Do you screen participants? Do you have them sign agreement to a Code of Conduct as part of registration? Did you also eliminate all *worse* behavior, such as leering and groping? How long did it take?

How do you deal with the men who argue "she should just slap him", and the men who argue "she should call the police; until he's convicted of a crime, we must assume that he's innocent and therefore we assume that his behavior meets con standards"? What response to those men, this thread, would be effective?

If you were establishing groundwork for some other argument, without actually stating it, and you are disappointed that I did not engage that implied argument; if you were counting on me to connect your dots - no. "All syllogisms have three parts, therefore this is not a syllogism." If you make an argument, step by step, all the way from postulates to categories to conclusion, then I will address it, and FWIW I'll extend more good faith that I've seen from S'mon.

In the meantime, I sincerely do want to hear about cons at which no man ever asks a woman a question as invasive as her bra size. Heck, if you know how an *airport* can make such questions rare inside the secured zone, please share your techniques.
 

RedJenOSU

Registered User
Clearly, but self-policing and “see something, say something” have been discussed and advocated for years- at least, here on ENWorld. And yet, as this thread’s title implies, whatever progress as has been made is still...less than satisfactory.

You can’t eliminate bad human behavior without eliminating humans. Trying to do so becomes increasingly expensive and impractical. There’s even an economic concept called the “optimum level of crime”- the point at which spending on crime prevention is so prohibitably expensive that it makes far more sense to spend the money in other ways.

So it’s not A question, but a series:

1) what more can we do?
2) will it be effective?
3) will it be cost effective
4) will we be actually willing to pay for it?
If I haven't ticked someone off before, here's where I'm going to do it.

If you aren't an active part of the solution, then you are part of the problem (silence/ignoring in almost every case is assumed to be consent/approval/condoning the behaviors that are labelled as wrong).

You can't assume because you are in a group of 20 people that someone else will step up and step in. You can't assume that since you all saw the harassing behavior, that someone else is reporting it. Make it easier to report. For example: Snap a pic of the person, send it with time, location and what you saw to the people in charge.

It is not enough to be a non-harassing male, you need to be a non-harassing male who actively looks for ways to make spaces safer AND then acts upon that knowledge.

Many times in my life I've acted out of ignorance. Once my ignorance was pointed out to me, it was up to ME to make the changes in my behavior.

So tell me, are you guys willing to pay that price?
 
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