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We're All Gamers Together: Why Harassment Has To Stop

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Another piece talking about the harassment of women in tabletop gaming has surfaced on the internet. At least one of the incidents related in that piece has been substantiated as being true, so I am willing to accept that there is more truth in that article. Whether gamers, or geeks in general, want to admit it or not, there are serious issues within our communities with how people act towards women, people of color, and the LGBTQI. We need to knock that off right now. Obviously, this is an opinion piece.
Just as a warning, for those who might be bothered by certain sorts of content, some of the incidents that were relayed to me, the stories that were told, have jarring, uncomfortable occurrences in them. If mentions of rape and unsolicitated physical contact will bother you, you might want to skip the rest of this article. I know reading the emails and PMs from these women bothered me as they came in.

As much as what these women related bothered me, and obviously bothered them as the targets of the harassment, I felt that the fact that it was so uncomfortable was exactly the reason why this current piece needed to be written. We, as a group, need to start looking the people doing this harassment in the eye and telling them that we don’t think it is okay. We need to stop pushing these accounts into the shadows, under the rugs, and pretending that they do not exist. We need to make our communities into better places for everyone, and not just a bunch of men.

I put out a call over my various social media feeds (which was shared a lot), asking for women to share their experiences of harassment in tabletop gaming with me. Anonymity was offered to those who wanted it, and not surprisingly most respondents asked that their names be kept confidential. The reasons for them wanting to be kept anonymous were one of two. First, they were afraid of further harassment within their communities for calling out the bad behavior. They seen how women who tell men to stop get treated in small, closed communities and, for better or worse, they want to continue with their hobbies without additional harassment. The second reason was a bit scarier. Some of these women are professionals, working in tabletop gaming in a number of different capacities, who fear that publicly coming forward would negatively impact their careers within gaming.

I’ll just say that last one again, with emphasis: they were afraid that coming forward about their harassment, or the harassment that they had witnessed, would negatively impact their careers in tabletop gaming.

Because of these reasons, I will be keeping the identities of everyone who asked anonymous. Everyone who spoke with me identified themselves, I am just not identifying them.

One of the common threads through the experiences shared was rape. Most of these women had had characters raped during convention play, online games, or at events at stores. Sometimes the rapes were matter-of-factly introduced into play, others there was a titillating level of graphic detail to the assaults. One women talked about how a regular attendee at a local convention bragged of having a “rape kit” in his car for the women at the convention, and at one point he yelled at her to “find him women to sleep with.” She also talked about the organizers of the convention having a “men only camping retreat” and when she was on the board of the con the only way that she could attend was “nude and wearing a dog collar.” Another woman talked about the GM of her online game suddenly having her character knocked unconscious, taken away on a ship, and then graphically narrated raping her character. All of this occurred on voice chat while using a popular virtual tabletop site.

Another woman told me that her attempts at organizing a couple of women only games for a VTT online convention was met with such vehemence from male gamers that the games were pulled from the schedule of the convention.

People wonder why more and more people think that anti-harassment policies are needed at conventions. After all, even Gen Con has one:
Gen Con: The Best Four Days in Gaming! is dedicated to providing a harassment-free Event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or affiliation. We do not tolerate harassment of convention participants in any form. Convention participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled without refund at the discretion of show management.

And an Ethics policy:

All of the following constitute grounds for expulsion from the convention without refund:
  • Violating any federal, state, or local laws, facility rules or convention policies
  • Failure to comply with the instructions of Gen Con Event Staff or security personnel
  • Using anything in a threatening or destructive manner against person or property
  • Endangering the safety of oneself or others
  • Threatening, stealing, cheating or harassing others
  • Failure to conduct oneself in a mature manner

The creators of the 13th Age RPG have anti-harassment policies for their organized play because “Nobody shows up for a game with the goal of feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, and sorry that they came. But organized play brings together many different types of people with different expectations and approaches to play. An anti-harassment policy sets ground rules that everyone can recognize and follow, resulting in better games and more fun.” In the policy they outline harassment as “Everyone has the right to a space that is safe from any type of harassment: physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual.”

Honestly, considering the experiences that have been related to me, these sorts of policies should be commonplace for conventions and organized play. I have heard that Paizo is currently drafting an anti-harassment policy for their organized play, and Ad Astra Games has one in place already.

These are some of the more overt things that women have to deal with in their tabletop gaming experiences, and doesn’t go into the more “casual” or systemic harassment and sexism that women deal with at conventions, in online play and at game stores. One of the women talked about women being a subclass in society, and it being more so in gaming communities. “It sucks for a female gamer, going into a store and having that reaction.”

Men are openly commenting on women’s body parts in a sexual manner. Sexual content is added to games because “that’s the kind of stuff that women like.” Crude sexual references and jokes are made.

I’m not saying that there is no place for sexual, or adult themes, in gaming. Just the opposite, in fact. In my personal groups I game with grownups, and we play games that can have adult material in them. We have, however, agreed that content like that is okay in advance, and most of the time we agree that players’ agency over their characters should not be railroaded by the story of the game, or the actions of the GM. There is a huge difference between making awkward sexual comments out of the blue, because you are hoping it will interest a woman gamer, and making awkward sexual comments that people expect in their game. This goes doubly so for games in public spaces, like conventions or stores.

And just because it is okay with your wife, girlfriend or the woman in your gaming group at home, that doesn’t mean that it is okay with all women. If it makes someone at the table uncomfortable, or makes them feel like they are being harassed, just don’t do it, or apologize for having done it.

And, of course, none of them are safe from accusations of being a “fake geek girl,” or being in the store to get something for their husband or boyfriend. Apparently the idea that a woman would want to buy her own dice or miniatures or rule books is alien to some gamers.

As Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World, points out in an online essay, there have always been gender problems in tabletop gaming. But he also points out that women have been interested in tabletop gaming for a long time. But, just because something has “always been that way,” it does not mean that it has to stay that way. Even in the 1970s TSR Games employees were taken to task by fandom, and female designers, to be more respectful of women gamers and to stop using phrases like “ladygamers.” Sadly, these attitudes that were considered to be outdated back then are still being perpetuated now…in some cases by some of the same people.

My first AD&D group, back in 1979, had a woman for the GM, and about half of the group were women. Most of my groups since then have had women involved in them. We need to be better, as a community, about these things. We need to speak out when we see women being harassed, online or in person, and we need to tell the people who think that doing this is okay that it isn’t. We need to be active in making the change that creates better communities where we don’t have to worry about our friends being harassed because of their gender, or their sexual preferences, or their ethnicity. We have to convince conventions and organized play societies that having anti-harassment policies is a good thing, and enforcing them so that everyone feels welcomed and accepted is a better thing.

Guys, we have to remember that this isn’t about us. This isn’t about our perceptions of what is happening at conventions, during organized play events and in online games. We sit back, listen and ask what we need to do, rather than try to make the discussion about how it “isn’t all men.” We already know that. We need to not take the focus away from what needs to be done.

There are never going to be completely safe spaces, in gaming or outside of it. However, we can make better places where no one has to worry about their body parts being part of the table talk, or their characters being sexually violated. It is the 21st century, and we should be better about this than we are. We need to stop being quiet, stop facilitating harassment, and we need to start making better spaces for ourselves and our fellow gamers. A group, like nerds, that talk so much about being harassed in their youth for being different should really be more sensitive about harassing others. We can, as a group, be better about this, and we need to do it.
 

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Dannager

Villager
You told me the reason behind the attempts at resolution was to have a successful convention.

What if 60% of the people at a convention do not want to allow a woman only table top session, 30% didn't care either way, and 10% wanted to allow it, and the 60% got their way (preventing women only sessions), is the convention a success?
The guidelines I described are for resolving harassment claims. I'm not sure what you're trying to show, here.
 

Jeanneliza

Villager
Considering that the person who came in here to tell us about why her and her friends were attempting to create an all female table top group painted the picture that the vast majority of the community was against it, that would seem like a successful event. Would it not? When you have the vast majority pleased with how things are currently being run, ignoring whether or not its being run right or wrong, that seems to point towards a successful event.
I was THAT person, and I never said the vast majority of the community was against it. ONE very vocal jerk opposed it, rewrote my words, a few offered HIM passive support, the VAST majority stayed silent, while the silent supporters of the one vocal person boycotted my events, BECAUSE NO ONE WANTED TO DISRUPT THE event to address the issue. Better to isolate the victim and let the harrassers stay and we can sort the facts afterwards. Since that was the case, raising hell myself at that point would have compounded my problems.
 

Taneras

Villager
The guidelines I described are for resolving harassment claims.
Yes, with the goal of resolving these claims being a successful convention. Which brought me to that question dealing with whether or not a convention was successful or not.

I'm not sure what you're trying to show, here.
60% of the people at a convention do not want to allow a woman only table top session, 30% didn't care either way, and 10% wanted to allow it, and the 60% got their way (preventing women only sessions), is the convention a success?

This is a simple question. I think you're smart enough to understand where this is going and are refusing to answer because you don't want to inject a concept you've been railing against for 20+ pages (fairness/justice/whatever you want to label it) in an attempt to defend the 10% who want female only tables.
 
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Taneras

Villager
I was THAT person, and I never said the vast majority of the community was against it. ONE very vocal jerk opposed it, rewrote my words, a few offered HIM passive support, the VAST majority stayed silent, while the silent supporters of the one vocal person boycotted my events, BECAUSE NO ONE WANTED TO DISRUPT THE event to address the issue. Better to isolate the victim and let the harrassers stay and we can sort the facts afterwards. Since that was the case, raising hell myself at that point would have compounded my problems.
My mistake, I was wrong. I thought I had read that the silent people were still against it but remained silent. Thanks for the correction. Still, though, that doesn't affect my hypothetical question as it's hypothetical and not a reflection of an actual event.
 

Jeanneliza

Villager
My mistake, I was wrong. I thought I had read that the silent people were still against it but remained silent. Thanks for the correction. Still, though, that doesn't affect my hypothetical question as it's hypothetical and not a reflection of an actual event.
Yes please do stay with the hypotheticals with offering no opinion with an actual current event. Therein lies the problem, while people are arguing against disruption, dwelling on theoreticals actual people are being actually harassed into leaving a hobby that ,sorry perhaps my training in theater inspired a greater passion more quickly than is wont,but I truly do love and will miss. It is painful to know I may never be able to play again. So now you are not talking hypotheticals and when you misquote me to support your hypothetical you did the exact same thing the one hostile jerk did. Instead of facing real current suffering you hide in theoreticals. Please continue I won't burst your bubble.
 

Taneras

Villager
Yes please do stay with the hypotheticals with offering no opinion with an actual current event.
I said this a while ago (Post #378).

I'm sorry for your experience, and the experiences of the women you're speaking about. It's not acceptable and I do think something needs to be done. I agree, our hobby isn't about excluding groups of people based off characteristics they cannot control (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.). And I'm pretty sure most of the people who are being told that we're part of the problem in this thread feel the same way. My current group has two women in it and honestly its a bit more enjoyable than my previous all male groups as they bring different personalities and perspectives to the table.

That said, I think we need to focus on behavior and not gender here. Bad behavior is bad behavior regardless of gender. Lets focus to reduce bad behavior and not focus on genders, races, ages, sexual orientations, or anything of that sort.
and when you misquote me to support your hypothetical you did the exact same thing the one hostile jerk did.
The misquote wasn't intentional I simply misread and I don't appreciate the condemning tone. I didn't do the exact same thing as that one jerk, I have no issue with all women tables at all. I simply misread something you typed, that doesn't make me a bad person.
 
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Jeanneliza

Villager
So tell me then how do I address the bad behavior here without getting labeled a drama queen or attention seeker? How do I do this and ignore the fact that all those behind this were of one gender, and those who were shut out of a game or too intimidated to participate, or felt it was just not worth playing there once it was made clear by even a few they were not WANTED there were a different gender? How do I ignore the fact in defending myself that his argument was that by merely offering a single womens game with the pre-approval or the organizers, that I was painting a picture of the community as toxic/unsafe and that women needed a safe place? When not once in the over the year I have been active there have I ever said or suggested such a thing? Those were HIS words not mine.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
This would certainly help, but it isn't enough on its own. Many places won't have them in place, coverage angles probably won't be ideal, audio will be lost in the noise of con halls which means this does little or nothing to address evidence of verbal harassment, etc. It's one step among many that needs to be taken.
As I see it, the only way to lessen the problem is to make sure the people who harass/assault others are caught. That means collecting proof, and that means cameras and microphones, and increased security.

Outside of A) enabling collection of proof, B) having an on-site police presence so complaints of sexual assault (and other crimes) can be dealt with directly by authorities, and C) spreading awareness about the issue so that female attendees know the risks, we really do have to rely on the community policing itself by doing the things that I described earlier:

1) Don't harass or assault people yourself.

2) Be more alert for those who are harassing or assaulting others.

3) If you see/hear harassment or assault, do not tolerate it in your presence.

4) Cooperate with security/police when they ask you about harassment or an assault that you may have witnessed. If you didn't witness it, make sure you tell the security/police officer that you "didn't see it," not that it "didn't happen."
 

Taneras

Villager
So tell me then how do I address the bad behavior here without getting labeled a drama queen or attention seeker?
Unfortunately you can't, you'll never convince 100% of any community that's this large. This is going to sound incredibly sappy and lame but just do your best. Ask others to help you. Perhaps you missed it but I've stated that I'm going to be trying to encourage people to speak out and report incidents even if it didn't happen to them. So you've raised awareness with me.

How do I do this and ignore the fact that all those behind this were of one gender
Maybe I'm misquoting again, and if I am I'm sorry. But didn't you say that out of the 200 or 300 only five or six were female? The group that you've labeled "all those behind this" was also a small amount of people. It's no coincidence that if you have the vast majority of a large event be male (95+%) that if you pick out 5 or 10 that they'll all be male. Maybe even if you had a 50/50 split in genders you'd still end up with only males disagreeing with all female tables but I doubt that. Demographics don't all think alike and I'm sure there would be some females that might be against the idea of limiting a table to whats between your legs. Likewise, I'm sure there were plenty of males there that had no issue with an all woman's table, but just didn't speak up. And that's not giving them a pass, they should have spoke up about it if that's how they felt. I'm just pointing out that that "one gender" was also likely in support of you - they should have just said so.

That said, there's nothing wrong with simply labeling the gender/race/age/whatever of the people who harassed you out of the event. You're labeling those people as male didn't bother me. My issue with gender had to do with the original article.

How do I ignore the fact in defending myself that his argument was that by merely offering a single womens game with the pre-approval or the organizers, that I was painting a picture of the community as toxic/unsafe and that women needed a safe place? When not once in the over the year I have been active there have I ever said or suggested such a thing? Those were HIS words not mine.
I gotcha, I'm with you 100%. I don't think women wanting to have their own table top group suggests that the community is toxic/unsafe, it could be any number of reasons and honestly I don't think yall should have even needed to explain your reasons in the first place. It should have been an automatic yes.
 
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Lehrbuch

Villager
This adoption snowballs into my own preferences, my game world, and my own acting ability at the table. For example, I'm incapable of role-playing a transgender person. Worse, I might buy an adventure and discover that the mayor of town X has been scripted as Y lifestyle so now I'm forced to play a lifestyle not only alien to me, but unsettling to me on a personal level... and if I "do it wrong" I cause offense.
I'm struggling to see what the great difficulty is with role-playing, say, a transgender (N)PC. We are trying to role-play a complete persona. Which depending on our own preferences it might be a more or less complete or detailed persona, but it certainly will be a whole lot more than just gender identification.

I suppose a transgender (N)PC might have some goals around accessing polymorph magic, but not necessarily. Otherwise she should have the same sorts of goals, motivations, reactions as any other (N)PC, which depend on background, alignment, and circumstance. Role-playing a transgender (N)PC is not really any different to role-playing a cisgender one.

To use your example, if you are role-playing the transgender mayor of town X, then her political goals and alliances, loyalty to her town, tolerance for corruption, and so forth are not really going to be any different are they?
 
I think the main points have been made here, and much of the discussion is going around in circles with the same few people.

1) harassment is bad and policies addressing it do not have to be fair and reach criminal standards of innocent until proven guilty. A credible accusation can enough to take action and removing the person from the con is reasonable action.

2) there is a small but not zero chance that such a policy can be abused, but the risk is worth the result

3) the goal is not to fix the world, rather to make cons and gaming stores safer places to play games.

4) the conversation here has been remarkably polite for this type of topic and that is one of the two ways to change the world, and I applaud even the posters I disagree with. (The other way to change the world is applied violence and the does not really work in an online forum).

5) even I who am quite pro remove even with accusation only respect the concerns of those here that worry about the edge cases where abuse might happen
 
...and less appealing to others, which is me. Not much really, since consumers today enjoy being pandered to and don't really consider purchases on an intellectual basis, i.e do I really need this? I'm simply more discerning.
"Discerning". A useful word. I'll have to teach it to a four year old I know who refuses to eat anything that isn't smothered in ketchup so it tastes the same as everything else to say that he's discerning. And that he considers what he eats on an intellectual basis and doesn't actually need variety in what he eats - just that it has enough nutrients. And that he can complain that other people are being pandered to whenever the mother tries to put something spicy or full of garlic or even crisp on the table.
 

Ace

Villager
You realize that it is not just Gamer gurrl as you call us complain about being harassed so have people of color and LGBTQ people. This is not just about women it is about protecting everyone right to not be harassed at an event and that includes straight white guys as well.
Kind of a straw man argument, No one here is suggesting that and I in fact said the exact opposite, that a Con ought to have a written policy.

If someone reports a case of harassment then it is the duty of the people to address it. If they have no evidence because no one saw it then they can warn the person to stay away from the person making the complaint and keep a closer eye on him.
No disagreement here . its pretty much what I said.

I am really tired of the excuse that harassers don't know better and are socially awkward. I used to be shy and socially awkward but I knew touching someone without their permission was wrong I knew calling out nasty things to them was wrong and I knew that when someone asked me to stop bothering them that I should.
Again not what I said, harassment has to be properly defined and I have no issue stopping it . However it usually caused buy the people in the hobby who in fact do have poor social skills or autism or the like. A Cat P*ss man and Cat P*ss women is a stereotype for a reason. That said we don't in principle disagree, if peopel can't keep it together, kick them out.


So being inclusive and accepting diversity in our hobby is ruing the fun? So darn those women and minorities for wanting to be included in the fun and maybe if people would just allow them to have fun too without bullying there would be no need to beat on the drum.
At a Con, its up to the organizers to determine who they want. This is not my choice to make since i won't be attending but when they make the call if they'll have to way the chance that pursing one agenda keeps people with different views away.

In any case Cons are not full of newbs just waiting to join our dorky hobby , everyone knows what D&D is and being welcoming won't accomplish anything. Its not a useful goal in and off itself, homogeneity is strength, not diversity

That said race and creed are no bar and more smart gamers are always welcome at my table. The problem to me is SJW entryism not race and creed . You see this isn't about Cons where there is a legitimate reason to have a standard but its about directing the gaming hobby, its products and identity the way they like. The long march is action.

Personally I've gamed with very diverse groups, gay/straight male/female 4 or 5 different religions multiple races all at once. It was very cool.

But here is the thing it was NOT inclusive at all. It was a monoculture, all of us gamers interested in the same sort of gaming. That is why it worked, because roots and bones it wasn't diverse,

If this means me not allowing any person or group that doesn't fit at my table so be it. Its not your problem, the hobbies problem, its not a problem at all .

However if you personally think its an issue, put an add online, start a group and go play. If I was at your table, I'll play by your rules.gladly. Keep in mind I love Blue Rose who knows it might work

And if it doesn't, you'd be right to kick me out. No hard feelings.
 

Hussar

Legend
[MENTION=944]Ace[/MENTION] - this isn't about home games. This is about public spaces. Always has been. So why are you talking about home games?

Now, if I want my group to be a dudes club and I want to revel in Golden Age fantasy tropes with all the bigotry and misogyny that entails, more power to me.

But, in public spaces? In game books that are meant for general consumption? Not a bloody chance. No way. It's completely unacceptable.
 

ehren37

Villager
Ugh. I was asked to elaborate. I did that. I recently dropped the published game world I was using and am indeed using my own material.
Yes, you dropped Pathfinder because they published material featuring "teh gays". But you TOTALLY arent homophobic. You just prefer everyone to be straight and white... to the point that you cant stomach even changing material that isnt.
 
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Elf Witch

Villager
Yep, which is what I meant earlier by pandering.
So if game designers make products that fit what you want this is business but if they make products that other people want that is pandering? You can't see what is wrong with that? Tell me if a restaurant what has never served vegetarian meals decides that they want to start serving them to attract more customers is that pandering or just good business practices?


I disagree that a dongle joke (I have a big dongle - I believe was the effect of the joke) is comparative to a racist joke making fun of black people.

So what about my kitchen joke that I might have made to my wife. That's one of my original examples that you said I was over reacting about. Couldn't that be seen as a sexist joke? Couldn't that make a female, or even a male, uncomfortable?



I'm concerned about a knee jerking reaction that creates overboard policies that include what I've already mentioned. And I don't think that I'm being paranoid because I've already seen it happen with some of my other hobbies/interests. Atheism, for example, has issues with it. For the record I'm not trying to derail and discuss religion, I have no issue with personal supernatural beliefs so long as everyone's rights are respected. But some atheist conventions have gotten that bad, even canceling certain speakers, for petty comments. In an attempt to create a safer and more friendly space, they've gone overboard with super strict policies that have honestly created more problems than they have solved.

I think there's a way to create policies that don't over reach. And I hope that's what's done. I'd hate to be asked to leave an event because of a joke I made with my wife or I uttered the word "crazy".



That's the definition of sexism, creating different standards of behavior for each gender. I don't think what's between your legs should have any bearing on what you're allowed to do.



Then its probably a very small store operated environment. I can't imagine this would occur at a large convention. Has it?



And I agree 100%, I'd have no issue with a woman wanting to run an all female table top campaign so long as we apply the same standards to men.
Some women are uncomfortable listening to men talk about their penis in a sexual manner some men are too. When you are in a public place you need to be aware that you share that space without people. If I am at event sitting behind someone at a panel or a gaming table and they start making sexual jokes and I become uncomfortable it should be okay for me to ask them to stop. And if they don't then I need to bring in someone in charge. Here is why you ,can't make a case that if you can't talk about the size of your penis the event is going to be ruined for you but you could be ruining the event for me.

I actually had something similar happen to me I was in a restaurant with a friend who had just buried her infant daughter. The guys behind us were making dead baby jokes normally I don't care about jokes like that. I asked them very politely to stop explaining the situation and they got all butt hurt and started getting louder. So I went to the manager to ask to be moved. Since there was no open seats and our food was coming out he went to the table to ask them to stop and when they got nasty with him he threw them out.

You make a joke with your wife and it is overheard the situation then depends on where are you sitting was it heard in passing are you all at a gaming table together sitting next to each other in a panel. I can't think of any con committee that is going to step in over a joke like that heard in passing if they do it would simply be to ask you to watch your comments. Now if you are sort of trapped together and the other people make it clear that they are uncomfortable and ask you to stop and you don't that is harassment. Again for the same reason you don't need to make jokes like that to enjoy the event. Though I think most people understand the difference between two people joking and some sexist idiot using get back into the kitchen as a way to silence a woman who is stating her opinion.

Actually the definition of sexism is more than that. But what you keep refusing to see is this as long as inequality exist you sometimes have to make exceptions for the group facing the inequality. As I keep saying women are in the minority of gaming because of that you may have to make exceptions like an all female game. If you had a group of newbies and a DM wanted to run a game only for them I doubt people would protest why because there would be plenty of other games for experienced players to find to play in.

You keep saying that you want to prevent a knee jerk reaction but you keep coming up with examples that are examples of knee jerk reaction.

BTW how is it unfair if an event has 60 games running and only 1 is female only? How is that putting out any male player at all? If someone said we are going to have 60 games and 1 table only for gays. or 1 table only for men I don't think most people would make a fuss. I am sure some would because they made a fuss over 1 game out of 60.

You're apparently not familiar with Tumblr. Facts, Truth, those things are not ideals Tumblr is well known for. Tumblr is well known for factual incorrectness, misrepresenting/skewing data, and outright lies, then when caught it was all "To start a conversation".

Anything on Tumblr should be immediately regarded as fiction.
And you ignoring all the other places including the Washington Post where this has been discussed. You are basically calling the women and men here on Enworld liars too.

I'm not seeing how being asked to leave a convention is going to convince a woman who is already willing to come forward, not to come forward. If it's genuine and she's willing to come forward, the fair consequence if being asked to leave is a blip. I'm also only for the mutual eviction if there is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the accused. If there is, then she should not be asked to go.

If it's he said, she said, then both should go or neither should go. Fair is fair.
Seriously let me ask you this some person steals your wallet and you go to report it and by the time con security and the police catch up with the thief he no longer has it and no one saw him take it but you how would you feel after having your wallet stolen you get kicked out of the event? Fair is fair right? What about your daughter or son coming up to you and tell you that they have been groped by an adult but they can't prove it are you okay with your family getting kicked out? Fair is Fair right?

Yes please do stay with the hypotheticals with offering no opinion with an actual current event. Therein lies the problem, while people are arguing against disruption, dwelling on theoreticals actual people are being actually harassed into leaving a hobby that ,sorry perhaps my training in theater inspired a greater passion more quickly than is wont,but I truly do love and will miss. It is painful to know I may never be able to play again. So now you are not talking hypotheticals and when you misquote me to support your hypothetical you did the exact same thing the one hostile jerk did. Instead of facing real current suffering you hide in theoreticals. Please continue I won't burst your bubble.
I don't know if it is possible to actually discuss this with this him he is so wrapped up in hypothetical situations that he can't see the forest for the trees. I have been trying for pages. I am really sorry this happened to you. I left gaming because of crap like this back in the 80s and didn't come back for ten years. I have left a lot of geek groups because of the sheer hate directed at me because of my gender. I am a huge comic book fan but I got tired of having to justify my presence to the gatekeepers wanted me to prove my geek cred.

I made the mistake of sharing on my twitter a quote that Emma Watson shared that Alan Rickman had said that meant a lot to her after his death and my feed was slammed by angry cis white males calling me names, wishing death and rape and all kinds of nasty things on me. And not learning my lesson I shared on twitter that I was looking forward to the new Ghostbuster movie and hoped it would be good. Again my twitter feed was filed with angry cis white men and I was told I needed to die and other horrible things over a frakking movie. Which is why I have not said a peep about the Star Wars movie because these angry white man have won I know I am not welcome. And what really burns my butt is this I am older than a llot of them I have been into geek hobbies longer than some have been alive.

And no I don't blame all cis white males only the ones doing it. My son is a cis white male and he hates these jerks almost as much as I do.

So tell me then how do I address the bad behavior here without getting labeled a drama queen or attention seeker? How do I do this and ignore the fact that all those behind this were of one gender, and those who were shut out of a game or too intimidated to participate, or felt it was just not worth playing there once it was made clear by even a few they were not WANTED there were a different gender? How do I ignore the fact in defending myself that his argument was that by merely offering a single womens game with the pre-approval or the organizers, that I was painting a picture of the community as toxic/unsafe and that women needed a safe place? When not once in the over the year I have been active there have I ever said or suggested such a thing? Those were HIS words not mine.
I wish I could answer this for you and it truly saddens me that this is still going on. I wrote in the other thread that back in the days of first edition I was playing in a game at a store when the DM decided to have my PC raped an dexpected me role play it out. I tried to reason with him explaining how uncomfortable I was and he mocked me and I ended up crying and this made a few of the guys at the table leave others joined him in making fun of me. Th upshot was I was banned from the store for disrupting the game. I am cannot believe some thirty years later this crap is still happening to women.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
We already have a problem with harassment being underreported. This will only make it worse. Many women would undoubtedly choose not to report even moderate harassment incidents because they don't want to deal with the disruption it might cause if they can't show evidence of it taking place.

Stop being concerned with what seems superficially "fair". It's time to start looking at the bigger picture.
It's more than about fairness, and it's far from superficial. False accusations are criminal in many cases, as in every case where someone is at risk of criminal prosecution. That's not something to be swept under the rug.

When I was in my early 20's, a woman I lived with who is also a gamer, accused me of assault and battery. Apparently she thought that she could just not prosecute, so she called the police. Well, O.J. happened and the law was changed so that it wasn't up to the woman any longer. This was on the 4th of July and the 5th was a Friday. I spent 4 days in jail waiting for Monday to come along all because a woman decided to falsely accuse me of something I didn't do.

Don't tell me that it's superficially fair to even things up in order to discourage that from happening to someone else. A woman who was really assaulted will be more likely to accuse the perpetrator with that fairness in place, then a woman who is going to falsely accuse a man.
 

Lehrbuch

Villager
How do I ignore the fact in defending myself that his argument was that by merely offering a single womens game with the pre-approval or the organizers, that I was painting a picture of the community as toxic/unsafe and that women needed a safe place?
Certainly, if I was a con-organiser and I was asked to provide a woman's only game, it would be natural for me to check whether this was because women felt the open games were un-safe/toxic. As, of course, if that was the case I would want to do something about it.

However, the possibility that others (i.e. men) might ask themselves whether or not this special game session says something about how women feel about the community, is no reason to refuse the game session.

As an academic, I am sometimes involved in organising academic conferences. Even though the conferences are open to all, we frequently have special social events for various groups: "women", "PhD students", "alumini of particular institutions", etc. This doesn't imply that "women", or the other categories are discriminated against in the open events. The special events are just an opportunity for people to meet and socialise and talk with others of similar interests and experiences.

So, having a woman's only game, should not be any more controversial than having say "a 4E game", or "a game for out-of-town visitors to the con", or "a game for under 18 year olds", or "a game where all the PCs are elves", etc. Providing an opportunity for women to play a game together at a con seems like a truly excellent idea to me.

In fact, having a woman's only event really paints the opposite picture of the con. A woman's only session is advertising that a) there are enough women attending to make this worthwhile, and b) that the con is thoughtfully providing opportunities for women gamers to meet and play games together.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Max, Dann, while I agree that it's needed to figure out what would be a good policy when no evidence is available, I think it's far more preferable to try to improve the availability of evidence, which is why I suggested significant video coverage.
I'm conflicted. On one hand, I want things made safer for women. On the other hand, I really dislike big brother looking over my shoulder. This country has already lost too many freedoms in the name of safety. Freedom has costs, which could include me.

Maybe cameras could be made available to women who want them and they could be given a sign warning people that being around them at the convention means that they are being taped.
 
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