BRAVO!!!


Edited at 2013-07-01 12:52 am (UTC)
(Frozen) (Thread)

This was a good, thought-provoking read. Thanks for writing it, I feel like I have a better sense now for how to handle it if I ever encounter this situation myself.
(Frozen) (Thread)

I don't have much to add, but I'm glad everything went well.
(Frozen) (Thread)

Thank you for posting this. Narratives about speaking up and being heard are important.

Narratives about "Harassment happened, and here's what I did in response" are also important, in a different sort of way. Humans are, on average, pretty bad at taking thoughtful action in the face of high-stakes non-normal situations. There's this tendency to hope that everything will just... be OK. (Witness how bad most adults are at reacting to fire alarms.) But practice, narratives, and witnessing the behavior of others can help overcome this.
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This, yes. Much so.
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I'm glad to hear that everything turned out well. Your story and others like it are inspiring me to consider speaking up more when I see similar things.

I've been to quite a few cons and seen some harassing behavior, though thankfully not on the level you are talking about. But so many of these con-goers are just so damn socially inept that you want to haul them off by the ears and say, "You do NOT follow someone around all day just because they were nice to you!" And since I'm usually old enough to be their mother I've seriously considered it. On the other hand I never really know if creepy dude is just socially-inept creepy or pictures-glued-to-bedroom-wall-with-blood creepy. Luckily my all time favorite con is run by a group of folks so adept they should probably be running Wall Street and the Red Cross at the same time, so I figure if there were ever any serious problems they would make it go away.

ETA: Oh, and it doesn't just have to be a Creepy Con Dude. I've seen first hand a male Con Guest who had to be rescued from a Creepy Female Staffer. This was not at the "good" con, btw.



Edited at 2013-07-01 01:11 am (UTC)
(Frozen) (Thread) (Expand)

I've seen first hand a male Con Guest who had to be rescued from a Creepy Female Staffer.

I was a part of a Guest Relations team where we plus Security had to escort a certain male Guest to/from his panels due to his Creepy Female Fan. It was not fun.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

I think considering the circumstances they did well too. And maybe even just the presence of watchful eyes was enough to keep Creeper away both from Assistants' table and others' as well. One can hope.
(Frozen) (Thread)

Just here to say I think you and Kevin are heroes. Thank you for speaking up--hopefully your example will give me courage if I see a similar situation.
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Thank you and Kevin, both, for stepping in and doing what you could to help. Being a third-party is Excruciatingly HARD in these situations, which is probably why so few people actually do anything about it. This is HUGELY what we, as a society, need more people to start doing.

So, from someone who has many times sat, outwardly polite, but inwardly screaming for someone to rescue me from Creepers-Who-Will-Not-Take-Hints, thank you, thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you.

Also, good on the staffers of the con for stepping up, listening, and actively taking positive steps. Here's to many more following suit.
(Frozen) (Thread)

This is not a judgement on you, but more a judgement on society, I guess, because I've been in shades of this situation, though probably not as badly. But your phrasing made me think of it.

Why are we socialized to be polite even when we are extremely uncomfortable? Why is it so important Not To Be Rude that we are willing to compromise our comfort and perhaps even our safety, just so that we don't make ripples?

(Now, I don't know the particular situation, and this is not to say that there aren't times that it's necessary to be quiet or polite, FOR one's safety. But so many times, at cons, or on the bus, or whatever, if a woman screamed, "Dude, you are being creepy! Get out of my personal space!" people would react and back her up . . . and yet we don't.)
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Sigh. I've played ABM on occasion for female friends (not as bald as Kevin, but sufficient to the task). Haven't initiated paperwork. Perhaps I should have.

In the future I may take advantage of the new smartphone tech to photograph/videotape creepers in the act. Easier than trying to read their badge and adds detail to formal report.
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That's a really good idea.
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In fandom, you get the reputation that you earn. The system only work if you do your part, and you did your part admirably.
(Frozen) (Thread)

Holy Shit Pixie Stix in a fruit Basket?!

WOW!



And thank you for standing up.
(Frozen) (Thread)

Well done all around. Thank you both, for acting and for telling the story.
(Frozen) (Thread)

Good on you both for finding several ways to help these folks.

It's okay not to have all the answers at once. From where I sit, you did the best you could at each moment. Being a third party really IS hard.

Seriously, good on you both.
(Frozen) (Thread)

I have never been to a con myself, always wanted to but crippling social anxiety (and friends who know more than I) have told me I would not do well. If I ever do go to one, however, I only hope there are people there as awesome as you and Kevin. What you did, even if you don't think it was enough, probably helped tremendously.

As you said, they can't do anything about it if no one brings it to their attention. This story will, hopefully, give a little needed push to others to say something when these things happen.

I always imagined a convention would be a safe place to hang out with like-minded people. I'm sure that's the idea, and the reason so many still host and attend. It should be a safe place for everybody. You two helped make that one a safe place for somebody. And that makes you awesome people.
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Somewhat off topic, but you might find this post helpful: http://www.epbot.com/2013/06/mailbag-how-do-i-manage-crowd-anxiety.html It's from a lovely person who has a good bit of anxiety, but goes to conventions anyway, and her advice for how anxious people can plan ahead and make it a less stressful experience.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

Thank you for speaking up!
(Frozen) (Thread)

Well done.
(Frozen) (Thread)

*blink*

I, um, hope this doesn't sound, well, creepy... but even though you edited out some of your distinctive (and, y'know, awesome) phrasing, I kind of thought that might be you posting at [that other list]. O_O

Anyway, cheering you and your Instant Bodyguard on and crossing fingers that this Fixes that one problem, at the least.
(Frozen) (Thread)

Yeah. Curse of a distinctive voice, eh? It's ok--knew there might be some overlap in audience!
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Thank you. And yay you, and yay Kevin, and yay wonderful con staff.

There are cons that I don't go to any more because the person who harasses me (now; assaulted me previously) goes there and has a rabid enough following that there would be absolutely no point in ever reporting him (not willing to deal with death threats, and this guy's fans are Assange-fans levels of scary). </p>

On the other hand, when I was being stalked by a creepy guy with no boundaries (who I had yelled at point blank to go away and leave me alone, in front of others), I thankfully had friends whom I could tell "if that guy comes near me, please run interference", and they did, until he got the hint and wandered away.

I'm glad things are being talked about now. I'm glad some (many) people are listening.

(Frozen) (Thread)

Incidentally, I am so sorry you're stuck avoiding those cons---but yeah, sometimes, alas, it's not worth the toll on nerves. Hard to have fun looking over your shoulder.

Yay for interference! While I didn't get into it for brevity here, I dd have friends here at this con so if it HAD gone badly, I would not have been undefended if Kevin needed a bathroom break, and I am very glad to have them.
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It is never news, but always a shock, to realize that there are Moral Maggots among us.

It is always wonderful to discover that there are far more Good Ones out there than there are Moral Maggots, and all they need is the wake-up call.

Well done. But you should have held out for Pocky in t he fruit basket.
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You done good, And so did Kevin And the con staff. Kudos all around.

And Thank you for resorting what you found down that fork of the road, from all of US who may find ourselves standing at that intersection, trying to make the right decisions.
(Frozen) (Thread)

Good for you!

And pardon my ignorance, but can anyone clarify 'Readerscon'? Googling brings up somewhat more conflicting information than I can sift through.
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A con that fell down on the harassment front last year, refused to enforce their own policies, etc, which then exploded on the Internet big time. I don't want to rehash the mess, and they have gotten their act together, but it's both a "We don't want to fail like that," and a more practical "We don't want to be the center of an Internet firestorm BECAUSE we failed like that."

Very good people have worked very hard to fix Readercon and I'm willing to be open-minded going forward, but it definitely is a cautionary example.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
Speaking as someone who has been staffing science fiction conventions for 30+ years, including quite a bit of convention security along the way, I think you did pretty darn well. You and Kevin took the immediate action needful to halt the bad behaviour without overreacting. You supported and encouraged the harrassees in continuing to stop the bad behavior, and to report this to proper authorities. They chose to not make report, which is absolutely their choice to make. And you chose to make the situation known to convention security redacting specific names of victims.

Convention security is not everywhere, it usually consists of a few rather overworked individuals who are working their tushes off, being the bad guy / mom figure when folks are often unconsciously crossing the line into inappropriate behavior. And sometimes, fortunately rarely, getting involved in major crime situations. They rely on the eyes and ears of all the staffers and members of the convention to report situations. From as trivial as there is a spill needing cleanup in the bathroom to "My Ex just showed up and tried to kidnap my kid" * or even "oh shit the police SWAT team just burst into the art show!" **

We are human, and make mistakes. But we try to do the right thing, and sometimes the choices are only Bad, bad, and worse. The other choice that is obvious later, nobody thought of it at the time.

When in doubt, make a report to convention security, even if it seems trivial at the time. Because it may be part of a larger pattern that you are not in a position to see. If we get a couple of reports of borderline behavior from an individual, then we can put them together and take some action. Maybe just keeping a close eye on them, but they might be on some kind of probation from other incidents, and these minor actions constitute violations of their probation.

* Didn't make that one up, I was there.
** I wasn't there for that one, but it happened.
(Frozen) (Thread) (Expand)

"oh shit the police SWAT team just burst into the art show!" **
Story, please.

Edited at 2013-07-01 01:28 pm (UTC)
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)

Defeat is something that happens in the other fellow's head.

In this particular category of cases, _defeat_ is the recognition that _I can't get what I want by acting as though people must give it to me_.

So I think you did better than you're giving yourself credit for; you contributed to at least circumstances where "Can't get what I want by acting as though people must give it to me" was true. That's important. That's a big deal.

I doubt it worked entirely; it almost can't. But it's moving the average expectation the right way.
(Frozen) (Thread)

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