Geek Girls Rule! #260 – Sexual Harassment and Conventions
Well, taking into consideration the meltdown about harassment policies at SF/F and Skeptic/Atheist conventions, the Cosplay is not Consent movement and everything else that has a certain school of dudes in full on pearl-clutching panic, maybe we should talk about why these things are necessary and why most women think you’re a tool if you bitch about them.
Here is the crux of it:
NOT BEING PAWED, PROPOSITIONED, OR ASSAULTED IS NOT SPECIAL TREATMENT, ASSHOLES.
What is so special about being treated like a full human being with bodily autonomy and the right to decide what she does and does not want done in, near, or on her body? There is NOTHING fucking special about that.
I’m going to try to say this part as calmly and non-profanely as possible, but when you argue against harassment policies, or argue that they are “women seeking special treatment” (which also ignores the fact that men can be and are harassed), you sound like the kind of guy who knows that if women can report him for crossing boundaries like he’s invading Poland, he’s probably not going to be welcome at very many conventions in the near future.
If you AREN’T that guy, then please quit sounding like him. Because when you, decent, woman-respecting, would never grope someone in an elevator, perfectly good dude, say shit that sounds like Rapey McGrabAss, you give cover to all the Rapey McGrabAsses out there who DO assault women, drug drinks, get them drunk to take advantage, etc… So stop doing that.
If you need a guideline to not sounding like a Rapey McGrabAss, or are unsure how to avoid raping or sexually assaulting someone, please listen to the Geek Girls Rule Podcast #31 with the Geek Husband What Rule and Sasha Pixlee, founder of MoreThanMen.org. Each of these dudes has managed to make it in excess of THREE DECADES with nary a sexual assault accusation between them. How DO they do it?
Seriously, guys, there are ways to compliment women on something without coming across as creep. Here’s a hint, “Whoa, nice tits!” is never a compliment. Look compliment her on her clothes (she chose those), her hair (she styles it), her make up (she put it on), her fandom (she loves it). If she indicate a lack of interest in talking to you by ignoring you, answering in monosyllabic words, or flat out saying, “Hey, that’s great, but I’m busy, not interested, on my way to Saturn,” then take no for an answer and leave her alone. Don’t ask for a reason. I mean that.
DO. NOT. ASK. FOR. A. REASON. FOR. HER. NO.
In my experience, the only reason any dude ever asks for a reason for a woman’s “No” is to try to talk her out of it. Stop it. Also, don’t call her a bitch or a skank or anything else. Either say nothing, or “I’m sorry to have bothered you, good-bye.”
Women go to conventions for the same reasons most guys do: because they are interested in the subject matter and would like to meet people with similar interests. I said “MEET” not “FUCK.” That may or may not happen, too, but that isn’t actually most people’s goals.
In related news, I would like to congratulate Norwescon on implementing a Harassment policy this year. I look forward to hearing how well it is enforced at this coming convention.
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