The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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meta link: continuing the wincon post at unfunnybusiness
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Continued from my earlier entry on the the banning of a con member from WinCon and the explosion that occurred.

Comments in the JF post here are adding more information in comments, so check back regularly for updates.

For anyone who has been skimming and is getting the impression this is just another fannish wank, this really, really isn't. I'm not the only one that went to flock when I started reading to get a better idea what the hell was going on and decided to post publicly after it went up on Unfunny Business. This isn't fannish gossip as usual; I didn't come out of this boggling about the wankiness of fandom, because this is not fannish wankery.

I'm going to go to something that's lingered with me, though, about safety in fannish spaces like cons and the people that run it.

The Concomm's actions are important, above and beyond a simple ban, in placing a line down about what is and what is not appropriate at the private con they are running, and even more importantly, they've set a standard on an issue that for a lot of us feels hazy and uncomfortable to have to think about.

A lot of us attend cons regularly, and a lot of us do this at these types of cons without really thinking through "what do I do if x goes wrong" or "should I say what happened at y that made me uncomfortable?" This is not something I've thought consciously ever, but I think I've always thought subconsciously when I go to VividCon, and when I went to ConText, that if I went to the organizers or any of the volunteers, I'd be listened to, and helped as best they can do, and more importantly than those things, that I'd be safe when I did so. Not because some of them were friends, but because by their actions in open fannish spaces I knew they were the kind of people that did value the safety of the women that attend, that respect their boundaries, that would listen.

I don't attend the megacons for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that I'm really spoiled by the ones run by women in fandom, by the certainty that safety, security, and openness are the rule and not exception--and while this public explosion was horrific, it shows Wincon's Concomm personifies those traits that all of us, I think, really want at a place that intersects our fannish lives and real lives.

For people who have been wary about going to these conventions, or after reading this feel more wary, these kind of actions on their part are a sign of how hard they work to keep these spaces as safe as possible, and that they'll listen and act when necessary. To me, at least, Wincon is on that list of cons that are places it's safe to allow that intersection to occur, that it's safe to attend, and I think they've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt this is a good con to attend, where those who run it are willing to enforce that safety and security for its members.

That may have been overlooked a little in the entirety of this, but I'm hoping that much does get across; they made a judgment call on behalf of the safety and security of their members, and they made the right one.

ETA: One day I will not have an entry without an eta. Maybe.

Con-space, comfort levels, transgression by [personal profile] merryish (in my defense, I just read this) with some thoughts on female oriented spaces and how harm doesn't have to be intentional to still be harm.

ETA 2: Two more extremely relevant links in this:

Here, [personal profile] thenyxie's 2008 roommates speak out.

Here, [personal profile] thenyxie attempts an apology.

ETA 3: Posted by cesare at UNF:

Brihana25 on the pressure put on LJ regarding the original anonymous accounts of the women affected, along with the threat that LJ would be compelled to release the IP numbers of those same women.

I have no idea how to even think about that one for a while.

ETA 4: [personal profile] thenyxie has frozen her entry, so comments aren't visible. Screencaps can be found here at Unfunny Business.

All links are also up at the post at Unfunny Business as well.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/17821.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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merryish's post seriously opened up a lot of hazy-area discussion on appropriate action, and it kind of clarified a point I don't think about all that often in how my interactions with women at cons are completely different--and much, much, much more relaxed and easy than anywhere else.

brihana25 original post yesterday was possibly the single most clarifying post in this entire mess and elucidated how much this wasn't just a single fandom or con issue, but something that affected everyone and honestly pretty much is what made me decide to post about it publicly when I'd been wary to talk about it when it felt too much like a more spn-only issue. I hope this brings her voice out more; someone who thinks that carefully and can express her opinions that well is needed in fandom so badly, and she's done so much to open up discussion. *crosses fingers*

...which raises the question: so, hey, you going to con.txt this year? Wink wink, nudge nudge.

God, I wish. I can't this year, which peeves me, but VVC, my entire family going on vacation, and potentially Adam's concert are killing my budget and summer. Thank God I did my payoff this year on my credit cards.

balefully and lazy_daze are speaking up. I had read (in the meme screencaps) that they changed rooms after the Incident in Question and wondered -- since it wasn't mentioned in thenyxie's so-thorough con report -- if that would be confirmed. Now it has been.

Oooh. Thank you for linking that!

...so she fails at apologies just as spectacularly. How am I not surprised.

Is there such a thing as a con that's safe to take children to?

It probably depends on the level of comfort the individual has towards fandom and their children but a con I attend (fairly biggish for my area around 4000+) is considered a family con and does have activities aimed just for families and children (although full disclosure I have never attended a con with a child but I do work with children and it tends to make me hypersensitive when children are around to my behavior and such).

I'd say it's as safe as any large gathering is for children, you can't control everything they see/hear but it's also well understood by the group that if you cross a line that you will get reprimanded by the staff/parents of the child. But that's only been my con experience and I'd feel comfortable bringing a child with me to this con (and I see quite a few of them there).

However I may have just missed the point of your question so feel free to ignore. XD

Wow... yay for checking out of the internet for the weekend, if this craziness is what there is to come back to. Obviously I don't know these people, these details but... how on earth can that woman justify her continued reaction? "I thought they were accusing us of forcible rape, my bad" is NOT the proper response to making someone feel so uncomfortable that they feel the need to go to authorities (whether that someone was the person involved or a witness to the situation). Especially when what she DID describe in that apology sounds like the prelude to date-rape. Geez. All this is doing is reminding me of why I hate news reports that gloss over rape with phrases like "forced to have sex" or "enforced his marital rights".

I can't even--thanks for linking to this last night and today, I wouldn't have seen it otherwise I don't think. The thing I can't get away from is the repeated idea that if you're not brave enough to attach your name to a claim in public, then it's not real. My former college had a sexual harassment policy that went something like this; three guesses how well that worked when a tenured professor repeatedly harassed students. Just with words, mind you, and (as far as I know) not overtly sexually, but very intrusively (emailing them once a day, for instance). My friend took it further than some other women, and to get to a point of being comfortable with doing that took her a year of processing, and I was basically her on-demand support for a good long while there. And I would never ever ever have told her to do anything except for what she was okay doing. It took her a year? That's fine, that's what she needed, and she was brave enough to talk to the chair of the department who was immensely grateful to get a statement he had access to at last. But it took her a year, and she needed a lot of support to do it, and I'm so fucking proud of her still.

In short, do not tell victims what to do, DO NOT TELL VICTIMS WHAT TO DO.

This this this. Seriously.

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I still have a version (alas not from IMMEDIATELY before she shut it down) up that I can screencap. People are being awesome here!

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Hon, if I screencap a version of the apology post from a bit before she killed the comments, will you put it up at Unfunny Biz for me? Or does someone already have one? I saw a (more complete than I have) version of what Smallcaps said over there, but not of the rest of that post.

If someone DOES already have it, lemme know - I'm not actually sure how best to screencap on this comp, after all...

Nora will put it up. If you're using firefox, just use Fireshot and choose entire page. What are you using?

Thanks for providing all these links! I have noticed, though, that the link labeled "Brihana25 on the pressure put on LJ regarding the original anonymous accounts of the women affected" links instead to thenyxie's "apology" post.

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Excellent!

I love people with the fast screencapping skillz.

Did you get page two by any chance?

Wow. She's invented her own batshit crazy defination of "non-consensual" and of "apology".






It's a ~magical~ definition alright. It totally shows how she's right!

On the IP address issue: our mod said, when asked why the people who had been there and knew what had happened could no longer talk about it (or mention this person by name, which I'm obviously still a little nervous about doing): Because the meme will get shut down if you do, unfortunately, and LJ may be forced to cough up your IPs. I know it sucks. This won't last forever and I resisted it as much as I could.

Further down, she said that it wasn't the regulars' IPs she was worried about, but the claimants', and as soon as she said that, we immediately stopped complaining, because there is no way we were going to let them be handed over to her. And further down from that, when asked what the person in question said to her, she said, "She didn't say anything to me."

I'm not spnpermanon, and I don't know who she is, though after all this I really wish I did, because she's amazing. I drew the information I gave in that answer from what she had said, and what she had implied. If I'm wrong about that, it's all on me and has nothing to do with her.

I'm really baffled by the assertion that LJ would "cough up IP addresses". I know almost nothing about the working of the abuse team, and haven't really followed enough details of this particular case, but it seems to me that the same things that works in thenyxie's favour (such as the rules that let her be able to have any posts that include her real name removed) would also work in the favour of various anonymous posters (I suspect that LJ won't provide IP addresses to anyone except law enforcement, and only with a court order - that specific IP addresses linked to comments would only get leaked if IP addresses are turned on to be saved, and then only by folks who either administrate the community or posted the original entry).

I'm just worried that it's a scare tactic that's getting lumped in with other information.

There are many things I love about fanspace. One is being able to participate in a community that is very open sexually, something completely opposite of my repressed upbringing. More than that, I have appreciated being in a community that by and large attempts to be respectful and very consent focused at the same time.

I've been a part of a cross-section of geek culture, and for any incident that I've been a part of or made aware of there has always been swift action to rectify it. When a cast member of the Encinitas Rocky Horror show was accused of behaving inappropriately toward a high school student he was instantly banned from participating in or even attending any further shows. When a man pushed his girlfriend at an SCA event every man in the house instantly rushed to her defense - he was thrown out of the event and shortly thereafter banned from the SCA.

I feel safe in fan communities, not because incidents never happen, but because I know that if I express discomfort - even to a complete stranger - it will be handled almost immediately. Even though I have never considered attending Wincon, they chose to responded in the way I would expect from fanspace. Not overlooking incidents and being willing to take a firm stance is one of the things that makes me feel comfortable being a part of the fanish community.

So yeah, thanks for posting in defense of the con. I think it's important not to take them or their actions for granted.

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