Trust But Verify Dept.

Jim Hines has linked to a rather grim story about a woman who was sexually assaulted by someone she met at a convention. The response she gave (and the support she's received) are heartening, and I'm hoping she'll be able to go back to that particular show without feeling like she's sticking her hand into a wasp's nest.

And a question did arise in my mind: Are some areas of fandom more prone to shielding predators than others? I'd need more feedback from other people to really tell, since my experiences are biased. In the parts of anime fandom that I've circulated in, I've never gotten the sense that the people there would hesitate two seconds to close ranks and protect one of their own. That and the general ratio of men to women (or women to men, your choice) is heartening — it's, I think, part of the general atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance that goes with the scene. Other fandoms and locales — YMMV, and based on this alone, it does. Wildly.

Acceptance and tolerance does not exclude defending your own. If anything, it means guaranteeing it all the more. At some point when I have more of the story I should post here about a couple of people who've abused their authority in that scene. They're currently doing prison time. They got off easy.

Then there's something that happened to me, which does not come remotely close to what happened to logansrogue but was unnerving because of how other people responded to it.

A couple of years ago, I was at a party up in someone's hotel suite at a con. There, I was groped by a woman about ten years my senior, who was also rather drunk. I stepped away and she let go, and I beat a pretty hasty retreat back to the safety of my room. (I didn't think she was unsafe there, but at the same time I realize now I should probably have done more to make sure she was safe.)

Now. I know some people who smirked when I told them this story, and told me with a straight face that I shouldn't turn down a good time. They were further amazed that my idea of a good time doesn't include that.

I now know who not to go to for advice about such matters.

As Lester Bangs once said, "Sometimes I think nothing is simple except the feeling of pain."

Tags: conventions crime fandom links sociology

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2010/02/26 11:33.

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