"I have judged his behavior for myself, and I do not feel safe"

2017-04-15 18:50:34 by RoOz
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"I have judged his behavior for myself, and I do not feel safe" April 12, 2017 6:43 AM Subscribe Odyssey Con , a Wisconsin science fiction and fantasy convention, became the center of controversy yesterday after Guest of Honor Monica Valentinelli withdrew from the convention when she was assigned serial harasser Jim Frenkel ( Frenkel previously on the Blue ) as her guest liaison. Fellow guest Patrick S. Tomlinson canceled his appearance in solidarity , and authors Catherine Lundoff and Melissa F. Olson revealed that they had refused invitations after finding out Frenkel was on the convention committee. However, rather than taking the concerns of their guests seriously, Odyssey Con's initial response was to defend Frankel as an upstanding member of the convention committee and post private e-mail correspondence with Valentinelli on Facebook without her consent in the name of "transparency." The e-mails included one from program organizer Gregory Rihn (who later expressed regret for his "stupid response" ) claiming that the accusations of harassment were "exaggerated" and that there were concerns it would "reflect badly on" Frenkel. Unsurprisingly, many of Odyssey Con's committee members have enjoyed friendly personal and profession relationships with Frenkel for many year. These relationships persisted despite Frenkel being banned from WisCon, another SFF convention, at first temporarily and then permanently . Among them is the president of Odyssey Con's board, Richard S. Russell posted (and later deleted) to Facebook an official response claiming that Odyssey Con is now, always has been, and always will be, open and welcoming to all. We do not allow anyone, not even a guest of honor, to dictate that someone else must be excluded from it. Russell was himself a co-founder and longtime important committee member at WisCon until 2014, when he was removed for not only continuing to defend Frenkel, but strong opposition to WisCon's People of Color Safe Space policy , which he saw as the work of "self-appointed commissars of political correctness." posted by happyroach at 6:52 AM on April 12 [ 4 favorites ] This has gone past "leaky stair" harassment (a predator who everyone in the community kind of knows about, but doesn't do anything except privately warn newbies) and into "the house is on fire but the owners are weirdly proud of it." Missing Stair , not "leaky stair." But also h ly shit, how is one organizer worth losing so many presenters? Like, even if you think the guy's innocent, can't you just say, "hey, you've got some significant baggage; we need you to sort that out before we make you a representative of our convention"? posted by explosion at 7:02 AM on April 12 [ 15 favorites ] Why not just change the name to SkeevyDudeCon and be done with it? posted by emjaybee at 7:11 AM on April 12 [ 4 favorites ] Odyssey Con is now, always has been, and always will be, open and welcoming to all. Open up your ears, because I seem to be hearing several people saying that they don't find your Con welcoming. That should maybe be worth listening too. posted by nubs at 7:23 AM on April 12 [ 19 favorites ] Holy crap. I saw some of this on Facebook yesterday but had no idea the extent of it. Odyssey Con's behavior has gone beyond "stop digging" territory into "you've tunneled most of the way through the earth, why stop now?" posted by the turtle's teeth at 7:25 AM on April 12 [ 2 favorites ] Odyssey Con's behavior has gone beyond "stop digging" territory into "you've tunneled most of the way through the earth, why stop now?" Maybe they're all leaky? posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 7:30 It's odd how many fan conventions have these mismanagement and predator issues. This news is upsetting yet completely familiar. posted by halonine at 7:43 AM on April 12 [ 5 favorites ] I read about this yesterday, but the offender wasn't named. When I saw that it was Frenkel, I literally lost control of my limbs with anger. Making him the guest liaison is beyond not caring about harassment. It is actively wanting people to be harassed. posted by Etrigan at 7:45 AM on April 12 [ 29 favorites ] Christ. K. Tempest Bradford has some further details on the link to the WisCon business here . So OdysseyCon not only had two well-known serial harassers on their committee, they thought it would be a good idea for the one who was infamously banned from another convention to make the response? They're in deep. Beardy old male nerd culture isn't worth saving. posted by ocular shenanigans at 7:46 AM on April 12 [ 18 favorites ] The bit that realllly gets me is the whole, "We don't let ANYONE dictate who comes to our Con! Not even Guests of Honor!" Monica didn't try to dictate anything to anyone. She said that she could not be GOH at a con where she Frenkel was on her panels and possibly her guest liaison. It's called setting a boundary. posted by muddgirl at 7:48 AM on April 12 [ 26 favorites ] I can't tell if this is Geek Social Fallacy #1 , bros before hos, or some terrible combination of the two. I'm guessing Odyssey Con doesn't have everyone sign a no-harassment policy. posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:48 AM on April 12 [ 7 favorites ] Odyssey Con is now, always has been, and always will be, open and welcoming to all. We do not allow anyone, not even a guest of honor, to dictate that someone else must be excluded from it. What I love about this statement is that it would be masterful if it was deliberate satire. It stacks untruth on untruth; it's a brick in the wall of its own untruth. It's already been pointed out that, obviously, they are not being welcoming to their guest of honor by assigning her a serial harasser as a liaison and and then portraying her as some kind of dictatorial harpy when she objects . But there is also the fact that it's a blatantly false statement in another way: it just can't be true that they allow everyone to attend their con, unless they really are that horribly mismanaged. I imagine, for example, that they would eject someone who was stealing items from attendees' bags, who kept shouting drunken obscenities during panels, who stabbed someone in the foyer. They've just made it clear where they draw the line here: sexual harassment isn't really that bad (if you're our buddy). posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:48 AM on April 12 [ 38 favorites ] Odyssey Con is now, always has been, and always will be, open and welcoming to all. We do not allow anyone, not even a guest of honor, to dictate that someone else must be excluded from it. What I love about this statement is that it would be masterful if it was deliberate satire. It stacks untruth on untruth; it's a brick in the wall of its own untruth. Yeah, holy shit. "I don't feel safe or comfortable that you've paired me with $GUYBANNEDFROM MULTIPLE OTHERCONS; I'm not coming""How dare you dictate who we exclude!" wut? posted by leotrotsky at 7:56 AM on April 12 [ 13 favorites ] I can't tell if this is Geek Social Fallacy #1, bros before hos, or some terrible combination of the two. I'm guessing Odyssey Con doesn't have everyone sign a no-harassment policy. I think it's more "he seemed like a nice guy to me, that means he can't have been that abusive to anyone else", which is not just a geek circles thing. posted by dinty_moore at 7:57 AM on April 12 [ 6 favorites ] Also, I bet dollars to donuts that OdysseyCon HAS received complaints about Frenkel in the past, but just like at WisCon prior to 2013, those complaints were "informal complaints" or "didn't get transmitted to the safety committee" or "record were lost" etc. etc. etc. This isn't something unique to cons. How much of this read exactly like the reportage on Uber's terrible mismanagement of harassment complaints? Including the line, "This is the first time I've heard of it!" (if you ignore and minimize all the other times I've heard of it) posted by muddgirl at 7:59 AM on April 12 [ 23 favorites ] I guess having all of the serial abusers at one con means it's a little easier to avoid anything with any of those people involved. posted by dinty_moore at 8:00 AM on April 12 [ 2 favorites ] So once again, a woman reports that she has had personal experience being harassed, and is then told she should give him a chance to prove he's actually a nice guy? Or in this case, multiple women have said he's a serial harasser and they refuse to be around him, and the response (by a bunch of his male buddies) is something to the effect of, 'all those feminazis are being mean to him" This is the same reason I gave up going to cons way back in the '70s. Unfortunately, nothing has changed, has it? posted by easily confused at 8:00 AM on April 12 [ 13 favorites ] Apparently, they finally listened: (This is from Jim C. Hines' blog, I can't see Facebook at work): posted by zombieflanders at 8:11 The tendency of geeky organizations to keep known harassers and other bad actors around is a source of perpetual confusion and shame to me as a geek. I keep hoping that the cause is a belief that the harassers are somehow super necessary or special, but I know that's not the case. Its almost certainly just plain old bigotry and misogyny. Women, the con organizers seem to be saying, can (with reluctance) be permitted into the con, but they must remember at all times that they are there on sufferance and only under protest. Women are clearly not welcome at the cons as evidenced by the fact that my fellow older male geeks actively seek out and recruit harassers to keep women feeling marginalized and unwelcome. posted by sotonohito at 8:14 AM on April 12 [ 12 favorites ] Predators are charming. They volunteer. Volunteers can seem like the most precious commodity in fan communities. posted by muddgirl at 8:16 AM on April 12 [ 24 favorites ] Danke, @zombieflanders. posted by Wossname at 8:16 AM on April 12 But also h ly shit, how is one organizer worth losing so many presenters? I think the problem is organizers who think "if we stop letting white men with clout in this community do whatever we want to whomever we want, what's even the point of having these events?" posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:19 AM on April 12 [ 19 favorites ] Their apology also invoked the "we're volunteers" reason for the communication choices they made. Which is totally missing the point. posted by maryrobinette at 8:27 AM on April 12 [ 9 favorites ] It's also that they want their people to continue to have control so the event be what they want it to be. And if that's excluding people who aren't them, they're fine with it. But if women or PoC get involved, it'll become (in their mind) a SJW-fest. posted by dinty_moore at 8:28 AM on April 12 [ 2 favorites ] This is the same reason I gave up going to cons way back in the '70s. Unfortunately, nothing has changed, has it? How hard would it be to put together some form of membership group, accreditation, or standards committee (call it the SafeCon), that would make sure Cons abide by best practices in sexual harrassment policies? You could even have different levels of compliance. If you could get some major authors (game developers, etc) sign on saying, "If you don't abide by SafeCon, we won't EVER come to your convention," soon there'd be some pressure to comply. Then at least folks who don't know about the missing stair would have a better sense of which Cons were skeezy and worth avoiding. posted by leotrotsky at 8:29 AM on April 12 [ 12 favorites ] I can't tell if this is Geek Social Fallacy #1, bros before hos, or some terrible combination of the two. No, it's worse. Let K. Tempest Bradford explain : So we’ve got Greg Rihn, serial apologist for serial harassers and abusers, responding to a guest of honor in this manner. When said guest of honor responds to that by withdrawing from the con, Richard Russell, who has a history of abusive communications, signs his name to a statement that essentially says “Well she brought all this up awfully late! And also Frenkel has never harassed anyone at OddCon, so we have no grounds to ban him. Plus, we don’t let guests of honor dictate who can come to our safe space. Also, this is a safe space[7].” This was a deliberate policy of (part of) the concom, to pay lipservice to anti-harassement measures, but actually to provide a safe space it seems for their harassing pals only. Nobody within fandom can't not know that Frenkel is ...problematic, so keeping him involved in your con is a deliberate statement that you don't care. posted by MartinWisse at 8:30 AM on April 12 [ 16 favorites ] Apparently, they finally listened...Sometimes people end up doing the right thing after every other avenue has been exhausted. Richard S. Russell, who is well-known for harassing POC online and who is also a serial-abuse-(serial)-apologist is also still the president of the convention board. Serial-abuse-(serial)-apologist Gregory Rehn is not listed on the concom page but he claimed to be in charge of programming and there was no dispute about that. posted by muddgirl at 8:33 AM on April 12 [ 8 favorites ] Women are clearly not welcome at the cons as evidenced by the fact that my fellow older male geeks actively seek out and recruit harassers to keep women feeling marginalized and unwelcome. Eh, I don't think they actively seek them out and recruit them, I think they've all just been friends since the '70s (ranging from casual acquaintances to best buds) and that informal network is a lot more important to them than any "newcomers" to the field. The biggest problem is that most of the people who run cons today got involved in fandom when cons were just a way for the "nerd boys" and the "cool girls" to hang out and hook up, and many have never been able to make the transition to treating them as a professional space where appropriate boundaries apply. I think they treat everyone they haven't known for decades as an interloper. Unfortunately, this can also be true of some of the older women in the scene who were apparently OK with all the sexual harassment and assault and worse that went down back in the day, and will also come to the defense of their "friends" who are "well-meaning guys, really." Which is definitely not a defense of this behavior in any way whatsoever. As a younger woman who began attending cons in 2008, I've certainly had my share of unpleasant experiences. But it is certainly a lesson to my generation to make a considered commitment not to replicate that insular and exclusionary behavior as we take on more leadership roles in the scene. posted by the turtle's teeth at 8:35 AM on April 12 [ 12 favorites ] Part of the problem is that conventions tend to take a justice oriented point of view toward harassment, where the idea is to determine guilt, meet out some punishment or compensation, and then everyone can be friends again. Conventions are really ill-equipped for doing this, and taking an "innocent until proven guilty" stance means that harassment complaints get treated skeptically at best. The upshot is usually that the harasser gives a half-assed non-apology, the case is declaired closed, and they are sent off to continue harassing. A better policy, one that's been worked out over the last couple years, emphasizes not justice, but safety. The question asked isn't "are they guilty?" but rather "What do we need to do to make the guests feel safe and secure? ". That orients matters Seau from guilt, or making a redemption narrative. But this group of chucklefucks? If one starts from the position that women are lying and over dramatic, snd combines that with "No drama, please", and "These women ate just prudes in the generally sexually free culture of cons", then you get something pretty close to what the convention did. posted by happyroach at 8:46 AM on April 12 [ 13 favorites ] Richard S. Russell obviously knows of Frenkel's behavior, since he was kicked off of WisCon, which he cofounded, in part because of his defense of Frenkel, and also because he strenuously objected to the POC Safer Space at WisCon, despite, you know, actual people of color appreciating it. (Scroll down to N.K. Jemisin's comment; can't link directly to it.) The link to the K. Tempest Bradford post that MartinWisse posted above puts it pretty clearly: this shit happens because people like Frenkel are not only supported and enabled by their buddies, but those same buddies suddenly develop amnesia about these past problems when they're confronted publicly about them. They're liars who will keep lying as long as it works for them, as long as people who wouldn't behave that way themselves keep giving them Get-Out-Of-Being-Called-Out-Free cards. posted by Halloween Jack at 8:49 AM on April 12 [ 10 favorites ] Once again, I quote Sumana Harihareswara on creating a community, "If we exclude no one explicitly, we are just excluding a lot of people implicitly. Including people like me." posted by fings at 8:56 AM on April 12 [ 15 favorites ] When I saw that it was Frenkel, I literally lost control of my limbs with anger. Making him the guest liaison is beyond not caring about harassment. It is actively wanting people to be harassed. I'm stunned that the lesson the con organizers drew from Frenkel's role in perpetrating the WisCon fiasco is "let's put this guy out front to represent us!" posted by Gelatin at 8:59 I think the lesson they learned is that 'it'll all blow over, nobody will remember your name in a few months, and you can come back'. I mean, Madison isn't a huge place. They all know each other. And admittedly, I have trouble remembering everyone who has been accused of sexual harassment in the con circuit and comics community, because there's been so damn many of them. posted by dinty_moore at 9:09 AM on April 12 [ 4 favorites ] That part is super mind-boggling. I guess if you're pals with the guy, you might listen when he said (hypothetically) that the whole thing was overblown, a witch hunt, hysteria, whatever, but doing that means you have to disregard all the other parties , including witnesses, saying he's a serial bad actor. It's a mindset I can't even wrap my head around. posted by uberchet at 9:09 AM on April 12 If you could get some major authors (game developers, etc) sign on saying, "If you don't abide by SafeCon, we won't EVER come to your convention," soon there'd be some pressure to comply. ( MeFi's own! ) John Scalzi declared such a policy back in 2013 . A number of other authors and fans also signed on . It isn't like this issue, or the information about Frenkel's transgressions, is anything new. Which makes the con committee's failure of simple decency all the more puzzling and shameful. posted by Gelatin at 9:43 AM on April 12 [ 13 favorites ] when cons were just a way for the "nerd boys" and the "cool girls" to hang out and hook up speaking of losing control of one's limbs from astonishment, this realm was not then and never was a space for "cool" people of any variety or gender. that accusation is of much more recent vintage. and many have never been able to make the transition to treating them as a professional space where appropriate boundaries apply wow wow wow is this not the issue. I spend exactly none of my leisure time in professional spaces -- in my personal interests and hobby venues, I am unprofessional like it's my job -- and this does not make it acceptable for me or anyone else to be sexist, to harass others, or to touch others. Boundaries of society and law are not suspended up until the moment guests start receiving honorariums or some publisher shows up. The idea that this is an issue of professionalism is the same kind of thinking that led whichever one of the con people it was to say that Frenkel had never harassed anybody at this con, so why would you care what he does at other ones? that is: there's a time and place for everything and you just have to keep everything in its proper silo. but there is not a time and place for everything. there is not a time and place for harassment and there is no kind of casual-Friday-style setting where it becomes more acceptable, as though there's a scale of acceptability for it. sexual harassment and sexism in general flourish and thrive in genuinely professional settings and professional conferences, sober ones with no costumes except for suits and ties and everything. These people may or may not be worse, I could see it going either way. but they sure are a lot more embarrassing in their communicative style. There is no lesson about professional behavior here, only the same old lesson about sexism and a secondary lesson about how people who think they're smarter than the average are just the worst. posted by queenofbithynia at 9:47 AM on April 12 [ 28 favorites ] Following up on Gelatin's post: What makes it worse in this particular case is that OdysseyCon has a harassment policy -- which apparently it thought inoculated it from criticism from having a known harasser on the staff, in a guest-facing position. Surprise! With regard to harassment policies, I don't take credit for their spread, but I will note that after I posted the piece saying I wouldn't attend a convention without one, and roughly 1k fans and creators co-signed it, they became a lot more commonplace at conventions, I suspect because it was now obvious a lot of people conventions wanted to bring in fans wanted them there. But a policy isn't enough . If you post a policy but make it clear you are valuing a known harasser over (in this case) a guest of honor who had negative experiences with that person, you've made it clear your policy is bullshit, and your enforcement of the policy will be bullshit. Harassment policies aren't shields , they're promises. And OdysseyCon broke that promise to their GoH. And if they're going to break it to their GoH, what will they do for a less exalted panelist? Or fan? It's good that OdysseyCon realized they fucked up and are now trying to wrench themselves back towards making things right, but the damage is done for this year and I suspect for at least a couple of years to come. People deserve to feel safe and be safe at a convention. That feeling is hard to grow and easy to lose. OdysseyCon's lost it. posted by jscalzi at 9:57 AM on April 12 [ 22 favorites ] this realm was not then and never was a space for "cool" people of any variety or gender I think the term "cool girls" was a reference to how women who put up with or ignore sexism are granted "cool" status within the group and are tolerated, while women who object are deemed uncool and unwelcome. You can be a "cool girl" without being cool in a broader sense. posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:59 AM on April 12 [ 12 favorites ] OdysseyCon trying to "get right" here is very like United trying to recover from their overbooking cockup. You get the idea they're only changing direction because they've been called out so thoroughly. This is not evidence of change. This is evidence of wanting the pain to stop. Sure, it's possible both orgs legitimately DO want to do right, but right now there's no actual evidence of that. posted by uberchet at 10:00 AM on April 12 [ 5 favorites ] when cons were just a way for the "nerd boys" and the "cool girls" to hang out and hook up. Translation: when cons were a way for SF writers to sexually harass and assault women without consequences. Seriously, your view of conventions is from a very uh, limited. As in ignoring the perspectives of the women who don't want to be treated as sexual playthings. And queenofbithynia has the right of it- this isn't about professional or unprofessional, but treating people with respect or not. It's no more appropriate in a casual fun environment than a professional one. posted by happyroach at 10:07 AM on April 12 [ 2 favorites ] Yes, sorry. I should have expressed myself more clearly. By "cool girls" I meant to evoke the idea Kutsuwamushi mentions -- it seems the only way for women to be accepted in that scene for decades was to be "cool" with all the inappropriate behavior that went on. I am not one of those women, and happyroach, I am not really sure how you got that impression from my comment. posted by the turtle's teeth at 10:17 AM on April 12 [ 2 favorites ] when cons were just a way for the "nerd boys" and the "cool girls" to hang out and hook up. Translation: when cons were a way for SF writers to sexually harass and assault women without consequences. I think *both* of these viewpoints are true - if you go digging on this site you’ll find personal reminiscences of women who were active in the con scene back at the time who found the whole 'sexual attention / liberation' thing to be a very positive part of their lives - for them it was part of the *point* of going to cons. That same behaviour kept a whole bunch of other women (and quite a few men probably) out of the con scene altogether. posted by pharm at 10:18 AM on April 12 [ 2 favorites ] We don't have to go back thirty or forty years to find various cons being referred to as meat markets, and as the case with too many sex positive spaces, there are going to be plenty of people - men and women - who seem to be clueless about the importance of consent before touching or propositioning people you don't know. Some of the women were, in fact, up for it, but that doesn't detract from the harm done to the women who were sexually harassed. Honestly, I don't think things started getting better until maybe five or ten years ago ('cosplay is not consent' is a relatively new phrase), and stuff like this shows that there's still a lot of work to be done. posted by dinty_moore at 10:29 AM on April 12 [ 2 favorites ] >when cons were just a way for the "nerd boys" and the "cool girls" to hang out and hook up.>>Translation: when cons were a way for SF writers to sexually harass and assault women without consequences. Seriously, your view of conventions is from a very uh, limited. As in ignoring the perspectives of the women who don't want to be treated as sexual playthings. I feel like those sarcastic quote marks were implying exactly your response. posted by showbiz_liz at 10:33 The reason why I mention that women do this is that I know female cosplayers who have been groped by random strange women who didn't think it counted as sexual harassment 'because we're all ladies here!', or another occasions where women didn't seem to think randomly turning on porn, starting things off with their SO, and inviting others to join in should count as sexual harassment, because 'everyone knew that's what happened when you hang out in con hotel rooms'*. Sexual harassment education at cons is very, very much needed, for both men and women. *I have hung out in con hotel rooms, and most of what goes on in there is drinking, doing last minute fixes to costumes, and naps. So many naps. posted by dinty_moore at 10:40 And I absolutely agree that sexual harassment and sexual assault are bad in every setting, professional or not. I was trying to express the disconnect that many con committees have where they mainly see cons as a way for them and their old friends to spend time together. They think if they and their old friends are content with the social norms (which are often incredibly sexist and racist), that's all that matters. Thus they are consistently and repeatedly baffled by the pushback they are getting from the younger generation of writers who see these as professional spaces where all should be made to feel welcome and where female and POC writers should be able to participate and promote their work without feeling threatened. They are just not getting that when female and POC writers don't feel comfortable going to a con because of the environment, we are taking a real hit to our careers and even our livelihoods. So the argument about professionalism is not about where sexual harassment is okay to do (nowhere, obviously), but the extent of the harm that's done. If random Joe and random Bob are jerks when they go out for drinks, I don't really care, I don't have to be friends with them, I can just not go. If Joe and Bob are my colleagues, and I have to make nice with them or else my livelihood suffers, that's a much more personal problem for me. The con comms are casting it in this light like, "If you don't like it, don't be friends with us," but it's not just about socializing, its about the career opportunities that they are denying people. posted by the turtle's teeth at 10:41 AM on April 12 [ 10 favorites ] I mean, my bad con experience definitely involved women who were actively covering for and in one case helping the bad behavior to happen in the moment. So, yeah, the fact that women categorically do not want to be sexualized does not mean that there weren't women involved in creating the hostile atmosphere in the first place. And even a lot of the guys in this older kind of fandom who weren't actively doing this kind of thing still, from what I've seen since, have a tendency to point at those kind of women and go, "Yeah, but they were perfectly comfortable, why did you have a problem?" They had an atmosphere they liked and they had just barely enough women who seemed happy there to keep telling themselves that the problems weren't that big a deal. posted by Sequence at 10:45 as the case with too many sex positive spaces, there are going to be plenty of people - men and women - who seem to be clueless about the importance of consent before touching or propositioning people you don't know Historically, this has been an issue in many a space where certain social rules are relaxed; some people take that as an excuse to ignore all rules. "Just because we allow people to have sex in public in this particular space doesn't actually mean that anyone can just join in!" seems to be a perpetual struggle to convey, and not because the rules are confusing, but because so many people are eager to read the slightest relaxation of standard rules of propriety concerning sexual behavior to mean that fundamental issues of consent go out the window, too. posted by praemunire at 10:48 mean, we're also talking about a space where people can't have sex in public, but yeah. It's hard to even say what the standard rules of propriety that have been relaxed even are - other than a loose definition of 'a party atmosphere' - and even that depends on the con. posted by dinty_moore at 10:56 AM on April 12 The biggest problem is that most of the people who run cons today got involved in fandom when cons were just a way for the "nerd boys" and the "cool girls" to hang out and hook up, and many have never been able to make the transition to treating them as a professional space where appropriate boundaries apply. I think they treat everyone they haven't known for decades as an interloper. Con spaces have honestly historically been fucking ridiculously freewheeling, originally in ways that are just insanely not cool - just look at the Marion Zimmer Bradley/Walter Breen documents. They're not just notable for how horrific the child molestation is, they're also notable for how many famous science fiction writers at the time knew things were happening but figured it was totes cool if an older man was hitting on a young boy. It's something about the idea that the people who liked science fiction were the Free Thinkers while everyone else was prude normies, that has really caused a lot of fucking problems. The last time period I was really regularly participating in this circuit was back about ten or fifteen years ago - I still occasionally go now and many of my friends do, but that was when I was kind of immersed in them. And this sort of sexual entitlement was absolutely still on display - from the way it was considered totally cool and normal to ask female fans to dress revealing and hand out flyers to room parties, to the way that honestly, all of the gross old men science fiction authors would leer and hit on any woman they thought was pretty. And I was a woman who would regularly go to cons to hook up! But there was kind of this understanding that seemed to exist that it was mean and rude to say "what the fuck do you think you're doing" when someone was a creeper. Like, you could say no and it would generally be respected, but when I say respected, I mean "they would still keep asking you every five minutes until you said yes, unless you were obviously with another dude." You just couldn't really say "I am not interested and will never be interested in you, please go away", because if you did, then you were buying into the normal people standards and implying that you might ever not want to fuck someone based on merit rather than just your whim of the moment. I think it's also worth noting that you can't really separate con from the hotel room parties that happen at con. There's not a lot - from what I saw - of harassment that happens during panels or events - it's mostly in the "private parties" that various groups or individuals hold, with alcohol present, that causes this nonsense. And that's where people get extra fucking tricky about it, because they're like "Their hotel room, their rules!" and "This isn't OFFICIAL con, so it doesn't count!", not considering that honestly half of con activity /is/ in these "private parties." posted by corb at 11:04 AM on April 12 [ 10 favorites ] I was trying to express the disconnect that many con committees have where they mainly see cons as a way for them and their old friends to spend time together. They think if they and their old friends are content with the social norms (which are often incredibly sexist and racist), that's all that matters. the turtle's teeth I've been part of a group (not SF, but in the "geek" realm) that's gone through this transition from small group of friends to established organization that hosts yearly conventions. You're exactly right, this is exactly the struggle we've had in the transition. Thankfully not about harassment (though with some minor issues related to inclusion) but I was surprised at how hard it was to get some people out of the "just buddies hanging out" mindset, and this group is only 7 years old. posted by Sangermaine at 11:04 AM on April 12 [ 4 favorites ] Kutsuwamushi: It stacks untruth on untruth; it's a brick in the wall of its own untruth. This is a wonderful turn of phrase and I'm going to steal it as often as possible. posted by Western Infidels at 11:08 AM on April 12 [ 5 favorites ] wow wow wow is this not the issue. It does seem especially poignant that, even in this conversation older and more established members of a con community are telling a younger member of the community that they are doing it wrong. posted by juice boo at 11:53 AM on April 12 By the way, if anyone thinks that it's only the olds that have to be discouraged from this sort of behavior, let me remind you of the quote-endquote Open Source Boob Project , in which some dude thought it would be a great idea to encourage women to let strangers grope them in public, because he and his buds needed healing for residual man-pain from high school, or something. Public reaction was... not kind. posted by Halloween Jack at 11:55 I....wha? So. Tired. Of. Being. Ashamed. Of. My. Gender. (bangs forehead into desk repeatedly)

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2017-02-01 13:16:05
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has settled on his first Supreme Court nominee and is poised to reveal his selection early this week, two officials say, in an announcement that many inside...

Trump to name Supreme Court nominee this week

2017-02-01 13:16:07
Trump to name Supreme Court nominee this week Jan. 29, 2017 SEND PDF WASHINGTON – The fight over filling the Supreme Court escalates this week when President Donald Trump announces his nominee...

President Donald Trump poised to reveal his selection for Supreme Court early this week

2017-02-01 13:16:08
President Donald Trump has settled on his first Supreme Court nominee and is poised to reveal his selection early this week, two officials say, in an announcement that many inside the White House...

Trump set to make his Supreme Court pick as part of a frenetic Week 2

2017-02-01 13:16:08
Trump set to make his Supreme Court pick as part of a frenetic Week 2 By Jeff Zeleny and Dan Merica, CNN Updated 0031 GMT (0831 HKT) January 30, 2017 Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out...

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Pragmatism is a Virtue – R. – Medium

2017-02-01 13:16:10
Pragmatism is a Virtue " In the painful aftermath, I realized that I had crossed the line from advocate to policy maker. I hadn’t altered my beliefs, but I respectfully disagreed with the...

Trump muy cerca de anunciar a su nominado para Corte Suprema

2017-02-01 13:16:12
Trump muy cerca de anunciar a su nominado para Corte Suprema 29 ene 2017 20h34 El presidente Donald Trump podría anunciar a partir del lunes a su candidato para incorporarse a la Corte Suprema,...

Study dispels myth of links between poverty and weight | Society

2017-02-01 13:16:12
Well said. In USA, you have Betsy Devos coming in as the secretary of education: a scum who has never spent a day in her life at a public school and who detest "welfare schools". A scum who got her...

See 9 education-related financial interests Betsy DeVos intends to divest from

2017-02-01 13:16:13
If West Michigan native Betsy DeVos makes it through the confirmation process for the position of U.S. Secretary of Education, she'll have a lot of divesting to do. ...

Weapons, Warriors and Never-Ending Conflict in the New America

2017-02-01 13:16:13
We go to war so you don’t have to 9 mins ago U.S. Army and Air Force special operators during an exercise in October 2016. U.S. Air Force photo Weapons, Warriors and Never-Ending Conflict in the...

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White House: Supreme Court choice could be announced Monday - KPTV - FOX 12

2017-02-01 13:16:10
White House: Supreme Court choice could be announced Monday - KPTV - FOX 12 Member Center: White House: Supreme Court choice could be announced Monday Posted: Updated: A White House official said...

Weapons, Warriors and Never-Ending Conflict in the New America

2017-02-01 13:16:13
We go to war so you don’t have to 9 mins ago U.S. Army and Air Force special operators during an exercise in October 2016. U.S. Air Force photo Weapons, Warriors and Never-Ending Conflict in the...

The Supreme Court Nomination Fight Might Now Be About Trump’s Ban

2017-02-01 13:16:26
View this image › Brian Snyder / Reuters ID: 10420545 WASHINGTON — President Trump’s decision to proceed with his expansive executive order restricting immigration at the end of his first...

Letters from Birdland: Taking steps to promote rights

2017-02-01 13:16:44
Sun, 01/29/2017 - 7:00am | Mary Lucille Hays Birdland is chilly and overcast, but unseasonably warm. I'm walking the dogs, and the wind rises across the field. Cullen, the brown dog, gets...

Trump goes swamp fishing

2017-02-01 14:32:03
Letter to Editor Kenneth Juster, a partner and managing director of Wall Street's Warburg Pincus, has been named deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs. He has...

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What the Hell Is Wrong With Senate Democrats? 4

2017-02-01 14:31:59
CommanderRazor said: ↑ Or even qualified. DeVos in particular. Aside from Mattis, I don't think it's unfair to say that they're largely people that are the exact opposite of who should be...

The next battlegrounds for school choice: Stubborn red states

2017-02-01 16:01:55
The sweeping successes of Republicans nationwide in the 2016 elections presents a huge opportunity for the school choice movement. Republicans have historically been more friendly to school choice...

Ask HN: Is a master degree in CS worth it

2017-02-01 16:02:56
The other big upside to me was that I could keep working full time while studying. The opportunity cost calculation looks a fair bit different when you're giving up (less quantifiable) leisure time...

Report: Apple hammering out a deal to manufacture gadgets in India

2017-02-01 16:03:47
Another benefit to Apple (or to aapl): with Trump threatening a trade war with China, This could allow Apple some flexibility in avoiding any "made in China" tariffs. If these do get imposed, Apple...

Trump’s executive orders on travel challenged

2017-02-01 16:06:04
« And so it begins … Trump’s executive orders on travel challenged Donald Trump’s executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim countries has resulted in confusion at airports as...

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April the giraffe LIVE BIRTH: Latest stream updates on pregnant giraffe's final moments

2017-04-15 16:00:36
April the giraffe LIVE BIRTH: Latest stream updates on pregnant giraffe's final moments April the giraffe LIVE BIRTH: Latest stream updates on pregnant giraffe's final moments APRIL the giraffe is...

April The Giraffe Live Stream YouTube Gestation Update: What Happens During Giraffes’ Labor And Calf Birth

2017-04-15 16:01:12
Joanne Eglash April the giraffe and her beau Oliver probably don’t know it, but the giraffes’ live stream cam on YouTube has attracted a global audience, all of whom are hoping to be watching...

‘Patience Is A Virtue’ With April The Giraffe

2017-04-15 16:01:52
HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (CBS4) – The Animal Adventure Park reminds us all that patience is a virtue when it comes to April the giraffe. After all, as they point out, “the giraffe cam was not set-up...

April The Giraffe Live Stream On YouTube: Animal Adventure Park Schools ‘Hoaxers’ With Bio Lesson

2017-04-15 16:02:17
Jennifer Swarthout When the Animal Adventure Park in New York first placed a giraffe cam, live streaming on YouTube, in the stall of April the giraffe, it was done as an effort update a select few...

Watch April The Giraffe Giving Birth To Baby On Live Stream: Animal Adventure Park Slams Fake News Hoaxes

2017-04-15 16:02:41
Animal Adventure Park slammed rumors that April the giraffe’s pregnancy was a shame. The zoo took to Facebook Wednesday, where they updated fans on April’s condition and also shut down gossip...

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April the giraffe LIVE BIRTH: Latest stream updates on pregnant giraffe's final moments

2017-04-15 16:00:36
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April The Giraffe Live Stream YouTube Gestation Update: What Happens During Giraffes’ Labor And Calf Birth

2017-04-15 16:01:12
Joanne Eglash April the giraffe and her beau Oliver probably don’t know it, but the giraffes’ live stream cam on YouTube has attracted a global audience, all of whom are hoping to be watching...

‘Patience Is A Virtue’ With April The Giraffe

2017-04-15 16:01:52
HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (CBS4) – The Animal Adventure Park reminds us all that patience is a virtue when it comes to April the giraffe. After all, as they point out, “the giraffe cam was not set-up...

April The Giraffe Live Stream On YouTube: Animal Adventure Park Schools ‘Hoaxers’ With Bio Lesson

2017-04-15 16:02:17
Jennifer Swarthout When the Animal Adventure Park in New York first placed a giraffe cam, live streaming on YouTube, in the stall of April the giraffe, it was done as an effort update a select few...

Watch April The Giraffe Giving Birth To Baby On Live Stream: Animal Adventure Park Slams Fake News Hoaxes

2017-04-15 16:02:41
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