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Kate the Short said on July 9th, 2013 at 11:29 pm

*applause and highfives*

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Travesty said on July 10th, 2013 at 1:47 am

Amen.

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DensityDuck said on July 10th, 2013 at 3:16 am

Dressing in a fetish costume (oh, spare me, the whole point of Power Girl is tits and ass, don’t pretend there’s another reason for that character to exist) inherently puts one in a state of vulnerability and exposure. It is not possible to interact with a person who is in this state without exploiting that state in some way. If you look at her you’re leering; if you don’t look at her you’re discounting her as a person and ignoring her. If you initiate conversation you’re hitting on her, however obliquely, however unconciously.

Seems like the best policy for dealing with someone in costume is to pretend they don’t exist and avoid them to the greatest extent possible. If you absolutely cannot avoid speaking with them, confine yourself to bare factual responses to inquires.

Anything else is harassment. After all, *you* don’t know what people are uncomfortable with, do you? Are you really so arrogant as to think that your “common sense” is all that common?

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 6:41 am

I don’t agree with commenter above me but I think his perspective is important. While there’s little doubt cons could stand to do a lot more about harrassment, things also can swing too far the other way. They haven’t yet, but it’s something to keep in mind. There’s no policy so good and needed that it can’t be driven into overkill.

The worries and experiences of female con-goers are important, but the worries of socially inept guys are not automatically invalid.

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“Socially inept guys” can screw off and so can both of you. If you can’t be bothered to learn to act like a reasonable approximation of a human being, it is not on women to put up with your bullshit. There is no excuse for the type of behavior this kind of thing is intended to stop. None.

I’ve known plenty of people with subpar social skills who could talk to a woman (even a women in a sexy outfit) without creeping her out and the only reason you can’t is because you are too self-centered and lazy to learn.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 7:21 am

I don’t go to cons and I’m not socially inept (nice pattern matching though) and I’m not saying cons couldn’t stand to be more safety- and harrassment-conscious. I’m just saying that every policy can be overdone. Not that this is overdoing it. Just that it can be, at some point in the future.

And screw you too. The reaction that “more safety” is automatically right and socially awkward congoers are automatically wrong (not practically, which they frequently are) is exactly my point.

No situation is so clear-cut that it doesn’t brook debate.

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Agree with Dasz.

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I didn’t go this year, but Convergence has it’s shit together in a lot of ways, including the harassment policy. I saw David Weber when he was a GoH and he commented at one point that he tells the runners of other cons that they should go to Convergence and take notes, because it’s the best run con he’s been to bar none. I think one thing that helps them develop good policies is their insistence on having a panel at the end of con and open meetings afterwards to break down what went right and what went wrong each year. The public input and willingness of the con staff to listen allows them to tweak and refine such things as their harassment policy.

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FC, if you don’t go to cons and aren’t socially inept, then you literally just jumped into this thread to say “hold on guys, maybe we’re on the verge of caring TOO MUCH about women’s feelings”.

You’re right, that doesn’t make you socially inept, it makes you an outright misogynist.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 7:59 am

Way to read something I didn’t say. Again, I do not think this is overdoing it, that we’re on the verge of overdoing it, or that we’re anyway close to a “halfway point” of overdoing it. I’m just saying that there is no such thing as a decision that is automatically and universally correct, and you can’t shut down debate and expect to still notice the halfway point when it does come.

Again: anti-harassment policies are good, more of them please, but if you get too used to automatically grouping in guys who say this puts them off going to cons in the “inept harasser-to-be, safe to ignore” group then there is no way you’ll notice when you start doing more harm than good.

Also, I consider your unfounded accusation of misogyny insulting.

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Christian Williams said on July 10th, 2013 at 8:04 am

@FeepingCreature

1: You’re actually the one who did the pattern matching, the post is about cons and harrassment, and you made the point about the concerns of socially inept guys.

2: More safety is right and correct. More safety in a public space where people come together to celebrate fandom and not be harrassed / groped / made to feel unsafe, is absolutely right and correct. The argument that ‘Well we have to be careful not to go too far… not that we’re there yet… but I’m just implying that we might be in order to make a point that’s not really a point.’

3: When the worry of socially inept guys translates to: ‘There’s no way for me to deal with pretty women as if they’re actually people, so I might as well harass them and pretend they’re ‘asking for it’ by wearing a ‘fetish costume’.’ Then yeah, they really can fuck off, and they really are automatically wrong, and no they have absolutely nothing important to say in this, or any other conversation.

That argument comes down to: ‘Women are too hard to treat as people, there are all these rules, and feelings… and it’s just not fair.’ It’s an argument that’s actually too stupid for me to generate a counter-argument… it’s the living example of ‘too stupid for words’.

4: What both of you ignore is that the argument here isn’t: ‘Make WOMEN safe at cons’. The argument is: ‘Make PEOPLE safe’.

This covers men harassed by women, women harassed by men, and all the other combinations and iterations.

If you’re about to say ‘But what we hear about all the time is women being harassed by men,’ then you’re making the very point that you’re trying to argue against.

5: Lastly, and it shouldn’t have to be said, but harassment isn’t a function of wardrobe, or even physical size.

When I was 20 I went to ConFurence out in California, one of many trips (I’m actually not a Furry, but I have/had a lot of friends in that community). I am a 6’6″ black guy, at the time I was slim and apparently cute, and I was actually a bit shy and socially awkward.

And I was harassed. I didn’t really mind the attention…. the flirtation made me a little uncomfortable but I didn’t want to seem like a homophobe. When it progressed to unwanted physical attention I said no, and I pushed hands away, and yet the attention persisted and it seemed like other than being outrightly violent there was going to be no way to get the person to accept that I didn’t want their attention.

Luckily… I had a lot of friends at the con, and so I received help and support and folks rallied to help separate the overenthusiastic gentleman from me before I had to take matters into my own hands.

Harassment sucks, and should stop, and any measures that cons can take to make things safer? Are warranted.

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If you weren’t a misogynist, I might care that you find my accusation of misogyny insulting, but I can see through you like a window.

You don’t think this is overdoing it, or that we’re close to overdoing it, but your first response to a post about anti-harrassment policies was to caution against “going too far”? Yeah, that says all sorts of things about you whether you like it or not.

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@CW: I assumed FC was talking about women because of his line about “female con-goers”. That said, you’re absolutely right about these policies being for everyone.

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Christian Williams said on July 10th, 2013 at 8:16 am

Again, I do not think this is overdoing it, that we’re on the verge of overdoing it, or that we’re anyway close to a “halfway point” of overdoing it. I’m just saying that there is no such thing as a decision that is automatically and universally correct, and you can’t shut down debate and expect to still notice the halfway point when it does come.

My apologies in advance if you find the following statement insulting.

But if, as you say, you don’ think we’re even close to being halfway to the point where we go too far… then how the fuck is the perspective that ‘Power Girl is a fetish costume, and it’s just too hard to deal with women as people’ something important that we should listen to?

Also, I’m not really sure where the ‘be careful and watchful’ argument comes in, if you believe that we’re not even close.

No… the reason you’re getting the bad reception is because you’re arguing both sides… ‘We’re not close to the danger point… but what if we are?’… ‘I don’t agree with the other poster…. but his perspective is important’, and the two sides are far enough apart that it comes across as being intellectually dishonest.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 8:16 am

1. There’s a socially inept concerned guy posting in this thread. My comment was in response to his.

2. I agree! I agree with this! I just don’t agree that this allows us to say “and this will always be the biggest problem, so there’s no harm in making it a universal force”.

3. You’re making it too easy on yourself here. Socially inept people are people too, and criminals are people too (cough zero tolerance cough), and no argument should allow you to invalidate somebody’s feelings on either side of the debate, not to imply those are anywhere close to equal in severity, but as a point of principle.

4. Does it cover socially inept people who don’t want to be afraid of being thrown out? It’s okay if it doesn’t. It’s okay to say “those people are not wanted at our con”. But isn’t making people feel excluded something with, shall we say, a history in the fandom?

5. What happened to you is wrong and should have been prevented. I’m not really sure why I feel the need to say this perfectly obvious thing. I’m not trying to excuse harassment, I’m just trying to say “there is such a thing as going too far into any direction”.

[edit]More comments.

The problem that I’m seeing is that I’m worried that a perspective of “we should do everything conceivable to make (some) congoers feel safe” can become so entrenched in a community, to the point where decades in the future it’s still not possible to say that maybe it’s gone too far. (I’m saying “some” here because at least one congoer in this thread is apparently feeling unsafe!) I’m arguing against this now, not in decades, because I’m worried that if you stop keeping that (far) distant halfway point in mind then it’ll never be possible, even in decades, to argue that we’ve reached it. I’m not saying you’re driving off a cliff, I’m not saying that you should go slower, I’m just trying to point out the existence of a handbrake and the existence of a cliff.

[edit2] also re calling-me-misogynist-dude, I should point out that I did couch that statement in “this is not ‘going too far’ and won’t be for a long time” in every direction, and that I was very explicit I disagree with socially-awkward-dude’s point. I’m really not sure how you keep missing this.

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Christian Williams said on July 10th, 2013 at 8:19 am

@Dasz No I agree with you that @FC & @DD were focusing on the policy putting the needs of women in front of those of socially inept men. That was one of the things the prompted me to post.

Because it’s not just about protecting women… as the original post makes clear.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 8:27 am

Oh! Sorry for “double” posting, but I feel like this is important enough to clarify.

We agree that this policy is good and necessary. We agree that similar policies are good and will continue to be necessary and welcome for a long time.

My problem is not with the policy, my problem is with the way that we talk about it as if it’s universally correct, almost regardless of circumstances.

My problem is with people denying the fact that socially awkward congoers’ issues can eventually become a more important problem than harassed congoers. That is not a thing that is currently true, but it’s a thing that can eventually become true, and if you get used to shooting down people who bring it up without a second glance then you’ll keep doing that, regardless of how cons develop.

[edit] Maybe it’s a programmer thing, to see a system or process and immediately look for corner cases and failure points, however unlikely.

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Christian Williams said on July 10th, 2013 at 8:53 am

1. There’s a socially inept concerned guy posting in this thread. My comment was in response to his.

No. He’s really not. He’s someone who is tired of having to treat women as women, and is pretending that the problem here is the women, and the cons that are trying to protect fans. How do I know? Because there is one aspect of the argument that always comes from those folks:

If you look at her you’re leering; if you don’t look at her you’re discounting her as a person and ignoring her. If you initiate conversation you’re hitting on her, however obliquely, however unconciously.

This. The ‘It’s all just so hard, and even if you do try to follow the rules, they’ll accuse you of harassment anyway. He ended it with:

Are you really so arrogant as to think that your “common sense” is all that common?

This is specifically regarding a post that talks about the wisdom of having an anti-harassment policies, safe spaces, and that other cons should use it as an example. So no, he’s not a socially inept guy afraid he’ll look at a Power Girl cosplayers boobs, he’s an arrogant ass who’s pissed that people are implying he’s an ass for only wanting to look at that cosplayer’s boobs and butt.

3. You’re making it too easy on yourself here. Socially inept people are people too, and criminals are people too (cough zero tolerance cough), and no argument should allow you to invalidate somebody’s feelings on either side of the debate, not to imply those are anywhere close to equal in severity, but as a point of principle.

And again, you raise a point and then dismiss the point yourself so that it’s still out there, but we can’t accuse you of supporting it.

But honestly, yes, yes I can dismiss the feelings of people on the other side of this debate. Because their argument is: ‘It’s too hard to deal with women as people, and these rules make it worse’, and at best, that argument is really, really, really stupid.

4. Does it cover socially inept people who don’t want to be afraid of being thrown out? It’s okay if it doesn’t. It’s okay to say “those people are not wanted at our con”. But isn’t making people feel excluded something with, shall we say, a history in the fandom?

It’s sweet of you to try to use the ‘socially inept’ defense…. but it’s not there. As previously discussed.

I also give you credit for trying to conflate this with issues like fake geek girl dom with that exclusion remark. It’s a ridiculous analogy because the situations are entirely different,

Firstly, there is a difference between people being attacked for not being ‘fan enough’ to be considered a fan, and people being asked to not harass other people.

Secondly, both sides of this position tend to involve the objectification and exploitation of cosplayers… so at least you’re consistent.

But lastly… you know what? I’m tired of the ‘I’m not a harasser, I’m just socially inept’. Fuck that nonsense. It’s really time that we stop pretending that it’s an argument or a defense.

Let’s be honest and lay our cards on the table here. We’re not talking about a guy who gets so carried away because things are completely awesome that he accidentally gets a little creepy with a cosplayer… and has to be told he’s creeping them out and to try to give them space. That guy? That guy is destroyed when he realizes that he’s being a creep and sets about correcting himself. Once that first time happens, where someone gets the ‘I’m making people uncomfortable with my behavior’ notice… they have to fix / correct themselves. It can be a sucky process, because it involves taking a look at yourself… but it can be done… but the awesome thing about the fandom / con world is there are people who will help.

We’re talking about the guys who try to take boob and ass shots of cosplayers, who takes uninvited hugs and turns them into subtle dryhumps. We’re talking about the guy who ‘accidentally’ bumps into cosplayers in such a way that the ‘accidentally’ grope them.

The socially-inept guy getting railroaded for an innocent mistake, is fictional, and it’s the defense that too often gets trotted out for clear cases of harassment.

The problem that I’m seeing is that I’m worried that a perspective of “we should do everything conceivable to make (some) congoers feel safe” can become entrenched in a community, to the point where decades in the future it’s still not possible to say that maybe it’s gone too far.

Except the perspective that you’re worried about was never raised in this post. The original post makes it VERY clear that CONvergence’s policy is not about making ‘some’ congoers safe. It’s about protecting ALL congoers from harassment. It was DD (the idiot) who came forward about the tyranny of protecting people in fetish costumes.. and it was you who came out to state that his perspective was important.

Oh.. and by the way. I always find the ‘fetish costume’ argument hysterical. Why? Because, as you may or may not know, there are a lot of geeks who are part of the BDSM / Kinky / Fetish community. Pretty much every con I’ve been to has had a gathering of some type associated with it within the con (in fact, I was in the room next to the room that got destroyed by morons at Disclave 97).

The costumes that you’ll often see at those sub-events and parties make the Power Girl costume seem puritan… and yet very few of those events have a harassment problem. And it’s not because it’s a free for all and everyone is free game. It’s because it’s a safe place, limits are respected, and people who don’t respect other people and their personal space tend to get rejected, uninvited and banned, and the word about the people who are problematic spreads quite quickly.

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@FC: First, I realize this is probably pointless to say, but don’t be such a fucking coward that you blame your disfunctions on being “a programmer thing”. I’m a programmer too, but I didn’t see a post about anti-harassment measures and say “hold up guys, let’s not go too far”. Own up to your own god damn actions and opinions.

I’m not missing what you’re saying – I simply don’t believe you, because I have done this dance before and I know *exactly* what you are trying to do. It’s cute that you’re trying to paint me as the villain here, but let’s remember what you actually said before you started trying to run away from it: you pointed to the post above yours, the one that said that women are too difficult to treat as human, in response to a blog post about anti-harassment measures, and your first and only instinct was to say “I don’t agree with that[you do but don't want to admit it] but let’s not dismiss that opinion out of hand”. No, idiot, dismissing that guy out of hand is *exactly* what we should do. If you see a policy that “goes too far” then you can speak up and if you have a point I won’t call you a misogynist. But if your response to “hey let’s make people safer against what is a serious problem in our community” is to say “hold up guys, what if we go too far?”, then yeah, I’m pretty certain I’ve drawn the correct conclusions about you.

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Christian Williams said on July 10th, 2013 at 8:59 am

My problem is not with the policy, my problem is with the way that we talk about it as if it’s universally correct, almost regardless of circumstances.

Except the policy is: Make the con safe for all congoers.

That policy is, in fact, universally correct, will always be universally correct, regardless of circumstances.

My problem is with people denying the fact that socially awkward congoers’ issues can eventually become a more important problem than harassed congoers. That is not a thing that is currently true, but it’s a thing that can eventually become true, and if you get used to shooting down people who bring it up without a second glance then you’ll keep doing that, regardless of how cons develop.

I’m not shooting you down without a second glance. I’m looking at your argument thoroughly… and rejecting it because it’s bullshit, to be blunt.

Regarding being a programmer? I’m also a programmer. Being a programmer doesn’t mean you argue for impossible cases.

‘Socially awkward’ con-goers can educate themselves. If their ‘social awkwardness’ takes a form where they are making people feel sexually harassed, and they don’t correct that behavior, and the persist in that behavior… than they are no longer ‘socially awkward’, they are social predators… and get what they deserve.. which is forced to not be around the people they’re causing discomfort to.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:01 am

Hold on, there’s a warning if you’re harassing? You’re not just summarily thrown out? (Excluding obvious “hug into dryhump” cases) That … that actually makes me feel a lot less worried about this policy and the people behind it, and that they’re keeping potential corner cases in mind.

If it’s possible for a socially awkward guy to learn to interact with other congoers respectfully, I have zero issues with a policy.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:05 am

A Parable.

“Hm, there’s been a lot of crime in the neighborhood lately. But it’s Hallowe’en and I don’t want to deny Jeff & Suzy their trick-or-treating. I’ll go with them just to be safe.”

(knock on door)

“HI YOU DON’T KNOW ME BUT WHAT IF YOU FORM AN ANGRY GESTAPO MOB THAT HUNTS DOWN GUYS JUST TRYING TO GO BUY SOME MILK AT THE CORNER STORE AND BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF US?!? THIS HAS MAYBE ALREADY GONE TOO FAR!!!”

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:11 am

It’s funny how your parable is utterly and completely unlike anything I said, in tone, message and intent.

It’s more like I said “that might become a problem later, like, decades from now” and now people are accusing me of being a rape apologist or something.

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Christian Williams said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:15 am

@FC:

As an additional point… if the con policy was ‘Any person who looks at Power Girl’s ass will be thrown out of the con.’ Then the argument that we’re going to far will have some weight.

That’s not the argument that he was making, and it’s not the argument that you’re saying is important to listen to.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:18 am

Oh. I don’t think you should agree with his argument. (Primarily because I don’t think he’s right) If I’ve come across that way, I retract any statement to that regard and agree that they would be incorrect. If I’ve previously believed such a thing and now am deluding myself into pretending otherwise, then previous-me was wrong. I don’t think he’s right. I don’t think you should listen to him. But I think you should be careful of automatically disregarding any similar argument, because that might end up biting you decades from now where you could end up disregarding an actually valid concern.

Throw it out by reason, not by pattern-matching.

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Christian Williams said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:20 am

It’s more like I said “that might become a problem later, like, decades from now” and now people are accusing me of being a rape apologist or something.

Noooo.

It’s like you said the rape apologist had a point that was important to listen to, and now we are unfairly lumping you in to the same category that he belongs in.

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Christian Williams said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:30 am

Funny note:

Throw it out by reason, not by pattern-matching.

The argument: ‘But what about the feelings of the harassers?’ Will never be valid. And that was the argument you said was important.

BTW: For all of the ‘If I came across that way’ and ‘I said that decades from now it’ll be a problem’. What you said was ‘THe harassers point is important’.

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Is this that common a problem? I mainly only go to Wizard World when it comes around once a year, although I would really like to go to Gen Con and some others. My friends will point out “check out the hot Black Widow” while they get in line for celebrities or shop for t-shirts, and that’s as far as that goes. I could definitely see more aggressive men hitting on some of the female cosplayers, but some of Seavey’s posts make it sound like a woman walking into a comic convention is basically visiting Clarence Thomas’ house. Is it that bad?

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shadeedge said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:32 am

It just seems like a weird thing to bring up. There’s an immediate, considerable, weighty problem that needs solving. It’s sort of an automatic no-brainer of a “Yes, there are shitty situations, yes, these shitty situations are often the norm.”. And then there’s nebulous future potential problem – which isn’t even as bad as the current problem even taken to the fullest extent of it. I mean, if I had to pick between “con-goers being unwilling groped” and “person mistaken for perv being removed from a con”, i’m going to pick the latter as being the least worse of the two – and this potential problem is coming up against what’s not just a plausible state of affairs but essentially an institutionalised one.

Yes, it’s always worth making sure that we don’t accidentally go too far when trying to prevent some awful thing. It’s just weird to me that, all too often, it’s the very first reaction in comments threads on this subject of some people, that they can spend several paragraphs outlining the problem which can largely be summed up in a sentence, and don’t seem to actually engage with the topic on anything other than an intellectual, debate-club level.

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Convergence has a lot of problems — it’s grown too large and they’re not handling it well, as shown by the 5 hour lines to get our badges this year. But like John I was impressed by how visible they were with their anti-harassment policy.

Of course, by Saturday some guy at the con was wearing a professionally-printed shirt that read, ‘This Costume IS Consent’. There’s always some guy.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 9:46 am

shadeedge: I think it’s that I can relate to the “anxious socially awkward guy” more than I can to the “harassed guy/girl”, because I haven’t been in that situation myself.

And no, I don’t agree that the feelings of the harassers will never be a valid argument, because the definition of harassment can shift, and I’m not willing to permanently throw out a class of people because somebody put a tag on them, no matter how relevant and deservedly damning that tag is today. (bolded so people won’t overread it and think I’m excusing harassment)

Look. The future where “I don’t know how to approach girls without being seen as creepy” is the biggest problem at a con is a massive improvement over what we have today, and it’s entirely valid to say we should shoot for that first and worry about follow-up problems when we get there. But if we can head off potential follow-up problems by being a bit more open towards people’s concerns, no matter which side they’re on, and thus forestall some of those future problems, isn’t that an improvement also worth investing a little effort in?

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shadeedge said on July 10th, 2013 at 10:20 am

I’ve certainly been more anxious and socially awkward than I have been harrassed, but still I think I relate more to the harrassed person given a) empathy, and b) i’d like to think i’m not an ass, which is the prime take-away i’m getting from this – after all, you can have an anxious, socially awkward person without a harrassed person, but you can’t have a harassed person without a harrasser.

Sure, the definition of harassment can shift. It’s still not as big of a problem. Let’s say ten years down the line the definition of harassment at cons was, “If you say anything to cosplayers that hasn’t been run past a lawyer first, you’re out on your ear!”, to take it to a stupid and extreme end, that’s silly, but it’s still not a big a problem as groping without consent. You have to go a long way from where we currently are – which, again, is almost an institionalised matter, to varying degrees – to any kind of thing even approaching a similar level of problem by going too far.

It’s just strange to me that, for some, it seems sort of like they’re walking into a living room with a dead body in it and immediately and solely pointing out that if the body is left there, there won’t be any room for a new coffee table. Yes, technically, theoretically, purely for the sake of argument, that’s a point. But it’s both underjudgment of the immediate problem (and ignoring, in some cases; not you, FC, but i’ve seen in other threads on this subject posters managing to go on for reams and reams of posts without ever managing a “Oh, and harassment is bad, of course.”), assuming that the problem won’t be handled as part of the bigger issue (after all, the body is going to get removed; after all, strengthening dealing with harassment works in all directions), and, perhaps most immediately, just seems like a really somewhat inhuman and unrelatable reaction to the whole thing – a reaction based purely in applying “Well, all things can be taken too far. Those who trade freedom for security, and all that.”-style cliches without actually gripping whether they are important to think about at this point, in comparison to the other factors.

So in answer to your last question – our effort, percentage-wise, in dealing with the concerns you raise as opposed to the concerns of those harassed should be almost infinitesimal. Because the problems don’t compare, because the effort itself could cause issues with the bigger problem, and because it puts us in bed with a lot of people who would attempt to hide behind their own behaviour through it.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 10:40 am

Hm.

On the basis that you laid out in your last paragraph, I am inclined to agree.

(I concur that it’s not important to consider the objections of people worried about being labelled harasser at this point, I just want people to disregard them for good reasons (like you’ve just done) and not just automatically.)

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@FeepingCreature: The problem with the whole “this can be taken too far” argument is that it really can’t be made in a vacuum or on a purely hypothetical basis, not when people are right now (probably literally) saying that we’ve already taken it too far. There are people saying that the justice system was too hard on the Steubenville rapists. At that point, “How far is too far to take an anti-harassment policy?” is going to be taken as an attack on the victims whether you intended it to be or not, simply because nine times out of ten it actually is.

@DensityDuck: Yes, I’d say that’s probably good advice. If you really can’t look at a woman in a skimpy outfit without leering at her and can’t talk to her without hitting on her, then ignoring her does seem to be the best option until you get a better handle on social interaction. Luckily, CONvergence runs a panel every year specifically on how to interact with people in skimpy costumes so that if you’re unsure or socially awkward, you can go here and get a primer that will help you. (They also run one on how to flirt without being creepy. It’s about education, not just punishment.)

@KenB3: My advice if you want to know what the con scene is like for women is to listen to women. Many women have indicated that they feel safe at cons a lot less than they should. (Which is all the time. There should never be a point where anyone at a con, male or female, feels unsafe.) I’m going to believe them on this, because they have a perspective on harassment that I don’t and ignoring the problem just because I didn’t notice it happening where I was at that moment is a good way to make sure it keeps happening. And I don’t want that.

@Remus Shepard: The lines come with the territory as the con gets bigger, no matter how well you deal with it. DragonCon has a full day set aside for badge pickup, and the lines there are in the five-hour range as well. I think they probably did the best with it that they could, under the circumstances. That said, I think they’d do better to set aside more time to pick up your badge in advance, and publicize it better.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

@John Seavey: I see your point and agree.

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It’s so consistently predictable that you can’t even run betting pools on how many comments before an example of the shit shows up. Gonna need more BINGO cards.

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FeepingCreature said on July 10th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

But no, see, I don’t want to be on the side of the people that harass others at cons, but I also don’t quite want to be on the side of the people with the bingo cards.

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Mitchell Hundred said on July 10th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

You probably should be on the side of the people with bingo cards; there’s more opportunity to win stuff that way.

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[...] read through one of the Mightygodking writer John Seavey’s posts about his experience at CONvergence, and honestly I was blown away. Not only were these posters constant reminders for people to not do [...]

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@KenB3, I know some women who refuse to go to cons because of harassment, and others who go only with constant backup. You don’t even have to ask women about their personal experiences; just do some Googling and you’ll see lots and lots and lots of examples of con harassment. Here’s a post with a short roundup of links to get you started, if you’re really interested: http://tansyrr.com/tansywp/sexual-harassment-at-sf-conventions/

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DensityDuck said on July 11th, 2013 at 2:44 am

“Luckily, CONvergence runs a panel every year specifically on how to interact with people in skimpy costumes so that if you’re unsure or socially awkward, you can go here and get a primer that will help you. ”

It’s actually really funny, to me, how we’ve got to a point where there need to be specific written-out guidelines and training on how to react when a woman wearing a Power Girl costume is present.

Because that puts us in the unique position of arguing that Power Girl isn’t a ridiculous T&A character, that we should take people who dress up as Power Girl seriously, and that people who dress as Power Girl should in no way expect wolf-whistles or crude remarks.

So when Power Girl’s in the comics she’s an example of disgusting misogyny and nobody should like her. But when a woman dresses up like Power Girl it’s affirming and expressive and you should react the same way as if someone had dressed up like Aunt May.

Since this apparently needs to be stated: Harassment–stalking behavior, unwanted and unrequested contact, speech that leaves crude behind and goes to explicitly suggestive–these things are bad, and should not be condoned, and when they occur they should be punished. And I recognize the danger of arguments like “she was asking for it”, and how often they are used as an ex post facto justification.

But…let’s say someone walks around dressed like they’re in the KKK. Do we not consider that costume to be a statement? Are we required to look at their costume and think “well, there’s a person there, and I need to consider that person first and foremost, with the costume a mere artistic affectation that should in no way be used to estimate that person’s expectation of acceptable behavior towards and around them”?

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Sgaile-beairt said on July 11th, 2013 at 7:23 am

huh….how do these poor socially awkward guys handle going to the beach, or the pool… or just walking around town in summer time??

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“So when Power Girl’s in the comics she’s an example of disgusting misogyny and nobody should like her.”

The rest of your comment is also insanely stupid, but I had to isolate this bit. Who says that? Power Girl is a popular character among women, and Amanda Conner’s art in particular is noted as an example of how an attractive character in a ‘sexy’ costume can be drawn in a non-sexualized manner.

Oh, and comparing it to Klan outfits? Yeah, good luck making that stick. Christ, what a jackass.

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Because that puts us in the unique position of arguing that Power Girl isn’t a ridiculous T&A character, that we should take people who dress up as Power Girl seriously, and that people who dress as Power Girl should in no way expect wolf-whistles or crude remarks.

While I’m not familiar enough with Power Girl to defend her specifically, I can say that your argument proves too much. If you define her entirely by her costume, then why not do the same for Psylocke, the White Queen, Starfire, Supergirl, or Wonder Woman? The Invisible Woman has had costumes with the 4 cut out, Storm has bared her midriff, Carol Danvers’ costumes were pure cheesecake until 2012 – almost every major female superhero has dressed like that at one time or another. So which female characters do meet your approval for cosplay?

If I were to take what you’re saying at face value, cheesecake costumes would be sufficient proof that the comics industry and culture are irredeemably sexist, but something tells me you’d say the opposite if anything.

But…let’s say someone walks around dressed like they’re in the KKK. Do we not consider that costume to be a statement?

Someone in a Power Girl costume might be sending the “ogle me” message you’re assuming without any evidence, but then again she could be sending the “I like the character” message Salmo says. On the other hand, someone wearing a KKK costume in public is pretty much definitely sending some kind of offensive message. Is it really that hard to evaluate the message someone is sending and its context when figuring out how to treat them? (And just the fact that I have to say that makes me realize this is pointless, but I’ve already written this much so I might as well finish.)

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@DensityDuck: No, “we” have not gotten to the point where there needs to be special training for behaving with respect for women in revealing costumes. You have. Don’t mistake any of what I said for agreeing with your point of view. I’m merely pointing out that if you’re really so socially inept that you can’t interact with a woman who’s not wearing much clothing without leering at her or hitting on her, hey, guess what! There’s a special class for people just like you. By treating that concept with disdain as well, you’re revealing your true belief, which is that your lack of social skills should be somebody else’s problem.

To answer your question, though, yes. If someone dresses up in a KKK costume, we do still need to remember that there’s a person under that costume that needs to be treated with basic human respect and decency. It’d be a lot harder, because Klan robes are a symbol of an organization that murdered actual human beings in large numbers, and Power Girl is a symbol of a costume that causes people to facepalm, and so your analogy takes a place of honor in the ranks of Epic Analogy Fail, but you are correct in pointing out that you do not get to harass someone even if they’re wearing a Klan outfit. You can complain to them, you can shun them, you can make it clear that you despise the ethos they represent, but a costume does not give you license to make someone feel as though they are in actual danger of being sexually assaulted. (And I’m now Officially Worried that you’re suggesting that in terms of likelihood of eventuating inappropriate sexual behavior, Power Girl’s outfit is right up there with the Klan robes. EW.)

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@Cyrus

True story, I have run through the streets of DC (only a few hundred feet, but still) wearing a KKK outfit. It was a costume for a play, and that was the only way to cross backstage.

At least I got to be carry the hood, and thus read only as “weird guy in white robes” to passersby. But I can assure you from experience not only that it is possible but also that it feels truly bizarre to wear KKK garb in public without malicious intent.

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@Roswulf: fair enough, and I even thought about mentioning possible exceptions like a performer during some kind of theatrical production. Even in that case the message you’re probably sending is that the character being portrayed is offensive, or has an offensive side to him, but we’re kind of getting into a “use vs. mention” level of pedantry, and anyways theater seemed like an obvious enough exception to any statement about how people look or act that it wasn’t worth mentioning. I suppose I neglected the possibility that a production might have had no way to avoid having people in that costume in public and not otherwise make it clear that it’s a production. I didn’t mention it because I figured my comment was long and had enough digressions as it is. I guess not.

(Also, a play in DC… with no way to cross backstage except in the street? Is this related to the Fringe Festival? I’ve been there several times. Small world.)

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DensityDuck sez: So when Power Girl’s in the comics she’s an example of disgusting misogyny and nobody should like her. But when a woman dresses up like Power Girl it’s affirming and expressive and you should react the same way as if someone had dressed up like Aunt May.

Ok, I feel like there is some sort of disconnect going on here. Let’s go with the assumption that Power Girl’s costume in the comics is an example of misoginy. I think that is a gross oversimplification of fan complaints, which are typically either focused on the overabundance of scantily-clad costumed heroines as a whole, and/or specific examples of heroines being depicted in unnatural poses designed to display their assets.

Nonetheless, for the sake of argument, lets assume that was the case. Are you suggesting that harassing and leering at a woman who chooses to wear a Power Girl costume is equivalent to customers complaining about sexism in a product produced by a corporation?

Because… yeah, I don’t think those are the same things at all.

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Does this “it’s ok to catcall/proposition/not take seriously women in Power Girl costumes” also extend to other articles of clothing? E.g. miniskirts? Low tops?

I mean, those can just be “clothes”, but obviously they can be also associated with broad societal stereotypes (i.e. “sluts” and “whores”, or if you prefer, “tarts”).

How does this principle apply in areas or populations where these associations vary due to cultural differences? For example, exposed hair? Faces? Knees? Ankles?

Please elucidate, as I would like to ensure that whenever I venture anywhere, I am wearing the correct clothing for maximum respect and being taken seriously before I say a word.

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I’m also very interested in what constitutes “crude” as opposed to “explicitly suggestive” so I know what to feel demeaned or … um … not demeaned … affronted? … by.

Thank you in advance.

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Christian Williams said on July 11th, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Because that puts us in the unique position of arguing that Power Girl isn’t a ridiculous T&A character, that we should take people who dress up as Power Girl seriously, and that people who dress as Power Girl should in no way expect wolf-whistles or crude remarks.

First of all I have to give you credit for an epic attempt to turn this from an argument about whether people deserve safe spaces into a discussion about the merits of Power Girl as a character.

Secondly, though related, I give you full credit for by trying to make the argument that if Power Girl is a T&A character.. then women who dress up as Power Girl deserve to be harassed. Because, in case you missed it, crude remarks are harassment.

And I recognize the danger of arguments like “she was asking for it”, and how often they are used as an ex post facto justification.

You recognize the danger of the argument… yet you’re making the EXACT same argument.

Let me make this as clear as I possibly can:
1) People who go to conventions are not doing so for *you*.
2) There is no line of (in)decency where it becomes okay to stop treating a cosplayer as a person, and instead to treat them as a sex object and target of leering and crude remarks.
3) And regarding rules and guidelines? The rules and guidelines aren’t because of the cosplayers…. they’re because people (apparently like you) don’t understand that ‘sexually attractive to me’ != ‘there to be a target for my sexual attention / expression of interest’.

None of this is hard. It’s called ‘Being a human being 101′, maybe you should take the course again this summer and see if you get a better grade.

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FeepingCreature said on July 11th, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I think I understand the discomfort of the commenter here as what constitutes “leering and crude remarks” can be subjective and “common sense”, as the saying goes, isn’t.

For instance, “Nice costume!” “I like your costume, it’s very well-done.” “I like your costume, it’s very sexy.” “:catcall:”.

Where exactly in that list has the line to “leering and crude” been crossed? At the catcalls? At the use of the word “sexy”? Before that? Does it depend on the opinion of the cosplayer? Does it depend on the appearance of the commenter? Is it specified on the organizers’ site?

Yes, some cases are obvious to all. Yes, those cases must be addressed. Yes, that is a good thing. Still, I think at a stereotypical nerd gathering being explicit about social rules and standards of behavior is a reasonable thing to expect.

This is why I’m relieved that the con organizers don’t appear to be taking a no-compromises one-strike-you’re-out policy.

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Durandal said on July 11th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

It’s always important to make every effort to dampen your efforts to behave kindly to others. No need to expend unnecessary effort if it turns out they deserve worse.

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Kristopher A. said on July 11th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

@FeepingCreature

That’s generally why I err on the side of caution, since it’s very difficult to judge why someone is putting on the costume. Some want the attention, some don’t (as contradictory as that sounds).

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Kate the Short said on July 11th, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Okay, let’s set aside Power Girl and Namor cosplayers for a second. Please keep in mind that there are people who will harrass others at cons *even when they are not in costume*.

If you haven’t read Ursula Vernon’s recent con experience on this, where she witnessed harassment of someone sitting behind the table at a dealer table next to hers: http://ursulav.livejournal.com/1544668.html

Then please go read Elise Matthesen’s guest post at Seanan McGuire’s LJ about how she was harassed by an editor at a book release party: http://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/517984.html

If you aren’t sure where to draw the line on looking vs. leering, or commenting vs. creeping, please read this Seanan McGuire entry: http://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/520130.html

As others have said before, it doesn’t matter whether it’s happening to someone in a skimpy costume or in a striking suit. It doesn’t matter if it’s sexual in nature. Heck, it doesn’t matter whether you’re at school in the hallway or in the office or at a friend’s game night. There’s stuff that’s okay, and there’s stuff that isn’t. And if you start out with the stuff that you KNOW is okay (“Hi, nice outfit” or “I’m a ____ fan too!” said while looking at someone’s face) and then you pause and gauge their reaction, you will know whether they care to talk with you further.

And if you aren’t sure, it’s always better to back off.

Unless YOU YOURSELF are an socially awkward and inept person, stop arguing that “it might hurt them!” point. If YOU get harassed because you’re socially awkward, you too have a way to move it up the chain at more and more cons.

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Kate the Short said on July 11th, 2013 at 10:28 pm

@FeepingCreature — whether it’s a one-strike-and-you’re-out issue also depends on the level of harassment. If what you do is high enough up on the harassment chain, you will get kicked out, possibly banned for life. If your hand obviously and deliberately squeezes my breast, I don’t think that’s going to be treated the same was as you saying “hot costume on that chick, wow!” loudly while pointing at me from five feet away.

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Kristopher A. said on July 11th, 2013 at 11:57 pm

… Man, I don’t remember that first post by Kate (It’s like it appeared out of thin air), but it’s a really good one. I wholly agree with the points, especially regarding the “Leering versus Looking” post.

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DensityDuck said on July 12th, 2013 at 1:49 am

“It’d be a lot harder, because Klan robes are a symbol of an organization that murdered actual human beings in large numbers, and Power Girl is a symbol of a costume that causes people to facepalm, and so your analogy takes a place of honor in the ranks of Epic Analogy Fail, but you are correct in pointing out that you do not get to harass someone even if they’re wearing a Klan outfit.”

It’s to your credit that you recognize that, and the fact that you understood my point means that there wasn’t any Epic Anything. The KKK was deliberately chosen, and even though you had the right answer, I do note that even you can’t quite control your emotional response.

Avoid the bellyfeel. It’s wonderful and thrilling and quite profound to simply give up rationality and operate on pure lizardbrain, but it leads you to *really* bad places.

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FeepingCreature said on July 12th, 2013 at 3:06 am

@Kate the Short: well yeah, some cases are obvious. Those, being obvious, are also less interesting. Maybe that’s where the harassment policy does the most good, but do we seriously need a policy that says “if it’s something that a court would find to be legally actionable sexual harassment, we throw you out?” That’s depressing if true ..

Re the seanan_mcguire post: does that represent social consent? How do I tell? I mean, rather, the problem isn’t for me to tell – I’m fairly confident in my social ability – but for a person who’s approaching the situation insecure and uninformed. How are they supposed to go about discovering what is permissible in a systematic fashion?

I mean, it’s good that a guide exists, and thanks for linking it. Now if somebody can just get it linked from the harassment policy page, I’ll be entirely happy. :)

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Kate the Short said on July 12th, 2013 at 10:18 am

Again, most people who are “insecure” and “uninformed” will need to figure this out for themselves. Given that it’s better to HAVE rules that can be given to the socially awkward to look at, there isn’t really much of an excuse. If there’s a con policy and Mr. or Ms. Socially Awkward reads it, I’d think 99.44% of the time that person will more likely err on the side of caution and respect, not on the side of “oops I touched your butt.” And if– with such a harassment policy both in place AND promoted to congoers so it’s pretty obvious what the overall rules are– if it takes them getting banned from a con to figure it out, so be it.

In general, getting kicked out of, or banned from, a convention is nowhere near the level of what people who have been harassed have to deal with. And given the amount of harassment that typically is NOT reported, and that is just shrugged off, the likelihood of Mr. or Ms. Socially Awkward getting to that stage without first being told by at least one person “um, back off” or “please stop that” is miniscule.

Such policies can certainly be revisited if the need arises. But so far, I haven’t seen that need. I haven’t seen scores of Socially Awkwards complaining that they unfairly got kicked out of cons. I’ve seen tons of reports of creepers using the Socially Awkward defense, though.

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Kate the Short said on July 12th, 2013 at 10:20 am

Really, as others have said before, this isn’t much different from going out into the real world and knowing NOT to touch the boobs of women who are wearing strapless tank tops, knowing NOT to touch the rear ends of women who are at the swimming pool, knowing NOT to touch the package of the guy in the low-cut Speedo, knowing NOT to just walk up and feel the muscles of the guy in the sleeveless shirt at Best Buy, etc.

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Kate the Short said on July 12th, 2013 at 10:21 am

Annnnnnd look what just popped up on my Yahoo News feed this morning:

http://news.yahoo.com/san-diego-mayor-apologizes-inappropriate-treatment-women-025533601.html

“It’s a good thing that behavior that would have been tolerated in the past is being called out in this generation for what it is: inappropriate and wrong.”

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Christian Williams said on July 12th, 2013 at 10:26 am

@KatetheShort:

Also worth noting, and sort of the crux of my counter-argument on the ‘poor socially inept, blah’ argument is Seanan’s post on just how hard it is to harass by accident:

http://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/519653.html

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Kate the Short said on July 12th, 2013 at 10:33 am

@Christian — yup! That’s another awesome “continuum” post that shows what’s what.

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@DensityDuck: I’d say I understood your point better than you did. You “deliberately” chose the KKK robes in some sort of attempt to equate the two, and suggested that women wearing Power Girl costumes are being harassed for the same reasons that someone wearing Klan robes could be harassed, namely that they find the ideals that the costume represents to be morally abhorrent.

But women wearing Power Girl costumes are not be harassed by angry feminists who want them to wear something more decent; they’re being harassed by sexists who assume that anyone who wears something that shows skin must be an easy lay. This is why your analogy fails, because the two don’t equate at all. (Unless you’re suggesting that someone wearing Klan robes to a convention would be constantly approached by people who wanted them to participate in lynchings.)

And now, having watched your argument crash and burn, you’re trying to claim that you won all along because your REAL intent was to get someone to agree with you that people deserve to be treated with respect at cons no matter what they’re wearing. Which doesn’t really wash when you go back and read your original comment, but hey, if it helps you sleep at night so much the better. Thank you for playing!

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Someone mentioned above the comparison to the beach, and I think that’s the perfect way that the ‘socially inept’ guys to think about it.

If there was an attractive girl in a swimsuit at the beach, you wouldn’t run up to them and hug them, grind against them, touch their boobs or whatever. So just because it’s a convention and the girl is wearing a revealing costume doesn’t mean you can either.

This doesn’t mean you can’t talk to a girl at a convention ever. It just has to be for a good reason, have context and be polite.

Say for example, you see a girl in a Power Girl costume and that is your favorite character. It’s acceptable to start a conversation with her. The important thing is how to do that. So if you happen to pass by, you can say “Excuse me, I just wanted to say that Power Girl is my favorite character and that is a really good costume.”

These are the basic 3 replies you will get and what I think are the appropriate responses.

1. A response anything more negative than a polite ‘thank you’: Meaning whether it’s silence, a frown, a uninterested reply or even hostility. Either way, this is the end of the conversation.

The important thing here is not to get upset. There may be a hundred reasons that she may not want to talk to you and there’s no point in worrying about it. Simply respond with a polite good bye and walk away.

2. A polite ‘thank you’: This is essentially the nicer version of the first response. Or the person is too shy to talk. Either way, the response is to still to say you’re welcome and wish them a good convention.

3. An interested response: For example, “Why thank you. She is my favorite character too. What do you like about Power Girl?”: This is the prompt to continue conversation. Remember that it is simply that. Continue on the topic and don’t say things like, “You’re boobs look great in it” or whatever.

Tell her what you like about Power Girl, ask her if she made the costume or bought it, how long did it take to make, etc. From there you can continue the conversation and just follow the prompts on whether she wants to keep talking or not.

And hey, if you really hit it off, you can even ask if you want to get a coffee together or get her email or whatever. If she doesn’t want to, then again don’t be offended. Just be polite and say it was good to meet them.

And that’s it. You can still talk to women in Power Girl costumes without making her uncomfortable or worried about being sexist.

(I’m not claiming to be any type of expert on female perspective, so if the women commentors don’t think the above is okay, feel free to add/criticize the above)

Just want to say I’m not chastising or criticizing criticism of the ‘socially inept guys’ talked about above, so don’t take it as that. Hey, I was one of them myself.

CONvergance sounds like it has a great policy. But it’s also kind of sad that rules like this need to be highlighted at conventions.

Geeks, we need to take it on ourselves to be at a higher standard. Movie Bob at ‘The Escapist’ did a really good video called ‘With Great Power’ that is about how us in the Geek culture should be actively improve our flaws, especially since it is really part of mainstream now.

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cole1114 said on July 12th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

After reading through this comments section: I hate each and every one of you. Oh my fucking god, you’re all just the worst. I mean, it’s a comment section on the internet so I don’t know why I expected different, but we basically have three things going on:

Crazed third wave feminists

Horrifying misogyny

A guy in the middle getting coated in the first two group’s bullshit.

Jesus. And I thought Seavey articles couldn’t get any worse, just gotta check out the comment section.

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FeepingCreature said on July 12th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

^ Well I think that’s excessive. From what I can see, most people here are being mostly reasonable. Though I’d like to explicitly clarify that “don’t touch people inappropriately” should be obvious to everybody and I’m not trying to justify or excuse that kind of behavior (I don’t think anybody here is; at least, I hope so) – the specific issue I have is with the gray zone of “leering”, “creep” and “inappropriate comments”. And I don’t have an issue with that either as long as the con policy is specific on what it means by subjective terms like those.

I am not arguing for people who think they can get away with sexual harassment – I am arguing for people who don’t want to harass but are panicked about harassing by accident.

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Durandal said on July 12th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

“Harassment by accident” is exactly as much of a concern as “heart transplant by accident”.

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@Cole: but not quite yet so noxious that it couldn’t be added to by some asserted morally superior faux-neutrality, eh?

(Also, I like the phrase “crazed third wave feminism” as a not-euphemism – what’s the opposite of a euphemism? – for “wants some anti-harrassment policies”.)

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highlyverbal said on July 12th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I personally would love to know who the “guy in the middle” is!

Oh, and I think crazed third wave feminists should get our/their own wave. 4th wave, yeah!

The opposite of an euphemism? Perhaps “pejorative”?

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Wow, if this is your idea of a horrible comment section then I have no words. Have you been on the Internet? Like, ever at all?

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@Zyzzyzva: dysphemism.

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@Cyrus: well, yeah, I probably should have been able to guess that myself. :S

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DensityDuck said on July 20th, 2013 at 3:42 am

John Seavey said

“You “deliberately” chose the KKK robes in some sort of attempt to equate the two, and suggested that women wearing Power Girl costumes are being harassed for the same reasons that someone wearing Klan robes could be harassed, namely that they find the ideals that the costume represents to be morally abhorrent.”

Nope.

I chose the KKK robes because I wanted to pick something that would make you REALLY REALLY FUCKING GODDAMN HATEBASTARD CATFUCKING ANGRY, something where you would feel no problem with ditching an entire lifetime of reason and rationality and tolerance, something where you’d feel it was not only morally acceptable but a moral imperative to go full shaved-ape and start flinging shit.

Which, from the looks of the comments, is exactly what happened.

So. Here’s a situation where you think a costume justifies negative treatment. And yet you’re really mad, in your OP, about people who might think that a costume justifies negative treatment.

“And now, having watched your argument crash and burn, you’re trying to claim that you won all along because your REAL intent was to get someone to agree with you that people deserve to be treated with respect at cons no matter what they’re wearing.”

For someone who makes their living as a writer, you sure do have a hard time getting to the point of another person’s writing.

Maybe we should go back to the first post where I brought up the KKK robes. In fact, I’ll quote myself.

“[L]et’s say someone walks around dressed like they’re in the KKK. Do we not consider that costume to be a statement? Are we required to look at their costume and think “well, there’s a person there, and I need to consider that person first and foremost, with the costume a mere artistic affectation that should in no way be used to estimate that person’s expectation of acceptable behavior towards and around them”? “

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@DensityDuck: Yes, that was what you said. And I pointed out that yes, you do need to treat them as a person. So y’know, you totally succeeded apart from the success part at baiting people into agreeing with you that there are some costumes that justify bad behavior.

Um…you do realize that was your original point, right? I mean, you started out saying that the Power Girl costume was such blatant fetish gear that any woman wearing it had no right not to expect to be sexualized. Then when people pointed out that no, they had every right, you pulled the most extreme example you could think of out of your ass to try to get people to agree that there was at least some kind of situation where a costume justified bad behavior. And when we wouldn’t even do that, you tried the classic bullshit maneuver of saying, “EXACTLY!” super-loud, in the hopes that people not paying close attention might think we were now agreeing with you instead of noticing that you’d flipped your position 180 degrees from “Women wearing Power Girl costumes are asking for it” to “Nobody deserves to be treated badly just because of the outfit they wear.” It failed, just to clarify.

But again, thank you for playing!

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