(I won’t link to the worst of these, but it’s not hard to find if you search Readercon and “they take people like you and kill them with rocks” together. Trigger warning for pretty much everything. It’s not a fun read.)
Before you try to tell me that it’s because I take my clothes off for a living, let me tell you that this started way before I was 18. Let me tell you that every single woman I know has at least one truly terrifying story of street harassment and a whole bunch of other stories that are merely insulting or annoying. Let me remind you that in a room of pornography fans, who have actually seen me with a dick in my mouth and who can buy a replica of my vagina in a can or box, I am treated with far more respect than I am walking down the street.
Everyone: I'm seeing a lot of comments on twitter and elsewhere blaming PAX for this incident and the security guard's reaction. This party was NOT held by PAX, it was not even in the same venue, hell it wasn't even on the same street. It was not affiliated with, sponsored by or organized by PAX.
For a long time I had been neuter, not a woman at all but One Of The Boys, because if you walk into a gathering of men, professionally or otherwise, you might as well be wearing a sandwich board that says LOOK! I HAVE TITS!...If you get good at being One Of The Boys it goes away. Of course there's a certain disembodiment involved, but the sandwich board goes; I back-slapped and laughed at blue jokes, especially the hostile kind...
...you are making yourself a conduit for holy terror and the ecstasy of Hell. But only in that way can the wires heal themselves. Only in that way can they heal you...if you let yourself through yourself and into yourself and out of yourself, turn yourself inside out, give yourself the kiss of reconciliation, marry yourself, love yourself--
Well, I turned into a man.
Let me show you what harrassment looks like.
Harriet Hall wore a shirt saying she was “not a skepchick” and that she feels “safe and welcome at TAM”; some people wore obvious imitation Surly jewellery saying “you should be embarassed” or “that’s not funny” (referencing something she said about rape jokes and the Angry Skepchick Twitter account once! So clever!); the #TAM2012 live-tweeting hashtag was at some points inundated with more vitriol about Amy and Skepchick and the anti-harassment campaign than it was actual live-tweeting the convention; the Satiristas did a song about how the feminists have a stick up their asses about coffee and elevators; one of the grant recipients proclaimed herself “not a Watsonista” and apparently snubbed Amy and the other grant winners; people loudly and roundly proclaimed that Amy was part of an “axis out to destroy TAM”.
Amy rightly sensed her pariah status and cried in the speaker’s lounge. And that was her next big sin, which later became the focus of a new dozen lies about her.
People now ask if it’s immoral to rape a Skepchick because they’re annoying. They call Skepchick and Freethought Blogs ‘feminazi’ and ‘femistasi’ because we point out when people in our movements are horrid to one another and take them to task over it. They tell Amy to self-immolate because there’s no policy against it at TAM (“The Other Atheist” is one of Franc Hoggle / Victor Ivanoff‘s pseudonyms, by the way.)
But Amy weathers those storms. She keeps on plugging away at improving the movement, both through her art and through her activism.
Then the trolls get the bright idea to wreck her art at the same time as going after her personally.
First Thunderf00t posts a copyrighted image of hers in order to make fun of her, and the very idea of harassment policies. Amy tells him he does not have permission to use the image, and asks that he takes it down. He does, but replaces it with an image mocking her.
The Skepchicks, including Amy Roth, as of this writing have no plans to attend TAM again.
...needs a good lay...this shapeless book...of course a calm and objective discussion is beyond...twisted, neurotic...some truth buried in a largely hysterical...of very limited interest, I should...another tract for the trash-can...burned her bra and thought that...no characterization, no plot...really important issues are neglected while...hermetically sealed...women's limited experience...another of the screaming sisterhood...a not very appealing aggressiveness...could have been done with wit if the author had...
Russ’s own address to the reader begins: “We would gladly have listened to her (they said) if only she had spoken like a lady. But they are liars and the truth is not in them.”
The hatred, the destructiveness that comes out in the story makes me sick for humanity and I have to remember, I have to tell myself that it isn’t humanity speaking—it’s just one bigot. Now I’ve just come from the West Indies, where I spent three years being hated merely because my skin was white—and for no other reason. Now I pick up A, DV [Again, Dangerous Visions] and find that I am hated for another reason—because Joanna Russ hasn’t got a prick.
Do dudes who harass women in this sort of way not do it when I'm around?
As a guy who looks very much like a guy, except for that one night back when I had hair and was wearing it long, and it was a pretty dark moonless night, and I was between street lamps, and there were six guys hanging out together, and I was walking alone, I can promise you that men will say things to "women" that you would not believe, in the degree to which they presume on the "woman". The words may have just been something like "Hey, baby, why don't you come over here?" but the tone made me immediately wonder if they were going to attack me, waver between immediately running or walking confidently to show my strength, and question whether I should turn in at my apartment building, which was just a few houses down, because that way they would know where I lived.
Now I'm 5'10', 5'11", usually weigh between 160 and 200 lbs., and grow a convincing 5 o'clock shadow, so it took a pretty special set of circumstances for that mistake to be made. But despite any stories I'd heard before I could not have imagined the feeling of being targeted that I felt then. These days I basically assume that women in America live in a different world than I do.
Staffer Susie Rodriguez brought this summary & analysis of recent Very Unfortunate Events to our attention. [link to the io9 article from this FPP]. Incidents of sexism, harassment & general toolery have been on our radar for a while, since even before we'd settled on our name. Discussions, consultation & reading have led to what we believe are firm, unambiguous policies addressing such unacceptable behaviors. We intend for these policies to be finalized & publicly available no later than Friday, September 21st.
-How many times ......
Wow. This SMOFs mailing list is probably like a Cold War thriller right now. "WHICH ONE OF YOU IS THE MOLE?!"
"claiming that it is a "vanishingly tiny segment of humanity.""
But it really is.
"claiming that it is a "vanishingly tiny segment of humanity.""
...contributing editor Lindsy Van Gelder confessed that she herself, as a young reporter for the New York Post, had given the false
tale its start. Sent to do a humor piece on the demonstration, she attempted to turn her assignment into a vehicle for showcasing the validity of the movement by linking it to the Vietnam War protests which, unlike the women's liberation protests, were at least being taken seriously by the press. She made reference to (hypothetical) bra-burning as a way of piggybacking the zap actions at the Miss America Pageant onto the established credibility of the draft resistance movement by implying by suggestion that if young American men were burning their draft cards in protest over being oppressed, then young American women were burning their bras in protest of the same evil (albeit in their case perpetrated by a different oppressor).
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