Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

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Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by HSavinien on Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:01 pm

I just read this post, super angry right now.

Uggggghhhhh.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Werel on Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:25 pm

It is 2005 and I am at I-Con. I duck into the wargaming room looking for a demo and a place to spend my money. I lean over a table to get a better look at the game in progress and feel a hand slide up my skirt. I scream and turn around, but everyone is staring at their tables, heads down over their games.

“Someone grabbed my ass!”

The man doing the demo rolls his eyes, “Quit making stuff up. You don’t need the attention.”

I roll my eyes back and leave. That night, I find a constellation of five bruises on my ass.
It is 2009 and an aboriginal woman is looking at the metal miniatures on the wall. My co-worker helps her as I stock the display shelves.

“Do you have any models that look like me?” the woman asks.

“We only have normal models,” my co-worker titters, “I can order you the noble savage.”

(Same to basically every other line in that story, though)
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:44 pm

++++

I am thirteen years old and in a game store for the first time. I examine their selection of dice and take them to the counter to pay.
“How old are you?” asks the balding, middle-aged man behind the counter.

“Thirteen.”

“Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed!” he chuckles in glee. The Warhammer 40K gamers at the table behind him take up the refrain. “Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed! Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed!”

I run.

++++

UGH!! What the fuck?! That's a kid, you sick fuck!

To quote Red Forman, my foot is shaking so hard it wants to kick those guys' asses. -sigh-

So, as a dude, what can I do to help? My gaming habit has slowed down quite a lot, on top of which I haven't witnessed this sort of horror ever. Thankfully, many of the circles I ran with weren't completely disgusting pieces of shit but I'm always on the look out just in case.

It's maddening and frustrating. As a minority, These are people I would love to get into these hobbies to show that no, many of us are normal people. Dorky and awkward for sure, but Christ these fucks need a firm beating.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Werel on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:06 pm

The Mikey wrote:So, as a dude, what can I do to help?
Luckily, the last paragraph addresses that! Wink
What can men do? They can support and believe women, POC, and anyone else marginalised by the hobby at large. They can refuse to stand for assholes in their community. There are good men who know their friends’ stories, but are fearful of sharing them lest their friends receive harassment. You don’t need to share the details. You only need to share that you know it’s a problem.
Listen, believe, speak up. Don't keep quiet to keep the peace. Break your verbal foot off in some assholes when you see unacceptable shit going down. Those are all things you can definitely do!
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:15 pm

Plot thickens:
https://imgur.com/WLEEcoj
http://themostexcellentandawesomeforumever-wyrd.com/topic/117520-the-importance-of-community/
There was also a court case involving the dudette in question but it contains powerword: IRL name so you can seek it out on Tumblr yourself. Based on meatspace fabulists and serial targets I know (which amount to a grand total of 2 and 3), parts of it smell exaggerated or invented out of thin air, likelihood of abuse in youth that planted seeds of that sort of behaviour is high, and that actually made her a target multiple times because heaven knows the predator squad has a nose for that vulnerable type. Of course, that so much stuff is instantly dug up is confirmation of the usual skepticism towards survivor stories, etcetera, answer of what to do as a dude is the same no matter what parts are true or not (fabulists are incredibly on the nose with inventing family members out of whole cloth and faking pregnancies and the like, so verge to the side of the survivor, y'all already know this).

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Werel on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:44 pm

<mod>BasedBuzzed, that post's treading real close to violating the forum guidelines:
5. Violence, harassment and sexual assault are the responsibility of the perpetrator, not the victim. Focusing on what you believe the victim did wrong or why they are to blame is just distracting from the actions of the person who committed the abuse. Abuse is a difficult and painful subject for many people, so please use care in discussing the subject, and particularly don’t engage in victim-blaming.
Cut that shit out. This is not a courtroom and no one here is qualified nor welcome to speculate about which parts of someone's assault allegations are factual. Next strike is a suspension.</mod>

Non-mod note but still with my frowning face on,
BasedBuzzed wrote:likelihood of abuse in youth that planted seeds of that sort of behaviour is high,
I'm surprised to see something as juvenile and reductionist as "attention-seeking fabulists musta been molested to make up rape stories" out of you. Childhood sexual abuse doesn't make people eager to draw targets on their backs by fabricating allegations, and the idea that it does is one of the more insidious mechanisms which allows for repeated victimization of "vulnerable types" (aka people subjected to enough suffering that they strongly prioritize their own safety over "justice," which is then construed as their complicity for not "fighting back" or "standing up" hard enough, repeat ad nauseam).

I get that you dig the gossip aspect of it all, but playing TMZ with rape threats is in poor fucking taste, man.
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by JP McBride on Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:33 am

Since July of 2015 fans of the game Malifaux have been attempting to overwhelm me with death and rape threats for no other reason than I am a woman who has opinions on the game. Wyrd Miniatures is silent on this matter and hangs up whenever anyone attempts to discuss the harassment. Given that a large number of threats identify the senders by name as Wyrd staff members, I do not find this surprising.

But that’s not what this article is about.

...

As for Wyrd, despite this egregious and dangerous misstep I want to believe their hearts are in the right place. Call them at (678) 355-5055 or fill out a feedback form and let them know that you want a game free from harassment. If only they spent as much effort protecting their female fans from harassment as they do themselves from criticism.

I'm not doubting her story, but I'm also not calling that number.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Wondering on Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:51 am

JP McBride wrote:I'm not doubting her story, but I'm also not calling that number.

And what is the point of making that post?

No, seriously. You came in to say you're not disbelieving her, but you're also not doing anything about it. So you're action neutral: Doing nothing. Which doesn't need commentary. Why make the comment at all except to call out the fact that you object to calling the number. I doubt most people here are going to call the number. No one else feels the need to say that. But you had to come in and aggressively say it. Because...you aggressively disagree with the woman whose story you totally believe? Or you backhandedly want to say you don't want a game free of harassment?

What the heck, dude.


Last edited by Wondering on Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by reboot on Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:07 am

Or are you saying harassment is the lesser of two evils? Unless it happens to someone or some group that matters to you? What is your rationale?
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by JP McBride on Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:33 am

Wondering wrote:I doubt most people here are going to call the number.

Sounds like I'm in good company, then.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Werel on Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:39 am

<mod>JPMcBride, there ain't a whiff of good faith to any of your posts in this thread. Cut out the zero-content snark, and either participate in earnest or take a break.</mod>
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by BasedBuzzed on Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:35 am

Very well, further thoughts on the topic will be directed to a more appropriate venue.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by JP McBride on Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:30 pm

Werel wrote:<mod>JPMcBride, there ain't a whiff of good faith to any of your posts in this thread. Cut out the zero-content snark, and either participate in earnest or take a break.</mod>

What I was trying to say is that people shouldn't take their rage out on the person on the other end of that phone number.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Werel on Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:41 pm

Okay, "don't rage at a stranger on the phone" is usually a reasonable idea. But when the extent of what you've said is "don't do a less-productive thing," and no one in the thread has advocated doing that thing, one is left wondering what you suggest instead. If, like Wondering said, you suggest doing nothing at all, there is no particular need to issue a rallying cry to inaction. It's what everyone already does all the time*. Or are you saying there's a better/more constructive way to handle situations where an individual alleges bad behavior by a company?

*Or to quote this week's episode of Girls, "human apathy continues to be one of the grossest threats to mankind." Killin it with truths 24/7 Ray I love you
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by JP McBride on Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:51 pm

Werel wrote:Okay, "don't rage at a stranger on the phone" is usually a reasonable idea. But when the extent of what you've said is "don't do a less-productive thing," and no one in the thread has advocated doing that thing, one is left wondering what you suggest instead. If, like Wondering said, you suggest doing nothing at all, there is no particular need to issue a rallying cry to inaction. It's what everyone already does all the time*. Or are you saying there's a better/more constructive way to handle situations where an individual alleges bad behavior by a company?

*Or to quote this week's episode of Girls, "human apathy continues to be one of the grossest threats to mankind." Killin it with truths 24/7 Ray I love you

I may have stopped a few lurkers from harassing a receptionist. It might not be much in the greater scheme of things, but then again, I'm not the goddamn Batman.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Werel on Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:04 pm

Okay, you've potentially stopped some lurkers from bothering a receptionist, even though it is likely that this would not have happened anyway. On the other hand, harassment in gaming circles is a frequently documented event which harms its victims immeasurably more than receiving a heated phone call in a professional capacity. I am curious why you chose to invest your limited capacity for action in defense of a hypothetical receptionist, rather than in defense of the far more numerous people who actually endure harassment and assault in tabletop gaming. What made your concern for this switchboard operator sufficiently urgent to speak up, whereas your concern for people getting groped, threatened, or raped was not?
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by JP McBride on Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:53 pm

Werel wrote:Okay, you've potentially stopped some lurkers from bothering a receptionist, even though it is likely that this would not have happened anyway. On the other hand, harassment in gaming circles is a frequently documented event which harms its victims immeasurably more than receiving a heated phone call in a professional capacity. I am curious why you chose to invest your limited capacity for action in defense of a hypothetical receptionist, rather than in defense of the far more numerous people who actually endure harassment and assault in tabletop gaming. What made your concern for this switchboard operator sufficiently urgent to speak up, whereas your concern for people getting groped, threatened, or raped was not?

The answer to your question is that you are working with a number of mistaken assumptions.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by BiSian on Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:56 pm

Speaking as someone who's actually worked as a receptionist, fielding calls from people who want to express their displeasure with X policy isn't even in the top 20 of the worst things you have to deal with. Most companies let you say "thank you for letting us know. If you'd like to leave more detailed feedback, I can send you a complaint form that will be forwarded to our manager." and then you can get off the phone.
I don't much like people who think screaming at the receptionist is a good way to accomplish their goals. But a) no one has advocated that and b) if the receptionist keeps getting phone calls they'll pass on that little fact to the people who can actually make changes. That is one way shitty things get changed. Slowly, to be sure.
Sitting quietly and not expressing your disapproval lets those in power think you support their shitty policies. And nothing changes.
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Werel on Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:13 pm

JP McBride wrote:
The answer to your question is that you are working with a number of mistaken assumptions.
Aiight, can you walk me through what assumptions you're seeing and the ways in which they're mistaken?

And yeah, BiSian, calls from people who don't like Policy X are pretty far from the worst part of being a receptionist. The inoffensive elderly time-sinks are so much harder to shake off cause you feel so bad for them. Laughing
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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by JP McBride on Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:55 pm

Werel wrote:
JP McBride wrote:
The answer to your question is that you are working with a number of mistaken assumptions.
Aiight, can you walk me through what assumptions you're seeing and the ways in which they're mistaken?

I'm not constrained by a pool of resources, my decision to deal with one problem doesn't limit my ability to deal with the other.

There is little point in comparing the importance of these particular problems.

You have no way of knowing what difference I make in the world. It's hard enough to judge in person.

I don't need your approval to tell people not to do stupid stuff.

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Re: Exclusionary sexism and geek spaces

Post by Enail on Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:00 pm

<mod> Alright folks, this is not a thread about what you do or don't do to make a difference in the world, let's get back to topic. JPMcBride, making leading comments about what you don't wish to do to resolve this problem is really not a constructive contribution to the discussion, so if that's all you want to say in this thread, please consider yourself done and find more constructive ways to participate in the future. Thanks, all! </mod>
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