It will be much easier to offend people in this post, but I think if you make it through yesterday and today, then tomorrow everything will make sense.
Yesterday I referred to one convention incident, and as I said, while the perpetrator did out himself and apologize, many people felt it was inadequate and were upset not just with him, but with others in the press for letting him off too easily, and they made good points.
While I was mulling over that, another random comment directed me to a different incident, in this case with some complaints on the part of the perpetrator of backbiting and people being two-faced. This reminded me of some other comments I had seen. In the third case, some were complaining about one web site posting unfounded allegations irresponsibly, and then others were complaining about that attitude, which seemed soft on the harassers.
Those last two paragraphs may be confusing, so I'll sum up. There is a total of three incidents, involving three separate comic book creators, usually with multiple victims, and unhappiness in all directions. None of the creators were people that I had heard of before, but in all of the commentary people I like were criticized for not being harsh enough.
(I'm omitting names deliberately, because I think it would be a distraction, but it may not be that hard to figure out.)
One of the common refrains in a lot of the articles was "We all know there are a lot of creeps in the industry." There are, but labeling them creeps means that for someone who is friends with the creep, and has had good working experiences, "creep" does not describe the person. They may go too easy on a friend, because it's hard to accept someone we like and respect doing that.
It may be more helpful to think of the industry as full of people, but with a culture that encourages some pretty creepy behavior, and with a population where the majority benefits from that culture, so there is resistance to change.
It's not that some people are not super-creepy; they are. It's not that people shouldn't know better; they totally should. It is also remarkably easy to go along with the norms without examining. I'm going to refer to a non-convention related story.
There have been several edits as new things happen, but the original post that I read starts below the 12/23 edit. This was a frightening experience for the author, and I don't blame her for that. I appreciate her compassion for the driver; she is correct that they need better training and procedures in place. If nothing else, the driver should have silenced the guy once they were both on the bus.
There is also something that I notice with the harasser though, and this is not a defense of him. He was offended too, for being perceived as dangerous. Race appears to have been a factor. Now, responding to that by threatening language is so stupid and wrong, and not having any empathy for the author, really, everything that he did was wrong. I also notice that in what she quoted, he threatened to slap her, but the other things he told her that she deserved, not that he was going to do them.
It seems to be an important part of rape culture that while there is a limited number of men who will rape, there are a lot more who are okay with the mention of it, and with all that is demeaning and dehumanizing. Maybe it is easier to feel like they are still good people, because they aren't doing anything illegal.
There is a whole spectrum of this behavior. Rape and physical violence is the extreme end, and that does sometimes happen at comics conventions, but not nearly as much as groping, which still happens less often than verbal harassment.
What I wonder about with the guy at the bus stop is if that could have been turned around. She was viewing him as a threat, which was reasonable. While the burden of his bad behavior is totally upon him, ff she had said something that acknowledged his humanity, but still turned him down, could that have been a better experience? I don't know, but I'm going to link to one more thing:
The first time I read the ten percent statistic, it was being used as an argument against direction rape prevention at rapists, because a ten percent improvement isn't very effective. I disagree. For the people affected by that ten percent, it's really significant, yes, but also I think there is a bigger impact.
Let's say you have some people who will assault and rape, no matter what you do, another group who was never going to sexually assault anyone, and then the target group, who views things differently after the campaign and does change behavior. They don't become criminals, which is good, and means that some people are not becoming crime victims who otherwise would have, which is also good.
I suspect there is also a difference in the group that would never commit the assault, because maybe they are now less likely to think "She was asking for it." That's a key part of the culture, and it matters, so reducing that attitude matters.
And the changes in that group make a difference for the ones who will not be educated. Maybe some of them won't be moved by education, but would be moved by societal pressure. Maybe some of them will have to retreat when there are no longer safe places for them to demean and hurt.
I know, I am going back and forth between things that are crimes and things that are awful but legal, but there are correlations, and I think the correlations are important. That's how we pick up on the trends and themes, and how we can extrapolate to find solutions, which is where tomorrow will be going.