So, person A is making a name for hirself as an advocate for oppressed groups M and N. Person B, an ex of person A, says, "Hold on, this person raped me at a con, they aren't as pure as they claim to be". Person C, a friend, and probably now lover of person B, says "Yes, I was there, it was baaaad" and describes something eerily similar to a previous case described in fandom circles a couple years ago, with different people, and then spreads this among groups that are innately hostile to groups M and N. Person A says "I've been accused, I admit no guilt, see you in court." essentially "I won't play along with trial by net."

These accusations come immediately on the heels of person A's success - not a surprise, I guess, since such things tend to bring skeletons out of closets. But the fact that person A had a ton of nasty harassing phone calls just the week or two before, to the point that they had to involve the police and change their number, and that they were also subscribed to a slew of disgusting porn email lists, makes the timing a bit more... suspect.

I call the question, ask "qui bono", because something stinks, and doesn't pass my BS filters. Person C and hir choir gets downright nasty, accuses me of enabling "rape culture", "victim-blaming" and other melodramatic sloganeering.

What's worse is, A, B and C are into BDSM, so at the time, C supposedly wasn't sure if it was a "scene" or not. But there was no scene monitor, but they may not play that way.

But the whole thing just reeks of a virtual lynch mob, and I feel that degrades accusers in rape cases. Just like the Julian Assange thing felt like the rape accusation was only useful as a political tool to "get" Assange.

Was there rape? I don't know. Was there miscommunication? Yes, from what I've read! Is that miscommunication rape? I can't say, and I hate that I can't. In a BDSM scene context, "no" may not mean "no", the safeword does.

But I can't jump in with both boots on person C's say-so. Person B didn't ask for that, and they are the only one with the right.

People who know me know I often take the side of the underdog. When I see sharks circling and people throwing around slurs due to this kind of accusation being made, I start to think that there's more in play than simple justice and wanting to warn people against trusting this person's activist credentials.

Person A hasn't made any brownie points with me either, posting hir accuser's whole name in public in what limited response they have made. So that stinks too.

Now, someone whose opinion I trust has said that person A has a history of not respecting boundaries. That I will believe, because the person who has said it is credible to me. That kind of behavior can lead to rape, and needs to stop.

The worst actors on the drama front are person C and the chorus of hate and drama. The jerking knees, the instant "off with their head" condemnation, and rush to judgment make me furious, and wade in with both rhetorical fists swinging.

Would I share a room at a con with either A, B or C? Not a chance - I don't want any part of their drama. Would I 86 any of them from a con I ran? No, because my standard of proof hasn't been met, either for rape or excess drama. Would I invite any of them to a party? No, too much drama for my personal comfort.

I've left names and specifics out of this for a reason: The issue is really a meta one, of where the line is on the use of rape accusations as a political tool, both in real world politics, ala Assange, and in fannish politics.

Rape accusations are a special breed of criminal accusation in our society, because of the twisted culture that makes "consent" a murky mess, because of the intersection of reputation and crime, because of the "he said, she said" nature, because some people assume consent where it isn't, because some people believe in "surprise sex" as sex, and a whole lot of other reasons. But using it as a political weapon is abhorrent to me. It trivializes it, IMO, and that's wrong.




I must apologize to the person whose journal that some of my objections to this erupted in. They didn't deserve to end up at the nexus of my fury at the level of wank this whole thing has engendered.
dubhain: (Irish Danger)

From: [personal profile] dubhain


I don't usually note fandom drama, as I'm not really part of the fen community. That said, I've stumbled across this on another friend's journal.

From my standpoint, B's email to A, which has been publicly posted, all but openly acknowledged that the rape had taken place. That, followed by B's behavior after the email was posted leads me suspect that it did.

I understand and respect your comments regarding the rush to judgement. Yes, I saw that too and it disturbs me. It also disturbs me to have read responses from so many people — I have not read any of yours, BTW — who immediately fall into both the role and the speech pattern of 'dudebro' apologists.

Of course — and again, I mean no snark in your direction — it's far easier to condemn rape and rape apologia when the people involved aren't people you, personally, know and/or respect. Similarly, it's very easy to pile-on and vilify when the person accused is someone you do not like and /or respect.

One of the things I take from the meta issue is that, perhaps, much of the behavior we insist is gender-linked isn't. Females and feminists can be rape-apologists just as easily and as emphatically as males and fundamentalists can. We seem to create arbitrary barriers, to convince ourselves that we are better than that, and could never be like that.

The meta-issues involved, though, should not get in the way of the fact that there's been a very real accusation of rape, and that needs to be addressed.I very much hope it does, and that the outcome of all this fits accordingly with the truth of what happened between A and B.
dubhain: (Irish Danger)

From: [personal profile] dubhain


Ah. I'm not following, since my original look at the situation. Your point is well taken.

I'll hold with my closing statement, though: The meta-issues involved, though, should not get in the way of the fact that there's been a very real accusation of rape, and that needs to be addressed.I very much hope it does, and that the outcome of all this fits accordingly with the truth of what happened between A and B.

This whole dammed mess is disturbing, dammit.
alexandraerin: (Default)

From: [personal profile] alexandraerin


It sounds a lot like another situation? Hey, coincidences happen.

For example there's another situation going on that sounds almost identical to this one. But here are the differences between what you've described and the situation I'm thinking of.

In the one I know about, C has been the lover of B for almost two years now, and was responsible for introducing A and B. The "C" in the one I know of made her post at B's invitation and subjected it to his approval. Once it was up, she didn't flag it to anyone's attention or forward any links anywhere. While C and B have a D/s relationship, A and B did not have a D/s dynamic and there was no "scene" or other context in which no wouldn't mean no.

See how similar these two situations can be, yet there are these small but important details that make all the difference?
alexandraerin: (Default)

From: [personal profile] alexandraerin


Yeah, in your situation it sounds an awful lot like C was spreading shit around to spread shit around.

The funny thing in the one I'm talking about is that apparently A had already burned enough people badly enough for them to be watching like a hawk for any sign of anything involving her and spread it around themselves.

The C in my situation was actually kind of caught off-guard about that, and would probably have included more basic background on the relationships in her first post if she'd expected it to mainly be read by people who don't follow her blog and didn't already know who B and C were.

Those are hard questions and I don't have answers for them.

1) "Asshole" is a funny way to spell "rapist".
2) Well, we have to prioritize: when someone who does something that needs discussing has also separately made a lot of enemies, how far backwards do we bend over to not incidentally give those enemies something to chortle about?
3) You'd have to point out the coat-tailing. I assume it exists in the situation you're talking about. In the one I'm talking about, C has a good career as a web author (albeit in a slightly different circle than the one A is a big name in) and would rather not trade fame in her circle for notoriety in the other.
4) Not making posts like this seems like a good start.
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)

From: [personal profile] dharma_slut


Seemingly, you are more worried about how communities look to the outside than you are about what happens within them.
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)

From: [personal profile] dharma_slut


so, what- we sweep things under the rug? Pretend that A couldn't possibly have done anything bad, so as to protect our high moral ground?

I could never do that. That would sweep that high moral ground right out from under our high moral feet. That's exactly kind of hypocrisy the right wing excels at.
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)

From: [personal profile] dharma_slut


I've got to say, I really haven't seen anything like the knee jerk or the witch hunt you claim to see. I have seen very little loaded language, even the anonymemers have been unusually thoughtful.

But more than that, I really don't see how you can assume enough understanding of this particular issue and this particular person's long history, to pass judgement in the way that you have-- with huge disrespect to the actual victims-- to their faces. Shame on you for that. Really.
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)

From: [personal profile] elf


Part 1: specifics
After all, how does shit spread so fast if it isn't promoted by the participants?

A is a well-known activist with a large contingent of friends and not-friends (and enemies, although that might be too strong a word) who pay attention to drama in A's online life. A, B & C don't have to promote info about a conflict for it to spread wide quickly.

Some people consider A a great activist for social justice. Some people consider A a toxic force in the community. Both of those groups watch for potential drama.

Also, there's a hell of a lot of posts occurring under lock about all this; the public doesn't see those exchanges, just the later public posts by people who have no apparent connection to A, B or C. They have no direct connection--but the LJfriend-of-LJfriend dynamic has spread info about the situation a lot farther than is visible from public posts.

to get A "punished" by hir community, I guess, or to deny A success because C could no longer claim a share.

Or to warn people, "A has srs issues and has caused substantial harm before; be careful before engaging." Also, "A's claimed virtues are at least partially hype, not reality. Pls consider before rewarding the hype."

(Which is not the same as "don't reward the hype." If someone wants to reward good talk instead of ethical actions, they're welcome to do so. But they should know what they're rewarding.)

Part 2: Meta
1) When does the fact that a person might well be an asshole necessitate trashing whatever they might try to accomplish for the good of the community, and why?

"Be an asshole": almost never. People can sort out assholery on their own, or not, and should calibrate their own assometers without needing public assistance.

"Is toxic/has caused harm"--if there's a reasonable likelihood the harm is going to occur in multiple future situations, that info should be shared. If the person is attempting to cultivate a reputation for being noble and righteous, data about past not-noble and not-righteous actions are relevant.

2) How do we call someone on shitty behavior without inviting complete strangers as well as their standard enemies to pile on?

We can't *prevent* strangers and enemies from joining in, but we can discourage them by focusing on the people as whole people, not as individual actions devoid of context. We remind ourselves (and strangers etc.) that nothing is as simple and cut-and-dried as tv dramas like to pretend. We keep insisting on context, on acknowledgment of a social framework that punishes seeking help and often rewards narcissism, and point out that a person who's fallen prey to those patterns is also a victim.

3) How do we keep people from bucket-crabbing (trying to drag back down) or coat-tailing on people's success in marginalized communities?

This is maybe the hardest. To prevent bucket-crabbing, we have to acknowledge that success when other people are still being hurt & oppressed is okay. And we have to find ways to do it without accepting climbing over others as an acceptable route to success.

4) How do we stop the knee-jerk stuff from stifling real discussion of problems and solutions, and not just marginalizing already marginalized people?

We allow space for the knee-jerk stuff to happen, and keep happening, and allow other discussions to get started/go on at the same time, and try to remember to keep those other discussions going when the current drama is no longer current. We allow individual situations to be used as examples of patterns, rather than (only) as problem-needing-solution; we consider whether any solution is transferable to other similar situations, or scalable to other sizes of problems.
mdehners: (Default)

From: [personal profile] mdehners


It's a BIG reason back in my "Master" days that I never "Played" at a con.Too many folks not part of the Leather Community who decide to act out a fantasy or to(after all, most cons are around some form of Fantasy;>)and find out that even a wellrun Senario can be too Intense when actually Played.....
That's not EVEN tossing in Politics, Cliques and other less savory bits of Con Culture....
Cheers,
Pat
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)

From: [personal profile] dharma_slut


I don't think that the rape survivor and the people that love him, deserve your fury either.

What the fuck, dude. Shame on you. You don't want to stomp on the accused, you don't have to-- nobody asked you to stomp at all.

arlie: (Default)

From: [personal profile] arlie


Happy I'm not reading the journals where this is happening.

arlie: (Default)

From: [personal profile] arlie


Also, I suspect this is SF fandom.

Remember the "open source" boobs crap - public encouragement of what I consider to be (minor) sexual assault. How many of those piling on A thought that "open source boobs" was about sexual liberation and "sex positive" behaviour, rather than about sexual harassment - even though it didn't involve the consent of the person with the breasts (except in the sense of pressuring her that she was unliberated unless she consented).

Put another way, let s/he who is without sin throw the first stone.

dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)

From: [personal profile] dharma_slut


no, it has nothing to do with that group of people.
emerald72: (Default)

From: [personal profile] emerald72


"In a BDSM scene context, "no" may not mean "no", the safeword does."

------------------------

I knew I wrote this for a reason...

Rape, Abuse and Issues of Consent in BDSM (trigger warnings apply)

http://emerald72.dreamwidth.org/23258.html

Consent in BDSM is, or at least it should be as far as I'm concerned, an ongoing process of negotiation. It should never be taken for granted or assumed. Consent for one activity does not imply consent for another, and a person's enjoyment of a consensual situation where they are playing a role that to an outsider might look like abuse, does not, I repeat NOT, ever imply that person will therefore enjoy, or wish to be non consensually abused...

...Safe words are not some sort of magical, get out of jail free card, whose non utterance equates to continuing consent being given. There are a myriad of reasons why a Bottom or Submissive may not use a safe word, even when they have withdrawn consent, and wish for a scene to stop. As the Top or Dominant in control of a scene, it is your responsibility not to assume 'lack of a safe word having been spoken, equals automatic consent to keep going', and to check in with your Bottom/Submissive.
.

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