This went up on John Scalzi’s Whatever (and a number of other places) on Friday–
It’s an important post by Elise Matthesen, talking about her experience of being harassed at a con and how she dealt with it. Though it’s been blowing up all over the SF and Fantasy side of the internet, I think it deserves all the signal boost it can get.
Now, a short personal message. As a guy, to all the guys out there in the community– enough with the fucking creeping already. And I’m not just talking to those who do it. Though yeah, you should really stop. I’m talking to all of us who know this shit happens, but it’s uncomfortable to talk about, so maybe we could just pretend it doesn’t… No. No we can not. We have to deal with this, and call guys on it when they’re being creepy. Even when we know them. Even if we are them.
Oh! But someone has a question! How do I know if I’m being creepy? I’m a very friendly guy! That could be misinterpreted. Excellent. Well, here’s a very quick, if crude, test. Imagine that everyone you meet at a con is Vin Diesel.
Vin Diesel is awesome. You’d want to meet him at a con, wouldn’t you? He plays D&D!
Now let’s consider this–
If you asked him for a photo, would you put your hand on his ass while you stood beside him?
If he stepped on an elevator with you, would you wait for the doors to close and then tell him how hot he looks in those pants?
Would you follow him from party to party, so that you could sneak up from behind and grab him for huggy time, because he just makes you so darn happy?
My guess is no. Why not? Are you going to meet anyone else at a con who is as awesome as that guy? No, probably not. So why not be all friendly touchy-feely to him? Does it seem disrespectful? Are you concerned he might not like it? Maybe those thoughts should occur to you before you pull those moves on anyone.
PS– If you would do those things to Vin Diesel, stop it. He shouldn’t be creeped on either.