My reaction: "Why are my FListies suddenly saying that when people find themselves thrust into an uncomfortable situation — especially an uncomfortable situation of a sexual nature — the first course of action should be to not blame the person who was made uncomfortable, but the person who caused it? Seems to me this is kind of obvious, yes?"
As it turns out, it's apparently not obvious to some people.
Now I am, on the whole, an optimist. People are Generally Awesome. But there are some People Who Really Suck that ruin it for the rest of us.
The latest discussion arising from the WinCon situation has done nothing to dissuade me from that belief.
Most people are Generally Awesome.
But some people Really Suck.
Know what sucks? Victim-blaming.
You know, I'm really glad that there are some people out there who've never been tricked into an uncomfortable situation (as what happened at WinCon), or found themselves unexpectedly in a uncomfortable situation (again, as what happened at WinCon), or were in a public space where certain modes of conventional behavior and common courtesy are expected only to be faced with one of those people Who Really Suck and don't get that there were personal boundaries that shouldn't be crossed (WinCon again).
For the subtextually impaired, the above paragraph is sarcasm, by the way.
But what makes me truly glad in a non-sarcastic way and keeps me in the People are Generally Awesome camp is that for those who have found themselves in bad situations and found people who were willing to step forward and Do the Right Thing (such as the WinCon ComCon — much praise for their handling of the situation) and people who were willing to offer support for the idea that they were not the ones at fault (far too many people to count since this has come to light).
To be fair, I was able to track down what people were upset about, and I spent a lot of time following links trying to get a bead on what happened.
And believe me when I say that my jaw dropped, it dropped wide open and pretty much stayed there.
All I can say is: People Really Are Generally Awesome. My faith in humanity has been maintained.
But there are some people — when I become the Evil Overlord of the Planet — that I will put up against the wall because clearly they are Not Getting It.
Frankly, with the way my personal life is going, I really wasn't in a headspace to comment or say anything, mostly because it would come out as "Garble, blargle, BLAH!" followed by a fuck-fueled rant of epic proportions.
I should also add that I wasn't particularly triggered by anything I read because I'm one of the Lucky Ones. And isn't it sad that the fact I haven't been sexually assaulted (yet) makes me feel Lucky. Equally sad is the idea that this could change in an instant through no fault of my own.
Still, I feel so blessed to know that if I am ever sexually assaulted there'll be someone (maybe a lot of someones) who'll be right there and ready to blame me anyway.
For the subtextually impaired, the above sentence is dripping in sarcasm.
Then, whaddya know: I got triggered. By this post from harmonyfb. (WARNING: Victim-blaming to the n-th degree while using her Pagan beliefs as justification.)
Fuck you very much, Harm. You've joined the list of people going up against the wall when I become Evil Overlord.
Know why? Because silence DOES NOT equal consent. Silence can also mean shocked speechless.
( I had completely forgotten about this incident, but whaddya know....it's come bobbing to the surface.Collapse )
I know what some of you might be thinking.
You might be thinking: "Well, Liz, that's a nice story and all, but don't you think you're kind of proving the victim-blamers' point? You spoke up and did something about it."
If you think that, then fuck you. No seriously. Fuck. You.
The point is that in the heat of the moment I didn't say anything. I said nothing at all, in fact. I sat there and took it. My silence was not permission allowing this guy to say sexually aggressive things to me. In the heat of the moment, it was sheer shock and a whole lot mental denial.
This was followed by a whole lot of self-doubt.
And if it wasn't for a stroke of luck starting with one person who thought a whole lot better of me than I felt about myself in that weak moment, I still would have said nothing at all, and that photographer would have kept his job and done the same to God knows how many other girls.
So, here's one more for the pile:
We gotta watch out for one another, support one another, be aware for one another, and take care of one another.
Because you never know when You (yes, YOU) might make a difference and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to run away from the computer for a little while, because I'm having a Bad Day due to One Post that Set Me Off.