Reports of Sexual Assaults Blacken DragonCon.

Discussion in 'Horror Stories' started by Bob Hubbard, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    http://community.livejournal.com/dragoncon/2542632.html

    There are more listed. DragonCon is one of the largest SciFi cons in the US, regularly attended by tens of thousands of fans and a virtual whose who in sci fi, fantasy, anime, gaming as well as shows like Mythbusters and GhostHunters. This sort of crap shouldn't be happening.
     
  2. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    No it shouldn't be happening.

    It also needs to get reported when it does happen.

    That's really sad.
     
  3. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    Nerd culture has serious strains of misogyny to it. It doesn't help that the stereotype of the nerd emphasizes limited social skills and serious problems viewing women as human beings like themselves. So I'm not surprised that this sort of thing crops up now and again.

    You are right of course that it shouldn't happen, but that's true everywhere.

    Lastly, there are thousands of people there. Even if 99% of all the attendees are pure as the driven snow, that leaves more than a few a-holes. What matters now is how the rest of the good people respond to the a-holes - do they defend or ignore the behavior, or do they address it?
     
  4. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think this sort of thing is going to happen anytime you get a bunch of young people together, church function's included. My friend is going to a big Neo con game thing in October. I'll have to tell him about what to expect.
    Sean
     
  5. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    From reading through the 300+ comments, it seems that the great majority of the problems were caused by football fans, many of whom weren't even supposed to be in the hotels. There were many reports of objects like beer bottles being thrown and dropped from several floors, a good number of indecent exposure cases, and so on. It sounds like hotel security dropped the ball in enforcing floor access and con security wasn't able to enforce a badge policy. The Atlanta PD is aware of the problems and is reportedly investigating.
     
  6. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Name a sub culture that doesn't.
    Sean
     
  7. CoryKS

    CoryKS Senior Master

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    So you're of the opinion that the rest of the attendees are responsible for addressing the actions of a few a-holes? Interesting.
     
  8. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    Enabling, ignoring or defending bad behavior does make you partly culpable. Isn't that what we hear all the time about the need for "good" Muslims to denounce "bad" Muslims? The messages and pressures members of the sub-culture put on each other helps to shape behavior. If nerds in general stopped treating women like some sort of exotic alien species, for one, the culture would become a friendlier place for women to be.
     
  9. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    To put things into perspective.

    I've attended, I dunno, 50+ sci-fi and gaming cons. The majority of them the worst issues I've heard of is some serious BO from the gamers. My wife's attended several west coast cons that are the same approximate size as Dragon Con. Despite 30,000+ fans, the complaints I've seen usually involved wait time and rude line wardens. I've got a good number of friends who continue to be very active in the con scene, and you don't hear complaints like this. Yeah, you get your gawkers, hell someone took a sneak shot of my wifes *** a few years back when she was in a skimpy costume, but by and large I've never run into things like this. I've had some major issues with a particular Toronto con, but even then I never felt my GF (now wife) would be at any risk alone there.

    The situation at Dragon Con this year was =not= caused by socially fubared scifi nerds. It was caused by non-con goers who crashed the party and behaved like *** holes. Who were they? Fans of the college football games going on at the same time as the con. A number of the reports indicate that the major problems had no right to even be at the hotel, they were just there to get drunk and molest women.


     
  10. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    What the hell are you talking about?
    Sean
     
  11. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    Care to be more specific?
     
  12. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    That's a shame and in no way typical of geek culture, and I should know, I am a geek and convention goer. Get enough people together and their collecive IQs tend to drop precipitously. Like Black Sabbath said, The Mob Rules.
     
  13. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm afraid that most of the nerds do have girlfriends, and their girlfriends are nerds as well. Nerds aren't a bunch of women haters. Now, jocks tend to treat women terribly and women tend to eat it up. If there are mommy issues, its with the jocks and the three gals they got on the side. If you ask me women are better off with nerds. They will get treated a whole lot better anyhow. I'm typing this from a game shop full of nerds and they all seem to have women or men as companions; or, maybe the nerds in Spokane are cooler than national nerds.
    Sean
     
  14. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    Sure, most people partner up as they get older. It's also true that the more problematic attitudes tend to be found in younger people.

    Ask some of the female nerds about their experiences though. Ask how seriously their experiences on "nerdy" topics like computers are taken. I've been in this culture my whole life too, and I've seen women continually dismissed on topics some nerds consider "theirs." Then there are widespread attitudes about how crazy different women are, like they are another species. I've even seen some nerds try the "oh, you're one of the good/normal/uncrazy ones" when their female nerd (or not) companions call them on it. It's still misogyny. You don't have to rape or abuse to have misogynistic attitudes.

    There's a great example right there. For every woman that seems to "love" abuse, I can point to a man in a relationship with a woman who walks all over him. Do men "eat it up" then? Yet the "women love *******s" stereotype is incredibly common in the nerd world, and usually applied to all women. Yet another manifestation of "Nice Guy" syndrome that nerds seem prone to.

    Also, just because there are strains of misogyny in nerd culture doesn't make it worse than any other culture. I can name worse.
     
  15. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think we are discussing human nature and how a person is raised. Women, to men, are always going to be those other people, and men are always going to be those other people to women. Each group is dealing with the battle of the sexes. As you know nerds find every facet of social bonding and relationships as a bit of a challange, but everybody has got challanges. On a side note, and as a personal observation, the only misogynists that women need fear is other women. Men will find ways to get along with 'em.
    Sean
     
  16. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    True. People are people after all. Misogyny does take a particular form in nerd culture though, different from other cultures.

    I think some nerds delude themselves about their own nature. They don't go out and overtly bully or beat up other people, so for those who were bullied, they consider themselves more enlightened and superior than those other groups, like the ubiquitous "jocks" (nevermind that there are huge variations in jock culture). So they can be resistant to recognizing their own very human failings. They can also be resistant to recognizing themselves in a dominant or bullying position, since the stereotype of the nerd is the underdog victim.

    Errr...you mean besides rapists, abusers, and sexists that hold women back in non-physical ways (i.e. a sexist boss, sexism in mathematics and physics, etc.)? I think you will find that your average woman has plenty to fear from misogynistic men.
     
  17. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Victim mentalities are based on fear and if its bad for the nerds its bad for the women. Women are more empowered than ever to blow the wistle or call the cops on preditory men.
    Sean
     
  18. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    See, this is exactly what I'm getting at. This sort of argument just places the blame on women for anything that happens to them. You are essentially saying "If you are afraid, it's your fault for being a victim and not doing something" and then you go on to say that the real ones to fear are other women. I don't know if you've noticed, but women don't rape and abuse each other nearly as often as men do to women. It is not a woman's fault when something does happen to her. But this argument puts the blame on her, and minimizes what happens.

    I'm sure you don't intend to, but many of your arguments here are perfect examples of what I have been trying to say. They are stereotypical, minimizing, and victim blaming. Applied to women, that's misogyny. It doesn't mean you hate women or abuse them, but that's how the arguments you've been using stand. It's incumbent on all of us to understand how what we say comes across, and recognize our own blind spots and privileges. It is your privilege speaking when you say a woman has nothing to fear from a man, because generally speaking, you don't have much to fear from another man. If you ask women though, many will discuss a certain baseline level of fear or perhaps more appropriately caution around men they don't know. They are in fact not being a "victim" by being realistic and trying to avoid trouble. Telling them they have nothing to fear denies reality, and shifts blame onto those who do fear, and those who have been harmed by men.
     
  19. aedrasteia

    aedrasteia Purple Belt

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    Empty Hands

    deep gassho.
    reverence and gratitude

    A
     
  20. aedrasteia

    aedrasteia Purple Belt

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    to return to the original dilemma.

    "At this point he started looking directly at my chest and saying vulgar things about it while another of his friends got on my left side and put his arm around my wiast from there. The rest of the group came up behind me with the one girl standing with the photographer for a moment before wandering around the otherside of the elevators (I think). At this point the guy on my right said something along the lines of he wanted to put his face in my cleavage (not the wording he used) & when I said no he argued with me & at that point I tried to extract myself with no luck; I can’t get away since they are all holding me. Next thing I know the guy on my left has his face in my chest and he’s licking and biting my left breast. Cue me freaking out since I’m alone with 15 guys holding me so I can’t leave & one has his face in my chest".

    a very familiar and realistic situation. most often we are among men we either know or who are part of a group we are also part of - acquaintances or peers of some kind. sometimes we know some of them better than others. (Full disclosure - happened to me at a professional conference, dinner reception, cocktail party).

    so, RBSD? from the perspective of male instructors this may seem an unusual situation. It is not that uncommon.

    informed suggestions are welcome and appreciated, please indicate if suggestions are guesses/speculation or are based on actual experiences.

    one stipulation please. Simply declaring 'don't be there' is not eligible and not useful. It happens under circumstances that are almost impossible to anticipate, most often when we are among men we would swear (in advance) we believe are incapable of doing this. Sometimes among strangers - but thats the least common.

    many thanks, A123
     

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