i am just speechless that this happened in the first place, and that people are still trying to justify it!
I, of all people, am not defending the harasser, his wife, or their friends (several of whom were on the Fanaco Board and the Context ConCom). I acknowledge that you were treated badly, and never got the official apology that you deserve. But I wanted to expand upon the issue of the "Old People" that you mention in the beginning of this post.
There does seem to be a generational divide on the issue of harassment vs. flirting. The line between what is right vs. wrong or acceptable vs. inappropriate moved over time, and they hadn't noticed. Some of the female "Old People" that you mention probably got used to being called "girl", being expected to make the boss's coffee, and being leered at several decades ago. It became part of the background noise. They were much more worried about the guys that tried to lay hands on them or followed them menacingly when they were walking alone after dark or even raped them. While they are perfectly willing to go after a rapist tooth and claw, they just don't see the seriousness of the "lesser offenses" and think that what happened to is just not worth fussing about.
They are, of course, dead wrong. I think that they need education to understand that they are enabling behavior by the men that they know in a way that lays a foundation upon which things much worse can grow. It's why cities take care of fixing broken windows on abandoned buildings and cleaning up graffiti -- if they don't, things get much worse and often in a surprisingly short time. But this education takes time. And sometimes an attitude has been with people so long that they can't see things differently. It may take the passing of a generation, much as the worst of the explicit racism in this country is taking.
Yes the guy in question has always been socially awkward in a way typical of many fans, and he is now old, probably has a touch of dementia, and his filters and sense of boundaries are not what they should be due to a stroke. None of that makes him a bad person. But he does tend to act badly and they never should have put him in a position of contact with the public.
His friends at the Board meting were very concerned that he not be demonized, and that he be treated with respect for his many decades of dedicated service to the Con. And there's nothing wrong with that. But the folks such as Lucy and Steven were not trying to demonize him or "out" him. They wanted two things: 1) an acknowledgement by the ConCom and the Board that he screwed up and for him to be removed, quietly and privately, and 2) a timely public announcement that someone crossed the line and had been disciplined in line with the published policy. And maybe a sentence in that announcement in which the Con would apologize for the problem and ask that the people who were impacted by the inappropriate behavior give the Con another chance next year.
But the "Old People" even a month after that meeting continually return the conversation to the "lesser offenses" that were a small part of a collection of nine (I think) complaints that were mostly much more serious. That is where they cross the line beyond what I can understand or explain.
People don't want to discuss what makes them uncomfortable. And people's actions and inactions, statements and silences, thoughts and thoughtlessness, have made all involved culpable in the conversation, and everyone is uncomfortable. Props to you and all the rest who chose to meet the discomfort head on and deal with it; and a hearty fuck you to anyone who still, after all this, just want to sweep it under the rug..
You are the bomb. This kind of post-harassment harassment is what has consistently happened to people who speak up against Things As They Are But Shouldn't Be. They're jumping on your blog post because the incident you blogged about can be misrepresented and trivialized, EVEN THOUGH YOU MADE LIGHT OF IT when it impacted you seriously. I hope you come to Imaginarium in 2015, because we could hoist a glass and swap douchebag stories.
@CiaraBallintyne1 The problem, I think, is that while a few people are trying to justify it, MOST people are simply uninformed as to what really happened and have developed extremely angry opinions around their misguided understanding of the situation. For instance, on Facebook I have been accused of a hypersensitive whiner, and yet TO THIS DAY a report was never, ever made by me or my friend. And even in the original write-up of this situation, I presented it as a humorous anecdote, summing it up with, "Sometimes you just have to laugh". So there was never any whining or hypersensitivity. But a lot of people think that since my blog post is what first shed the public eye on the deeper problems, then I must be the one who started it all. So their anger is misplaced. Because YEAH, I completely agree that if the minor incident I covered in the original blog post was THE ONLY thing that the guy ever did, then YES, he got a bum deal. Unfortunately, he did a lot more than merely insinuate I'm too fat for chainmail. Nine other reports were made, and from what I understand, my tiny little thread was NOTHING by comparison. So really, when I say that people's anger is misplaced, what I really mean to say is that it's completely unjustified. I don't understand why people -- men, yes, but a surprising number of women, as well -- think it's ever okay for anyone to get insulted or bullied or groped or hit on or... well... anything that falls under the large umbrella of Sexual Harassment. One lady was even going so far as to say that since women in other countries are getting their clits cut off and their genitalia sewn closed, complaints of Sexual Harassment are silly by comparison. As though to say that unless one negative experience is the absolute worst possible, then it doesn't count. Which is clearly ridiculous, as ALL OF THESE incidents are varying degrees of unacceptable behavior.
Bah! I started ranting again. I'm so sorry. Your comment is spot on, Ciara. I'm obviously still angry over all the fall out. Thanks for the validation that my anger is, well, valid! lol!