TAM sexual harassment issue: SOLVED

Posted: June 17, 2012 in Blurbs, Politics, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

NOTE: If you’re here VIA PZ’s link, I’ve replied to his post: http://theredda.com/2012/06/18/accidental-genius-or-common-sense/

I meant to blog about this sooner, but I have been busy. I recently watched the item below thanks to Travis Roy, a Skeptic and Scientific Naturalist in the community. It’s a video chat hosted by Roy between Emery Emery and Wendell of the Atheist community. It’s an extremely good debate with a lot of strong points brought up.

In my opinion, Emery completely own’s the space 99% of the time.

EDIT: This is part of a previous blog post I made, in reference to everyone ACTING like adults, because we’re all adults here, aren’t we? and we should all be able to handle difficult situations, yes?

(((To sum it up, essentially some words were had and some blame was thrown, but what it now boils down to is the organization “Skepchicks” is now essentially boycotting TAM and saying it is “unsafe for women.” But why is it unsafe you ask?

“harassment”

Harassment and apparently DjG’s “inability” to solve the problem.

I support DjG, from CFI all the way to TAM and JREF. If you do not, shame on you. And if you are a skepchick and you are boycotting as well, then shame on you too. Why? Here is why…:

I attend TAM, am an attractive woman and have NEVER had harassment issues. That said, I’m not saying it doesn’t occur because hey, we’re human, we’ve all experienced the “real world” and there’s no way to avoid it. But honestly, blowing the situation out of proportion the way that it has been, and calling it a “sex” issue, is appalling and infuriates me, especially since I am a female. (The boob bearing kind).

I think my short lived conversation with a local Feminist/Atheist expresses my feelings completely:

-

Me: Anyone heading to TAM this year? I am, but currently there seems to be drama surrounding the event due to the skepchicks. Personally, I think they can all suck it. More science for me!

JB: Skepchicks’ web site is awesome. They are HELPING women get to TAM.

Me: Yea, they’re actually boycotting tam. So not so much. Theyre saying that tam isnt a safe environment for women. I go every year, and have never been harassed or felt uncomfortable. The whole front that skepchicks is putting out is unreasonable and aimed at being a “sex” related issue. Im a female, and its disgusting imo. So anyone who supports skepchicks is no better then a child pouting in a candy store. Get over yourself and dont ruin it for the rest of us “chicks”

JB:  I’ll be the kind of Feminist I want to, thanks. Just because you weren’t harassed doesn’t mean it didn’t happen to anyone.

Me: First of all, feminists blow my mind at how bias they see the world these days. Its not 1940, things have change for the most part. Second, I’m pretty sure TAM doesn’t allow children. And if your old enough to be an adult, be an “out” atheist, and be at a convention of science, reason, and free thought, I’m pretty sure that you can handle any situation you might find yourself in, and if you cant, maybe you shouldn’t be there.

JB: OK, have your opinion of Feminism, that is fine, but it’s not how I define it. But it sounds like you went form saying harassment didn’t happen to saying that if it does, each person can handle it herself. I think it should be dealt with in a larger way. I’ll let the Skepchick website speak for itself; I am done.

Me: Im saying flat out, if you have your big girl pants on and your at a non-religious, furthermore anti-religious engagement, maybe you should learn to handle difficult situations a little better then blowing it out of proportion into a full on “tam is not safe for women” epidemic. Alot of females resent having this put out as a sex issue when lets face it, we’re all adults, we all fight for freedom from social standards and morals set by religious institutions and yet when something out of the ordinary or “uncomfortable” happens it automatically becomes harassment and grounds for unsafe territory. Lets not forget what side of the fence we are standing on, and pit our own people against each other because someone couldn’t remove the “ages 4-6″ label from their atheist edition of monopoly.

-

Clearly, there are some things that need to be addressed when “harassment” happens. But i’m sorry, the bottom line is if you’re a woman and you’re an Atheist and you’re attending a conference such as TAM, NECESS, RR, etc, then you should grow a backbone and have a thick enough skin to handle any given situation. Clearly you decided to be at the conference for a reason and chances are, you’ve probably faced quite a bit of stigma and social spite for being an Atheist by now anyway (unless you’re still in the closet, at which point you should probably stay in there if you are over 18 and living in the United States). So if you can handle that and still show up for one of these gatherings, then please… act like an adult and learn to either take an invite from a swinger as a flattering gesture, or simply say: “no thank you.” Furthermore, don’t act surprised. Remember, this is a “non-religious, non-conservative, free thought environment” and if you aren’t willing to tolerate some things and conduct yourself like an ADULT, then maybe you belong in a church, with all the other little children, who are safe, “for the bible tells them so.”  ))) END OF EDIT

That said, there is a “security” issue brought up in the debate. Clearly, is it TAM’s responsibility to ensure the security of individuals there, or is it the hotels responsibility?

Having lived in Las Vegas for 5 years and having worked in Casino Security and surveillance, It’s easy for me to say

“Hey, GUESS WHAT!” – “I have a SOLUTION to the TAM-FEMALE SECURITY-issue!”

Holy Shit, no way? Really? For Reals? Is it possible?

yes, yes it is.

Since I’ve worked in Casino Security in Las Vegas, I can shed some clear light on this situation.

If you have an issue, report it. Not to TAM staff, but directly to hotel security. Whether it’s “I lost my underwear at the black jack table” or “someone tried to rape me in an elevator” it is the responsibility of CASINO SECURITY to handle all complaints and concerns about the activity being conducted on casino property. This includes the parking garages, walkways, conference areas, and even the landscaping. This is what security is here for. Not necessarily to protect the individuals in the casino (even though that is in the job description) but to take action on any matter brought to them in the interest of protecting the company.

“Security officers aren’t real cops, so they can’t do anything”

Not exactly.

No, Security officers are NOT POLICE. That said, they are legally allowed to protect the assets and interests of the company they work for including but not limited to the handling of money, people, and materials. This means that Security officers can take physical evidence, including photographs of individuals involved, can escort you off property, evict you from hotel rooms, physically detain you within a holding cell in the BOH, conduct a “wellness check” on individuals who may seem suspicious, and even conduct full room searches (“tossing”) if needed. I have done all of these things PERSONALLY. Casino security and surveillance will do whatever it takes to make sure that the conduct of the establishment remains in good welfare. Which essentially means, no monkey business.

Lets give some examples, shall we?

I’m Adam. I’m a card counter and I play blackjack because it’s the best odds in the house. But I count cards on double deck tables because it’s harder to track.

*Buzz* WRONG. surveillance is trained to watch patterns and be able to identify when someone is cheating and when someone is just “lucky.” An individual that consistently bets a certain amount through say, 3/4 of a deck and then doubles theirs bets all of a sudden, is making it obvious to the trained eye that they have an ideal high/low count based on face cards and low value cards that have already turned, and are now at a large advantage against the house. Ever wonder why the dealer shuffles the cards more often then not and before they’re completely out of them?

So Adam gets approached by security and is pulled away from the table and security is now addressing the issue. Awesome, that said, it’s the job of security officers to then pull the pit boss on duty aside and say “would you like this gentleman removed from the tables, or banned from them permanently?” At this point, the pit boss usually says to ask them to leave for the night, and the incident is over. That said, I have escorted out card counters several times, had them return, and eventually had to redbook them and ban them from the property entirely for “conduct frowned upon.”

Why not call the police and have them arrested? Because LEGALLY, they didn’t do anything wrong. Card counting is not “Illegal” its just EXTREMELY frowned upon, and very likely to get you banned from the tables in the casino permanently (because they still want your money in slots and alcohol), if not banned from the property period. Once that individual is banned from the property by personnel, if they return, then it’s considered an illegal trespass, and the individual can be detained and held for police.

I’m in an elevator and someone solicits me, what do I do?

You contact hotel security as soon as you get out of the elevator. let them know the situation, and this is literally how it happens:

1) The officer responds, while surveillance follows the officer on camera and while the officer asks for your information and the nature of your problem.

2) Once that information is obtained, the officer asks what you’d like to do

3) if you choose to pursue the matter, the officers will ask you to show them where the incident occurred. NOW, this is the tricky part. Some hotels have cameras in the elevators, some do not. Most likely, they do. But, it’s all relative to what the security camera in being used for. For instance: the security cameras in the pit are not used to make sure that the dealers are safe, they are used to make sure the dealers are correctly paying out winning hands, depositing bills for chips, counting fills, and clearing their hands before exiting a table. The security cameras in a nightclub are used to watch the bartenders to make sure that liquor is being paid for and that no one but bar staff and cocktail servers are in designated areas. (other cameras are focused on entrances and exits, bathrooms, and FOH/BOH areas). Etc, Etc, Etc. Some cameras are fixed, some are not. “fixed” meaning that the angle and view of the camera cannot be changed. So in reality, you’re hoping that a camera is in the area you are. Seeing that it is, the officer and or surveillance will review the camera and see what happened, as well as track the individual’s current location in the casino, to see if he/she is bothering anyone else in a questionable manner. Once the tape is reviewed, the officer will tell you what was seen. If there is evidence that someone physically DID something to you or it’s blatantly obvious that something isn’t quite right, then you can choose to have the individual detained and to have charges pressed, you can ask that he/she be escorted out, or simply ask that he/she be removed from the gaming floor for the evening. You are notified when the decided task is completed, and permitted to continue on about your business. The officer is then required to write a full written report including any images, footage, or statements given by either individuals, the exact time, date, location, and even where the officer was patrolling when they were called to the “scene of the incident.” It’s always “what I observed when I arrived on scene” first, then the rest. this report is then logged for reference in the computer systems (usually ITRAK) systems, and is then available to ALL SISTER PROPERTIES immediately, in the off chance that the individual leaves and continues the same behavior at a sister property (ex: santa fe station and red rock station). If you do decide to press charges, providing that the evidence is sufficient enough (this usually occurs in sexual harassment cases, but most often in fights on the casino floor), then the individual is removed from the gaming floor and detained for police, who then file a separate report of their own with you and take it from there. AND, any report you are involved in directly, you can obtain a copy of, including your own statement for reference and/or documentation. If the incident goes to court, the officer and/or any witness may be called to stand for the duration of the trial.

This is done not only to protect you, but  to protect the casino from having a lawsuit brought against them for “not protecting the interest of their guests.”

You go home, or go get drunk, or go cry to yourself about the incident, and everything is documented and taken care of.

If you choose not to do anything about it, then the officer(s) will still notify all others on duty of the description of the male/female in the event that someone matching that description is caught doing something suspicious or unwelcomed. A report will be filed containing all the information, and will be made available to all sister properties.

NOTE: Any incident reported, lost/found item, escort, money escort, break, or anything that an officer actually does and verbally calls in over the radio, is logged into a computer system with the date, time, and “zone” of the casino in which the action is occurring, as well as how long it takes the individual to complete said task. this system is used in order to assess what officers are free to take care of situations such as the elevator scandal, and to know where each officer is at what time in the casino, including calling in areas as “clear” of any problems or altercations.

So how does this relate to TAM?

Simple: If something happens, don’t bitch about what TAM staff isn’t doing, blame yourself for not reporting it to someone who has a responsibility to address the issue and furthermore gets PAID to take care of exactly that: your bullshit. Guess what, if you don’t report it, then no one knows, and no one can do anything to help you “feel safer.” But if you report it, the staff has an obligation to at the very least document the incident so that there is proof that it has been reported and addressed.

I have been to DEFCON several times. Again, all geeks, few females, etc. It is also held in Las Vegas every year, and ON the strip. They even have their own event security. But their security is not there to protect YOU. It’s there to protect THEM. The staff, the “private” space, and all the material items related to the CON. The only thing they will do is keep YOU out of THEIR restricted space, and maybe point you to the bathroom and comment you on your chuck’s, but what would I know? *snicker*

So maybe the next time someone gets harassed in an elevator, outside of the conference, on hotel property, they will actually report it to the security staff. Not the front desk, Not the internal maintenance people and not the individuals busting their asses to put on a good show for you. Do your part, report it. If i give you candy, and you don’t like it, your going to spit it out. Or are you really going to keep eating it and then publicly degrade me for giving you a less then favorable piece of candy, because clearly you like strawberry and all I had was a root beer barrell.

Don’t blame the staff of a conference for YOUR IGNORANCE. Don’t say THEY aren’t doing enough when YOU couldn’t even report it, especially if it has happened multiple times. Sexual harassment has nothing to do with TAM itself, regardless of whether it occurred there or not. It’s an issue PERIOD. It’s between the victim, offender, and the establishment that it occurs in, (the casino).

But then, If you HAD reported it, then you wouldn’t be getting this much publicity, would you?

-Redd

Comments
  1. Redd says:

    Victim blaming? first, she wasn’t a “victim”. Try being raped, then you’re a victim. clearly, the two don’t belong together, defined under the same term.

    second, I will absolutely blame the victim if they choose to complain about it, in a public manner, when they didn’t do everything they could to take care of the problem immediately, if not for themselves, then maybe for other women out there, since it’s such a female issue.

    “when a reporting statement isn’t even in place that says, “hey, just call hotel security” there’s a problem- ”

    Why NOT take advantage of something that is already OBVIOUS, and in place by the establishment to make things safer? we’re talking about TAM. furthermore, if you don’t want that individual to be allowed at the conference, then great! what a better way then to document it legally in the process. This is about TAM, because according to blue top, there are plenty of other conferences that can be attended (by women, who can feel safer there)

    responsibility? the first responsibility falls on the individual to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. no?

    • eristae says:

      Jesus Fucking Christ, I hate this kind of attitude.

      Alright, redda, let me tell you a story. Back when I was in high school, my best friend was raped by her cousin. I was the absolute first person she told, and she only told me because she was suicidal and suffering from extreme stressed induced physical ailments (like shitting blood).. I convinced her that she needed to go tell the adults, like the police and the school councilor and such. I thought they would help her out, support her, make sure she got counseling, and do the best they could to bring her rapist to justice, even if they couldn’t.

      Well, that didn’t go exactly as I had planned. First, she didn’t want to tell her parents before Christmas because she was going to be stuck at home with them then if they didn’t handle it well. The police told them before Christmas anyway. THEN they decided that she was lying about the rape, and had engaged in consensual sex and was only saying something now because something was “wrong” (std, pregnancy, etc) despite the fact that nothing was physically wrong like that (although she was suicidal and having stress induced physical ailments). After all, he was such a good boy from a good family who had been here for years, while she was a relative newcomer! He went to church! Was a boyscout! And (although they didn’t say it exactly like this) was white, while she was brown!) They also bungled the case badly by tipping off the guy to the charges before doing any investigating.

      After this, my friend vowed never to report anything like that to the police ever again. And do you know what? Neither you nor I have any right to judge her or blame her. The fact that she was so traumatized that she wasn’t able to report sooner doesn’t make her worthy of the police’s or your blame. You don’t get use the fact that she was afraid of exactly what happened against her.

      Reporting is dangerous and traumatic. Unless you’ve managed to make reporting safe and easy, you don’t get to judge people who are too afraid to report.

      So fuck you and your “I can blame victims if they don’t do what I want when I want it.” FUCK YOU.

      • Redd says:

        you and everyone else can say “fuck you” to me as much as you want, and it doesn’t bother me a bit. so keep it coming.

        I’m sorry that happened, and it’s unfortunate, but she didn’t wait a year to report it either, and as sad of a story as that is, TAM doesn’t involve what alot of unreported rape and assault cases are: close friends and family members who commit these acts against those individuals. and I ABSOLUTELY agree that they should be afraid to report it in that case, especially if say, your uncle does this to you and he’s immediate family who you have to see more often then not. But in regards to TAM, this happens once a year, for one week, with people you generally won’t see EVERYDAY. so yes, extremely unfortunate situation you experienced, but i’m sorry, it’s just not the SAME situation as TAM.

        “Reporting is dangerous and traumatic” – in some cases, not ALL cases. So no, you don’t get to assume that it’s all bad because you’ve had one awful experience that again, I apologize for.

        I don’t PRESUME all feminists are BAD immediately, as a lot of people here seem to think I do. There are countless strong feminist women who are out there making a difference and I applaud them, but in THIS community, i’m not too impressed with some of the attitudes of “Feminists”

  2. No, the first measure of action is to change the culture, and put policies in place that make certain types of behaviour unacceptable at the safe-space that should be a convention. You’re taking the conversation off-track by blaming the victim, when we should be (and many of us are) creating a dialogue about changing the culture of misogyny.

  3. Redd says:

    MISOGYNY?

    you’re a feminist, aren’t you.

    please, bow out of this blog before it gets any worse and change a culture that wants and needs to be changed, because clearly this is all a “women are mistreated by the community” complaint

  4. You say “feminist” as though it were a bad word. Ha.

  5. Redd says:

    Well, when in the hands of the wrong people, it most definitely is. In this case, you, and followers of the like, are choosing to speak for a group of women who don’t all agree with you, and furthermore, who either don’t care, or actually spite the way you’re making a lot of women look.

    I’m sorry if you are a feminist, thats YOUR misfortune.

    You play on the fact that it’s not an equal community and then DELIBERATELY segregate yourself from everyone else. It’s your own fault.

    You want it to be a sex issue, fine, check your T & A at the door and leave the drama behind, where it belongs.

  6. Tim Farley says:

    On a related note, if anyone is interested in what the specific security at the South Point hotel is like, I posted a set of videos that show them in action, from a documentary show the Travel Channel ran. They seem very professional, and what is shown in those TV clips is consistent with what I have observed myself the three times I’ve stayed in that hotel.

  7. Redd says:

    Thank you Tim. This is an excellent source for anyone who feels uneasy about something and isn’t sure what to expect or where to go.

  8. Kitty Lapin Agile says:

    OK so, I have been saying over and over…South Point security is great. They will even escort you to your room and you should ask…especially if it is very late at night and you might have had a few drinks. “Change the culture?” Hello, women are “not as smart as men, women need men to tell them to report anything that happens to hotel security as women can’t figure it out. This hotel security is something mysterious only men know about….and since men run conferences they should tell women about it.”
    I was told, “it’s too bad you had to raise your daughter on how to keep safe, and hopefully not get raped. If every mother out there raised her son to know rape is bad, your daughters would never need to know how to keep themselves safe.” I asked my therapist friend that helps me with my skeptic work. She just laughed. “Good luck waiting for that to happen. Plus, rape happens in some form in every culture on Earth. Ted Bundy probably didn’t have a mother that let him know raping and murdering young women was a good thing. Most rapists have siblings, and not all siblings of rapists are rapist. We know from Jon Ronson’s new book about the psychopath test, and a psychopath that sees a window of opportunity to rape will. Also a psychopath will outsmart and fool any number of people to get what he wants. No policy or mother’s words, will stop a psychopath intent on rape. If any woman, or man, assumes a place is a safe zone, they are foolish.”

    I agree. Every time I say “South Point security is for the large part women veterans that will kick ass, and are there to protect you, please use them.” I am told “You are blaming the victim.” Fine, walk to your room late at night after having had a few. If you are raped, I will not blame you, I will 100% blame the rapist. But rape is a horrible thing, and you can lose your life or catch a horrible disease. You will be left with nightmares. If it is WRONG to encourage women to use hotel security , then let me be wrong.

    No policy will stop a rapist. Hotel security, and the wonderful female veterans on South Point security staff will do everything in their power to stop a rapist. Should there be a policy, yes! There was a policy last year. There will be a policy this year. Talk to Dragoncon organizers. Talk to other conference organizers. They all depend on hotel security and they all have sad stories to tell of what has happened to people attending. We aren’t just talking rape, robbery is big. At many conferences, computers, ipods, cell phones, wallets, jackets and cool swag has all been stolen. All because people say “Oh these are people just like me and interested in what I am interested in.” It’s shocking when we are in an environment of trust, and people steal or treat us badly. Never let your guard down. If you won’t leave you purse unattended on the table while you go use the bathroom at TAM, don’t do other things you normally wouldn’t do. If someone bothered you in “real life” you would talk to the police or security. You would handle it, and make sure it was handled properly and do immediate follow up… to protect other women and men. You would not months later go “well I reported it and no one did anything”. THAT IS THE EXCUSE that is being used in the Penn State scandal. “Well I reported the child abuse, but no one did anything. I just let it drop.” Passing the buck is never an excuse for not reporting and crime and following through. Waiting for “men” to “do something” is not how women have advanced. “I told a man and he didn’t do enough”, but that was all you did? Because men rule the world? When I had my run in with a jerk at the Del Mar, I reported him to security TWO YEARS in a row. I followed through, and action was taken. No one messes with me, and this jerk will not be messing with anyone at the Del Mar anymore since he’s now on the South Point “do not admit” list. (He was banned from TAM after his first year, and the second he just showed up at the Del Mar. He was not allowed to register for TAM). If I had just complained to some guys they might have escorted him out, or told him to leave me alone. South Point, kicked his ass. I’m not taking it, and neither should anyone else. But to wish for a world where no man will ever bother a woman, means just shut your door and stay home. Oh and women’s group meetings, sorry lesbians have hit on me and I have had to explain carefully that I am not interested. Yes, I confess, I once called security at the Omni Shoreham in Washington DC on an aggressive lesbian!

    • Redd says:

      I applaud you Kitty. A lot of people don’t understand that it’s not just “oh I said something to someone, so it should be automatically fixed now.” No, Not at all, furthermore, if you don’t take the proper steps yourself, then you’re not helping your own cause and your possibly putting someone else in danger. Thats what Security is there for. That’s what it’s called “Security.” And the hotel and its sister hotels are the ONLY ONES that can BAN someone from entering the facility itself. Sure, don’t sell them a ticket. Doesn’t mean they won’t show up, clearly as you described. It’s insane. Something is being given to you, for free, as a tool of safety, and emily’s saying “we need to change the culture.”

      I think we need to grow up and take responsibility. You are a prime example of someone who BELONGS at these events. Thank you.

    • voyeurangel says:

      Well said!!!

  9. mcadamsdj says:

    Via Troy Boyle,

    “Ladies. An unwanted sexual advance is not “sexual harassment.” If a man is attracted to you, he’ll wait for a moment when you’re alone and he will come on to you. At that point, you may decide to accept the advance or reject it — and if he continues to press the point after you have clearly rejected it, then THAT can certainly become sexual harassment, especially if it is proposed at the risk of your job or education. But that first approach, that’s just discovery. You have the right to reject a proposal. You do not have the right to never be approached.”

    Unfortunately, I think a very small number of people are using TAM as a stage for this issue. I’m not saying harassment didn’t happen or doesn’t happen at these events (or any other for that matter). But really? There were thousands of people there and some people make it sound like harassment is the norm. That guys are just savagely throwing themselves upon helpless women left and right. If you have an issue with harassment please don’t blame TAM or DJ Grothe. Blame the guy who harassed you. Through the right channel. TAM can have an “anti-harassment” policy for what its worth. But I agree with going through the venue security. There aren’t any “TAM police” to take care of the issue for you.

  10. VoijaRisa says:

    One has to be raped before there’s a victim?

    That’s the absolute dumbest thing I’ve read all day, and I’ve spent a pretty good portion of my day dealing with absolute idiots.

    No. There are many levels of abuse, and they all have victims. Under rape there’s sexual assault. Under that there’s harassment. Each has its level has its roots in the level beneath it.

    I run a convention and security isn’t just there to protect the interests of the convention. Our security is there to deal with issues that our attendees face partially because not doing so opens us to legal issues.

    But as you point out, there is an onus on the victims to report the harassment. Every year, I see on our feedback forms people complaining about harassment that they never reported. But instead of being a callous prick about it, I stop and consider why: Because there’s an expectation that it won’t be taken seriously, that they’ll be blamed, or that harassment just isn’t an issue.

    That’s the attitude I’m seeing exemplified here. And it’s what’s causing the problem. Not solving it.

    • Redd says:

      I’m proving a point, that’s not necessarily meant to be taken literally, but then, “misconstruing” things seems to be pretty popular among these parts.

      I’m glad it was the dumbest thing you’ve read all day. Everyone needs some humor in their life, like this comment: “I run a convention and security isn’t just there to protect the interests of the convention. Our security is there to deal with issues that our attendees face partially because not doing so opens us to legal issues.” (you know, to protect the convention)

      I’ve already said that. I’ve worked in security, I’m well aware. And i’ve done many things for people in this situation and have been a REAL victim myself.

      “But instead of being a callous prick about it, I stop and consider why: Because there’s an expectation that it won’t be taken seriously, that they’ll be blamed, or that harassment just isn’t an issue.”

      Maybe they don’t think harassment is really an issue because, oh, I don’t know, no one REPORTS IT? It’s a round about issue. And I will blame them if they complain and don’t report it, because they’re contributing to the problem without being willing to solve it. Instead they’ll just complain and hope someone else takes care of it, which is the same situation that happened here. If she had reported it, this wouldn’t be happening.

      • VoijaRisa says:

        You seemed to have missed that key word: Partially. Even if there were no legal ramifications to not dealing with such things, I would still ensure that security did. Why? Because I’m a decent human being who wants people to feel safe and secure.

        Your insistence that you’ve been a “real” victim is absurd. I don’t doubt that you have, but in drawing a demarcation, you trivialize other victims who have, in fact, been the victim of real assault and harassment. And that includes me.

        I’m completely in agreement that people that don’t report an incident shouldn’t be complaining; it’s like people who don’t vote but whine about the president. But saying people shouldn’t complain and saying that they have nothing to complain about are two very different things.

        As far as blaming the person doing the harassing (as mcad suggests): Absolutely. Let’s always go for the biggest problem first. But that’s not to the exclusion of DJGrothe, Dawkins, or the others that make fertile soil for such actions in the first place by trivializing it. It’s like bashing the fundamentalist Christians without recognizing the “moderates” who enable it by making it socially acceptable to believe in sky fairies.

        The skeptic community is supposed to pride themselves on their rational abilities, but when it comes to this issue, most of what I see is just rationalizations.

      • Moonpanther says:

        Please, tell us what point you’re proving by saying that without rape a person isn’t a victim. You sound a lot like Sean Harris who didn’t *literally* mean that fathers should beat the gay out of their kids, or Curtis Knapp who, when he says the government should kill gay people, didn’t actually mean that the government should kill gay people.

        “Victim blaming? first, she wasn’t a ‘victim’. Try being raped, then you’re a victim. clearly, the two don’t belong together, defined under the same term.”

        Absolutely nothing in that statement indicates that it shouldn’t be taken literally. If you’re “trying to make a point,” please tell us what it is, because it sounds like your point is, “Stop whining unless you’ve had a penis shoved in you against your will. Also, don’t you know there are starving kids and Africa?”

        In other words, your statement is a Relative Privation logical fallacy. Because rape is worse than other forms of harassment, anything short of rape can’t be considered victimization. This is textbook victim blaming. And it’s not at all “clear” why those two incidents don’t belong together under the same term unless, again, you are making the argument that anything short of rape is not victimization.

      • Redd says:

        Well, let me just simply say, that you’re going on a rant about victim blaming when you’re missing the original point that we are not agreeing on, which is relative: if the individual had approached her again after she turned him down, then it would be harassment, and she would then be a victim.Or, if he had taken a single more extreme action and not just “hit on her”, then again, she would be a victim. I used an extreme measure to make a point that someone hitting on you (if thats even what it really was) is not harassment. If it is, I get harassed EVERY DAY i’m in a public place.

        You can’t “Victim Blame” someone who isn’t a victim to being with.

      • Moonpanther says:

        That’s the point, though. You don’t get to decide who is and is not a victim. It’s not your place to determine whether something was sufficient to constitute harassment of another individual. I encounter that logic all the time when theists decide that informing me of my hellbound ways constitutes “love.” To me, it sounds a lot like abuse, but since they would be grateful for such concern, it translates into a kind and generous act on their part.

        Similarly, because you would feel comfortable and confident in going immediately to hotel security when somebody passed your threshold of harassment, you’re presuming that all women both have the same threshold of harassment that you do (and if they don’t that they’re overreacting) and that they have the same confidence that they’ll be taken seriously that you do, an opinion borne from your insider status in casino security which most people do not share.

        You don’t get to tell people whether or not they were victimized.

  11. Redd says:

    Oh i’m well aware of “partially,” but i’m also well aware of what security is hired for, as I have been on all sides of that equation. And yes, safety and security for the guests of any event is essential, but that also comes with safety period and if the problem doesn’t exist within convention space, well, then it’s not “convention” securities realm of command. If I had meant that it was SOLELY for the company, I likely wouldn’t have suggested that people report it to them or ask for their help.

    As to the “victim” comment, I have to repost this, because it’s exactly the situation of the main complaint:

    Via Troy Boyle,

    “Ladies. An unwanted sexual advance is not “sexual harassment.” If a man is attracted to you, he’ll wait for a moment when you’re alone and he will come on to you. At that point, you may decide to accept the advance or reject it — and if he continues to press the point after you have clearly rejected it, then THAT can certainly become sexual harassment, especially if it is proposed at the risk of your job or education. But that first approach, that’s just discovery. You have the right to reject a proposal. You do not have the right to never be approached.”

    Yea, that sums up how I feel about “real” victims, and people who falsely accuse others or interpret, “misconstrue” things. Especially when the first part is “Don’t take this the wrong way.”

    The skeptic community should pride themselves on being rational. Which is why it’s absolutely rainbows and unicorns that this was not reported to security or the police and is NOW an issue.

    • VoijaRisa says:

      This is very true that there isn’t a right not to be approached. And I’ve not yet seen anyone say otherwise, strawmen aside. And because there isn’t a right, and there obviously can’t be rules against it, so such incidents can’t be reported because, until rejection is given, it’s not harassment.

      But your previous argument was that if something isn’t reported, then it shouldn’t be complained about. That’s all well and good, but what of things that can’t be reported because they’re not something that technically falls afoul of the rules? You seem to be making an argument earlier about harassment that can be reported and then suddenly in this last post, you switch to things that can’t. The goalposts have been moved.

      Regardless, I suppose your reasoning is that if it’s not worth having rules against, it’s not worth complaining about? If so, I have to disagree. I think there’s ample room for complaining about such things even if they fall short of the definition of harassment that can be applied. Because it’s not so much about the action of being approached, but rather, the manner in which it is being done. It may not fall afoul of the rules on the technical grounds, but it’s still damned creepy. And when we systematically say that people shouldn’t have a moral obligation to approach people in a manner that makes them feel secure, we trivialize that very real (and frequently very legitimate) fear, and we even go so far as to blame them for it, that’s just wrong and a legitimate complaint even if it’s not something for which security should be involved.

      • Redd says:

        Once “rejection” or an obvious “distaste” is given and the individual still pursues someone… then it’s harassment.

        maybe your not getting the point….

        If you complain about being harassed, and you didn’t report it, then as far as i’m concerned, it’s your problem. obviously it wasn’t bad enough for you to feel concerned enough to report it to authorities, so, get over it. put on your big girl pants, like most women do.

        if it’s not worth having rules against? who ever said that? clearly i never said that, now you’re just making things up…

        if something bothers you, do something about it. report it. otherwise, your the fat kid eating cake who complains about being fat.

  12. Kitty Lapin Agile says:

    I reported the person I did, two years in a row, NOT for rape. He was in the bar, very drunk, and kissed women against their wishes. Many of the women were “oh he’s just drunk”. They dealt with it their way, and oddly these women’s voices aren’t raised in hatred for South Point or DJ or anyone. They are “you just deal with drunk idiots”. I was “I don’t like drunk idiots, I’m reporting him.” The second year he did NOTHING at all but sit in the area near me. I reported him, and South Point took action. He did not even need to do anything. I was a guest and I was uncomfortable. I was taught that as a woman, if I ever feel uncomfortable not to depend on a man to “protect” me or “Come sit by me” or “keep me safe”. That’s because unless you know the man personally and very well, he could take advantage of the situation. Walk you to your room? That’s a rape waiting to happen. Heck, we teach small children at school to talk to the police or firemen only. We tell them to “Always talk to a policeman if you are feeling unsafe, no one has to do anything to you. They will always be glad to talk to you.” 911, we teach it to the kids and have them practice dialing it on a land line and a cell phone. Security at a hotel is even better than the police. They can kick someone out on a whim. They will make you feel secure and safe, which the regular police do not have time to do. Want an escort to any part of the hotel or even your car? Any decent hotel will gladly help you out. If this is something women need education about, and men also as they can also be victims or feel uncomfortable, then let’s make sure it’s in big letters. But let’s not blame anyone we feel wasn’t “upset enough” even more than we blame the perpetrator or ourselves for not really following through so this creep (and others) can’t make anyone feel unwelcome. My actions, both years, resulted in a creep NOT bothering women in the Del Mar. I hope every women and man that attends a conference in the future can also follow through so the jerks are quickly weeded out. It’s all well and good to be angry and mad about the past. But, revenge is a poor substitute for education and sincere change. I’m all for change, revenge, and calling for a head on a stick, I’m not comfortable with. Sincere unhappiness, an expression of it, and a call for change that is reasonable (we can’t expect DJ to change an entire culture, he can’t go door to door explaining to parents why they have to talk to their children about rape and sexual harassment as much as he probably wishes he could, but he can change and is willing to take input about how to make the policy this year even better and stronger I’m sure). If your anger is enough that you don’t get at all the lyrics to the Beatles “Revolution”, and think harassment when not sexual is really perfectly fine and dandy and doesn’t hurt anybody, then maybe you REALLY need to attend MORE critical thinking/skeptic conferences. A lot more.

    • Redd says:

      I really feel like a lot of women completely forget that if they don’t report it, they’re not just hurting themselves, they are hurting others. i can’t stress that enough. And for someone who didn’t report it, blue top sure is concerned about other women’s safety at TAM.

      • VoijaRisa says:

        Gah! Replies can only go 2 deep? Lame. That makes this hard to follow as a discussion.

        Anyway, I think we’re missing each other on the point of harassment. As you rightly point out, until rejection is given, it doesn’t technically meet the qualification of being harassment; it’s just creepy. But try reporting creepy. Even the most sympathetic security (convention or hotel) can’t really do much about it. There’s never a clear policy on such things because it’s too subjective to have one. Harassment there is because that’s a very clear cut definition and doesn’t open itself to nearly so much subjectivity.

        So the idea that you should report such things is ludicrous. But that doesn’t mean that you should lose the voice to effect change in the larger community. In fact, reporting such things as occurring IS reporting it, just not through “official channels”. Calling someone out publicly is often effective as a deterrent and I don’t support this telling people they shouldn’t complain because they haven’t reported something that they can’t report.

        See what I’m getting at?

  13. Redd says:

    I keep getting lost in the comment pages.

    I absolutely see what you’re getting at. And I agree, but maybe as a female who worked in security and dealt with a lot of this because of the las vegas night clubs, i’m use to the idea of a female saying “hey, this guy has been following me” or “hey, this guy came onto me and really upset me” because I had women telling me that, and I had it happen to me, even while on duty. The whole “female cop with handcuffs” bit. I even had to escort a MALE upstairs to his room and he trapped me in the elevator and tried to kiss me. But you understand, given you have a certain mentality I suppose, that people can be very forward and stupid, and you can either immediately shut down the situation, or you can let someone else know the second you get a chance that “someone is making me feel uncomfortable, will you please keep an eye on them so they don’t bother me.” That is completely acceptable. I have watched drunk men as they sobered up because taxi’s refused to take them and they weren’t a “threat” but they weren’t exactly casual conversation material either.

    It never hurts to just let someone know. Who knows, they could’ve been reported previously in that casino or hotel for harassment or assault, and shouldn’t even be there.

    • VoijaRisa says:

      Do you not think that you come from a slightly different vantage point than most security, Redd? The *vast* majority of security at conventions is composed of males, and in such circumstances, women are more reluctant to report things for fear of being blamed, or for dismissed, or for being looked on as weak, or a variety of other reasons. As a female security officer, you invite more of those responses that are typically not given. Are those good reasons? Not really. But to dismiss them entirely is shortsighted.

      Rather, we need to develop a community in which *everyone* feels like they can approach security, that they’ll be taken seriously, and that something will be done. We need a community in which these fears aren’t dismissed and people aren’t shouted down for vocalizing concerns when they don’t know or don’t feel that security can do anything for them.

      I want to thank you for your last point though: It really is a good idea just to let someone know. My convention just started getting prepared for next year’s event (in March) and we’re currently looking into our harassment policy and how to publicize it. I think that’s an excellent thing to remind people of.

      • Redd says:

        I do admit openly that I come from a slightly different background then most women AND security. If not slightly, then EXTREMELY. But I suppose it varies from area to area as well. Everywhere I worked in vegas had generally an even amount of women and men, some places having more females simply because a man searching a woman is more risky then a woman searching a man (any logical security manager will admit this), and being an attractive female in security management can do wonders when you need to talk down an irate male who refuses to cooperate with anyone BUT a female. I have worked quite a few conventions, events, posts, and developments prior to turning 21 and entering the casinos, and those are a completely different animal as far as security, so comparing the two isn’t logical given they both have their ups and downs.

        That said, I did better with males then females. A drunk female doesn’t like to be kicked out of a casino by another female. Oddly enough, almost every female report I have ever filed has been bad. With the exception of harassment reports and other non-physical altercations.

      • voyeurangel says:

        I just have to say something. While I totally understand the fear of not being believed or being blamed I also know that THAT is something in the culture that needs to be changed as well. That won’t be changed until women are willing to risk that. The more these kinds of incidence are reported to the proper people the more that this issue will be brought to light and believed. I think that it is wholly unfair to blame the skeptical community. This is a HUMAN issue not just this one sub-group.

        We should not be blaming victims but people need to also take steps to avoid being in bad situations; traveling in pairs or groups, being fully aware of the things around you and not totally absorbed in your phone (for example) and REPORTING anything that is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Anyone who is harassing or assaulting another person obviously is the one that should be blamed but there are things we can do to prevent standing out as a potential victim.

      • Redd says:

        This is ABSOLUTELY a HUMAN issue, period. And the more it is reported, the more valid the problem becomes. You’re completely right.

  14. Adam vanLangenberg says:

    I worked for a transport company a few years ago here in Australia and their sexual harassment policy clearly stated that a sexual advance had to be “repeated” for it to be considered harassment. Hitting on somebody or asking them out on a date was fine but if you were turned down then you couldn’t bring it up again.

    Obviously, the initial request might be done in such a bad way that it constitutes harassment from the start, but this usually isn’t the case.

    • Redd says:

      Agreed. It seems to have been blown out of proportion to make an image of “women going to tam get swarmed and harassed” like its a witch stoning. Honestly, if your a woman at an event like TAM, expect to be hit on.

      • Adam vanLangenberg says:

        It’s hard for me to really appreciate as a guy (who never gets hit on) but I can imagine that constantly getting hit on would become very tiring very quickly. I don’t know what the solution is because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with flirting or hitting on people but I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting sick of it happening to you all the time.

      • VoijaRisa says:

        I keep seeing this claim that “women going to TAM are going to get harassed” wherein it’s implied that harassment is over that line discussed previously. But honestly, the only place I’m seeing that is people putting words into the mouth of Rebecca and the like.

        I’ll admit I haven’t followed the whole thing *too* closely (I do have a life), but all I’ve seen from Rebecca, PZ, Jen, and the others is that they say the creepiness is a pervasive issue that’s being trivialized, which is a problem in and of itself and not exactly favorable for TAM. That’s what they seem to be saying, but then those opposing them blow it up into some ridiculous.

  15. Gem Newman says:

    Yes!

  16. VoijaRisa says:

    Responding to this: http://theredda.com/2012/06/17/tam-sexual-harassment-issue-solved-26/comment-page-1/#comment-39

    I am curious how location would effect the willingness to report. For clarity, I live in the Midwest. St Louis, MO specifically. My convention is in Kansas City, KS. My friend I collaborate with on these issues is a probation officer in department of youth services’ gender response team and sees the exact same issues in Springfield, MO. Overall a region of only about one state and the midwest isn’t exactly known for being friendly to women which may have some effect.

    But on the other hand, my friend travels to conferences on how to deal with women who have been victims and has never indicated that location is a significant factor. Rather, she thing she has most concentrated on when helping draft our harassment policy is that it should make it clear that the victim isn’t going to be looked down on, and that the person to whom they can report such things is female with extra training on such issues.

    • Redd says:

      When i say location i don’t me geographical, i mean within the business. Security at a convention and nightclub security are two different things that will have two different outcomes of reporting, just like a locals casino and a casino on the strip differ in the turn out, especially when considering if the locals casino is in a richer demographic neighborhood/area or a poor demographic neighborhood/area

  17. Redd says:

    The problem is… That it was never initially reported. It was briefly addressed after the con last year, but she just took someone getting into an elevator with her and telling her “don’t take this the wrong way, but you really intrigue me, i’d like to get to know you, would you like to come to my room to have coffee and talk”

    All she had to do is say, “No thank you” or “It’s a bit late, maybe another time” or any variation of C.

    Instead, she blew it out of proportion and acted like the guy followed her around and attacked her and was like a monkey on her back.

    I personally don’t see a big issue. Sure, it may have been a strange comment, but the first 6 words and the fact that he didn’t pursue it more afterwards really downplays any chance of it being more then what it was. A simple gesture.

    Now, it’s all of a sudden not safe for women at TAM. Which is absurd. I have several advances made toward me, two of them being speakers, and all it takes is, “im flattered, but no thank you,” we’re all adults, and if something happens beyond that then absolutely report it.

    Now it’s just FTB and Skepchicks Bashing TAM as unsafe and Misogynistic. When in reality, of all the conventions blue top claims are better, none of them have equality amongst speakers, or a sexual harassment policy, or several other things that they are claiming as validity for why TAM is so poor.

    Im likely most angry at the idea that she is getting publicity for something false, using it to describe how “women” feel in general, and then basing the con and it’s attendees and staff for “not doing anything” about it… She’s the one choosing to segregate herself from the rest of the community, with the “skepchicks” and she is driving a wedge in the middle of a community that is already struggling for social validation. Atheists are fighting for the same thing, and apparently she has forgotten that.

  18. Clair High says:

    Instead, she blew it out of proportion and acted like the guy followed her around and attacked her and was like a monkey on her back.

    No, she didn’t. She basically said, “Guys, please don’t do that.” Others blew this out of proportion and it spiraled from there.

    Otherwise, this is a great post and comment thread and I agree with what you’ve said, Redd.

    • Redd says:

      No? She didn’t?

      Wow, then what is everyone arguing about. actually… why does anyone even KNOW that someone approached her if she just said “don’t do that” and then it was over.

      She’s blowing the ISSUE out of proportion in general. Not necessarily the incident. Like TAM is “unsafe” and all other cons are so much safer for boob-bearing individuals (when most if not all of them lack harassment policies, security, etc), and that’s simply not the case. TAM is not “unsafe.” Maybe some areas of South Point casino are less safe then others, like elevators, (which has nothing to do with TAM itself) in which case again, thats why security is there.

      It’s just silly. All of it. Your driving a wedge through the community when something is already available to aid in the need of security. just USE IT!!

      • Clair High says:

        Wow, then what is everyone arguing about. actually… why does anyone even KNOW that someone approached her if she just said “don’t do that” and then it was over.

        That’s all she said in her video. And like I said, others blew it out of proportion (the responses) and it spiraled from there. The citizens of the Internet seem to like to do that. When it started spiraling, I stopped watching the spectacle because it quickly became out of control and the signal to noise ration was so low, it wasn’t worth my time. So, what transpired afterwards, I can’t comment on that.

        Your[sic] driving a wedge through the community when something is already available to aid in the need of security. just USE IT!!

        I agree, definitely use something that is already available, especially when it’s there specifically for the reasons that started this whole thing. However, I think it is a bit much to say that by not using it is driving a wedge through the community.

        Anecdote: I worked security in a night club. As you’ve already said, night clubs ≠ casinos or conventions, but we made it absolutely clear that if any patron felt uncomfortable for any reason (creepy included), they should let me or a member of my staff know about it. We took their concerns very seriously.

  19. Redd says:

    What she said in one video, not in all of them, and not in the most recent FtB discussion. Either way, she can blame DjG and we can blame her. Doesn’t solve anything, but i still don’t agree with this being the “voice” of women all of a sudden or that “TAM is unsafe.”

    Driving a wedge between the community (with your current stance and anti-TAM attitude that your imposing on others in the community because you say its not safe) when something is already available to aid in the need of security.

    I must have omitted that part, thinking it was implied.

    Yes, obviously it’s made 100% clear that security is there to assist them, and that their concerns ARE serious. Isn’t that why I’ve said to contact them? They are there to HELP. They protect everything on property, this INCLUDES the guests, obviously.

    • VoijaRisa says:

      Please provide me a source in which Rebecca, PZ, Jen, or any of the central figures have actually said that TAM is unsafe, or even less safe than everyday life. As I’ve said repeatedly in this thread, such claims seem to be nothing but a straman.

      • Redd says:

        I absolutely will, as soon as i get home. Im at the gym right now (possibly building muscle to defend myself? Lol) and don’t have the exact link on me. But start by watching the new FtB video discussion (via youtube). Its full of banter i don’t agree with or support. You may or may not enjoy it.

      • Redd says:

        Blue top’s via Skepchick:

        From http://skepchick.org/2012/06/why-i-wont-be-at-tam-this-year/

        “So it’s odd for me to be announcing that I will not attend TAM this year, because I do not feel welcomed or safe and I disagree strongly with the recent actions of the JREF president, DJ Grothe.”

        From USA Today:

        (http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-09-15/atheist-sexism-women/50416454/1)

        “This is quite obviously not a safe space for me or for other women who want to be free of the gendered slurs and sexual threats and come-ons we experience in our day-to-day lives.”

        And a link to the most recent FtB video:

        http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/06/17/a-conversation-about-tam/

        Also: As Travis Roy Stated (He summed it up perfect): “If you list a bunch of stuff that happens to you, then say you’re not going to conference A and it’s unsafe for women, and then list off conferences B, C, D, E and F that you are going to. Guess what, you’re complaining about conference A.”

        “I also like how they said that they were all huge supporters of TAM, and have told people to go.. Basically that they had influence if people went to TAM or not.. Then they claim zero responsibility for people not wanting to go when they make claims that women get routinely sexually harassed and assaulted at the event.”

      • VoijaRisa says:

        Equivocation fallacy: Being “unsafe” from harassment after rejection (what you’re talking about) is not the same as being “unsafe” from creepy come-ons and sexual threats (what she’s talking about).

      • Redd says:

        You really think theres a way to be safe from something that no one knows is happening?

        preventative measures, but never “safe”

      • Redd says:

        Just so it’s made known, I’ve wasted too much time trying to make a simple point with this crowd which people are ignoring:

        Don’t complain that nothing is being done if you aren’t doing anything yourself.

        and

        This is what to do if you feel your being harassed or you feel uncomfortable period.

        And as far as it being an issue at TAM overall:

        “The JREF had an anonymous survey that over 800 people filled out. Nobody in those surveys complained about sexual harassment. The only two that said they felt unwelcomed were men. One was a retiree that didn’t like magic, and the other was a republican that felt his views were ridiculed.”

        I’m done replying to the same comments over and over about things that are distant relatives of the actual purpose of the post. The FtB/Skepchick community, as far as i’m concerned (the ones active in this circus) are as competent as Fundamentalist Christians. They only want to hear themselves.

    • VoijaRisa says:

      Your response didn’t actually address my point. It’s still a strawman. The first quote says *SHE* does not feel safe. And after being the victim of a targeted harassment campaign which involved threats of rape and death all centered around this issue, she has every reason not to feel safe. But she’s not saying it’s unsafe form women.

      As far as the second quote, look again at the wording. She again says it’s unsafe for *HER* in a very real manner, but when speaking for other women, she’s talking about something very different: them being “free of the gendered slurs and sexual threats and come-ons we experience in our day-to-day lives”. That’s very different than being “unsafe”.

      You’re dishonestly conflating the two arguments. And PZ’s recent post catches this fallacy too: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/06/18/victim-blaming-101

      • Redd says:

        I’m not sure how much more clear “unsafe for women” can get.

        you say in reference to her speaking for other women, and not for herself:
        women being “free of the gendered slurs and sexual threats and come-ons we experience in our day-to-day lives”. That’s very different than being “unsafe”.”

        ok, so your saying: “TAM is not free of gendered slurs and sexual threats and come-ons that women experience in their day to day lives”

        Which still means: “TAM is not safe(for other women)”

  20. [...] TAM sexual harassment issue: SOLVED: If something happens, don’t bitch about what TAM staff isn’t doing, blame yourself for not reporting it to someone who has a responsibility to address the issue and furthermore gets PAID to take care of exactly that: your bullshit. Guess what, if you don’t report it, then no one knows, and no one can do anything to help you “feel safer.” But if you report it, the staff has an obligation to at the very least document the incident so that there is proof that it has been reported and addressed. [...]

    • Redd says:

      “nothing is being done to make it a safe environment”

      Well, here is something already in place, to HELP YOU. To make it SAFER.

      Yes, I say it’s in the very least their job to document it, and it is. Because some people give off the vibe that security or police would just blow it off and not care. But in reality, they do, and it’s their job to. So don’t be afraid to report it because “it wont be taken seriously”. At the very least you have legal documentation, don’t you want that?

  21. [...] about missing the point — now we’ve got someone declaring the TAM harassment problem solved — why, just call casino security, and they’ll take care of [...]

    • Redd says:

      If you felt someone harassed you outside of TAM, you wouldn’t immediately call the police? Apparently Not.

      Haven’t women been taught to scream “HELP” at the top of their lungs when in a harassment situation? Last time I checked, for sure.

      I’m sorry that you don’t agree, but guess what, Security and the Police exist for a reason. They should have been contacted the minute she stepped off that elevator if it was that big of a concern to her.

      • skeptifem says:

        There are an awful lot of assumptions in this post, many which do not jive with the perspectives of other people. The police are not considered a universal force for good in the world by everyone, and women are not universally told to make a fuss when someone is bothering them. It would be easy to dismiss others and decide that those perspectives are stupid or wrong, but it is difficult to do so when you really listen to people with views different than yours. There are very good reasons for some folks not to trust policemen or security, and there are good reasons to quietly try to leave a scene instead of screaming for help. I see a lot of assuming that everyone is just like you, and if your solution to harassment only protects people just like you, what good does it do for the rest of us?

      • Redd says:

        Well clearly “the rest of us” aren’t doing any good for themselves either by not letting someone know, whether it be security, police, or someone else who would do it for you. So people like “me” can just report all the wrong doing and take the “heat” so it can be made known that there is a serious problem, and then “the rest of us” can finally get some legal action and prevention in place now that it’s been made public.

        So i guess the people like “me” who are willing to speak up and take personal risks for the good of EVERYONE will just have to be the only ones willing to do anything serious about the problem.

  22. aleisterhermit says:

    Emery only “owns the space” here because he’s a raving loudmouth bullt with an ego the size of Greenland. Seriously, screaming that a woman who makes the perfectly reasonable request to see TAM’s harrasment policy can “SUCK MY DICK!!!!!!” kind of sums up the whole debate in one neat little package…woman makes calm,. reasonable request for respect, mysoginistic asshole responds by saying that she’s the problem and reducing her to an object in his sexual fantasies.

    Why some people can’t see that this is a problem just amazes me..

    • Redd says:

      Clearly you yelling that is sexual harassment and I vote you be banned from TAM.

      Emery is legit pissed about this, as am I.

      Misogyny, again the supposed “white elephant comes out” but yet, there are quite a few women who disagree with this claim, so, if it were truly that, why would a woman disagree when it’s obviously in her interest not to?

      You’re absolutely off your rocker. Yes, Emery has made blue top an “object in his sexual fantasies,” clearly thats what has happened here. Maybe he was the guy in the elevator too?

      Why some people can’t see how illogical they are, well, that just amazes me..

      • aleisterhermit says:

        I see…me expecting that people who raise a concern or ask a question be treated respectfully in the skeptic community is “illogical” and the guy screaming “SUCK MY COCK” at women is a paragon of reason and clear headed thinking…

        Look, I’m coming at this as a person who doesn’t join groups or go to cons; I’m as close as youre going to get to an objective observer in this debate and I’m telling you that Emery’s little performance in that video conference did more to damage TAM ad JREF’s reputation in my eyes than anything else I’ve seen or read about it.

      • Redd says:

        Of course his reaction was over the top, but as is this WHOLE ISSUE. that’s the point. I’m STILL trying to get back to the idea that “hey, we’re all adults, why don’t we act like it?”

        illogical is in reference to your “sexual fantasies” remark

      • aleisterhermit says:

        You’re damn right the issue is over the top; from where I sit I see a few people asking calmly and reasonably that they be treated with respect and that members of the skeptic community should indeed act like adults and be professional and competent in the way they manage their events and the response they get, instead of a respectful hearing and due consideration for their legitimate concerns is shit and abuse.

        The people not acting like adults here are the ones acting like having something as simple and reasonable as a clear policy about harassment and a clear avenue for the reporting of harassment is somehow an assault on the movement or a personal affront.

        The adult response would be to adopt a clear policy, publish it and apply it…it’s really that simple. Instead we’re seeing finger pointing, blame throwing, abuse, lies, distortions and hysteria, (and the occasional rape joke…yeah that helps…)

        As for the reasonableness of my remarks about your buddy Emery I suggest you watch that video again and try to do it from the perspective of someone who has no knowledge of the guy whatsoever prior to seeing the video. Do you honestly think he comes across as anything other than an angry, insensitive sexist prick? Do you think that kind of a performance made the prospect of running into this guy at a conference an attractive thought or a repulsive one?

        Maybe I’m wrong; maybe in real life Emery is a calm, rational soft spoken gentleman, but I have no way of knowing that, do I? I only know what I saw in that video and what I saw was a train wreck.

        Why would anyone want to associate with an organization in which that kind of hysterical, irrational, ego driven behaviour is thought to be consistent with a rational, thoughtful, skeptical worldview?

      • Redd says:

        first of all, I didn’t know Emery prior to that video, so sorry to say, again your assumptions don’t do anything for your argument.

        There is a policy in place. maybe it’s not perfect, but nothing is. so i’m not sure what your saying is so simply that hasn’t been done. Maybe the application part? but then, you cannot apply rules to something if it is not brought up.

        I can’t throw you out of a conference or press charges against you if no one tells me or tells someone in law enforcement what you did. How do you enforce a law if there’s no one to enforce it upon? Then it becomes a policy, which TAM has. But you cannot put action into place if theres no one to act on to show it’s being done(because it wasn’t reported).

        A year later to make serious light of this is problematic if you’re complaining it wasn’t handled properly.

        Again, you don’t want to report it, but you want something done about it.

      • aleisterhermit says:

        And you actually found Emery’s performance to be a positive one? Really?

        If TAM has a clear policy why all the fuss when someone asks to see it? Why scream sexual taunts at them? How is that helpful?

      • Redd says:

        If I had to choose positive or negative: Positive.

        Who’s screaming sexual taunts? Where? BAN THEM!

  23. Al Stefanelli says:

    Society will not understand the basis of the need for harassment policies until it gets past “Don’t get raped” and understands that it should be “Don’t rape.” Until then, victims will continually get blamed for being victims. You guys are totally not helping.

    • Redd says:

      I agree and unfortunately society will never come to that point. But be responsible. Report it immediately so it can be addressed, and to security or police.

  24. Bingo Redd. You are spot on. I have blogged more than deserved on the American Girlyban faction. At the end of the day, there is absolutely NOTHING special or different about the crowd mix or the venue for TAM (or any of the other skeptic conferences). As you have pointed out here and I have pointed out much earlier, these casino venues are some of the safest on Earth. My metaphor employed little old ladies in walkers strolling about with giant buckets of coins, but the point is the same. Women who don’t feel safe attending skeptic events for fear of being asked for coffee must have one helluva time existing in the real world. Enjoy.

  25. aleisterhermit says:

    The problem with saying “report it immediately” is that not all incidents rise to that level of seriousness…but that doesn’t mean they aren’t problems. Some drunk cornering a woman in an elevator at 4 in the morning and suggesting she come back to his room is creepy, makes that woman feel uncomfortable (especially after she just spent all evening talking in a group about how she doesn’t like being reduced to a sexual object) and that’s clearly a problem, but what kind of response will she get if she reports that to the police? And when she does talk about it publicly, and says, calmly, rationally and reasonably, “guys…don’t do that” she becomes the target of a hate campaign, rape threats, shit and abuse like no one should have to put up with.

    There’s also the problem of what happens when things are reported…little or nothing is done, the person doing the report is vilified for being “weak” and “hysterical”, she’s told to shut up, that SHE”s the one creating the problem, that it;s all just harmless fun and there;s something wrog with her for not just playing along, etc etc.

    All that’s been suggested here is that conferences like TAM have a clear policy about attendees treating other with some respect. I’m really confused as to why that should even be controversial, never mind why it should provoke the kind of rancour it has in some quarters.

  26. Aside from your ridiculously bad take on feminists, this is a great post. Though, i disagree that ‘society will never come to that point’. Maybe not 100% but we can move in the right direction.

    • Redd says:

      I absolutely agree we can move in the right direction.

      The word “feminist” has been tainted, unfortunately. If you want to fight for equality, ex: equal wages and benefits, I support you 100%, but sexual harassment is NOT just a female issue. its an issue period, and more recently some women have come out Feminist-First on this issue and have either blown it out of proportion or have just simply made it all about women. equality, but self segregation? It has left a bitter taste in my mouth about extreme feminists.

      • Please substantiate this. Who has come out as “feminist first,” and why is this a problem? Who has blown it out of proportion? Who has made it all about women?

        I guarantee you that every single one of the anti-harassment policies that have been proposed by the feminist women involved in this discussion are 100% gender neutral.

        That said, pretending that this is not an issue that disproportionately affects women is silly.

      • Redd says:

        And pretending that it hasn’t been made a FEMALE issue, is silly as well. If it’s gender neutral then this means:
        “This is quite obviously not a safe space for me or for other women”
        ?

        I’m a woman. Its safe to me.

  27. Neither Rebecca Watson nor anyone else ever said that TAM was unsafe. When she pressed DJ Grothe to explain what made him think she said that, he quoted her remark in a USA Today article in which she said that the entire freethought community was not a “safe space” for women. Note the difference between “unsafe” and “not a safe space”. I realize you hate feminism and feminists, but it’s worth at least paying attention to what feminists say and the terminology they use so you don’t make a fool out of yourself like DJ did. “Safe space” is a term that has a specific meaning. Not being a safe space means it’s no better or worse than any other place in North America. The point is that we have the right, as atheist and skeptic women, to expect our conferences to be a bit better than the average.

    • Redd says:

      You have a right to EXPECT that?

      You have a right to expect that “not safe” and “unsafe” mean different things, but i’m not sure that’s sound either.

      This is in reference to TAM:

      From http://skepchick.org/2012/06/why-i-wont-be-at-tam-this-year/

      “So it’s odd for me to be announcing that I will not attend TAM this year, because I do not feel welcomed or safe and I disagree strongly with the recent actions of the JREF president, DJ Grothe.”

      And again, as previously noted. If you say conference A is bad and unsafe and you’re not attending for that reason, but your eager to promote other conferences that you ARE attending, that don’t even HAVE harassment policies in place, then clearly it’s all Conference A’s Fault. A=TAM.

      • That happened AFTER DJ decided to specifically blame Rebecca Watson for driving women away, because, as he falsely claimed, she had said (prior to that) that TAM was unsafe.

        As for the meaning of the word “safe,” do you accept that the phrase “happy hour” has a meaning that is distinct from the words “happy” and “hour” by themselves? Yes? Then why the resistance to simply educating yourself enough to properly understand what Rebecca Watson was saying? If you’re going to critique feminism, you’d best be able to demonstrate that you understand it first, otherwise your critique isn’t worth the pixels it’s written in.

      • Redd says:

        Have you been to happy hour recently?

        Because while you insist on arguing semantics, it appears your still not quite understanding that being a female doesn’t make you special. Do men attending TAM expect specific things outside of speakers and events because they paid for a ticket as well? Let’s call upon a “SkepDick” to find out. Wait, there is no such organization. My bad. I guess we’ll never know.

        “falsely claimed”
        again you ignore that apparently, other conferences are in the least, “safer then TAM” since she’s clearly attending them, and thats clearly the reason she’s NOT attending TAM.

        I’m not critiquing feminism so much as those who choose to use the fact that they are a female to their advantage to get a 1up in a sex related issue.

      • And yes, I don’t see why, if women are to be paying money to attend TAM, they shouldn’t expect it to be a step above everyday experience, where sexual harassment is relatively common. Ever since I moved out of the country, into a relatively large city, I’ve been getting harassed on a fairly regular basis. Like, once a week or every couple of weeks, and it would probably be more if I went out more. I don’t like it, and if I’m going to pay money to be at an event, I expect to not have to put up with it.

        Is there something wrong with that? Am I some kind of radical feminist now? Yeesh.

      • Redd says:

        Sure. Radically Delicious apparently.

      • ernsthot says:

        “I do not FEEL welcomed or safe”, keywords “I” and “FEEL”.
        Do you think this is the same as generally stating that TAM is unsafe for women?

      • Redd says:

        I think that when this is given as the reason for not attending TAM and then referencing a list of other conferences that don’t even have harassment policies in place, there is a clear understanding that “hey, TAM is unsafe, so i’m not going, but I AM going to these conferences.”

        I don’t FEEL like Reese Peanut Butter Cups are good for you. So i’m not going to eat them, instead, I will eat snickers, milky way, and hershey bars.

        Because, you know, none of them are bad for you and none of them have consequences if you don’t eat them responsibly…

      • sixthmonkey says:

        Redd, it seems that you have a skewed view of the actual timeline of events and comments made about the relative safety of various conferences. Here is a rough ordering of relevant events.

        1. Rebecca Watson was approached by a man in an elevator in a manner she felt was creepy and threatening.
        2. She mentioned it as a small part of a video she made, making no claim that Elevator Guy was a rapist or even had malicious intent. She merely pointed out that the way in which he waited until they were alone and “trapped” in the elevator together is exactly what a sexual predator would do, and thus, until she left the elevator, had to fear that he was going to assault her or something similar. Yes, he turned out to be harmless, but his behavior made her extremely uncomfortable, and justifiably so. She concluded with a simple statement of “Guys, don’t do that”.
        3. An incredible number of people (mostly men) came out and started criticizing her for saying that, arguing that they have a right to hit on whoever they want, whenever they want, no matter if it makes the targets feel uncomfortable or even frightened. She began receiving death and rape threats. At this point, many people came to defend her in what turned out to be a huge argument. It was not Rebecca or any feminists that turned Elevatorgate into a huge issue. It was a bunch of misogynists.
        4. After the whole shitstorm of Elevatorgate, and while still receiving threats, the fact that many in the atheist community sided against her, Rebecca made a generalized statement about the freethought community AS A WHOLE not being a safe space for women, safe space as in, place to talk about womens’ issues without misogynists constantly coming in and derailing the conversation, or worse.
        5. DJ Grothe sees that TAM has a lower percentage of women registering. Without any evidence and for no good reason, he goes and blames it on skeptic feminist bloggers like Rebecca, despite the fact that she had, at that point, never made statements against TAM, and, indeed, was instrumental in encouraging women to attend TAM through Skepchicks, etc.
        6. Skeptic feminist bloggers respond in an entirely reasonable manner to DJ’s unwarranted attacks. AFTER he refuses to back down, misrepresents the other side, and refuses to take concerns brought up about harassment policies seriously, THEN the “Why I Won’t Be at TAM This Year” post is made.

        In addition, I want to address this:
        “Do men attending TAM expect specific things outside of speakers and events because they paid for a ticket as well?”

        YES! As a man, I expect that a conference I attend makes reasonable efforts to ensure the safety of their attendees. I don’t want to be harassed at a conference. Fortunately for me, the chances of that happening are very low. But if I were female, the chances of harassment and other forms of unwanted attention would be much higher. You even admitted it yourself: “Honestly, if your a woman at an event like TAM, expect to be hit on.” THIS Is the issue that people are trying to address. Sally doesn’t want special privileges because she’s a woman, she wants to be able to feel AS SAFE AS MEN LIKE ME ALREADY DO at conferences.

      • Redd says:

        You make excellent points, and I applaud you for that. But using the word “Trapped” instead of “Stuck” makes a big difference. I’m Trapped (by a person who’s hitting on me in the elevator) or I’m (Stuck in and elevator with a guy hitting on me). If i’m wrong, then hey, I’m wrong, but this post was made for one specific reason:

        If it wasn’t harassment, no big deal.

        If it WAS harassment, why WASNT it reported? You can’t tell me a person can go to vegas, walk into a casino, and NOT be aware that there is security and surveillance everywhere. *(in relation to TAM harassment claims, not EGate). If you want something done, be part of the solution, not the problem. All of this carless banter that is pitting the SAME TYPES of people against each other that are already in a small community battling for rights against a MUCH LARGER group of people (ex: Atheists & Skeptics vs. Religious) is only making it worse. If a policy is in place, how do you know if it’s not working or not being enforced if no one gives you the opportunity to do so?

        You expect there to be reasonable efforts made to ensure the safety of the attendees, AGREED. 100%. But how do we know what those efforts are suppose to be if we don’t know what safety is being threatened? Do we just “Assume” ?

        I already feel as safe as any man does at a conference. The safety of a Man at a conference and a woman at a conference is no different then the safety of a man in everyday life or the safety of a woman in everyday life. Unless all the sex offenders and creeps are nerd and atheists and geeks. Then you’ve totally “Trapped” me.

      • aleisterhermit says:

        I was about to start working on a similar post, but you’ve beaten me to it (and done it better…) Thank you for this.

      • Steersman says:

        Sure. Radically Delicious apparently.

        Ah ha! Privilege once again rears its ugly, if not priapic, head … ;-)

        Although somewhat more seriously, I notice that Wikipedia has an article on “safe-space” which seems to have a fairly idiosyncratic definition somewhat unique to a feminist and LGBT context. I would say, off-hand, that what we have here are some very different understandings of the phrase; really would have helped, I expect, if Ms. Watson had been more clear in her discussion of the concept …

        Somewhat the same type of issue my ex illustrated, somewhat inadvertently, with her unawareness (being French) of the differences between “house cat” and “cat-house” …

      • Redd says:

        yes… well, when one is a direct definitio and the other is a definition polished by feminists, you’ll have that.

        Either way, I still say it’s a room full of gay men and straight women or it’s implausible.

      • Steersman says:

        Either way, I still say it’s a room full of gay men and straight women or it’s implausible.

        The only circumstance in which there won’t be any “harassment”? [aka a “whole lot of propositioning going on”]

        But relative to the “privilege” thing, you may not have run across Rebecca Watson’s fairly lengthy screed on the topic which many others have turned into a bit of a wild-fire of hysteria. I don’t doubt that it is a factor, even a significant one, but my point – amplifying yours – was that privilege tends to be something that we all have to a greater or lesser extent – glass-houses and stones and all that …

  28. skeptifem says:

    You really need to look into how women are treated when they report sexual harassment or assault. It doesn’t automatically result in action, concern, or compassion. Most women I know who reported illegal sexual activity (ranging from harassment at work all the way up to rape) were blamed for it by the agency they reported it to. I don’t know any women who have actually had the legal system work for them when they were brave enough to report what had happened. Try to find some statistics that say otherwise- these things are always under reported, and it is because women are usually punished for speaking up.

    • Redd says:

      Ok, in SOME CASES women COULD WRONGFULLY be punished for speaking up.

      I’ve done my 4 years studying criminal justice, hate crimes, women’s issues, etc. So i know what the statistics say, and statistics are not valid “proof”

      Never did I say it automatically resulted in compassion, but I did say that it can be documented so YOU can provide evidence that it occurred.

      Remember, We’re not talking about someone getting raped at TAM. We’re talking about someone getting hit on. If that individual had been re approached by the same person, they could have reported it to someone so that the individual was removed from the property.

      We’re getting into discussions here that are beyond the scope of what is relevant.

      I spoke up when it happened to me, and the system worked for me. Several times.

      • skeptifem says:

        If there are no reliable statistics, and you know some women will be worse off for reporting sexual harassment, how can you advocate this course of action for everyone?

      • Redd says:

        If you want change, then this is how change happens. Change doesn’t happen if you don’t know something is occurring.

  29. “I’m pretty sure that you can handle any situation you might find yourself in, and if you cant, maybe you shouldn’t be there.”

    My sentiments exactly. I’m not walking the dark streets of a big city alone at night, I’m in a public place. And I feel safe because I’m an adult. If I live life as a potential victim all the time, what the hell kind of life is that?

  30. Abbie Smith says:

    Contacting the building security protects *everyone*.

    It is unreasonable to expect conference volunteers, who have zero training in security (I mean the physical training and the legal training), to address issues and remove patrons from the premises. Security personnel are trained to address these kinds of issues in a safe and legal manner.

    Furthermore, the security personnel are covered by the company insurance policy.

    Asking conference organizers etc to be responsible for ‘action’ opens the volunteers and the conference itself up to legal problems (remove someone from the conference for ‘taking upskirt photos’… when they didnt? remove someone from the venue and that individual trips and breaks their teeth? remove someone from the venue and a volunteer gets their arm broken? ask someone to leave, and they get into an accident on the way home? ask someone to leave, and *they* get mugged on the street? *not* removing someone from the premises, and someone gets punched?).

    Again, contacting the building security protects *everyone*.

    Many conferences would love to offer child care, but they cannot afford the legal/insurance that would go along with it.

    The same *should* go for security. But ‘we’ are forcing conference organizers to put themselves in physical and legal danger because ‘we’ are unwilling to take advantage of the security already provided for us. Unreasonable.

    • Redd says:

      Very well put Abbie. I appreciate you so much for putting this into perspective. You are a true staple in this community and I respect you and your work immensely. Thank you

  31. Dana Houston says:

    There is such a disconnect between women here.

    If we are not equipped to deal with the occasional sexual proposition, no matter how crude it is, how can you expect to change anything at all? You can say “change the culture” all day long, but it doesn’t mean you do not have to do your part (ie. use the measures that are ALREADY in place). Judge these men on their individual merits. From the outcry you would think there was some sort of rape club full of horny men trolling skeptic conferences. I read the stories and see…. a microcosm of the real world. Take control of your lives, girls. We are not inferior, and should not be afraid to tell that security guard that some guy was creepy and aggressive to you in the elevator. Neither should we be afraid to say, “no thank you,” if asked out to group sex. ;) This drama fest is just too much. How many guys are taken up on their offers, and vice versus? Can you differentiate between a guy who gives unwanted attention purposely, and a guy who just made a bad judgement call by misreading the signs?

    Lastly, it is absolutely boggling my mind that men are arguing with ME, a woman, about how victimized I should feel when a male hits on me. I’m 38 years old. I know how to be blunt and straightforward. “No, not interested.” “No, really? That is inappropriate. Get lost.” Etc… You can’t insulate yourself from the creeps, ladies. Especially not a conference that anyone can pay to attend.

  32. tonijames says:

    Hiya Redd, have I responded to you before? I think I’ve gotten confused over one of your posts and thought you were someone else! I just wanted to say that you are incredible. This blog, and your responses to the comments are calm, rational and extremely well written. Abbie has some competition (which I’m sure she will welcome, not stamp on!!). I feel that other are missing the point. One can indeed change the culture – by being an example. By dealing with threats in the correct way. I have NEVER found that sitting around, going, “They have to be nice to me” is any way to change it. The only thing which helps me when I find myself amongst bullies is learning how to deal with them. If you rely on them to change, guess what? They ain’t gonna, and you have just marked your cards which will encourage them more. I hate it, and I think it’s wrong, but it’s a fact of life. If we’re talking rape, that’s different, I see it as being different from harrasment and even threats. I see sexual comments as part of the ‘sex game’, despite having been assaulted four times in my iife. If women empower themselves more, then when we talk, people will listen. But this, “The world must change” talk hands the power to someone else, and I don’t choose to do that.

    “Rebecca made a generalized statement about the freethought community AS A WHOLE not being a safe space for women” – quote sixthmonkey.

    I’m afriad that she and people like her have made the FTB blogs a ‘not safe space for women’ like me, since they do not differentiate between people asking “WTF is this about” and people they count as ‘rape-enablers’. I can’t bear to post on those blogs any more. Their attitude makes me remember arguing with bullies, who used “The Untouchables” defense – you know, you pull a knife, they pull a gun (this is NOT a death threat, BTW). So long as what they say is more aggresive, ruder and more hateful than anything you can come up with, they’ll use it.

    • Redd says:

      @Toni- thank you immensely for the compliments, they are well received and appreciated. I’m not aware of you responding to me before. You may have responded to me on forums where I have posted under “casey” or “caseygaspari.” which is my commenting through a facebook login.

      I do pride myself on the fact that my comments are (the serious ones) “calm, rational, and well written.” I have always understood that a well formed argument or opinion must be presented as such, otherwise it’s not going to be taken seriously (not that PZ or OB take them seriously anyway) or even acknowledged. This is, of course, in a proper debate. Not a debauchery over who gets to be the hat in monopoly, and who gets to play banker.

      I do believe that “changing the culture of misogyny” can only happen by women, AND men setting the example. This “they have to be nice to me” theory is nothing but salt in your own wound. This is why I cannot understand why any female would endorse PZ Piss Pants to support their cause unless they don’t really have any other strong public supporters (which is plausible due to their attitude on the matter).

      I do think that sexual comments are part of “the sex game,” but indeed, sone can be over the top, and as i have said in response to PZ’s “feminist fantasy” cartoon, i really want to know what happened to the panel where the female decides if the male is attractive or not, ie: decides if she would like to accept the proposition and then the following yes/no-rejection and it being labeled harassment.

      As for women empowerment, impossible by this community of narcs. They are so far up their own egos that they cannot realistically empower any woman who does not immediately agree with their far-gone idea of reality to do anything but ask “are these women even WORTH equality?”

      As far as Rebecca speaking on behalf of everyone with a vagina/and or identifying as a female with “free thought community as a whole is not safe for women” : yea. When you use the term “free thought” and then follow it with “not safe” its somewhat implied that it could be a melting pot of opinions, all of which people are not only entitled to, but “free to express said thoughts.” If they don’t think free thought and/or speech is a naturally unstable environment for humans in general, maybe they should dive into their history books and re-learn some of the obvious cultural movements who were all lead by people who were attacked in some way and stood out against it for what they believed in. This is why I say : be an adult. Understand the environment, be open, and react accordingly because lets face it, we’re not in a church and we didn’t exactly specify “no free thought against women that may be taken the wrong way.” Rebecca can say what she wants, but in a recent video blog she says shes ok with a speaker/ conference goer having mutual sex. How do you find out if its mutual? You proposition them. Furthermore, the fact that shes a major pusher behind the harassment policy and she endorses speaker/goer relations makes me say “what does YOUR fucking policy say?”

      The fact is, the FtB blogs are not safe for women. They are all pushing this “anti-harassment” policy, when in reality they are the biggest cause. Its obvious. Just look at the way they treat people they don’t agree with. That blog is 100% pure misogyny in itself. Talk about women being treated unfairly and being harassed? Look at how they treat Abbie. Hell look at how they treated me. Furthermore look at the character of their front running role models: RW, PZ, OB. Of all the people in the community these are the ones you choose to represent you and then you question why your not being taken seriously. If i were an outsider (and i realistically was/am) i would say that it is nothing short of a religious cult and/or communist government. They simply do not understand that by setting the example you must BE the example.

      As to the knife/gun reference… Absolutely. I am pulling a knife that says “reason” and is only effective in a close proximity where the offender must clearly acknowledge the situation and effectively state their argument immediately while accepting the risk that it may be incorrect and they may suffer a direct wound to the body. Where as the weapon of choice by FtB is a gun labeled “chaos” that can be fired from long distances, with a person not necessarily being aware that they are under target, the gunman is not putting him/herself at risk, and if they are not aiming in a specific direction or with specific intent, (which is often the case) the bullet could go anywhere, hit anyone, and cause severe damage or even take a life. Everyone hears the shot, everyone panics and takes cover, no one knows where it came from or who was hit, and the gunman flees.

      Essentially: my knife hits only one person at a time, is obvious to you before it does and leaves a clean wound and a clean blade. The FtB’s gun can hit anyone, is not usually obvious to the victim, leaves permanent damage or death, and covers the gunman in gunpowder remnants when it’s bullet leaves the chamber

      Reason v. Chaos

      -Redd

  33. tonijames says:

    You’re very welcome! You’ve taken the knife/gun analogy even further then I meant – brilliant! I forgot to say, I also post at ERV under “Generally Fading”, although I had a bit of a melt-down after reading some FTB blogs and posted when I should have stopped to think. Anyway, what also occurred to me (which I’m sure has occurred to others there, I’m playing catch up!) is the the FTB policy affects the Good Guys only. I mean, all those who wouldn’t think of attacking women are going to follow these policies anyway, and any potential rapists are just going to ignore them. These women are also posting huge signs up saying, “You know what really creeps us out?” and then giving them a list. And yes, this constant belief that women can’t cope again is being promoted by these idiots – and this again only affects the nice guys – they all rush forward to protect the fluttering females and end up thinking the only way to be around us is to be powerful and macho (and whilst I find a big strong man very attractive, it’s on a mutual basis – I might defend him one day from a mugger!). And we’re back to the cavemen days. And then RW and her like will say, “It’s all the men’s fault because they are so stupid and insensitive” and the men will say, “But you WANT us to be like this”.
    Sorry if I’m not too coherent, I’ve picked up some bloody bug and feel a bit “Bleughh!”. I need about five hours more sleep. But the ERV threat makes me laugh so much, and they are so intelligent – some of the posts I just can’t get my head around but then again if my brain doesn’t get stretched, it’ll go flabby. It’s good to see the new commers.
    I posted to a blog which looks exactly like yours except that she stated she wasn’t an atheist although she had rejected most of the organised religions. Now, I get that you can believe in god but not be in a box. I would question whether such a god serves any purpose, but hey, each to their own. I was hoping that she might take the next step, but I didn’t want to push it. Then I wondered if I had stumbled on an old post of yours and posted by mistake. I am getting used to WordPress, I don’t use it a lot. OK, enough rambling, I’m going to go and look for my bed. See you at ERV if not here.

  34. tonijames says:

    Sorry, that should read “THREAD” not “THREAT”, oh good grief, what I have I started?!?!? :-)

  35. Can I just say how happy I am I found this post, and by extension blog. I totally agree with you on the harassment issue and I’m especially glad it’s coming from a female perspective because every time I try and voice an opinion on subjects like this I get shut-down on the basis of having balls and a penis. Often with a dismissive reference to this privilege shite. I mean, I get the basic concept of the privilege thing, but I think it gets used as tool to end discussion, not to mention that it reeks to me of newspeak.

    I try to be a decent guy, I don’t harass women and having a girlfriend I don’t go around propositioning them either. I am respectful of people who are deserving respect regardless of gender or race and I resent being made to feel guilty, or even responsible for the men who maybe weren’t raised they way they should have been.

    So thank you for this post, sorry for the rant, but i’ve had a lot of bottled up emotions over this but there weren’t any blogs I could find to post on where I wouldn’t be shouted-down and harangued by the RW fan club.

    • Redd says:

      Yea. The Pz/Rw cohort. Its ridiculous. Not to mention how fun it was stand at TAM speaking with another female while we watched Amy from Surly Re-makes try to tell Dj that sures being harassed. Further more after the conference that she was being threatened and that “wearing fake jewelry” should be banned. Really. She really said that, in response to individuals silently boycotting her association with RW and Skep-Tweens by wearing jewelry that looked like hers buy said “you should be ashamed/embarrassed” on them. Hah. If thats not a superior example of females using emotion rather than logic at a “science and reason/skeptical logical thinking” convention instead of their brains, then I dont know what is. Completely and utterly childish and repulsive. They’re not women, females, or even “chicks”. They’re children. The ones who demand something, are told no, then throw tantrums, are still told no, then try to play victim and use/abuse to get their way….

  36. Too right they’re just children, the responsible thing for Rebecca to do would have been to confront DJ Grothe privately about her issues with what he said. Instead she starts an online witch-hunt in an attempt to end his career, it’s sickening and, pardon my French, some shameful shit. Not to mention the fact that any man who disagrees with her is labelled a misogynist and any woman who disagrees with her must be a puppet under the thumb of the patriarchy.

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