• Member Since 8th Mar, 2012
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Bugsydor


Data-Scientiest-in-Training and voracious fic reader. Occasionally edits/proofreads for people he likes, and even publishes story chapters once-in-a-blue-moon. Thinks he's a reneighssance pone.

More Blog Posts70

Dec
31st
2017

Signal Boost: Elephants and Rooms · 10:16pm Dec 31st, 2017

Something really bad happened at last Bronycon.

Namely, someone administered a date rape drug to (at least) three women at an after-hours room party, where people had otherwise been having a relatively innocent good time.

I won't tell you the full story here; I'll leave that to Horizon's blogpost. TL;DR: The three women who were drugged noticed in time, got help from their friends at the party, and managed to avoid being physically raped. However, things could have been a lot worse, especially if the would-be rapist and successful poisoner had overdone the dosages. People could have died, or come away wishing they had.

I'm of the opinion that the vast majority of people are at least decent with a tendency towards good, kindness, and empathy, but that a small percentage of people are terrible. I also believe that every sufficiently large group will contain at least a few of these terrible people (including my fandom, my church, and my extended family), and that these people aren't always the ones you'd expect. One time an employee at my family's care home for the elderly, which person had a background check come up clean, had a wife and kids, and had been personally interviewed by the boss, decided to have his way with an old lady in our care. He went to prison, but that didn't erase the fact that the cosmic d20 had rolled three consecutive ones, and in a well-beloved home with a stellar reputation at that. There were a lot of hurt feelings all around, and a fair bit of shock and horror, too, to say the least.

My point is that while most people are decent-to-good, tereible people exist and can crop up anywhere. The best defense is to, if you see something, say something. If someone near you at a con or other gathering is grabbing someone's breast or snapping pics up skirts, do something about it. Tell them off, report them to an authority, whatever lets them and their victim know that sexual assault isn't okay. As Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork city watch says, people comfortable committing small crimes are often fine with committing the bigger ones as well. A lot of sexual predators, as I understand it, know they can get away with stuff because the small stuff is awkward to call them out on, and the big stuff is too horrifying to bring up.

I sincerely hope that nobody has to deal with this sort of thing, but I also know that it does happen and that ignoring it and hoping it goes away is counterproductive to its elimination.

I know I don't have a huge audience, and that most reading this have already seen somebody signal boosting Horizon's blogpost in their feed, but I also know that I am a voice. Hopefully, one more voice will make this problem just a little harder to ignore, and make people just a little more prepared to deal with it when it comes up.

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Comments ( 3 )

Thank you for boosting the signal.

I'm of the opinion that the vast majority of people are at least decent with a tendency towards good, kindness, and empathy, but that a small percentage of people are terrible. I also believe that every sufficiently large group will contain at least a few of these terrible people ...

QFT. Coming to grips with that shock is scary but the consequences of ignoring it are worse. And it's more important than ever when something like this happens to bring the good parts of the community together and watch out for each other.

(Thanks for the signal-boost!)

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And thanks for making the main post in the first place, and for looking at the various signal-boosts.

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