In Bradenton, Fla., a man shot a high school senior to death after she and her friends refused to perform oral sex at his request.
In Chicago, a scared 15-year-old was hit by a car and died after she tried escaping from harassers on a bus.
Again, in Chicago, a man grabbed a 19-year-old walking on a public thoroughfare, pulled her onto a gangway and assaulted her.
In Savannah, Georgia, a woman was walking alone at night and three men approached her. She ignored them, but they pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her.
In Manhattan, a 29-year-old pregnant woman was killed when men catcalling from a van drove onto the sidewalk and hit her and her friend.
Last week, a runner in California — a woman — was stopped and asked, by a strange man in a car, if she wanted a ride. When she declined he ran her over twice.
FUCK YOU if you think that street harassment is a “compliment” or “no big deal” or that it’s “irrational” of us to be afraid because “what’s actually gonna happen.” Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you some more.
This is terrorism.
have you noticed that when someone goes ‘i was bitten by a dog once and now I’m kinda wary around them’ most people are like ‘aw, I understand’ but if a woman says she’s been raped/abused by men in the past and is now scared of them she gets told she’s paranoid and needs to get over it?
I noticed that.
*twitches a little* I didn’t notice that until now.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I apologize in advance for the vulgar language.
Yesterday a lot of the fears that kept me from speaking out for so long were realized. Although the general response to my words was overwhelmingly positive, I was and still am being called a stupid bitch, a cunt, and “all that is wrong with womankind.” I’ve been insulted, misrepresented, and threatened.
I’m not going to lie. It hurts. But I stand by the content of my blog, and the primary message of empowerment behind it. The private messages from both men and women relaying that my words have helped them gather courage to stand up for themselves makes it absolutely worthwhile. The best part is that I’ll be going on the journey with them. Standing up (for myself) is new to me, too.
I’d like to address a few common questions, though. Firstly, I didn’t name the outlet because I’ve found recently that a few individuals championing a good cause can rapidly spin out of control into an angry mob, to a point that it seems acceptable to threaten physical harm against others. This isn’t acceptable and is counterproductive to the positive message. Therefore, as the situation was already dealt with by PAX, I left it anonymous, and instead focused on the bigger issue of harassment and sexism in the game industry and cosplay culture.
That being said, the website in question has made a point to out themselves and accuse me of using this blog as a platform to promote my “modeling career” and make several other unflattering insinuations in now-deleted comments. If you happen upon the conversation, which I’m still not going to link to, I ask that you please remain mature about your viewpoints even if others are not.
Reading said comments, the most common argument I’m hearing in defense of the outlet’s behavior is that it was intended as a joke. I get that it was intended to be a joke, but I don’t think it was funny, or appropriate, especially considering how young some of the cosplayers were. To be honest, I wouldn’t have taken the issue to PAX if the press member had apologized after I told him it was rude an unprofessional. What caused me to take it to PAX was the subsequent comments, especially the “they are dressed sexy, so they are asking for it” line. I see that as a very dangerous way of thinking for a professional to hold at a convention.
As for if all of the girls were uncomfortable, I can’t speak for each and every one of them. I apologized to the group several times for not knowing the angle of the interview, and they accepted my apology. I did, however, have two of the cosplayers contact me personally and thank me for standing up for them after what they deemed as inappropriate behavior, because they wouldn’t have done it themselves. One also wrote about the experience in this story. In a moment of self-doubt, I also asked the crowd around me who had watched the scene unfold if I’d acted out of line, as by the end of our back and forth I was outwardly angry at the press member. Four to five people in earshot agreed that he was incredibly disrespectful, especially with his latter comments. At least three individuals brought me their cameras in an unsolicited response, pulling up photos they took to help me identify him.
Either way, if you agree or disagree that the punishment was fitting for the comment, I want to stress that this blog was about more than the incident at PAX. Yes, in the full spectrum of harassment, the initial “joke” (but not following comments) registers fairly low on the scale. The PAX encounter was a catalyst to a discussion about a bigger issue, however. This is a problem in our industry. This is something that needs to be addressed. I’ve not even detailed the worst encounters (which turned physical) that I’ve come across below. And I’m just one woman. So the crux of this blog was to draw attention to a very real problem, and to do so with a positive message of standing up for one’s self.
A few smaller points:
- I honestly can’t see how the photo to the right of this blog is sexually suggestive or undermines my message. I find this line of thinking really unfortunate. That being said, if you’re one of the individuals calling out my cosplay or old modeling shots as a means to try and discredit my voice, I can’t help but feel that your mind has already been made. Fighting to change that opinion seems futile if my words have not resonated already.
- To all you awesome men in the industry, please don’t feel the need to apologize for the actions of others in your gender. Part of this blog was to bring to light that I want to be treated like a unique individual, and not just have it assumed that all women are comfortable with the same sets of behavior. You’ve got nothing to apologize for if you’ve done nothing wrong.
Thanks for listening, all.
As many of my female peers are doing at the moment, I’m reading a book by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg called Lean In. The first chapter asks: What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
My answer? I’d write this blog.
Hello. My name is Meagan Marie, and I’m a person. I’ve decided I’m going to start standing up for myself in order to be more frequently treated like one.
Something transpired at PAX this weekend that was a true eye opener. While hosting a Tomb Raider cosplay gathering, comprised of eight or so incredibly nice and talented young women, a member of the press asked if he could grab a quick interview. I said he’d need to ask them, not me, and they agreed. He squeezed into the group and posed a question. I couldn’t hear what he said over the hubbub of the show floor, but the confused and uncomfortable looks from the ladies indicated that it wasn’t what they expected, to say the least.
I moved in closer and inquired “Excuse me, what did you ask?” with a forced smile on my face, so to give him the benefit of the doubt. He laughed and didn’t respond, moving a few steps away as I repeated the question to the group of women. Turns out he’d probed what it felt like “knowing that none of the men in this room could please them in bed.” Yes, I’m aware it’s a poor adaptation of a gag told by a certain puppet dog with an affinity for insults. Lack of originally doesn’t excuse this behavior, however.
My anger flared upon hearing this, and for a moment I almost let it get the best of me. I attempted to calm myself down before walking towards him and the cameraman, and expressing that it was rude and unprofessional to assume that these young women were comfortable discussing sexual matters on camera. I intended to leave the conversation at that, but his subsequent response escalated matters quickly and clearly illustrated that this ran much deeper than a poor attempt at humor. He proceeded to tell me that “I was one of those oversensitive feminists” and that “the girls were dressing sexy, so they were asking for it.” Yes, he pulled the “cosplay is consent” card.
At this point, as he snaked off into the crowd muttering angrily at me, I was livid. Actually shaking a bit. It was inexcusable in my mind to treat the group of women in this manner, especially when I gathered them there to participate in an official capacity. I suppose I felt protective for this reason. As if I’d exposed them to an undesirable element of the convention. They united to celebrate their fandom, only to have an uncomfortable and unprofessional moment captured on film.
As I stated publicly this weekend, we escalated the issue to PAX and they responded with overwhelming concern and worked to ensure he wouldn’t bother anyone at the this or future PAX events. They handled the situation with flying colors.
But this encounter isn’t the crux of my blog. This blog is about what I came to realize as a result of the press member’s actions. And what I realized is this: When it comes to defending others, I’m fierce. I’m assertive. And I will hold my ground. One of the cosplayers tweeted me to praise my bravery and say they wish they had the courage to stand up too. The truth is my bravery doesn’t run that deep. When it comes to defending myself I’m a rug that is walked over repeatedly. This has to stop.
Similar behavior has been directed at me for years. Back in 2007 at my very first GDC, I was starry-eyed and overwhelmed to be in the midst of so many people I idolized. So when a drunken CEO of a then-startup pointed to my midsection and said “I want to have my babies in there,” I laughed. I did the same next year when another developer told me that he “didn’t recognize me with my clothes on” after meeting me the night prior at a formal event (to which I wore a cocktail dress). The trend continued for years, and I took it silently each and every time.
It got so bad that one of my Game Informer coworkers had to sit me down and convince me to file a complaint against a massive publisher, after one of their PR leads repeatedly commented about how much he “loved my tits” at a party. Each time I laughed it off and internalized my embarrassment, cementing a fixed smile on my face while fighting back tears. Why? Because I was afraid to rock the boat. I was afraid to perpetuate rumors that I was uptight, difficult, or had no sense of humor. I was afraid of what I’d heard being said about other women being said about me. So I would stick up for others, but never for myself. Sticking up for others was the right thing to do. I had to be careful not to stick my neck out too far, though.
I’m ashamed to admit my lack of courage has continued to this day. While on a press tour in Europe late last year I sat alone with an interviewer while he set up his camera. PR was talking to another member of the press just out of earshot. I asked the journalist what his readers would like to know about me first, per the introduction he outlined earlier. He responded nonchalantly, “Well, they’d really like to see you naked.” I was so shocked I didn’t even register what he said, and I defaulted to my uncomfortable chuckle and frozen smile. I conducted the interview as if nothing had happened. I should have walked out of the room then and there. I should have immediately reported it to PR. But I didn’t, because I was afraid.
And while these industry comments hurt the most, as they often do when coming from peers, I’ve got hope for change even if it is motivated by fear. In a social economy where one unprofessional tweet can ruin a career, I feel like the few unsavory industry personalities are becoming more aware of their words. My line in the sand doesn’t end there, though. I’m going to start holding commenters accountable for their actions too, even if I can only do so on my social spaces.
So here is the deal. I’m a person. I’m not just a “girl on the internet.” I am not comfortable with you remarking on my breasts. I am not comfortable with you implying that you’d like to have sex with me. And I don’t appreciate you rating my looks against my girlfriends in candid photos.
While I can’t stop these comments and questions from arising when they pop up on random blogs across the web, I can stand up and say that that I won’t accept being talked to in this manner anymore. I’m not simply going to ignore you; I’m going to call you out and tell you that you’re being inappropriate. Just because I have a public job and an equally public hobby doesn’t give you the right to ignore my comfort zone.
The situation this weekend at PAX made me question why I’m willing to stand up for others, but not myself. By allowing myself to be treated this way I’m perpetuating that this behavior is acceptable. And it isn’t. If I continue to stand by silently, I might as well sit on the sidelines and watch while other young women endure what I have.
The treatment and representation of women in gaming has come to a head this past year, and I know some of you are tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of living it. I want to feel safe and valued as a member of this industry, whether I’m conducting an interview, talking to fans on a convention floor, or cosplaying. And I have a right to that.
I’m not afraid anymore. I’m angry.
[For those of you who have been so supportive these past years, both in the industry and out, please know this blog isn’t directed at you. I can’t imagine dedicating my life to anything other than video games. And that’s why I’m going to fight my hardest to leave it a better place.]
Because I am sure @Buzznet will delete this comment ASAP
“Did Dahvie also exclusively tell you what it feels like to be A RAPIST? You know, when HE RAPED PEOPLE? And then wrote songs about VIOLENTLY ABUSING WOMEN and how AWESOME it is?
I’m fucking disgusted. When I left Buzznet earlier this year, I specifically told management it was because I was upset with the direction of the site and what they were choosing to concentrate on. Previously, not only would this group of abusive douchecanoes never have seen a Buzznet Exclusive, they would have gotten nowhere near the fucking home page. But that was the era where Buzznet was run with some responsibility and accountability. And it is fucked up how very, very far you have fallen.
This is what Buzznet wants it’s userbase, which contains a lot of young women, to see? How awesome a rapist in a band that promotes violence against women is? This is why I walked away. This is why you lost your “legacy” users. Because you have become part of the problem, Buzznet, when you had the option to become part of the solution.
Previously, I had mixed feelings about leaving the site. I see those were misplaced. Congratulations, Buzznet, you have fully become complicit in rape culture and the destruction of young women. How very fucking ALTERNATIVE of you.”
Rape myths, rape culture, and the damage done
Under this cut are spoilers for City of Lost Souls, but also an in-depth discussion of sexual assault as it pertains to books in general and The Mortal Instruments in specific, with a discussion of rape culture and rape myths. There is also an excerpt from a scene that contains a violent physical assault.
For the Love of Transmisandry »
Let me paint a picture you may have seen before. A college campus nearby is having some sort of trans event. Let’s say it’s Trans Day of Remembrance. Everyone is crowded around a stage and a white trans man steps up to the mic and introduces “our own awesome trans man poet and activist whatever, let’s worship him, let’s say his name is Aydyn” and everyone claps and cheers and a couple folks in the audience scream out his name.
A white, 20-year-old trans man who is a student at the college walks up on stage, an air of false modesty about him, everyone cheers, maybe someone pulls off some undergarment and throws it at the stage; people are that into him. He performs some fun/funny/clever poem about sex or something light and fun, perhaps with a hint of misogyny that everyone excuses under the delusion that trans men can’t be misogynistic, or maybe that we have the right to be, and everyone kinda laughs and smiles—it’s a fan favorite. Then, he gets a serious face and motions for everyone to calm down. He says a few words about “what today is really about,” and says he wants to take things down a notch. Let’s say that he passes out candles and asks people to light them too.
Aydyn gets all intense and angry and performs a poem about going to the bathroom. He talks about people who get murdered for being trans. He talks about being too scared to go to the bathroom because he’s worried he’s going to get murdered. Maybe he even names some names off of the current year’s “Remembering Our Dead” list of trans people who were murdered. He might artfully go back and forth between exploitatively graphic images of what happened to people on the list and what’s going through his head as he walks into the bathroom (maybe someone even shoves him when he’s in there.) There are tears streaming down his face. Everyone claps for him when he ends on a brave note of how he’s not going to let them bring him down. There is pretty much a line of people waiting to make out with him at the after-party. Aydyn is getting laid tonight for sure.
Two or three other trans men (let’s call them Jaydyn, Caydyn & Gaydyn) who look pretty much like him get up and give almost identical performances. It’s clear that one of the 4 of them is the leader and the others are kind of poseurs, but they’re still all getting laid tonight after such displays of bravery.
Towards the end, the one trans woman the organizers could scrounge up at the last minute, as an afterthought, steps on stage to read a statement prepared for her by the organizers of the event and then read the year’s “Remembering Our Dead” list. She was super excited when they asked her to participate, but they didn’t actually bother to read the speech she wrote before they rewrote their own and they “forgot” to tell her about the after-party until the last minute.
Have you ever been to this event? Cause I’ve been to this event. I’ve been to about a million of them, at a handful of different college campuses across the country. But now I’m burnt out on them, and just avoid them like the plague
"This woman needs a good deep dicking"
This comment was made by someone I’d consider a friend as an unthinking response on an article about a woman on Fox who was criticizing recent advances in making sure insurance companies have to cover birth control.
When I deleted his comment and let him know that I don’t like to fight misogyny with misogyny, he got really offended at being called a misogynist.
Dude, go back and read your comment. You basically just advocated corrective rape against someone who believes differently than you do. I don’t care that what she believes is sexist and anti-woman… so is how you’re responding.
Seeing that stuff from people who consider themselves allies… it’s just always so disheartening. I need a glass of wine and cuddle time with my dog.
I see this from so many otherwise “liberal” men. It’s disheartening, yes.
There’s a woman who used to harass and threaten me daily on Twitter and still does occasionally, even though I blocked her in 2008, who still routinely uses misogynystic and rape related verbal attacks and threats at people, and denied to the death that was what she was doing by declaring someone she doesn’t like needed a good dicking or should shut up, or maybe she’d be shut up by a cock stuffed down her throat, or repeatedly threatening to put a collar on (various women) and make them her bitch, whereupon their disagreement with her would be solved by being fucked (against their will) with a giant purple dildo (she posted photos and claimed to be buying the aforementioned dildo to use on me and a friend) because they were obviously uptight and afraid of sex (and rape would fix that?)
But it has NOTHING to do with RAPE or using male rape culture rape threats!
If a male I knew said something like that to my face, I’d probably beat the living crap out of him. With her, I just think about how incredibly DAMAGED she must be, to think like that (also, I eventually made multiple FBI reports about her that included screencaps of all above threats).
^ [TW FOR RAPE]
Apparently me saying “okay but don’t go in (referring to being penetrated)” was consent and he didn’t stop until I pushed him off me. I guess that’s my fault though for being naked and consenting to ‘heavy petting’… (sarcasm).
The kind of mindset mentioned in this quote is really dangerous and needs to be nipped in the bud. Brilliant way of putting it.