Related to the ongoing conversation about sexual harassment in SF/F…
From Bitch Magazine, survey data about sexual harassment in comics:
As a comics editor, writer, and fan myself, I got interested in how often people at conventions experience harassment. So earlier this year I conducted a survey on sexual harassment in comics, receiving 3,600 responses from people that varied from fans to professionals. The survey was distributed and conducted online, with people sharing it via Twitter, Facebook, and especially Tumblr and self-reporting all information. Of the people taking the survey, 55 percent of respondents were female, 39 percent were male, and six percent were non-binary (see the raw survey data here).
Out of all respondents, 59 percent said they felt sexual harassment was a problem in comics and 25 percent said they had been sexually harassed in the industry. The harassment varied: while in the workplace or at work events, respondents were more likely to suffer disparaging comments about their gender, sexual orientation, or race. At conventions, respondents were more likely to be photographed against their wishes. Thirteen percent reported having unwanted comments of a sexual nature made about them at conventions—and eight percent of people of all genders reported they had been groped, assaulted, or raped at a comic convention.
The one weakness of the study that I can see is that respondents were self-selected, as opposed to this being a truly random sampling. It’s the same issue I ran into with my survey of first novel sales a few years back. But even taking that into consideration, if you can take 3600 fans and pros, and a quarter of them have experienced sexual harassment in the industry, then we have a huge problem here.
Game designer Brianna Wu wrote an article called “No Skin Thick Enough” about the daily harassment of women in video gaming. Warning: some of the examples and quotes in this article are truly abhorrent.
My name is Brianna Wu. I lead a development studio that makes games. Sometimes, I write about issues in the games industry that relate to the equality of women. My reward is that I regularly have men threatening to rape and commit acts of violence against me.
Wu provides four case studies illustrating the types of harassment women experience, and examining myths and realities about the gaming industry. Their stories are powerful, important, and eye-opening.
I strongly recommend reading both articles.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
It all started with an idea: what if a few Deadline Dames read a book live together at the same time and post comments, funny observations and otherwise chat it up on Twitter?
The adventurous Rinda Elliott, offered up the first book in her new YA triliogy, FORETOLD, for the live read. Her second book, FORECAST, comes out in August, so this is the perfect time to read book #1.
Karen Mahoney and I jumped on the chance to read it together along with Rinda, who might even offer up some behind-the-scenes secrets about writing the book.
There will be prizes! Oh, yes, there will. Two $25 gift certificates to a favorite bookstore and two copies of FORECAST will be given to readers who re-tweet along with us.
So, next Tuesday, stay tuned for the very first Dame-to-Dame Read, live on Twitter. Follow the hashtags: #d2dr or #Foretold to stay up with the fun. You can also follow along on the Deadline Dame web page if you don’t have a Twitter account. I’ll be posting my tweets to Facebook, so you can hear all about it there too.
And, hey…if you want to read along with us and offer up your comments and hang out with Rinda, (@rindaelliott) Karen (@kazmahoney) and me (@devonmonk), we would love to have you!
For more info, check out the Dame page here.
Raven finds herself the secret protector of Vanir, a boy with two wolves, a knowledge of Norse magic and a sense of destiny he can’t quite explain. He’s intense, sexy and equally determined to save her when it becomes clear someone is endangering them. Raven doesn’t know if getting closer to him will make a difference in the coming battle, but her heart isn’t giving her a choice.
Ahead of the sisters is the possibility of death at the hand of a warrior, death by snow, death by water or death by fire.
Or even from something else…
Mirrored from Devon Monk.
On Friday, WisCon posted a statement that read in part:
The WisCon committee has completed our harassment review process with regard to Jim Frenkel, who engaged in two reported violations of WisCon’s general and harassment policies at WisCon 37, in 2013 … WisCon will (provisionally) not allow Jim Frenkel to return for a period of four years (until after WisCon 42 in 2018). This is “provisional” because if Jim Frenkel chooses to present substantive, grounded evidence of behavioral and attitude improvement between the end of WisCon 39 in 2015 and the end of the four-year provisional period, WisCon will entertain that evidence. We will also take into account any reports of continued problematic behavior.
Natalie Luhrs has posted a roundup of some reactions. There’s a great deal of anger and frustration over poor communications, procedural failures, and more. I’m still reading, but my initial reaction is that the whole thing has been a mess that went rolling down a hill of mistakes, snowballing into a giant boulder of crap.
I’m still catching up on the conversation, and a lot of people have weighed in more thoughtfully and eloquently than I could. (See Natalie’s roundup for links.) One thing I wanted to talk about, however, was the “provisional” aspect of WisCon’s statement. Because my initial gut-level reaction was that it seemed reasonable to allow for the possibility of growth and change.
A little while back, I responded to an article titled, “The Naive Idiocy of Teaching Rapists Not to Rape.” The thing is, rapists can learn not to rape. People can and do change, especially when they’re confronted with consequences and forced to look at their own actions.
I’ve worked with college students, mostly men, in an early intervention program where we tried to help people recognize and change their own aggressive, boundary-crossing, harassing behaviors. I’ve sat in on batterer’s groups. I’ve spoken with pedophiles after their release from jail. My wife has designed and run domestic violence groups. My father spent much of his life working with juvenile offenders who had committed assault, robbery, rape, and more.
People can change. It’s kind of a no-brainer. Our behavior changes throughout our lifetime. We learn new habits, new values, and new choices. I’ve said and done things in the past that I wouldn’t dream of doing today, because I’ve learned better. We all have.
Does that mean all rapists and harassers will come to see the error of their ways if we only give them another chance? Of course not. Some people go right back to the same pattern of hostile behavior. But others can and do come to recognize the harm they’ve done to others, and find a new path.
I believe very strongly that there should be consequences for our actions. But I also believe in education and rehabilitation.
I don’t know if Jim Frenkel will ever truly accept responsibility for what he’s done, or if he’ll change a pattern of harassing behavior that goes back decades. He seemed genuinely remorseful when he spoke to me about this several years ago, but his behaviors didn’t change.
I hope this time is different. I hope the consequences of his loss of employment and being banned from his local convention force him to confront his choices, and that he comes out a better man.
The problem is when we choose to make his growth and change more important than the safety and security of his victims and potential victims.
When you’ve wronged someone and they throw you out of their life, you don’t get to force your way back in to prove that you’ve changed. You don’t get to violate their boundaries because you want to apologize. If the wronged party chooses to forgive and to allow you back into their lives, that’s one thing. If they choose not to, then you need to accept that loss as a consequence of your actions.
WisCon banned a known serial harasser on a relatively short-term “provisional” basis. While I share the same philosophical hope and belief for change, they’ve taken the choice away from his victims.
WisCon is not a judicial body. They are not a rehabilitation program. In my opinion, they are not qualified to judge the sincerity of serial harassers, many of whom have spent years or decades learning to hide their behavior behind the mask of the “nice guy.” Their job is to investigate complaints, and when those complaints are found to be valid, to take steps to protect their membership.
Protection for Frenkel came in the form of WisCon’s investigation process. I believe every complaint should be investigated and decided based on evidence and testimony. In this case, there have been multiple people reporting incidents, with multiple witnesses backing them up. According to the WisCon Harassment Policy, Frenkel also has the right to appeal the decision. Again, I think that’s reasonable.
But throughout this process, despite what I believe to be the best of intentions in a difficult and ugly situation, WisCon has failed to protect its members.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Detcon1 was tremendous fun. The volunteers who spent the past two years working to make this happen have a lot to be proud of.
I hope to have some thoughts and write-up once my brain wakes up, but in the meantime, I’ve posted some of my photos from the weekend. I was lugging the camera around pretty much everywhere, and while not all of my shots turned out, I’m rather happy with some of them.
Folks who were on the other end of my lens — that sounds odd — might note that I haven’t posted a certain set of pics yet. I’m hoping to do something a little different with those.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Greetings from Detcon1! Have some links!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
A Barricade in Hell [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] is the sequel to Jaime Lee Moyer‘s debut novel Delia’s Shadow. I enjoyed the first book enough to blurb it. (And that blurb appears on the cover of the second book, which is awesome!) I’m happy to say Barricade was just as enjoyable.
From the publisher:
Delia Martin has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with the ability to peer across to the other side. Since childhood, her constant companions have been ghosts. She used her powers and the help of those ghosts to defeat a twisted serial killer terrorizing her beloved San Francisco. Now it’s 1917—the threshold of a modern age—and Delia lives a peaceful life with Police Captain Gabe Ryan.
That peace shatters when a strange young girl starts haunting their lives and threatens Gabe. Delia tries to discover what this ghost wants as she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding a charismatic evangelist who preaches pacifism and an end to war. But as young people begin to disappear, and audiences display a loyalty and fervor not attributable to simple persuasion, that message of peace reveals a hidden dark side.
As Delia discovers the truth, she faces a choice—take a terrible risk to save her city, or chance losing everything?
Like the first book, this one invites us into a believable San Francisco of the early 20th century, with characters who are likable, strong in their own ways, flawed, and at times both larger than life (or death) and all too vulnerable and human. Delia has been learning about her gifts, working with a more experienced and tremendously entertaining medium named Dora. Delia’s more comfortable with what she can do, and one of the payoffs of the book is seeing her partnership with her husband Gabe. They work as equals, and come across as a team, though each has their own partner. Both Delia and Gabe recognize their own limits and trust one another to do what they do best…though they both love and worry about the other.
There are a number of things going on in the book–the scope of the story is bigger, and there are more characters this time around, which makes sense for a second book, but resulted in a few speed bumps and loose ends along the way. But these are minor complaints, some of which I’m hoping will get developed in future books.
Evangelist Effie Fontaine made a good villain, for the most part. Smart, confident, powerful, and nasty. My only complaint was that certain developments near the end of the book felt like they undercut her character. I don’t know how to explain it without spoilers, and it certainly worked as an ending. I just found myself wishing the book had gone in a slightly different direction there.
Overall, these are good books, richly detailed, with enjoyable characters. I raced through them both, and look forward to the next. Recommended.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
I’m really excited about this one. There’s going to be a ton of great people, and from what I’ve seen, the convention staff have been doing some incredible work. I’m getting preemptively bummed because I know I won’t have time to see and hang out with everyone. Too many cool people, too little time…
This is what the weekend currently looks like:
For the reading on Saturday, I’m torn between reading my story for the next Chicks in Chainmail anthology, or an excerpt from Unbound. Any preferences?
Who else is going to be there?
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
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