is being a superhero-librarian. She conspired with her friend elisem
[ETA: and others] to get a really well written post about being sexually harassed at an SF con
posted simultaneously on six highly trafficked blogs. And now she's curating the conversation
and reactions that are arising from this bombshell.( online fandom response to stories of sexual assault )
But in spite of starting from a relatively ideal situation, in spite of being backed up by some really big names, the usual pattern of minimizing responses hasn't been eliminated completely. One thing that always always seems to come up in these discussions is, but what if he was just a bit socially clueless and now he's getting lynched [sic] by the internet for an honest mistake? I mean, that could hardly be less relevant in this case: for a start, we're talking about a guy who holds a senior job at an influential publisher, and one who has a decades-long history of making women uncomfortable and being the sort of guy those in the know warn eachother about.
I'm sort of interested in why people always jump to worrying about that possibility, though. One interpretation is that it's part of a great misogynist conspiracy to stop women from taking any effective action when they get harassed. I don't find that very likely, because I don't believe in conspiracy theories, and because while I'm seen some unambiguous misogynist troll comments, I have definitely seen more that look to me completely sincere. There does seem to be a great terror that if sexual harassment of women at cons is taken at all seriously, it will lead to disaster for socially clueless men.
So the question I have is, how many people reading this personally know someone who has ever been falsely / inappropriately accused of sexual harassment? Just how widespread is this problem, really? I'm particularly concentrating on accusations made against men, but judge for yourselves whether accusations against socially clueless people of other genders are relevant to this conversation. Anon comments are on, and in many ways I'd prefer anonymous comments if personal anecdotes are involved.