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bear by san

March 2017



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criminal minds fate

This is just to say:

To everybody who has opined recently that sexual harassment policies at conventions mean an end to flirtation, dating, and romance at cons--

I'm involved in a relationship with somebody I met, befriended, and grew to love largely at conventions. He never once felt the need to grope me, make an inappropriate comment on my body or dress, or ask if anything I was wearing was meant as a coded sexual message before the moment when we figured out that we were each interested in one another in a romantic sense.

Neither flirting nor building emotional connection is harassment, folks--and harassment is not flirting.

It's not actually all that complicated.


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Spot on!
I met my husband at Philcon 93. This November will be 20 years together. Next week will be 17 years married.

And nothing untowards was ever done until and unless one of us asked the other "You wanna?" And no has always been a valid answer.
Flirting's fun until it crosses that "but I KNOW you don't mean to be so standoffish" line, assuming that enough persistence and, uh, "sweet-talking" will eventually wear down an ice-queen's resistance and warm embraces will, of course, follow. Uh,no. If someone is inching away from you, physically or verbally, the correct response is not to keep following in the hope that somehow somewhere you might find a gap in the obvious fence and slip through into a territory access to which is not willingly given. THAT'S when it crosses into harassment. That implicit smirking knowledge by the harasser that resistance WILL crumble, by God, or else - because he's so irresistibly cute or something, I don't know.

That's the tactic used by my super-cute sweet now lost and much missed cat who never really grew up beyond being a kitten and whose only defense against misdemeanours he was caught in was a head-to-the-side-blink-blink-blink thing that said, "But I'm so CUTE! How could you possibly be mad at me?" Yeah, no, it didn't always work THERE, either. And trust me, he was a lot cuter than any wannabe Romeo who won't take no for an answer could possibly be.
It was a flirtatious weekend for me at 4th Street, actually, so I have something relevant to say here. None of the people I was exchanging various flirtations with managed to sexually harass me, and I am optimistic that I didn't sexually harass anyone! Really! It's not that hard.

Just be grownups, people. Christ.
A friend of mine once described flirting as "the elegant art of attention without intention."

The young man he was talking to began to make some objection but was drowned out by the several women in the conversation saying "Oh hell YES." And he wandered off, a thoughtful expression on his face.
I propose a rule: if you cannot tell the difference between harassment and flirting, you are not allowed to flirt until, after careful observation of others, you do.

the obvious.

Thank for saying (what should be) the obvious. It's not hard, really. Yet I spend far too much time at larger cons looking for the telltale signs (extended thumb, rubbing the nose bridge, etc) asking for my help to persuade some pushy guy it's time to take a walk.

I really want convention guides to print in large bold letters: WE GET THAT YOU DON'T GROK SOCIAL. HERE'S A LIST OF SYNONYMS FOR "No." ...

Worse yet, though, I have to sadly report that I have already heard last summer's drama turned into one of the lamest come-on lines ever: "I can't tell you how hot you look without getting kicked out of this con." *headdesk*
It does not take a genius to work this out.
It doesn't. But a lot of people seem to think they can defend it by claiming otherwise.
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