writing rengeek magpie mind

December 2014

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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.

Comments

That is very useful re the dividing lines which I suspect some people don't understand -- nobody wants to come across as harassing (or I hope not). The No Touching rule sounds like a good place to start (I am squicked by people I don't know touching me (personal issues in my past there) but I suspect others may not be and so don't realise it's an issue when they start pawing strangers). Also Not making sexual comments.
There are people who make mistakes, or who behave in a compulsive manner, or who have bad social skills--and there are those who very carefully orchestrate their attacks in order to hide them from people in a position to stop them.

One is being a jerk, and one is being a predator, and they are different.

But, yeah--it's not THAT HARD to obtain consent for a hug. You (general) make eye contact (preferably with somebody you've known for at least fifteen minutes), open your arms slightly, and wait to see if they make a similar gesture. If they don't, or if they say, "I'm sorry, hugging makes me uncomfortable," you say, "Oh, sorry, thanks for letting me know.

I usually say, "Do you hug?" Unless I'm talking to a small child family member or friend, in which I'm more explicit: "Would you like a hug? Or a handshake? Or a high-five? Or not?"

Happened more than once that the kid shook their head, and then, upon realizing that I was ACTUALLY RESPECTING THEIR DECISION WITHOUT BEING THE LEAST UPSET OR AWKWARD, then changed their mind and decided that they DID want a hug.

There may be a more general lesson there.
I am so happy about high-fives. My nieces are being taught high-fives as a way that they can have positive contact with people without having to be squozen or smooched by someone they only see once or twice a year. Hurray for high-fives!
I would like to express my admiration for the example of the past tense of "squoze".

And the high-fives.
I second the observation about kids, as both an interactor-with and guardian-of.

For adults, I usually go with: "are we on hugging terms?"