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August 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

Yes, but with a caveat of Having Said That...

I've taken a particular interest in this topic because of the experience of some many of my friends and my time helping run conventions; I wrote the code of conduct for this year's UK Eastercon, where I chaired a panel on the topic.

Whilst it's certainly true that flirting is not harassment, I have heard accounts of how tiresome and at times intimidating it can be to have it assumed that just because you are female and not obviously in the presence of a partner that you have come to a convention to meet men. (It seems that a lot of supposedly enlightened male con-goers forget that (a) not everyone is heterosexual, and (b) just because you are single does not mean that you are necessarily after a partner, short or long-term.) I think that there is a case for trying to get the message across that a convention is not a singles bar and that and that hooking up with someone is a nice possible outcome rather than an expected feature of the event.

Edited at 2013-07-01 07:08 am (UTC)
Indeed. And to me, what you are describing is not flirting, but harassment. Flirting takes "no" for an answer, accepts that women are not in fact a modern convenience but people, and backs off.
Yes, that's the way I understand it. Harassment needs to either (or both) cross some of the significant lines immediately, or be part of a pattern. Basically, you can get in trouble either with a great big leap, or by consistent effort over time :-). What you pretty much can't do is get into bad trouble with one small isolated mistake.

[ETA "isolated"; you can and should be able to get into trouble with one small mistake if it's the same mistake you've been making over and over again for far too long.]

Edited at 2013-07-01 05:20 pm (UTC)