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One Consequence of Creeping

Snoopy

One of the reasons guys harass women is that they can. Their actions get excused as harmless flirting, or simply, “Bob being Bob.” The target of their aggression, whether it’s unwanted physical contact, stalking them around a convention, focusing unwanted attention and commentary on her body, or whatever, has generally been conditioned to not raise a fuss. If she does say something, she’s told she’s overreacting, or looking for reasons to be offended, or simply to lighten up.

So much of the time, the harassment appears to go unchecked.

But you know what? Fandom is a fairly small, interlinked community. People in fandom tend to know each other. Take a purely hypothetical situation where you, a random writer, were harassing a woman at a convention. Maybe she didn’t say anything to you. But–hypothetically speaking–she might have said something to a friend later, warning that friend about you. They might have started keeping an eye out for you, watching each others’ backs and passing the word.

They might even have mentioned what happened to someone like me.

I admit, I sometimes have to fight my own White Knight syndrome, the desire to charge out on my horse and smite creeps like you from our ranks. But of course, I didn’t witness what happened. And this was told to me in confidence. The only reason I’m talking about it here is that it happens so often that there’s no way to identify the specific person–the specific people–I’m talking about. Heck, just at ConFusion, I’m aware of at least three different instances of this kind of crap happening to people, and unfortunately, that’s not unusual.

If you’re worried that the creeper I’m talking about might be you, well, that seems like something you really need to sit down and think about.

I won’t get the rapier out of storage and go on a smiting spree. Nor will I call down the Wrath of the Internet to publicly shame you.

On the other hand, I get a fair number of review copies from various publishers. And what do you know, I recently noticed that you were the author of one of those review copies. Yes you, the same dude who was creeping on a friend of mine. What a fascinating coincidence, eh?

Guess which book will never get reviewed on my blog.

Guess which author will never get a retweet, a linkback, or any kind of promotion from me whatsoever.

I may not have the biggest following on the internet, but I’ve built up a pretty good readership over the years, and your actions toward this woman–actions you probably didn’t even think about…actions you assumed would have no consequence–have cost you the chance to have your book plugged to thousands of SF/F readers.

It’s a shame, really. And I can’t help but wonder how many potential readers you lost, all because you couldn’t treat a woman with more respect…

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Comments

( 71 comments — Leave a comment )
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dickgloucester
Jan. 28th, 2013 03:03 pm (UTC)
*applauds*
amireal
Jan. 28th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Man, I don't have TIME to buy and read ALL of your stuff right now. *sighs and modifies her todo list*
tylik
Jan. 28th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
+1
deathmallow
Jan. 28th, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Jim, once again, for being that guy who chooses to stand up for women and who won't put up with this shit. The world needs a lot more like you.
museclio
Jan. 28th, 2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
Applause.
tanac
Jan. 28th, 2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
chamekke
Jan. 28th, 2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
To all of you - thank you :-)
cailleuch
Jan. 28th, 2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
Applause!
tylik
Jan. 28th, 2013 04:03 pm (UTC)
"Maybe she didn’t say anything to you. But–hypothetically speaking–she might have said something to a friend later, warning that friend about you. They might have started keeping an eye out for you, watching each others’ backs and passing the word."

And this is why I'm fond of gossip. Because one function of gossip is kind of like a social immune system.

Though it has a lot of limitations. It's a bit better than men who are all "We protect our wimmin!" because at least it's not the men setting all the standards of acceptable behavior and who gets protected. But there's still a lot of weird social bit about who gets told and who deserves to be protected.

And really? No one deserves this kind of shit.
carmy_w
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
I realize it's no longer socially acceptable (and in some cases, it's downright dangerous) to do so, but men like that deserve to get the stuffing slapped out of them.

In public. In broad daylight, in front of God and everyone.

I really sometimes wish that action would come back into style. But probably not enough to put up with the other linked actions that would go with it....
(no subject) - sylvanstargazer - Jan. 28th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
deborahblakehps
Jan. 28th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)
*BIG SMOOCH*
queenoftheskies
Jan. 28th, 2013 04:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
cereta
Jan. 28th, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
sylvia_rachel
Jan. 28th, 2013 04:35 pm (UTC)
Two thumbs up AND a toe.
knittingknots
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:01 pm (UTC)
I so look up to you. I can point to you and say, There are good men left in the world setting good examples.
carmy_w
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:26 pm (UTC)
This is a wonderful statement, Jim, and I thank you, and salute you, and tell your SO to give you a hug and kiss from all of us women (and men!) who are your readers!
houseboatonstyx
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:26 pm (UTC)
Punishment first, trial never.
jimhines
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.
(no subject) - starcat_jewel - Jan. 28th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx - Jan. 29th, 2013 08:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx - Jan. 29th, 2013 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lenora_rose - Jan. 29th, 2013 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jan. 29th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx - Jan. 30th, 2013 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jan. 30th, 2013 12:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx - Jan. 31st, 2013 02:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - akiko - Jan. 30th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
houseboatonstyx comment - barb27 - Jan. 28th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: houseboatonstyx comment - jimhines - Jan. 29th, 2013 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: houseboatonstyx comment - houseboatonstyx - Jan. 29th, 2013 05:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: houseboatonstyx comment - barb27 - Jan. 29th, 2013 08:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: houseboatonstyx comment - houseboatonstyx - Jan. 29th, 2013 08:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - georgmi - Jan. 28th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3rdragon - Jan. 28th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
icon directed at houseboatonstyx - paksenarrion2 - Jan. 29th, 2013 02:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: icon directed at houseboatonstyx - houseboatonstyx - Jan. 29th, 2013 05:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lenora_rose - Jan. 29th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paksenarrion2 - Jan. 30th, 2013 01:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jan. 29th, 2013 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
dungeonwriter
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC)
I approve of natural consequences. Any industry works the same, it's based on your reputation and behavior.

Kudos.
margaret_y
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thing one: I pay close attention to all the endorsements/reviews on your blog. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Your reviews *do* sell books. I'm glad to hear that known creeper = no review. Every little bit helps.

Thing two: I've never been to Confusion. I'd very much like to go, but I know few of the people there, which means I'm not in the informal network of protection. Does that mean I'm creeper bait? What would you say to a woman who'd like to attend a con for the first time but is afraid?
dionysus1999
Jan. 28th, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
I would recommend having a buddy come along or even someone to split the cost of a room.

There are also several panels for newbies to cons at just about any convention (there were two this past Confusion), a great place to network with other newbies.

I'd also assert from prior cons and this kind of trouble that there is already an informal network of people who are watching out for "creepers", you don't need to be a personal friend to ask for help.
(no subject) - margaret_y - Jan. 29th, 2013 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bigbumble - Jan. 28th, 2013 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jan. 28th, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - margaret_y - Jan. 29th, 2013 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - filkferengi - Feb. 4th, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - margaret_y - Feb. 4th, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
dj_rocca
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:50 pm (UTC)
You continue to remind me why I enjoy your work and your blog so much. Thank you!
shekkara
Jan. 28th, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
I'm curious: has anyone met/know/been a guy who has realized that he has treated women poorly in the past and actually wants to modify his behavior and become a better person?
museclio
Jan. 28th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Yes.
(no subject) - adrian_turtle - Jan. 28th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shekkara - Jan. 28th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Jan. 28th, 2013 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - misslynx - Jan. 28th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tylik - Jan. 28th, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - also_huey - Jan. 28th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rosefox - Jan. 29th, 2013 08:23 am (UTC) - Expand
roseaponi
Jan. 28th, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
Sounds good - I'm glad I'm less likely to buy a creeper's book if I go by your recommendations! :)
Though, I'm a bit sad there won't be an imminent smiting spree.
cypherindigo
Jan. 28th, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Nicely put.
stormsdotter
Jan. 28th, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
Jim, you continue to be one of my heroes. :)
northernwalker
Jan. 28th, 2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
Natural consequences, let me show you them. :)
duniazade
Jan. 28th, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
mtlawson
Jan. 28th, 2013 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks, man.

(Although the 'cutting a penis off and putting it in a jar' solution does have its appeal...)
jimhines
Jan. 28th, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
There will be no penis-chopping on my blog!
(no subject) - realmjit - Jan. 29th, 2013 10:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
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