Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What to do on the spur of a bad moment?

This weekend was Wicked Faire; I had a great time like last year. More about that later, also someday there will be pictures of my costume, which turned out nice if I do say so as shouldn't.

But, there was an ugly incident I heard about. Some guy bit at least two women on the face (not hard enough to leave marks) without consent. The first one kind of froze, didn't know how to react. The second one was Sparkly Girl, who slapped him. He said "More" so she slapped him again harder. He started to grab a crop he was carrying and she held up a finger and said "No. You do not have permission." He backed down at that point.

I heard about it the next day. It was after a very short night after a string of short-sleep nights, and I was thinking really slowly. I voiced my disapproval of his actions, but since then it's gotten me thinking. The best way to make the right decision in a situation where thinking is difficult is to think it out as far as possible before hand. What should I have done?

The very unfortunate fact is from what I've heard, security and event organizers tend to try to cover these things up to protect the event rather than the attenders. I have no real reason to think this would be anything different; though I'd like to think better of the volunteer security guy I know by name, I don't REALLY know him. So if event security wouldn't want to do anything and the police wouldn't want to do anything, who does do something?

Should I have asked her to identify him to me, and challenged him to a fight outside? Should I have encouraged her to tell event security? If I were actually present, what should I do? Pretend I don't notice? Scold him? Take him down, put him in a pain compliance hold, and take him to security? (Pain compliance is super unreliable.) Given him a couple good, nauseating hits to remember? (wouldn't want to risk that it could be fun) Should I have asked Sparkly Girl if she would back me up by bringing sexual assault charges if he brought assault charges against me?


  1. Talking with your fellow Faire-goers in a non-scene setting if possible about how to deal with this situation.

    Ideally multiple people stepping in could frog-march said animal either out or to security.

    Failing people being at hand to notice things aren't consensual working out an "Alarm" safe-word for people to scream to summon help might be a thought.

    Just a couple of thoughts off the top of my head, perhaps better will come later.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts! Wicked Faire is mostly a con that happens to be attended by mostly kinksters; scenes take place in people's hotel rooms, not as an actual part of the con. Except the demos off in the age-restricted side wing.

    1. Still a con-wide agreed on distress signal for environments where the typical "help", "stop", or even "rape" might not mean what they do in everyday life might be a good idea.

      Only other thought I can think of would be perhaps a talk at the next con about "physical safety in scene". It could cover everything from safe calls to mentally making clear where the bedroom door closes.

  3. Those sound like good ideas, but I am not in any sort of position of influence at the con. All I can do is think about what I will do.