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Welcome to the Harlan Ellison Memorial Personal Boundaries Club
james_nicoll
Sad male fan capitalizes on way to be even more creepy to female fans.

As seen on a wide variety of LJ accounts. I have to say there's a clear consensus on the idea of treating women's bodies as public commons and it's not heading in the direction of commutarian touching. Who could have predicted that outcome?

to match your point, there is no such thing as the "Asexual privilege" of women being able to to be touched in these parts of our bodies.

Society tells women we must bind and hide and protect our breasts and not let other people enjoy them, or ourselves enjoy contact with other people through them, except in certain strictly defined ways or with our socially accepted mates.

Michigan cons actually have a pretty strong culture of "the default is no touching" and "ask" (we hold panels and workshops on flirting and giving clear signals and I've been on them) - this took it one step further in the *good* direction to me, not down the slippery slope the other way.

We shouldn't foment fear about talking about touch, and asking permission, we should encourage it.

Really? Then why was the idea of men wearing "may I touch?" buttons and women asking them for it dismissed as too "passive" and "ineffective"?

I don't know. This is the first time I've heard of that idea. it doesn't match my model of the project though, since the button "may I touch" suggests the *man* is supposed to want to touch everyone. This wasn't about groping as many people as you possibly could, it was about opening up the possibility of a certain type of discussion between particular people.

A "May I"? button might work as a male (or female) version in addition to the "Yes you may" or "no you may not". "May I touch?" is into the creepy side. One nice thing about the buttons was that their meaning was not obvious, so they started discussion before anything else. As to just having men wear buttons... the women were choosing to wear buttons, and that was empowering. Why would you make it against the rules for them to be active in their own empowerment?

Well, since the model of the project that we have is from theferret, I'm taking his words as reasonably reliable description. Perhaps you should read the comments you are defending.

I do not give a damn what people do in room parties. But it is completely unacceptable to ask this of people in the hallways, as at Confusion. It is completely unacceptable to create a hostile environment with "gropable" and "nongropable" signals at other cons, because women shouldn't have to advertise that they weren't.

Say, did any of the guys wear red buttons? I haven't heard of it. Suggests that there wasn't a need.

The "no you may not" buttons have been misrepresented. either button invited conversation about the topic. You didn't have to wear red buttons to say no, and the yes you may buttons were not an automatic yes, just an invitation to *ask*.

I understood that part perfectly well. I do not know why you think that's a response.

You wrote "It is completely unacceptable to create a hostile environment with "gropable" and "nongropable" signals at other cons, because women shouldn't have to advertise that they weren't."

And I am saying women did not have to "advertise what they weren't". I'm saying that wasn't even the function of the "no you may not" button. Elsewhere you made a comment about people having to invent a NO button because no button wasn't enough. It's a clever line but it's completely wrong if you think it describes the open source boob project. That is why I thought my comment was a response, because you were saying something would be bad stuff to do at a con, and you were writing about it in the context of talking about a project where the behavior you were criticizing WAS NOT PRESENT.

I've gotten pretty sick pretty fast of people conflating the open source boob project with an oppressive environment and rampant sexual assault when it was truly about the exact opposite.

You are doing that. stop. you are wrong.

I'm glad that you found the project so lovely and empowering. I wish every person at those cons had done so. But, you know, they didn't, and people who read about it didn't think they would be, and they were characterized as unhealthy, repressed, prudes. How is this not oppressive?

"Gropable" means the possibility exists, not always that the possibility is necessarily manifest.

-able (uh buhl; depending on word to which it is attached)
A suffix that forms adjectives from verbs and nouns.
1. That which can be — ed: Enjoyable = that which can be enjoyed.
2. Giving —; suitable for —: Comfortable = giving comfort.
3. Inclined to — ed: Peaceable = inclined to peace.
4. Deserving to be — ed: Lovable = deserving to be loved.
5. Liable to be — ed: Breakable = liable to be broken.

Where are the people who didn't? I'm genuinely asking, because the only person that I have found that has expressed any displeasure with the event was a participant (and friend of mine) who only regrets participation in hindsight as a result of theferret's explanation (an admittedly horrifying explanation), not as a result of the (in her words) great time she had.

Perhaps there are others, I just haven't heard from them?

The women did not have to advertise they were 'non-gropable'. 99% of the women at Penguicon didn't wear buttons, and no-one considered them 'gropable' - or, I might add, more accurately it should be 'someone who could be approached about whether they wanted to be groped without causing them offense', since even a green button wasn't an invitation for any random person to grope without asking first.


Gropable means "may potentially be groped," not "may be groped by anyone with impunity."

-able (uh buhl; depending on word to which it is attached)
A suffix that forms adjectives from verbs and nouns.
1. That which can be — ed: Enjoyable = that which can be enjoyed.
2. Giving —; suitable for —: Comfortable = giving comfort.
3. Inclined to — ed: Peaceable = inclined to peace.
4. Deserving to be — ed: Lovable = deserving to be loved.
5. Liable to be — ed: Breakable = liable to be broken.

And I have seen the "you shouldn't let society dictate how hung up you are about sex and bodies!" angle being used as a tool to pressure girls into encounters they didn't really want, and regretted after.

I'm glad the Michigan con tackles the boundaries issue. I really am. And I think that this is a positive step, and better than the 80s and early 90s where the default position seems to have been assumed to be "yes" for everything. But I'm not comfortable with strangers hugging me, much less touching sexually intimate parts, and no, that damn well is not a "socially repressive culture", that is ME. I hate people telling me that I "ought" to be more open, and that happens too.

Two sides to every coin.

I favor the "have a zone" suggestion. That might put a few harder boundaries on this.