A Trio of Caveats
Jezebel has linked in and reported on yesterday’s piece on Readercon, which is nice because it helps to widen the discussion of the issue, to which I came late and had a less than critical role in (again, here’s a good collection of posts about the event, most of which were written before I popped in with my thoughts).
Between the Readercon piece and the “Who gets to be a geek” piece I’m getting a lot of press and positive vibes in the last couple of days for being a decent guy , particularly when it comes to women in geekdom. I certainly appreciate it; I try to be a good guy and I try also to encourage others to be the same.
But for the sake of my own sense of proportion, I’d like to note some things, quickly.
1. I’m getting credit that doesn’t necessarily accrue to me, simply because I have a relatively big platform. In the case of the Readercon incident specifically, the reason I keep pointing back to that list of links is to note that lots of other people — staring with Genevieve Valentine, who was the one harassed — had been making noise about it for days. If anything, I offered signal boost to work already done.
2. I don’t mind attention (obviously) and I am delighted to boost the signal to help combat the basic misogynistic crap that women have to deal with in geekdom because holy buckets, we do seem to be having quite a public gout of it these days, don’t we. That said, it’s been noted, and not unfairly, that the fact that the attention on these topic increases when I, a guy, talk about them (I’m a guy! Did you know?) is ironic and indicative of a whole bunch of other things which would take a while to unpack. Some of that attention goes back to the aforementioned big platform, but some of it doesn’t, and that’s worth noting and discussing.
3. I’m happy to be getting credit for being a good guy, and I really do try to be a good guy. But, you know. I have shown my ass on the Internets (and elsewhere) before, and I probably will again; hopefully unintentionally and then I will then hopefully quickly apologize, but even so. I just want it out there that I’m aware that I’m a fallible person, will almost certainly experience fallibation in the future (“fallibation”: not a real word) and that makes me like everyone else. I also want it out there that I know getting credit for being a decent human being right now doesn’t mean that I’ve accrued a “Get Out of Jail” card if I’m a jackhole later. If you see me showing my ass, be sure to let me know. I don’t expect this will be a problem for most of you.