Geek Girls Rule! #393 – Looking at Whom you Give the Benefit of the Doubt

So, by now I’m sure you’ve all heard the shit storm stirring around Geek Girl Con.  Five volunteers from the Con Ops team quit, and on their way out behaved incredibly unprofessionally, and also misleadingly. Their email and postings on the way out accused the Executive Director of harassment, sexism, racism, kink-shaming and body-shaming of volunteers, or of condoning same, and vague ethical violations.

In their very neutral response, Geek Girl Con pointed out that all of the allegations stemmed from two incidents, one of which was brought forth with no corroboration or evidence, the other which had been dealt with.

What Geek Girl Con did not announce, but what other people soon figured out, was that the people accusing GGC of racism were white, and the people accusing GGC of sexism were dudes.

The Stranger has a pretty good breakdown of why not being forthcoming with those two facts is damning as all get out.

Point blank, co-opting the language of the oppressed in order to whip up people against WOC running a diverse, woman-focused organization is fucked up.  ESPECIALLY when you’re a bunch of white people.

The thing that bothers me even more is the sheer number of white people who were screaming for GGC’s blood, but the second it was revealed that the people accusing GGC of racism and sexism were white and co-opting the language of the oppressed, started counseling not leaping to conclusions about the accusers.

I know a couple of folks who leapt to the assumption GGC was guilty have past bad blood with GGC, so I get why they would be even more likely than most to believe the initial outcry.

But once you find out we’re dealing with cries of reverse-racism and reverse-sexism, you need to pull your head out and take a look the fuck around.

When you find out that the people in question purposely presented their grievance in terms guaranteed to whip people into a frenzy rather than being completely honest about the situation, it is time for a huge fucking grain of salt, folks.

But if your inclination is to give the white people the benefit of the doubt after screaming for the blood of women of color right off the bat… I need you to do some good hard thinking about what that says about you and your own unconscious racism.

And if finding out that white people cried racism, and white dudes cried sexism while concealing who they were, and you don’t feel angry as fuck and duped, I really need you to take a good long look at what that says about you.  Because the minute I found out that letter had been written by white people, including dudes, I was fucking livid.

Safety Pin Box posted a twitter-stream about their run-ins with several of the people who were in the five who resigned, being worried that their panels about being a good ally aimed at children would be too aggressive and bother white parents.

So I really need you guys, my mayonnaise-American brethren and sistren to pull your heads out, take a deep breath of fresh air and recognize that that your knee-jerk reaction was wrong, or at the very least misled.

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