Geek Girls Rule! #423 – What Can I Do?

A lot of this is stuff I’ve covered in the past.

Step up and call harassment and bigotry out when it happens in front of you, or when someone tells you a story of a thing they did that wasn’t good.  You don’t have to get any more explicit than, “Dude, not cool,” or “We don’t do that here.”

There is a fine line between speaking up for people and speaking for them.  And I acknowledge that can be hard.  If in doubt, ask the person who is being attacked or harassed what they need/want from you.  Sometimes they’ll tell you, “Please, take this one, I can’t.”  Sometimes they’ll let you know to stand down, they got this one.

Boost the voices of marginalized people.  Advertise their games and blogs, share what they write and say.  Signal boosting is one of the most important things you can do.

Support them by buying their games, their art, their writing, their Kickstarters.  Some people are going so far as to only buy games/books by or including women, queer or trans people, or people of color.  Some people are going for at minimum a one for one ratio.  Whatever that looks like to you.  I’ll be honest, I’ve supported a few things that I will likely not play because I felt that they were important enough to support.  I don’t necessarily advocate that.  Do what makes you feel comfortable.

If someone who harasses people or is a bigot works for a company that makes a thing, maybe don’t buy that thing, and tell the company why you aren’t buying that thing.  It’s better if you can back this up with having been a long term customer.  But that isn’t as important as you think.  As I’ve said before, the hobby needs new blood to survive.  New customers are just as important as established customers, and any company that doesn’t recognize that is probably not long for this world.

Stop hiring people who harass, who assault, and who give cover to this who do.

I’m serious.

If I have to listen to one more argument about how the people who are fighting back against harassers or racists are just as bad as the harasser or racist, I’m fucking done.  It is important that they know why you are not hiring them.

And I don’t care how much good they may have done in the past.  If they can’t apologize about that shit, fuck them.  I mean it.  Because that means they really don’t grasp what’s going on.

I’m not looking for ideological purity, which is an accusation I can feel vibrating in the fingers of countless dudes.

I’m looking for accountability.

And hiring someone who has given cover to an abominable human being being because they’ve “always been nice to me,” or “the people he’s been harassing for YEARS called him an asshole, ergo they are just as bad,” is not holding them accountable.

I would also like to remind everyone that being marginalized on one axis does not, in fact, buy you a pass on being an asshole along every other axis of oppression or marginalization.  You can be a woman, a feminist even, and still be racist.  You can be a POC and still be ableist.  You can be handicapped and still be a homophobe.  You can be gay and still be a transphobe. And your axis of oppression doesn’t mean others can’t call you out for your shitty behavior along the others.

Now, should said person actually, meaningfully apologize, we can re-evaluate the situation.  And should.  But action has to back up that apology, or it’s meaningless.

So, to reiterate:

  • Call people on their bullshit.
  • Make sure you’re supporting not speaking over marginalized people.
  • Signal Boost marginalized voices.
  • Support marginalized creators.
  • Not supporting bigots and misogynists means not supporting the ones who hire them and/or excuse their behavior with false equivalencies.
  • Be aware that oppression on one axis is not a “get out of asshole free” card regarding your behavior toward the other axes.

Ok, hopefully this helped.

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