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Jessica Price @Delafina777
, 35 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Man, I was enjoying my December away from Twitter, but I have some thoughts on this.
This is example #196134135761 of how most people in positions of authority in games absolutely *will not* do the right thing unless public backlash forces them to.
Think about that next time you're wondering why some woman had to make a giant public stink about things rather than handling things in a genteel, demure, behind-the-scenes manner.
For behind-the-scenes conversations to work, people in power would have to be A) reasonable, and B) decent people. Most of them are neither: they want to continue doing what they like doing with their friends and making money and not have any disturbances come up.
And to be fair, who wouldn't want a peaceful life doing what they want? The difference is, decent people don't want a peaceful life doing what they want if the cost of that is people around them suffering, and if the silence is fear rather than contentment.
So they won't do the right thing unless public outrage means they can't get away with not doing it. When that happens, they'll do the minimum to appease public opinion, or just wait it out, then go right back to hurting people.
Because, I can't stress this enough: they don't care if vulnerable people are being harmed, and in many cases, due to their own egos and prejudices, they're actually in favor of it continuing.
While it's usually female and/or queer targets, women in positions of power do it too. There are a lot of older women in tabletop who will cheerlead younger women for being tougher than the guys, but have zero interest in creating an industry where we don't have to be.
There's a TON of pull-the-ladder-up-after-you among older women in tabletop, and, unfortunately, a lot of I'll-do-anything-to-be-one-of-the-guys among women of all ages. It needs to stop.
But, ultimately, the most responsibility rests where the most power is, and in games that's predominantly with white men. (If you're focusing primarily on women who support shitty men instead of focusing primarily on shitty men, your misogyny is showing.)
So, let's get back to GaryCon, and Bill Webb (although this goes way beyond this one event).
Just to be clear, GaryCon DIDN'T do the right thing. Webb withdrew. So as far as any of us know, left to their own initiative, GaryCon would have let a repeat sexual harasser and assaulter be a guest of honor at their convention, despite the danger to attendees.
Like, I can't stress this enough:

Stop continuing to believe that the people who run conventions and companies are good people. They don't give a shit if you get sexually assaulted, as long as they can continue to do business more or less as usual.
It's like the calculated risks car companies were taking back in the 1970s--they knew their cars had design flaws that were killing people, but the cost of dealing with lawsuits for those deaths was less than the cost of a recall and design changes.…
There are a lot of game companies and conventions out there figuring that the cost of dealing with sexual assault and harassment that happens on their watch is less than the cost of figuring out how to reduce the prevalence of it.
And in some cases, it's not even financial. It's just, they want their buddy or their convention. They don't care if he sexually assaults you, and they certainly don't care if he harasses you.
Reminder, in this context: the yearly Paizo message to employees asking what to do if we got harassed, stalked, or assaulted by attendees:
1) Tell an executive.
2) Try not to put yourself in that situation.
3) Remember you're there to make sure attendees have a good time.
Bill Webb is a predator. At my first PaizoCon, I was warned to stay away from him when he got drunk. The harassment and assault he pulled at PaizoCon 2017 wasn't an anomaly. The only unusual thing about it was that it went public.
This is a guy who EVERYONE KNOWS gets drunk and, at the very LEAST, harasses women. Everyone's known this for YEARS.

Take a moment & reflect on how absurd it is that people who run conventions, who could get sued, are still doubling down on setting him loose on their attendees.
Want to know why I left Paizo? A woman on my team was injured pulling Bill Webb off his victim while at the company-run convention she was required to attend. She filed a workplace injury report.
(Details of this are secondhand, but to the best of my understanding: ) She was told that since the victim didn't want the police involved, she should not have intervened in the assault, and if she wanted help covering related medical expenses, she should sue.
She was unsatisfied with that answer, so when our mutual manager got back in town, she asked me to go with her to talk to him. We did. We talked for quite some time. I said repeatedly Webb should not be allowed back at Paizo events.
Our manager insisted that since the victim said she was satisfied with how it was handled, he didn't understand what the problem was. I pointed out that A) there were multiple victims, and B) the risk was to all future female attendees, not just this year's victim.
Eventually I was like, "what does a man have to do to get banned from our events?" and said I wouldn't attend future Paizo events if he was allowed to attend. An hour later, they told me it seemed like I wasn't happy there, and they weren't happy with me, and fired me.
Now, to be clear, management and I had been frustrated with each other for some time, since the company had solicited some 8,000 pages of content, and I was telling them we had the resources for 3,400, and they didn't want to change what they were doing.
So maybe it was an excuse. But to be clear, I'd received zero written negative feedback on the quality of my work. And when I asked if it was about what happened at PaizoCon. They said no, they'd been planning it for a while. I asked how long. They said 2 weeks.
That would put it at the pre-PaizoCon meeting where I asked, as I always did, about what to do in case of a harassment or assault incident, was given the usual answer, and went to HR and said we didn't have adequate procedures in place for handing such an incident.
And this is hardly an unusual story. I know more women who've been fired or pushed out for insisting that their companies get rid of or not invite in men who have long-standing patterns of harassment and abuse, who are a danger to employees/attendees, than women who haven't.
And honestly, I don't get it. I'm like, what's so important about these men that companies will abuse their own employees, offer convention attendees up like sacrificial lambs to them, risk lawsuits, and court bad publicity just to have them at a convention?
Or to employ them? Because there are a ton of people out there who can do the job or speak at the convention just as well who aren't that much of a liability.
And to be clear, there are companies out there who do prioritize safety and inclusion above making sure their buddy gets a guest of honor badge this particular year.
I'm not saying every game company or convention out there is bad. I'm just saying judge them by their actions. Because there are quite a few whose actions say, very clearly, WE DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR SAFETY.
Listen to them. They mean it. And don't give them the benefit of the doubt, or infinite chances. Judge them by what they do.
And if *circumstances*, like an attendee withdrawing, manage to negate the harm they were inviting in, don't give them the credit for acting. They didn't.
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