POLICE LOOKING FOR SUSPECT FROM DRAGON*CON
AMBER LOVE 08-SEPT-2015 Last night I began seeing the news coverage about a sexual assault at Dragon*Con. When things hit the mainstream news regarding our niche fandom for things other than toys and box office sales, I’m still surprised. The Atlanta local news has information about the assault and the suspect who may be using the name Gary.
It was late at night when I first saw the link which I retweeted and shared to Facebook. Another woman on Twitter “@” replied me with the very same thing I had typed when I posted the story to Facebook: What does the victim’s intoxication have to do with it?
There are two ways to look at how the media mentioned it. In the text version of the story, her condition is a mention merely being descriptive but since it has nothing to do with how to find the suspect, it was used poorly; at least it says, “…she had an illness and had a few drinks earlier, making her vulnerable.” In the video from Channel 2 WSBTV, they do a better job when discussing the reason for mentioning that the woman may have been intoxicated which would have left her unable to give consent.
I think most people are reasonable enough to hate that sexual assault happens at all, yet our fandoms are perpetually filled with threats of it. If you dare say you didn’t like a comic book or a video game, guess what? You’ll be trolled and threatened too. It’s something that gets discussed often with women who have more nerd fame like Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, and even Felicia Day, but this happens to women throughout the fandoms regardless of how many followers they have. I guess my hope is that “Gary” (if that’s his real name) is a dumb asshole who has bragged on reddit or a -chan so that he can be found and convicted.
Diverting back to the media coverage for a moment, why was it necessary for the news team to put their cameras on the asses of two female pedestrians to get the point across that this was a sexual predator story? It’s not necessary! Not one single bit. That news team just exploited those women. If we are going to fight things like state “upskirt laws” and selfie stick use at conventions, this behavior by a news team crosses the line.