Tag Archives: anime boston

Harassment in nerd spaces, and encouraging honesty

by Maddy, originally posted at Metroidpolitan

Maddy writes about video games and geek culture for the Boston Phoenix magazine, and she manages their website. In her free time, she plays the keytar and makes cosplays. She is composing a musical based on the events of Super Metroid, and whenever it is finally done, she will put it on her new website, metroidpolitan.com.

The following piece of writing will tell an old story. It is a prologue to this story that I wrote about local fighting games meet-ups. I wrote most of this before I saw this video about “con creepers”, which has been going around the internet this week. I didn’t want to publish this story before, and I still don’t want to, but it’s an important story.

I hope this story encourages more people to talk seriously about experiences they’ve had at conventions, at gaming meet-ups, at comic book stores, or any other male-dominated spaces that (however unintentionally) end up housing predators and “creepers” who make people feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. People should feel like they can talk about their experiences without having to use jokey euphemisms (“creeper”) or make supposedly-satirical-but-sort-of-serious videos like the one linked above.

“Creepers” aren’t well-meaning men who don’t understand that what they’re doing is wrong or don’t understand that they’re making people uncomfortable. In my experience, “creepers” do know that they’re making women uncomfortable and they don’t care, because in their estimation, women shouldn’t be hanging around “nerd spaces” in the first place.

I attended Anime Boston in 2011. I had a media pass, and I meant to write about the convention for the Phoenix. I did write about it, in fact, but never published what I wrote. I’m going to write a variation on that piece again, now.

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