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Keycon

SON OF EDIT: Senate never got back to me, I never got an apology for the harassment LeAmber subjected me to by posting my real name, and the Code of Conduct is now absent from the Keycon website, as well as the Senate and ConCom list. It looks like all Keycon has learned is to hide their tracks.

Sorry, but until I hear better things from the con, it's staying on my Red Alert list.

*EDIT THE FINAL* Keycon has updated their Code of Conduct and it is FANTASTIC. You can read the Code of Conduct here and the Letter to Members prefacing it here. It took a while, but I am very proud of the Senate and the two other members of ConCom's response. (You can read Levi Labelle's response here, and I want to say that he seems like a class act all the way and I hope he stays involved in Keycon.)

I AM KEEPING #RAPECON ACTIVE. With con season kicking off, a specific Twitter feed for highlighting safety issues at other conventions is a great place for activism. I also endorse using it to promote conventions that are safe and respectful. If people want to flood it with thanks for Keycon, I would be, as the kids say, down with that.


The #rapecon hashtag has been started. You can tweet @Keycon28 and ask what they're thinking. #rapecon is NOT just for Keycon, it for publicizing assault and harassment at ALL geek conventions.

Hello everybody!

I posted a few months ago about starting the Back-Up Project at Keycon, and was looking for suggestions on panels. I was asked to talk to both women and men and get a general idea of what the situation was at Keycon, and how safe it was for women.

The results were absolutely horrifying. I couldn't find a single woman who hadn't been followed, groped, or harassed. I couldn't find one woman who hadn't been followed, groped, or harassed for even one day at the convention. Many of my friends who go have been raped attending the con, and I myself was raped after being at the con for approximately eight hours. The rape was never prosecuted, because I couldn't find anyone who didn't treat it as a joke and took me seriously. The defense was, "That's just what happens at Keycon."

I sent in my findings and received this in response:



"We share your concern over the issues you have raised in your email and I would like to assure you that we take your concerns very seriously. We encourage anyone who has experienced harassment or feel that they have been threatened in attendance of our convention to bring forward their complaints directly to the convention chairs who will deal with it promptly. In the case of criminal victimization and assaults of any nature, we strongly encourage that victims approach the police. We would support any criminal investigations and legitimate case brought to the authorities to the best of our ability."
- LeAmber Kensley


Now here are a few problems:

1) I brought forward my complaints. They were brushed off.

2) Pushing survivors to file police reports is re-victimizing, forcing them to relieve what happened and justify their actions. (Because Keycon is a convention at which alcohol flows freely, there is a large amount of victim-blaming directed at women who have the misfortune of not having rapist-dar.)

3) The convention chairs are, depending on how they're defined, three to ten people in a convention of hundreds to thousands. They are strangers to most of the congoers. Asking someone reeling from her assault to spend what can literally be hours hunting down one person to report is cruel and inhumane.
3b) This is their response to my complaint that their volunteers don't take rape and sexual assault seriously, and either victim blame and slut-shame the woman, or ignore the problem. Their solution is to make it harder for assault victims to get help.

4) They want the survivor to prove that her rape was legitimate, and only then will they prosecute "legitimate cases". Here is what I wrote in my e-mail to them:

"This is the heart of the problem. Until all victims are trusted to be telling the truth, you are perpetuating an atmosphere that implicitly supports rapists. No woman, upon reporting her rape, should have to go through questioning to determine whether it is "legitimate". The percentage of false rape accusations is lower than the percentage of false vehicle theft allegations, so unless you are treating all criminal incident reports as fallacious, there is absolutely no reason to force a traumatized woman to relive her rape to prove its veracity to a group of voyeuristic onlookers."



This is Keycon's solution to the problem of harassment. Rather than banning harassers and gropers, they want to make it even more difficult for women to come forward about their harassment. Instead of having a Code of Conduct, they basically have a Code of "What You Should Do When You Get Assaulted (You Dirty Slut, You're Probably Lying)". This is completely, utterly unacceptable.

The Keycon website is here. All of the con heads and their e-mails are on the far right side. Let them know that this their actions and policies are cruel, inhumane, and hateful towards women.

(If requested, I will post the full e-mail chains between myself and Keycon. I've been trying to keep the exact numbers of my findings out of the public. If Keycon decides to shape up, I don't want those numbers haunting them.)

*EDIT v.1.0* I have started receiving death and rape threats, sent from various public libraries.

*EDIT v.2.0* A write-up of the Keycon info session in which these concerns were addressed and brushed off is here (part one) and here (part two). Looks like Keycon doesn't care about preventing the assault of women OR children.

*EDIT v.3.0* ConCom called off a meeting for women's safety, told the concom member concerned not to attend, and then dragged out the meeting so the issue couldn't be raised by other members of the community.
*EDIT v.3.1* This may have been misinformation by a well-meaning volunteer. Either way, Keycon's response to assault is accurately represented by their comments to this post.

*EDIT v.4.0* LeAmber responds here and here. No comment, as they speak for themselves.

*EDIT v.5.0* LeAmber deleted one of her responses. A copy of the e-mail she sent to me (more or less the same as her response) is here. My response on the background is here for those interested.

Comments

greensilk
Apr. 14th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
My personal bit
I was not going to respond, but I think I must. You are a cyber bully. We have been polite and tried to deal with your concerns. I am sorry your programming did not fit into our schedule, and this is how you responded. I have included the full response that was sent to you. I have no doubt you will delete this comment. I was more than willing to meet with you on this matter. However you have now slandered and libelled me in print and on the internet. It has become personal. And considering I am a bisexual woman, I find your assumptions about my tolerances hilarious. As a rape survivor, I find you to be pitiable. That is correct Emily, I am bisexual and a rape survivor, I take this very seriously. However you refuse to give us anything but rumour and innuendo despite us asking for more. Have a good day Emily.
bond_cat
Apr. 15th, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
"As a rape survivor, I find you to be pitiable. That is correct [Name redacted for safety], I am bisexual and a rape survivor, I take this very seriously. However you refuse to give us anything but rumour and innuendo despite us asking for more."

"I am sorry your programming did not fit into our schedule, and this is how you responded."

Your personal bit only goes as far as displaying you still don't understand what is important and matters in this situation. The programming schedule is a minor inconvenience, the issue at hand is that there are serious problems with the safety of women at Keycon and that the Con staff failed to give the necessary response, being "This is a serious problem, we are presenting these specific suggestions to the senate immediately. Is there anything else we need to add for you and those following the issue to feel safe at our convention?"
It is the Con staff's responsibility to provide that solution and no other, and not to allow the situation to become personal, as it has above.

"And considering I am a bisexual woman, I find your assumptions about my tolerances hilarious. As a rape survivor, I find you to be pitiable. That is correct [Name redacted for safety], I am bisexual and a rape survivor, I take this very seriously. However you refuse to give us anything but rumour and innuendo despite us asking for more. Have a good day [Name redacted for safety]." Is a personal response and irrelevant to the safety of con goers, it is relevant only to your relationship with the people who have raised the issue to your attention. In reality, how well you play with the other kids in the sand box doesn't matter, it's that you are doing your responsibility of properly dealing with the situation.

You cannot expect failing to give your Con goers the safe space they have a right to, to not end in protest. You as a position of authority have a duty to take concerns about the convention as concerns about the convention and not your person, it's baggage that comes with the job, you are showing a stunning lack of professionalism and need to consider that moving forward.

Now deal with the matter at hand, the safety of your Con goers.
What are you doing about it, in detail?
When will it be done by?

You have been saying you have been "Revamping" the Code of Conduct since February, what does revamping mean? What is specifically getting done?
greensilk
Apr. 15th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
I see you did not remove my name from earlier posts.

What it means is we have consulted with lawyers, and other conventions, we have researched other similar convention codes, and we are putting together a more concise code of conduct. We are volunteers, and we do this all in our spare time. We have also consulted local police, and have begun arrangements for them to come in and do a safety seminar at our con. I have consulted some of my contacts about doing a training seminar for the convention com con and volunteers in how to handle complaints of a sexual harassment and abuse. If we can arrange a training seminar before the con, we will. Every year, I personally have held a panel on safe sex at con, and the fact no means no, and if your intoxicated, then you can not consent under Canadian law. Male or female. I have provided condoms so that safe sex can happen. We are doing things, but the fact is, this all started because we did not have room for her panels at con, they duplicated some things we already did, and she presented things in such a way, that she made some people uncomfortable. I realize these are uncomfortable subjects, but there is a right way and a wrong way to present them. This is part of my profession, and she in her youth and righteousness she did not present them well. We are currently speaking in another forum, is she wishes to proceed with her allegations, I would be more than happy to support her, and make sure she has access to all the right people. I would also be more than happy to ban the ass that did it. But I can not do that without putting the convention at risk, with out a police complaint. Hell, even if I could find out his name, I could have him watched. But when we have repeatedly asked for more information, all we hear are crickets chirping. If we are not given a complaint to act upon, we can not act upon it. So far we have only one person who is saying this has happened to many women, but no one willing to come forward we also have witnesses to the fact she has made these types of complaints before, and then gone after the orgs/businesses for money. So if I seem a little sceptical, its because I have solid, in a court of law evidence that I need to be.
tisiphone
Apr. 15th, 2011 07:25 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
You're making a tone argument about her presentation and conflating safer sex training and condom provision with sexual harassment and assault prevention and cultural change. I'm not sure what it is you do professionally, exactly, but I hope it doesn't actually have to do with those areas of expertise.

I would also be more than happy to ban the ass that did it. But I can not do that without putting the convention at risk, with out a police complaint.

Now that's just plain silly. Conventions ban people without police complaints all the time. I know there is at least one person banned from Arisia for inappropriate behavior even though no police reports were filed.

To be perfectly blunt, this was the wrong response. She's not "cyberbullying", she's bringing up an issue in your con community that you apparently find uncomfortable, and you've retaliated by issuing vague legal threats and being condescending. When someone brings up a problem with sexual harassment and assault at your convention, the correct response is not to blow them off because a panel won't fit in the schedule. It just isn't.
succubus_esq
Apr. 15th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
"...[W]e also have witnesses to the fact she has made these types of complaints before, and then gone after the orgs/businesses for money."

I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. I wasn't aware being intimidated out of reporting a rape came with monetary gain.
noveldevice
Apr. 16th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
Given that your name is all over the con website, I'm not sure why you're trying to claim she outed you.

She's not a "cyberbully", but you certainly do come off as an actual bully, not to mention a rape apologist.
kynn
Apr. 16th, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
we also have witnesses to the fact she has made these types of complaints before, and then gone after the orgs/businesses for money.

I don't really know any of the background here, but this is a pretty preposterous type of claim to just throw out there, especially without specific evidence offered.
watchnthestars
Apr. 17th, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
I have been watching this line of discussion for a while now....The big problem here is that nobody posting knows history... they have heard one side of the story and not the other.

I have family and friends that have been the victims of sexual assault both verabal and physical in nature.... Nothing turns my stomach more than seeing somebody get away with such acts against another person. I always flabbergasted when any violence is done to people.

But in this case. I do know history... and I am upset by it... alot of this started when she brought forth to the convention the matter of a human rights case against another company and is searching for a sum of money that I am not going to talk about.... nor am i going to name the business out of respect for both parties... the issue has not been resolved and I am not going to side either way... but i do know all parties involved in the issue.

Succubus was also wanting to run panels and happy to come to the convention until she was declined her panels. At which time she started an email campaign to the convention telling them that she had found 15 people that had been assaulted and had not time said that she herself was attacked. When she was asked if anybody had come forward at all her respons was that it is not the victims responsiblity to notify police... well then who's is it.... when that went know where she threatend to take down the convention.... this then became a mission for her. Nobody is saying that she is trying to gain financially from the convention... she is from others, but not here... her next step was to contact the venue of the convention and tell them that she was attacked in their hotel at the convention....

The problem is that the problems and the attacks get worse as she does not get the response that she wants to get..

As a male, with daughters and son's I always want to inflict terrible pain on anybody that harms another. But then I am no better than they are... but when somebody does you harm.. you must get the police envolved... they have to bring the person to justice (unfortunately i have found that they are never harsh enough) but it must be reported.... it is taken more and more seriously these days and it should be.

I am not saying she was not attacked as i was not wittness to the events and don't recall seeing her at the convention although others recall her. But the problem here is people are going off with out knowing all the facts of this situation. If the attack is real, then the person responsible has a debt to pay... must be dealt with... has to go to jail... personally needs to be castrated, but with out going to the police this will not happen.. he just walks around being danger to others... and the convention can't ban somebody if they don't know who it is.

I have been to the convention for many years and have never heard of any incidents like this. Everybody watches out for everybody and the hotel security is all over the place... and visible. Police have walked the halls and when people that don't belong in convention area's enter the area they are swiftly removed.

The fact that she is publicizing rapecon all over the place is an attack on the convention not a request to have an injustice corrected. She is attacking the wrong area of her anger.... I have asked to do panels in the past and have been rejected. there are hundreds of us asking only somany of us get them and mostly it goes to the guests that they are bringing in.

If the attack was real... bring him to justice.... again i am not saying it wasn't real.... i don't know... all i am saying if you want him taken care of.... report it, don't attack an entire convention. I know many many people at this convention male, female, transgendered, homosexual, bisexual, hetrosexual and respect and love them all. We all have the conention and fandom in common.. so when she attacks the convention she is attacking everybody for what ever reason she has... but before people start jumping on the band wagon and attack a convention they have never attended, they should get all the facts laid out in front of them.

NO MEANS NO. AT ALL TIMES.
kynn
Apr. 17th, 2011 07:02 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit

What is your connection to the convention, and the con com?
watchnthestars
Apr. 17th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
I am a con goer and am in the unfortunate position of knowing all the parties involved in this argument. And have watched it escalate and drag other people into it. When misunderstanding and anger take control of a situation it becomes a mess and the original reasons are lost… but in this case nobody else in this stream of discussion knows all that went on before this thread was started. Instead the thread was started after the escalation had already occurred.
Please remember, I am not saying that she was not attacked at the convention as again I don’t know due to the fact I was not witness to it nor did I see Succubus at the convention… but I know people that have confirmed that she was there. I am not making lite of sexual harassment in any manner as it is unacceptable from any gender towards any gender.
I am making the point that I am seeing a lot of people trash a convention where there have been no reports of these incidences to any member of the concom or to the police… This is a small city and fandom here is a small population…. These things don’t stay secret for long, especially in a small community. I am also making the point that Succubus was a more than happy participant in the upcoming convention until her panels where denied. I also had panels denied.
But I am not going to take sides in who is doing wrong to whom in this…. That is for everybody else to decide…. But if you don’t have all the facts then you can’t make an educated decision. I have personally put people straight when they are out of line at the convention. And have watched others come to the aid of people when they were in need of it. I have seen people taken to the side and told that they would be banned if their behavior did not improve immediately and when they continued their behavior where stripped of their badge and removed from the hotel with no refund. This is why I get upset watching this thread… Not enough information provided only one side and a lot of calling for the heads of the co-chairs. The co chairs are different every year…. The current co-chairs are not responsible for years past and everybody does their best to provide a safe convention for all. If this did happen to succubus, then I am not only surprised but very upset that it did… And if it has happened to anybody in the past there, I am still appalled by this. But no convention no matter how big or small can ban somebody for an offence if they are not informed of the offence or who committed the offence.
Does this make any sense at all?
kynn
Apr. 17th, 2011 08:56 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
You claim you're not taking sides but you clearly are.

I'm honestly rather skeptical of you, sir.
watchnthestars
Apr. 17th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
That is fine... I really don't mind you being skeptical... I have tried to get accross that I am not here trying to judge anybody or turn around and scream she's lying she's lying... I am not doing any of that...

My only purpose here is to put out the facts that where left out before this started. I am all for a safe convention and if it can be made even safer, I am all for it.

My point is, if you are going to start one of these threads up... don't start with only part of the story, let everybody know what all the facts where.

I am not attempting to discredit anybody. If something terrible happend to her, she needs the support of the community I agree.
tisiphone
Apr. 17th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
Could you please stop implying that the OP is lying about having been raped? It's offensive and disgusting.
marlowe1
Aug. 5th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
Well, innocent until proven guilty and all that. People lie. They even lie about being rape victims. Making false accusations is also offensive and disgusting.

Of course, kynn being involved in this discussion when he raped a friend at Wiscon 35 is much more offensive and disgusting than any attempt to go over the accusations and the facts.
holzman
Aug. 5th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
Well, innocent until proven guilty and all that.

Curious that you extend this principle to rape, but not to reporting rape.

knnn uses female pronouns, and I think you know that.
alexandraerin
Aug. 7th, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
What, did you Google "kynn" and "rape" to dig up more dirt, find this thread, and then decide that it really needs is your unique viewpoint on what's fact and what's not?

By the standard you're using here, you can't say that kynn raped someone, or that she's lying about being transgendered. Oh, believe me, the rape happened... but it hasn't been reported to the police or proven in a court of law. But it involves someone you've got a grudge against in the first place, so apparently that's enough?

You're also apparently fine believing an accusation that someone has "made a career" out of suing for harassment.

Why isn't the OP innocent until proven guilty of that charge? Pick a standard and stick to it.

Or maybe you do have a standard... what I'm getting from you is that people accused of rape who aren't people you already hate are innocent until proven guilty.

Whatever schadenfreude you're getting out of this, I will thank you not to use what kynn did as a club to beat on other rape survivors who don't meet your exacting evidentiary standards of "I really don't like the accused rapist".
tisiphone
Apr. 17th, 2011 10:11 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
We don't need to "know all the facts" - the fact that greensilk responded by publicizing the OP's real name and alleging that she was out for financial gain (an allegation that you have repeated, puzzlingly enough, and once again without providing any actual proof) is plenty enough.

As for your internet tough guy act about taking it to the police and castration and whatnot: are you aware that according to RAINN's figures, "60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police [and] 15 of 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail"? Regardless of how you think it should happen, what does happen is that rape doesn't get reported. This doesn't mean that an event organizer's responsibility is absolved if the victim doesn't call the police.

Edited at 2011-04-17 10:13 am (UTC)
watchnthestars
Apr. 17th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
I am not defending greensilk either... bad judgement using proper name... I agree with you. She didn't say she was out for financial gain here, she stated that she has in the past gone after other companies for money stating that she was harrassed and going after a financial gain there. And she is currently in such a case against a local place that she was working for.... after she threatened the owner of the store that she would sue him if he fired her for her behaviour she went to the human rights commission.

But the facts are always important. And this is not an internet tough guy act... I said how i feel... and I am not arguing the statistics. They are terible, i agree and more needs to be done to proctect victims.. but it has to start with the report. I am on your side in that.
tisiphone
Apr. 17th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
No, support for victims of rape does not start with a report to the police that doesn't happen in six out of ten cases. Support for victims of rape begins with stopping rape by creating an atmosphere in which rape and sexual assault is not acceptable in the first place. Creating that atmosphere of non-acceptance of rape and sexual assault is one area where the organizers of a given convention have influence, and it's the area where they're falling down. "Go to the police after you get raped at our rapey convention full of rape and then we'll think about changing things" is the wrong answer.

And there you go again making unfounded accusations about what the OP may or may not be doing outside this context. Those aren't "facts," it's vicious gossip and hearsay that you have no proof of, being used to discredit the OP. You're in a hole. Stop digging it.
watchnthestars
Apr. 17th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
First of all. I don't know where you get off thinking that rape is a supported event at keycon. Secondly you are not listening to one think I am saying.... Not because you can't butbecause you don't want to. I'm not digging any hole... as for undounded... she told the keycon membership all about the action agains her former employer. she brought it out in the open and it is a matter of record with the commission. thirdly I never said once that she was lying about what happened to her. I said since I did not witness or even see her at the convention, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HER.

This is not a fight on if rape is a good or bad thing... Rape is terrible. And when the police hire pyschics that can find these creeps with out a report. great... until then you have to report it for it to be dealt with.

And lastly You seem only to want to argue. You have no ingterest in truth. you are happy to jump on to a part truth and run with it as if it is everything.... KNOW YOUR FACTS before you take up the fight.
tisiphone
Apr. 17th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
My point is that you, as a convention, cannot rely on waiting for people to report rape to clean up your culture. It can be "dealt with" by making it unacceptable. Rape doesn't just happen - you can tell by all the conventions where there aren't multiple people saying that rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment is a problem. And once you, you allege that she told the Keycon membership (really? the entire membership) but you offer no proof. You're the one arguing against "unfounded accusations." Stop making them.
marlowe1
Aug. 5th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
No. The fact that OP has made a career out of suing companies for harassment and rape is very important in this case. You can cite all the statistics you want, but the fact of the matter is that you are believing someone that claims rape out of hand without question.

And that's a problem. People lie. And the more manipulative people lie about things that they know will be believed (for example, kynn is lying about being transgendered) without question by certain people. Considering all of the Day Care Center sexual abuse cases in the 80s and the bullshit hidden memory cases of the 90s, is it really so unreasonable to question the evidence and ask questions in order to ascertain whether or not the alleged victim is really a victim or lying? Or do you believe that all those day care center workers were getting away with a massive Satanic conspiracy when they were found not guilty?
Re: My personal bit - succubus_esq - Aug. 7th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC) - Expand
arlana05
Apr. 17th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
your statement that no one else has come forward is false. I Have and if you had read all of this thread you would know that.

As i stated before, I did not attend con last year and wont be attending this year because of certain behaviors I am tired of dealing with.

it is not the victims responsibility to report an assault to the police,especially in an environment where they donot feel they will be supported. many rape survivors fear reprisal, shame and reliving a traumatic event.

and before anyone asks, yes my concerns have been brought to the attention of the correct people and i do hope that they choose to post any measures they decide to take to make the con safer and more enjoyable for all on their website.

your personal attacks and attempts to shame the creator of the post are not allowing me to treat you with any credibility

barberio
Apr. 16th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
Any convention has the right to refuse access to the floor space for any member without *any* cause just by giving a refund. And if you have sufficient cause, by means of breaking the attendee agreement, you don't even need the refund. Any hotel can remove someone from the premises for cause, and that can be as simple as 'disrupting a convention being held at the hotel'. Any hotel can refuse anyone further service, and check them out. Any hotel can ask anyone to leave the premises.

If you had *truly* consulted a lawyer and talked to other cons, beyond a cursory "confirm what I think" way, you would know this. You do NOT need "solid, in a court of law evidence", and it is troubling that you claim you do.
barberio
Apr. 16th, 2011 08:37 am (UTC)
Re: My personal bit
ps. Calling "Cyber Bully" *after* your post above where you deigned to use their full legal name is a little rich.