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Come to think of it, I COULD just tell you to google Kynn Bartlett/Caoimhe Ora Snow, and Ed Kramer, and let you draw your own conclusions.
I wish things like that were an isolated case. I was affiliated with that community (the fandom/conventioneer world) for a long time and most of my friends were in the filking, costuming, and re enactment worlds, though I myself was only on the edge of the community.
First of all, there has always been a huge overlap between the geeks and the straight/bi queers, and by queers, I do not mean LGB; I mean the wing of the queer community that has been claimed by mostly straight people claiming sex minority status. Secondly, I witnessed more sexual harassment and boundary-violation in that community than anywhere else I’ve ever been. It’s in the air that they breathe. They no longer even know what’s right and wrong. If you let your children run loose somewhere like DragonCon, then I wish that I myself could press charges on you for child endangerment. Because you are exposing them to dangerous people.
Ed Kramer and Kynn Bartlett do not represent the majority of geeks, but here is the problem - there still are enough rapists and molesters in that community and many geeks themselves feel like a persecuted minority and refuse to police their own ranks.
I knew more people whose children were molested by acquaintances and such met through that community… Totally out of proportion to anywhere else I’ve ever been, and yet no one would ever, ever, ever hold their own community accountable for this. It makes me think sometimes that if you can spend that much of your life fixated on fantasy realms, then maybe my mother was right (she divorced my dad ultimately over his geekdom) and you really ARE only one step away from divorcing yourself from reality altogether. Some of these people believe really, really deluded things. I found out in later years that more than one geek family acquaintance had been a member of NAMBLA.
Secondly, the whole geek world is heavily male dominated. There is a real problem with the Fifth Column women in the community making it hard for the rest of the women, from what I observed. There is an increasing pressure to be a cosplay babe and or sexually loose.
I used to want to be a comics artist, but the final straw for me was that I got sick of the porn-mongering at nearly every art meetup I went to. Practically every male drew fetish porn and showed it around, and you have to be okay with it. And the women were not terribly enlightened; most seemed to be sucking up to the men. Typical heterosexual Fifth Column.
Every community needs to be critiqued, particularly by people who were there.
I still have friends who are geeks. Hand picked. In fact, I still play RPGs and participate in an art club. With a very select group of friends. We get our geek on far, far away from that community. That said, when my friends talk about furries and Bronies and that stuff, I do not want to hear it. I do not want to hear about their convention drama or relationship drama that would not exist if they simply chose partners who identified as a member of the human race. I am too old for this. I have a whole life that exists outside of my single remaining geek hobby, and hobbies alone are an extremely shallow basis for friendship anyway.
The rest of that community? I want to stay as far away from it as I possibly can, even to the point of changing my career choices. There was a long time that I wanted to be in gaming, animation, and or comics, but for the most part, I don’t like the people I would have to deal with. I feel traumatized by my dealings with that community for so long, and because I practically was raised in that community, it took me a very long time to get along with the mainstream. That’s something else, have you noticed that many, many people in fandom don’t associate outside of fandom? It’s an extremely insulated world.
The whole world has also become so insanely sex-pozzie.
And I feel grave personal danger in sex-pozzie environments.
Yes, i am a bit of a geekophobe. I’m triggered to the point of not being able to watch Big Bang Theory because it reminds me of people I have met in real life and felt threatened by.
And I do NOT think I am merely imagining things.
The community has become so heavily straight-queered and sexualized that I as an actual sex minority (a lesbian) and as a person who feels threatened by heavily sexual environments, no longer feel safe there. I am not interested in being in environments where women are treated like sex gymnasiums, least of all when the majority of women are offering that. When the default answer in an environment is “yes”, I feel like my power to say “no” is compromised.
I can only imagine what that environment would be like for someone who was a survivor of sex abuse.You don’t see it if you’re in it - but if you’ve been out for a while and come back, you sure as heck do see it.
It really startles and surprises me when I see friends who are so deep in the community and wonder why their relationships don’t work and why they cannot find someone sane and functional - and the answer to me is obvious. Don’t date people in a mental institution then complain you can’t find somewhere sane. The whole community is a giant funny farm, sorry. If you want a normal life of any kind - leave the community. Take up some hobbies that have nothing to do with fandom, gaming, or imaginary worlds.
The community can be a fun place to visit sometimes. I just do not ever again want to live there.
I used to belong to a Renaissance Faire Guild (late teens, early twenties) and this was very much the same. There was usually some bondage gear passed around at parties, with people trying them on, and pretending to play. All ages parties. At one of my first events I was chatting with a 8 year old child when I noticed the couple hanging out about two feet from us were basically having sex with their clothes on (his hands up her skirt, her moaning loudly). They were aware of our presence. I have come to believe that this sort of behavior is not about not caring if they are seen, so much as getting off on boundary violating.