Today someone pointed out the following article on explodedsoda (original article is quoted below in purple, my own comments follow):
Boundaries and The Penis IncidentEveryone: I’m seeing a lot of comments on twitter and elsewhere blaming PAX for this incident and the security guard’s reaction. This party was NOT held by PAX, it was not even in the same venue, hell it wasn’t even on the same street. It was not affiliated with, sponsored by or organized by PAX. The only things it had in common were being gaming related and being the same weekend in the same city. I’m even seeing some blaming Mojang. The ONLY person who should be held accountable for what happened is the asshole himself. And if you’re going to get mad about security, blame that guard. Also this post isn’t about nerd or gamer culture or blaming those cultures at all, this could happen in any community, at any party, to anyone.So before I write up my official PAX Prime blogpost I wanted to touch on this, because it happened and I want to talk about it but I don’t want the bad feels tainting the rest of the awesomeness that was PAX.Around the end of the (amazing) Minecraft party (which is NOT affiliated with PAX at all, this is a separate, privately held party but is in no way organized or held by the same people as PAX), my feet were tired, I was tired and I had been drinking and dancing for nearly 6 hours straight. I found myself a secluded and empty couch in the VIP section so that I could drink my rum and Coke in peace, rest, people watch and catch up on Internety things on my phone.I don’t exactly know what it is about a girl sitting alone that just screams “YES I TOTALLY WANT TO BE BOTHERED BY YOU, RANDOM GUY” but it does. And I’m usually (always) too nice to say “Hey, fuck off” so when they start small talk I’ll reply, but keep trying to ignore them while looking at my phone. So when he came over I did the same. “Oh yes, hi, no I don’t work for a gaming company but my boyfriend does. No he’s not here he’s busy with work. Oh yeah Japan is awesome, where at does your sister live?” One of my very good friends at the party caught my eye and made a gesture asking if I needed help, but no I didn’t, I mean, it was just normal small talk at the time.This went on for a while, but maybe I was too drunk or maybe I still try to hard to be “one of the guys” to realize it was quickly going into creeper (haha, get it? get it? Minecraft party?) territory.
So when he started talking about boobs I didn’t really care. When he started showing me pictures of boobs of girls at the party that he had taken I thought “okay that’s weird whatever maybe he asked beforehand.” At some point he raised a concern about being Asian and women not wanting him cause of some stereotypical view of penis size, and I was like “most women will agree size doesn’t matter” and went back to my phone.
Then he grabbed my free wrist and put it on his crotch and asked “Is this big enough?”
That would have been bad enough, but he had also pulled his dick out through the zipper of his pants. I had no idea what to do but say “You can’t do that!” and NOPE’D the fuck on out of there to find my friends. There’s a tweet from right around when this happened that says “I NEED AN ADULT AGAIN.”
I mentioned it to my group but it didn’t really sink in to them, or me for a while. And I tried to dance and drink it off more, but as soon as the party ended I bolted for the door to find a cab, trying to hold tears back. Thoughts of “Is this how people who don’t know me in the industry see me? Did he not even HEAR the amount of times I mentioned my boyfriend? Did he think I was just some whore?” and of course all the guilty thoughts of “Is this my fault for not leaving the conversation sooner/dressing like this/etc.” Being drunk also wasn’t helping me be any less upset. My friends tried to find him, and tried to tell security (and got a “Okay? What do you expect me to do?” response). I freaked out for a bit, but thank god I have amazing friends who were there to smother me in hugs and “I’ll break his dick off” threats. And I’m thankful that if something that shitty had to have happened, that it happened that close to the end of the party.
I’m not okay with it, but I’m dealing with it better than I was right after it happened. Hell, I was even on the phone with my airline trying to see how early I could leave as soon as I got back to my hotel. I’m trying my best to keep it separated in my mind from the rest of PAX as to not let it overshadow the awesome time I had this weekend. It’s fucked up and I keep replaying the scene in my head and trying to figure out what I could have done differently to keep it from happening. People tell me I should’ve called the cops or screamed or made a huge scene, but I didn’t want that type of attention and the reaction of the security guard made me feel like cops would be even more of a waste. I actually even deleted a lot of the tweets I posted, because I felt ashamed and embarrassed that this happened to me. I didn’t want to ruin the party/PAX for other people. I don’t want people to pity me. “I’m stronger than this” I kept saying to myself as I was crying.
So yeah. Needed to get that shit off my chest. And I’m sure all the drunk, self-loathing tweets that I sent out at the time weren’t really helpful, but I definitely don’t want to act like this didn’t happen. This is more common than people think and could happen to anyone you love, anywhere, anytime, in any community. A girl should be able to go and sit alone at a party and not be bothered, or go where they want and dress how they want and not be treated like that.
The part about this story that bothers me so much is that she felt so guilty and like it was her fault. This is the society we are raised in. This shows how we are conditioned to view this kind of treatment: “What did I do to cause him to do this to me?”
My second issue is that something, not as bad, but very similar, happened to me at a PAX party. My hips were groped in a casual way and I was told, loudly, in front of a crowd of people, that he was going to pull my hair because “that’s what it was meant for.” At the parties we attend for industry events like PAX and E3, we really just (in a way) want to be one of the guys. We want to go and dance or drink and chat and have fun.
But we’re not one of the guys, are we? Our sexy dresses and heels make us “fair game” for unwanted sexual advances.
As a PR person, I couldn’t make a big scene about what happened to me. I didn’t want to make a bad impression, just like Ky didn’t want to draw attention to herself by screaming and yelling. There are professionals from our industries at these kinds of parties, and we don’t want to “look bad.”
Isn’t that crazy?