nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

OSBP, some thoughts and links

A very short version: theferrett, a well-known lj writer, wrote a piece about making it easier to ask permission to touch breasts. This experiment was tried on a smallish scale at a couple of science fiction conventions, and he wrote about it as a utopian experience, probably worth repeating.

All hell broke loose, or at least what looks like several novels-worth of lj posts in a few days.

The original post:

Things theferrett said about the original post:

Some sensible discussion at theferret's lj:

Consent wasn't always as cleanly handled as the original post said:

There were a lot of very angry people. I think a lot of it was background rage at sexual harassment and worse at conventions-- it's just that no one had written a giddy essay praising something that was probably ok for most of the people involved but which had a potential to go extremely bad.

Slogan list/rage compendium:

More rage:

The Open Source Back Women Up Project:

To my mind, the best thing to come out of all this is more awareness that a lot of women are sexually harassed at conventions, and this is a serious and I hope correctable problem.

Brilliant essay:

The distinction between sex positive and getting laid positive is excellent, and there's a good discussion of background levels of fear in the comment thread.

One thing I noticed is that people frequently made the mistake of collapsing permission to ask to touch breasts into permission to touch breasts. It's easy to say that people shouldn't be so stupid, but I prefer the approach of trying to figure out the roots of common mistakes, and I'm not sure what's going on with that one. Unfortunately, I've returned The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (about how the brain maps the body-- it's much more complicated than those sensory and motor homuncula), but iirc there are some words like 'lick' that activate the brain as though the action were actually being done. In any case, if that mistake was so easy for bright people who weren't there (and therefore weren't caught up in the moment), it underlines the risks of things going wrong.

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