I have an update/ clarification/ correction to make on my recent Holy. Fucking. Shit. post. One of the twp people who made the report to JREF on the situation being discussed, Lee, has made a comment (and then some follow-up comments) clarifying what exactly happened in this situation, and what exactly was reported.
Quick note: Lee comments under the name Lee deLay, but prefers to be addressed simply as “Lee.” Also, while Lee is the “traumatized woman” mentioned in the original post, Lee is trans/ genderfluid, and uses they/them pronouns, despite presenting as female most of the time. When addressing Lee directly or speaking about them, please respect these wishes. (Side note: Readers might be interested in this post from the archives on the use of the singular “they.”)
Here is what Lee said in their comment:
So I finally am catching up on everything that is going on and felt that I needed to speak up here as well as on the facebook page. I am the “traumatized woman” (though I am trans* genderfluid and use they/them pronouns, despite presenting as female most of the time) that is mentioned in the original post. I personally am the one who saw the camera and reported it to South Point security, I am one of the two people who filed formal, written and verbal complaints of the behavior (and other incidents) to the JREF and DJ at TAM last year.
What I actually reported and saw with the camera was a man, who I had issues earlier in the event with regards to personal space intrusions, with a camera pointing up on a telescoping rod at his ankle in a crowd of people many of whom were wearing skirts. I have a problem with this but I asked a friend, also a TAM attendee, if she had the same problem with it that I did and since she did we went to call security for the hotel. They came, it took some explanation and convincing but they went and talked to him. Last I saw of the camera after that he still had it so they must have just asked him to keep it above the waist.
I wouldn’t have reported to the JREF if he hadn’t continued to harass us despite us asking him to leave us alone multiple times and having other people ask him to leave us alone since he wouldn’t listen. Nothing was ever communicated to me on what happened or would happen though apparently my friend was able to get some response (which I just learned earlier today) though it wasn’t particularly satisfactory the fact that they are working to get a better policy is promising.
I don’t think DJ has handled this well no, BUT I also don’t like some of the comments that are being made that we are lying etc. When you ask someone to leave you alone, you listen. If you don’t that’s harassment. I /never/ said I say him taking pictures with the camera actively – only that it made me uncomfortable because there are a not a lot of reasons I can see to have a camera pointed up at your ankle in a crowd. I don’t care if he has a camera on a stick – just keep it above the waist.
On another note – it’s not just “non-penis bearing people” who are women. Some women have penises. Some men have vaginas. How about people who are wearing skirts? Genders a bit more complicated than that.
As for the naming names thing, my intention was never to ruin anyone. As such no, I don’t name names. Do I think something should be done? Yes. Did I want Buzzo’s name to be attached to it? Not particularly. I recognize that we are raised in a culture that says this BS is acceptable and so people will do things like this. It’s not okay and should be dealt with privately. But, as he has come out and publicly said it was him – yes that is who I complained about. Don’t ask me who filed with me, it is her choice if she wants to publicly state she filed with me.
Lee then followed up with this comment:
First – Please call me Lee, I am not used to people using my full name anymore, I only provide it because many know me as that still. Also, I use they/them pronouns not she/her. Thanks.
As to if I told DJ, yes I did on the last day of TAM when we filed a written report.
As to the question of if buzzo was actually taking pictures – I don’t know and frankly don’t care. My report was that he had a camera, facing up, at his ankle on a pole. It made me uncomfortable because the only reason I could think of for that to happen is taking upskirt photos. Do I know he was? No, how could I? I actively avoided him (for all the good that did me) I wasn’t exactly going to get near enough to see and frankly I didn’t want him to have a chance to take the pics if he was going to. I acted to call security because myself and others were uncomfortable with the behavior. Why is that a problem? Given the security people spoke with him and though weren’t entirely helpful didn’t tell us “well, since we don’t have proof he was taking pictures it’s legit” why are you asking me for physical proof? Is my discomfort and not feeling safe in an environment where I should be safe not important?
Lee has also made other comments in this discussion, here, here, here, here, here, and here. These comments are relevant to the discussion, but they largely repeat the information quoted above, so for the sake of brevity, I won’t quote all of them here.
So to summarize: The report made to JREF was not, “a male attendee of TAM had been using a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod to surreptitiously take photos up women’s skirts.” The report made was, “a male attendee of TAM was persistently harassing women even after having been asked to leave them alone multiple times, and was strongly and reasonably suspected of using a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod to surreptitiously take photos up women’s skirts.”
The original Facebook post and comment on this matter led me to believe that it was the former, but it was not — it was the latter.
None of this alters the point of my original post. Which is that:
a: in the conversations about sexual harassment, there is a tremendous amount of goalpost-moving when it comes to the question of reporting — such that, no matter how formally or through what official channels the reports are made, it is never seen as good enough;
b (and more relevantly): D.J. Grothe’s claim that there had never, to his knowledge, been a report filed of sexual harassment at TAM, and that there have been zero reports of harassment at the TAMs they’ve put on while he’s been at JREF, is clearly false.
The point of my post is not altered. But the truth matters to me, and it’s important to me to have the facts straight — especially in matters as important and controversial as this one. So I’m posting this update/ clarification/ correction. Please make note of it in future discussions of this topic. Thank you.
UPDATE: Comments on this post have been largely derailed away from the original points. Anyone wishing to discuss the actual points made in this post may do so in this new dedicated thread: “Holy. Fucking. Shit.”: An Attempt to Discuss the Actual Issue. Any attempts to derail the conversation in that new thread will result in being banned. Thank you.