Sexual Harassment Allegations

TextWenchTextWench Posts: 52Member ✭✭✭
Hi. 

Sexual assault survivor here. 

Please, for the love of all things holy and my sanity, if you are being actually harassed in game, remove yourself from the individual at fault and issue them if it's a big enough problem. Harassment is against the rules and it will be handled. The admin can review logs and determine what happened and handle it accordingly. 

Please do not make it the center of a political discussion. 

I cannot begin to explain how deeply frustrating it is to see these things be made a political football for dramatic effect as someone who didn't have the option to QQ out of my abuse. There is never a reason you should be forced to endure real abuse in a text game. Have some common decency for the people around you who have actual trauma related to this kind of behavior. 

Thanks. 


QitorienNykaraGrekKiaraRkansasRevelinCubeyZhulkarnAniIndecisionKerekKaraVaughnjunoannys
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Comments

  • tysandrtysandr Posts: 90Member ✭✭✭
    Unconscious people don't want tea

    I know it's not a laughing topic, but I laughed. :|
    vote ∘ Explore Nexus mods for Starmourn & Achaeandb for Nexus

  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 321Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 27
    I understand what you're saying, but at the same time, if a person has a known habit/reputation for chasing newbies etc., other people should know about it.

    In this case there are two ways to deal with it:
    1. Start an OOC blacklist and clue in a select number of female players you trust as to whom they should be avoiding. (Already exists but this remains an inefficient way to disseminate information.)
    2. Contact a leader in your org and have them punish the person IC.
    If Tom* is harassing Jill* in tells in a way that can be very easily played off as 'just a joke', chances are she's not going to win an issue if she submits one. But when you learn that Tom has been doing the same to 10 other female players, especially new citizens, that's kind of a big deal even though on an individual, case-by-case basis, it doesn't seem like it. The event you're referring to? Players who were harassed told me explicitly that it was making them not want to play in that org, that they had rolled alts in another org just to avoid Tom etc. That is a problem for the leaders of that org if they want to maintain org health.

    Telling people to just 'qq'/issue doesn't solve the problem for every other female player out there who will eventually encounter this jackass and have to deal with him. Making them aware that he's someone to be avoided does. Announcing it is one of the most effective ways to do that. I have never in all my time playing IRE seen staff on these games come out against any player of theirs who had gained a reputation as a creep. I've seen people banned for rape but not all sexual harassment = rape. There's shitty things female players shouldn't have to put up with further down on that scale.


    * — made up names.

    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood
    Chi
  • SecosSecos Posts: 28Member
    What?!?!
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 86Member ✭✭
    These are topics which should be handled with care. Because at the end of the day we are all coming here to play a game, maybe PvP a bit here and there, throw emotes to RP with people, post something related to our IC roles etc. The primary drive is to have fun. Should be to have fun. Trying to make such a heavy topic as the center of any political IC discussion is not fun. Does not promote fun. It leaves a bitter taste and damages the sanity of people who have nothing to do with any kind of harassment. 

    This does not mean bad IC actors should not be handled. Let me go with the video provided by @Revelin . Kudos for sharing that.

    IRE games provide several ways to say a big resounding "NO!" to those who wish to make you drink tea against your consent. Some of them are IC, in that way you take the bad actor and talk it through, use IC deterrents and expect a resolution. Some leaders do it right, some muck it up. This can happen in any game. Though before this happens at all, if you do not like a cup of tea thrown your way? It is easy to put their tea offers on IGNORE. Yes it is not pleasant for a new player to get a tea offer they might not be comfortable with, every person has differing levels of sensitivity on IC interactions after all. That is a bad first impression, but not something that cannot be dealt with through proper channels. 

    And if something really shitty happens on physically triggering level, ISSUES will almost always smash that teapot on the heads of whom offered you tea forcefully.

    Any kind of OOC listing and trying to sway people OOCly against those people (where they did not meet and form their opinion at all) is an attempt at vigilante justice. It is not healthy for the game, for the rehabilition of any IC actor and the people who has nothing to do with that kind of thing. 

    If you feel in any way uncomfortable with another player regardless of what gender you are: Just cut communications with them, if they continue harassment, there is an almighty up there who will shut them down for good. 

    My two marks on this topic.
    MogarcheKiaraKaraKatherine
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 321Member ✭✭✭✭
    Zhulkarn said:
    Any kind of OOC listing and trying to sway people OOCly against those people (where they did not meet and form their opinion at all) is an attempt at vigilante justice. It is not healthy for the game, for the rehabilition of any IC actor and the people who has nothing to do with that kind of thing.
    Oh, hey. Go flakk yourself.

    I don't care about the bad actor's rehabilitation. I care about the players they're driving away from the game and I care about the fact that women in gaming have put up with enough and should not have to put up with this kind of zhudaka any more when they're just logging in to play a game as some kind of space fantasy.

    I am against any kind of game culture where sexual harassment is normalised, tolerated, treated as something women should have to just put up with, grin and bear it, grit their teeth, because boys will be boys.

    When players contact me saying, 'I am thinking of leaving this org'/'quitting the game' because of x player — and btw, it is never just 'x player', it is a cultural problem that needs to be dealt with firmly, a standard publicly set of 'we will not accept this in our org' — that is where the line is drawn. IC politics should not be a factor in this. So-and-so being your friend should not either. Nip that daka in the bud. Do not let anyone believe their creepy behaviour is something we're just going to politely ignore.

    If female players feel the need to maintain blacklists of creepy guys who make them uncomfortable, to share between other female players who don't feel like they should have to put up with this?

    The problem is not with the female players maintaining a blacklist. The problem is with the amount of creeps on that list, and with a game culture that ignores it.




    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    #MeToo

    I've yet to be harassed on Starmourn, thankfully.

    Can we have rules as strict as Sindome's rules please?

    https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/game-problems/moosex-n-you-338/

    Notably:

    "If someone requests you cease sexual roleplay with them under ANY circumstances, you are to cease it, without question. Failure to do so will result in punitive action with possible loss of your account.

    Do not use accusations of sexual misconduct to slander another character in game, as it becomes an unavoidable in character topic for those who do not wish to engage in roleplay of that nature."

    "you should never engage in rape RP, including both perpetration and discussion, in any location, over SIC, on the grid, or on OOC Channels. It does not matter if all directly involved have given their consent to the RP because its impossible to obtain OOC consent of everyone (players & admin) who may witness, hear discussion of, or be affected by the RP itself."

    ---

    I would also like to add some protection for new players being targeted. Like "do not make any sexual or romantic advances towards characters that are less than two weeks old or else you lose your account."

    We are not fresh meat. We are players who should not have to endure solicitation until we're broken down and quit.

    "Don't have a cow; I only asked once," said the 100th person to ask.

    NykaraCubey
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    Also, as a wake-up call to all players:

    - People with disabilities are incredibly more likely to be victims, as well as be victimized more frequently than other victims.

    - MUDs in particular provide an experience that can be enjoyed by blind and visually-impaired people.

    Therefore Starmourn's playerbase is likely to contain more victims than other online games.

    So just...remind yourself of that the next time you approach someone. Be conscious of that. Please.
    NykaraAniCubeyReeloc
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 321Member ✭✭✭✭

    "you should never engage in rape RP, including both perpetration and discussion, in any location, over SIC, on the grid, or on OOC Channels. It does not matter if all directly involved have given their consent to the RP because its impossible to obtain OOC consent of everyone (players & admin) who may witness, hear discussion of, or be affected by the RP itself."

    One comment here: (I agree with everything else you posted.)

    If all parties directly involved consent, I don't have a problem with it. What two consenting adults do in private is none of my business.

    Just don't force that RP on people who don't consent, e.g. by having your victim character (of a player who consented) go to other people for help. Because yes, that then forces a lot of people to deal with it and many will treat it as a black mark on the player who aggressed (with OOC consent) instead of treating it as purely IC. 

    (Different story if it happened without your OOC consent.)

    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    Kestrel said:

    "you should never engage in rape RP, including both perpetration and discussion, in any location, over SIC, on the grid, or on OOC Channels. It does not matter if all directly involved have given their consent to the RP because its impossible to obtain OOC consent of everyone (players & admin) who may witness, hear discussion of, or be affected by the RP itself."

    One comment here: (I agree with everything else you posted.)

    If all parties directly involved consent, I don't have a problem with it. What two consenting adults do in private is none of my business.

    Just don't force that RP on people who don't consent, e.g. by having your victim character (of a player who consented) go to other people for help. Because yes, that then forces a lot of people to deal with it and many will treat it as a black mark on the player who aggressed (with OOC consent) instead of treating it as purely IC. 

    (Different story if it happened without your OOC consent.)


    The problem with that is that "all parties" extends as far as people hearing about the event after the fact, which, if it's RP-related, could mean your entire faction.

    Nonconsensual sexual acts aren't all just rape; this also includes coerced consent, blackmail, eavesdropping, dubious circumstances, mistaken identity, being drugged or intoxicated, or otherwise unable to make an enthusiastic and informed decision regarding going forward with any and all activities.

    For the health of everyone and the continued influx of players, I strongly urge IRE to have a zero tolerance ban on nonconsensual sexual acts. I'm surprised there isn't a ban already.

    I really don't think it's a difficult choice.
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 321Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 27
    @Indecision

    I'll admit that your posts are making me want to try out Sindome now, so I'll return to the fence on my stance.

    It's true that I don't think I've ever encountered any kind of RP that revolves around nonconsensual sexual acts that wasn't in some way a huge headache and didn't make me want to quit the game, but I've always figured that was just my preference to accept.

    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood
  • GrekGrek Posts: 36Member ✭✭
    I agree with the OP: if someone is harassing you, ISSUE THEM. Harassment is not an issue that players are equipped to handle - players can't read the logs, don't see all of the reports, don't know which people are who's alts and most importantly, can't ban people from the game. The admins can do all of that and more. If someone is sexually harassing someone, the admins are the people who can and should do something about it.
    AniKiaraKarajuno
  • AniAni Posts: 5Member
    Oh, and another thing - 

    Remember that there is a human being playing that character on the other side of the screen - whether you're accusing them of harassment, being mean, harassing them, or whatever you're doing towards them.
    I think people forget that - we all have different experiences in life and yes, we're playing character and it's a RP game, but don't lose sight of that.
    And when bad things - or good things - happen, said real human being behind the character has real feelings. Not everyone reacts in the same way - and that's ok! - but some are more emotionally invested than others. I know that I, personally, have laughed, cried, been angry or any other range of emotion over RP moments in other games - I've also experienced anxiety, too, when things were bad for my character or uncertain. Maybe put yourself in someone's shoes and think, gee, if this is me, if this was happening to me, how would I feel?
    Whatever is happening IG right now regarding this accusation is super the wrong way to go about it, and to echo above, there are avenues you (not aimed at anyone in particular, just a general you) should have used those and not used IC avenues. 

    Accusing someone of sexual harassment and/or assault - if ending up false - is very damaging and seriously wrong nearly as much as it were true. 
    KiaraMogarchekamyr
  • KirinKirin Posts: 48Member ✭✭
    Harassment is a serious offense and should be dealt by admin. any other IG way to try and resolve it is probably adding fuel to the fire. 

    If you feel harassed, issue. Knowing the gravity of the situation is a good deterrent to both the harasser and the harassee
    KiaraNykara
  • KiaraKiara Posts: 24Member
    edited February 28
    Kirin said:
    Harassment is a serious offense and should be dealt by admin.

    This is how it -should- have been handled, but it wasn't and a smear campaign was launched and somehow this person is being drug through the mud again by the very same person claiming to advocate victims. It's fucking insane. People cope differently to trauma however this is unacceptable, and this is too far, it screams man hater club. 

    To the point I even went and talked to this person oocly and apologized to them because of it. NO ONE deserves that, regardless if they are a creepy pervert or not. I really hope that they can leave this certain player alone from here on out. If I hear anymore on it I will start taking action and I encourage others to as well because imagine this being you and someone repeatedly kicking you just because they have "the dirt". Yes, people get uncomfortable, but that also doesn't give you the right to bully anyone. There has been WAY too much of this going on and it has passed beyond the threshold into meta-gaming territory. 
    Mogarche
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 321Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 28
    Kiara said:
    Kirin said:
    Harassment is a serious offense and should be dealt by admin.

    This is how it -should- have been handled, but it wasn't and a smear campaign was launched and somehow this person is being drug through the mud again by the very same person claiming to advocate victims.
    You literally asked me to do this.

    Good job lying to everyone as a way to drag out unrelated conflict to the forums using every resource at your disposal. You're psycho. I have you on ignore on every one of your alts, and blocked on Discord for a reason. Leave me alone.

    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood
  • KiaraKiara Posts: 24Member
    Kestrel said:

    I don't recall mentioning you, this is a generalized statement. I did not -ask- you to do anything. I -told- you to stop bringing it up oocly and you couldn't do that. This conflict is very relevant to what is going on in the game right now, you are absolving yourself and placing blame on a -victim- of REAL LIFE sexual assault. I was uncomfortable yes, I never asked YOU to do anything. I never asked YOU to punish him nor did anyone expect YOU and several others to bring this up constantly. You yet again show your lack of maturity and depth. YOU took it on yourself to make a big fuss. GROW. UP. I am frankly not even concerned with you in any capacity, you are toxic and you are toxic to the well being of people with your behaviors. I don't care if you have me blocked, I have you blocked as well. Hence why I didn't directly speak or tag you or even mention names because it doesn't matter. The only one looking psycho here is you because you cannot separate ooc and ic boundaries nor can you even accept accountability for your own actions.
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    I'll create a separate thread for my requests since this thread is actually about a personal issue.
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 321Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 28
    @TextWench,


    You have my sincerest apologies for my part (Zah) in these affairs.

    I believed that what I was doing was the right thing at the time. 10 female players came to me to allege sexual harassment perpetrated by another player. 4 of them told me they were thinking of quitting the game because of how frustrated they were by the sheer amount of sexual harassment they had to endure on this game compared to others, where policies are firmer. 5 of them had already created alts in other factions because in their own words, they wanted a break from the creep in question.

    I believed it was my responsibility as a leader of this faction to put a stop to the character perpetuating these events. I believed that once dealt with it would be a done deal; the perpetrator was warned, given a disfavour, made to deliver a public apology, and told that if it happened again he would be out. Had I known just how severe the pushback would have been, I wouldn't have done it. I would have realised that I, as a player, am not equipped to deal with this. I would have told the victims to collate their evidence, submit it in an issue to the admin, and put the creep on IGNORE.

    I sincerely believe that 10 people weren't lying about the creep being a creep. It lined up with behaviour I'd witnessed from him myself. But the person who made the most damning allegation against him, who was most vehemently calling for greater punishment and retribution, has now recanted following unrelated conflict, which is what made me realise that I had no business ever being in that position as a player.

    I don't agree with you that merely because sexual harassment on a game (in your words, hitting on a new character too frequently) is not as severe as sexual harassment + assault IRL, it isn't comparable. It is not remotely as severe or consequential, but it belongs to an overarching pattern of what I deem to be unacceptable behaviour. It's in the category of things women just flat out shouldn't have to put up with in this day in age. And I hope that one day we don't just see the most severe, cut-and-dry, stereotypical ideas of the crimes (which are so often statistically distant from the realities of how these occur) as something to be dealt with, but the entire culture which normalises this entitled view towards women.

    But that's semantics, and there are more important things than semantics. For the hurt that I have caused, to yourself and other victims of sexual assault, and to everyone who logs into the game to relax and have fun and not think about these topics, I apologise.

    You have my word that I will never again bring these topics up IC and that if it's brought to me, it will be handled quietly and with immediate admin intervention.

    To everyone else, whose primary concern here seems to be apologism for those who contribute to the culture alluded to above: I have nothing to say to you.


    — Kestrel / Player of Zah

    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood
  • SecosSecos Posts: 28Member
    *eats popcorn*
  • ViolaViola Posts: 14Member ✭✭
    edited February 28
    TextWench said:

    [snip]
    Hi.

    You're right.

    The approach you've detailed is exactly the approach I should have taken in the first place. Bringing up the subject in-character was a choice I made believing I'd fully weighed the pros and cons, but I hadn't. I'd failed to consider other approaches, yours included.

    The outcome of this decision was so much worse than I ever expected. If it's hurting people, then it's not worth it. Period.

    This subject will not be a continuing element of my RP. In the future, I will follow administrative procedures.

    Thank you for the callout. I'm sorry it was necessary, and I'm sorry for my part in this.
    KestrelNykaraTextWenchKiara
  • TextWenchTextWench Posts: 52Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 28
    Kestrel said:
    @TextWench,


    You have my sincerest apologies for my part (Zah) in these affairs.



    — Kestrel / Player of Zah
    I find apologies like this to be suspect. If you were really interested in doing the right thing, this would have stopped after the first sentence. 

    This is an 'I'm sorry, but.' Those never count. 

    I am really, deeply annoyed that I feel like I have to correct the record here because your apology was a last attempt to slam dirt on someone you've spent the last week attacking incessantly and it includes straight up lies in it. So!

    The person at the heart of this has vouches from a number of people I trust. He acknowledges that he made people uncomfortable but didn't realize it was happening until this accusation was brought to him. I don't know a single man who has never once overstepped in an approach to flirting. It's, unfortunately, a part of how men are taught to interact with women from our culture. When it was brought to his attention that he made people uncomfortable, he course corrected. He was presented with options for punishment, he voluntarily took both. Whatever your IC goal was, he's at least learned to do better.  

    He also interacted with my newbie alt after these events took place and was absolutely aware that he had made others uncomfortable in the past and took real pains to make sure nothing he said or did was mistranslated as being problematic. When I saw his name pop up in the posts, I was genuinely baffled because he had been incredibly careful in his interactions with me. Regular check-ins, clarifications, clear communication. As far as I can see, he took the lesson to heart. Meanwhile, you and Viola used discomfort and someone's apparent genuine mistake to make a MASSIVE and unnecessary and ongoing scene that drug a lot of people under with it. 

    I'm assuming you are not a woman (I could be wrong) because I rarely hear women refer to each other as 'females', so let me just remind you that I asked that you NOT lecture me about the prevalence of sexual harassment in games or elsewhere. That's my lived experience.

    Character is about evolving when you trip up. Show some. 

    Edit -
     @Viola - Thank you, that was exactly what a sincere apology looks like. 

    MogarcheAniKiara
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 321Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 28
    I'm a cisgendered woman. I've dealt with sexual harassment, discrimination, manipulation and and other things all my life working in male-dominated fields or I probably wouldn't be so angry about it.

    I don't feel the need to prove that, I shouldn't, but a bunch of people in this game have seen my picture and heard my voice, including @Qitorien, @Desmond, @Viola, @Flipilaria to name a few.

    Nothing I or my character said about the Vaxis, Katherine or Zhulkarn situation was a lie. And in particular, the latter's bullshit has been making me feel gaslit. I think there's a point where certain behaviours have no place in a game and sexist BS is right up there on that.

    I'm extremely disappointed that you would assume that merely because you didn't see a person sexually harassing someone, they didn't do it. Especially when they've already been reprimanded and are now walking on thin ice because of it. 'Believe women' yet you think 10 accusers are liars.

    I am legitimately sorry that I have hurt you, that was never my intention. If this thread has taught me anything it's that abuse survivors come in every shade and that the approach that works for one does not universally apply to all. At my stage of my journey, I want these things addressed in the open, not kept quiet. I think covering it up contributes to stigmas of shame and victim-blaming. Believe me or don't — empathy fills me with dismay that I've hurt you. But don't assume that your experience and perspective, as a woman and as a survivor, are universal. They are not. Some people disagree with your approach and it does not align with theirs. In future, I will endeavour to be more respectful of other people's choices, and other people's journeys, and not have mine cross other people's, as was the case when recently people who would rather not hear about it ended up hearing about it.

    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 86Member ✭✭
    edited February 28
    @Kestrel I would truly appreciate that you do not propagate IC lies about my character to an OOC medium. That makes it a double-lie. Furthermore risks unnecessary forum RP.

    You have no right to put people under duress with your way of mishandling such cases by yourself instead of delegating them to the proper authorities. I am truly pissed at you, because you made something fun for me a truly hellhole and drag. 

    Sometimes think about players behind characters while you dish out your drama and OOC perception upon them. 
    MogarchePeiryKiaraKatherine
This discussion has been closed.