Earlier today, WisCon posted its decision on Frenkel on their blog (found here). Basically, he is banned for four years or until he demonstrates a change in behavior and attitude. The man who tossed a book at me at my first ever con, berated me for five minutes straight, and just generally treated me like a non-human will eventually be allowed to return. A man with a 20+ year history of berating, bullying, and harassing women is going to be allowed to a feminist convention. If that’s not allowing the wolf in the henhouse, I don’t know what is.
Next year will be my last WisCon. My last chance to hang out with the friends who I only see at that convention. My last opportunity to enjoy what should always be a safe space. To say I’m devastated is an understatement. I love WisCon. I love the people I meet there. I love learning new things and exploring viewpoints I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. I like interacting with potential readers and people who enjoy the same genres that I love.
As a new writer, an indie author, I have little to know power or sway in the genre world. I’m a quieter individual, very much an introvert. I was unaware of Frenkel and his reputation. If it hadn’t been for people on Twitter and Tumblr stumbling across the panicky blog I wrote during this year’s WisCon, no one would have known what had happened to me last year. The only reason why WisCon “found” my report was because of the outcry of the community (which I will always be grateful for). I’ve found so many allies and it’s been a relief to not be alone during this ordeal.
Aside from devastation, I’m pissed off. I’m angry that I live in an era where I have to decide between seeing good friends and my own personal safety. That is unfair. I never, NEVER, thought I’d see the day where I was unsafe in a feminist space. As a woman in genre, you know you’re going to experience harassment. But a feminist speculative fiction convention should be better.
I’m angry that I’ve lost potential revenue. Because I’m still a new author, I don’t have travel funds so my con choices are extremely limited. I can’t just go to another con. As I mentioned earlier, I also go to the con to see friends who I wouldn’t otherwise see. Being a writer is a lonely, lonely job and there aren’t many opportunities to go out, socialize, and just have a good time. Losing this con is one less opportunity I have to enjoy the company of others.
I feel like I’m the one being punished for being a new author at this con, for being a woman, a new face. I know that’s ridiculous, but that seems to be the running theme of this whole goddamn situation.
I said, "What if they say they’re gay?" He was gay, by the way.
He said, "Oh, in that case, we just talk about whatever they came to me for.""
Amy Andre in “Nothing About Us Without Us” from her speech on problems of Physical Health in the Bisexual Community, at a bisexual roundtable on 23 September 2013 in Washington DC USA (via bialogue-group)
It’s this shit right here that gets me so fucking mad at people who trivialise biphobia and monosexism by saying shit like “oh the worst you get is people thinking you are confused and greedy”, as if those stereotypes has no real consequences for bisexuals.
This is a fucking therapist, a man in charge of helping people overcome mental health issues and trauma, admitting freely that he and his colleagues treat bisexuality as if it is a mental health problem and a symptom of mental disturbance to be treated and cured.
He is telling a bi woman that he does treat gay people the same way and I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t treat straight folks that way, he is singling out bisexuals because he thinks there is something wrong with us identifying that way, because we are, in his mind, confused.
It makes me sick to think that he is making clients doubt and dissect their own sexuality, blamed their bisexuality for their mental state, told them that bisexuality was a symptom or something to take centre-stage over everything because he thinks it’s not as natural or mentally healthy as monosexuality.
This attitude towards bisexuality is endemic to the medical health industry, especially mental health, which is already a problematic field given how much stigma is attached to mental illness.
So many times I hear bisexuals express their anger at being told by qualified therapists and doctors that they were confused, greedy and/or unstable and therefore had to jump through pointless hoops, longer and more invasive therapy sessions, or even worse, threatened with having treatment withheld or taken in a direction completely different from monosexuals because “it’s all in their heads” or “just doing it for attention”. All because the person in charge takes Freud a little too seriously and/or believes all the shitty stereotypes that seem ever so trivial and not worth combatting to biphobia-deniers.
And people wonder why bisexuals don’t come out to health professionals? They wonder why we don’t come out at all? They wonder why bisexuals have a rate of suicide and poor health way above straight and gay people?
Don’t ever tell me that is trivial. Bisexuals die because of these stereotypes, they are killed by these so-called mental health professionals telling them that they need to be cured by denying themselves and are erased after death by monosexism. Fuck everyone who doesn’t think that’s worth caring about. (via a-little-bi-furious)
Small reminder of WHY we need out informed Bisexual People at ALL LGBT Health Conferences