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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Random twitchy thoughts about Arisia 
19th-Jan-2010 11:43 am
And like I said, good con! but.

I think I've said quite enough that I don't want people messing with my hair. If I'm okay with you touching my hair, you already know it. If you're not sure, ask. Greeting me by randomly tugging at my hair or rubbing my head makes me want to punch you in the face. You do not want me to want to punch you in the face, I imagine.

Also think I've said quite enough that grabbing me from behind if I don't know you're there is a really bad idea. Someone almost got thrown Friday. It takes effort to *not* throw you when you do that. If you do not want to end up flat on your back and in serious pain, it is a good idea to not play the guess-who game with me, especially in a crowded overstimulating place. If you're coming up behind me, say something and/or gently touch my shoulder to let me know you're there; nine times out of ten, this will result in a big hug for you and no urge to kill.

Part of me says "Eee, yeah, you should've posted this to remind people before the con," and the other part of me says "Um, hello! You've posted about this enough that no one can claim they're unaware of it. Telling people a few times ought to be enough. You shouldn't need to wear a sign."

On a yay, some people are getting the message note: It seems that I have successfully gotten people to remember to ask if they can photograph me instead of assuming. And everyone I knew took my "no, but thank you for asking" gracefully. (One person did not, but it wasn't anyone I know.)

This makes con stuff sound negative, and it totally wasn't. Awesome con. With, as a bonus, lots of cuddliness from friends old and new, and rarely five minutes without hugs from awesome people. This was a very happy snuggly con for me! But those few incidents did make me twitchy at the time, so I am posting this "care and feeding" reminder.
19th-Jan-2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
That one hug I gave you Friday night that ended up being a "from behind?" made me incredibly twitchy because it wasn't *meant* to be from behind, but then I remembered that you already knew I was there and what my intentions were so it was probably not a big deal. :)
19th-Jan-2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
Yep! That was no problem. The "guess who" stuff is what really makes me stabby.
19th-Jan-2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
"Ambush Hugs" from behind are unpleasant for so many people--even those who have never been sexually or otherwise assaulted--that I'm astonished they're still so common. Glad you had a good con.
19th-Jan-2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
It's because they're very pleasant for a lot of people, so they have to learn that it's not pleasant for everyone, and learning can require repetition and is easy to forget (since it's not intuitive for people who don't naturally empathize with the negative reaction).
19th-Jan-2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
My thought on this? What you are asking for is simply good manners period, you know? I mean, respecting someone's physical space is something that should, imo, be a given, and any exception to that an exception to the rule. I absolutely do not want random people touching my hair, and having someone grab me from behind is never fun for me -- nor is it fun for many people -- and it just seems to be a measure of maturity that someone would simply know that it isn't done. I think it is incredibly unfortunate that people don't seem to respect these common and regular boundaries with you. :(
19th-Jan-2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
We were talking a bit about this in the "Sexual Politics in Fandom" panel, and I think part of what it boils down to is that your body is sort of seen as public property if you are

a) female
b) short

And especially if you're both. It triggers the "must pet the girl" thing and the "must pet the miniature person" thing. Just by looking around the con, I think short women and women in costume get this more than anyone else. (It's isn't *just* women, either. But it seems to happen more with us.)
19th-Jan-2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
I have successfully gotten people to remember to ask if they can photograph me instead of assuming.

Glad to be reminded of this -- I wasn't handling the camera at Readercon, but I hope you were asked if pictures were taken! Or, if I had a camera in hand, that I asked! I've been ooky about taking pictures of people at cons since Wiscon 32, and the awful trolling that ensued. Grr.

Edited at 2010-01-19 05:11 pm (UTC)
19th-Jan-2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Our dear miss csecooney did ask. :) Nonverbally, but a tip of the head, slight raise of the camera, inquiring look, and waiting for my response is totally sufficient! (That pic is my Facebook profile pic. I was feeling photographable that day.)
19th-Jan-2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I get twitchy when that happens to me, too. :|
19th-Jan-2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
Random hugs from behind when I have no idea a) that they're coming, and/or b) who the hell you are annoy the crap out of me too, and I'm a relatively tall dude who doesn't have anything that they'd trigger or such.

Because they're simply unacceptable fucking behavior from people.

Maybe this is just me, and maybe I'm just overtired and cranky in general, but I don't see how this is Commonly Acceptable Behavior from normal and sane adults, whether you're at a con or not.
19th-Jan-2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
IT shouldn't be. But people at con are often stupid about personal space.
19th-Jan-2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
I totally get where you're coming from... I stopped going to a local sub shop I had been frequenting after the owner casually wandered up behind me one day while I was eating and touched my hair, commenting on it. He thought it was funny that I jumped up. I'm sure it would have been less funny if I'd *finished* the leg sweep. :-P

However, the world also has good things in it. For instance, gluten free, dairy-free pumpkin muffins:
20th-Jan-2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
Om nom nom! Will have to make those. I <3 pumpkin.

WAs good to see you this weekend! Are you in Boston often?
19th-Jan-2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
I'm a hugger, but not from behind unless it's an established game... and I think that's with two humans on this entire planet, both of whom get a near orgasmic rush from being surprised... and like it.

Glad to see you getting the word out though... as a new reader knowing what sets people off is important, especially as I'd like to meet you at WisCon. Still trying to make a good impression... Ms Watson (2nd Grade) would be so proud.
19th-Jan-2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
You do not want me to want to punch you in the face, I imagine.

Well that's leaping to assumptions, isn't it? ^_^

19th-Jan-2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
My immediate response if someone tries to hug me from behind is to punch my elbow into their gut if my arm is available or kick them if not - and normally only just stop myself if its someone I know. Sometimes the ability to stop isn't as good.
19th-Jan-2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
You've posted it enough that when I meet you I'm going to stand 3 feet in front of you and bow. No hugs.
19th-Jan-2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
"no hugs"

is that like "No capes!"? :)
19th-Jan-2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
My brain is a bit fried still, but I recall you telling some story...about something like this...and my reaction being "wait, people have to guard against that?" (You answered with reference to the Sexual Politics panel, that I couldn't make, if it helps you remember what I'm talking about, 'cause I can't. Brain, fried, and besides, all spare cells are going toward school again.)

Same reaction here. I'm surprised that telling people even once is required--though of course it never hurts to say "look, I really don't like this, and you may find it dangerous to try," I am still a bit boggled that it's something you would have to repeat.
19th-Jan-2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oh hell yes. And, as 'song said, "female and short" plays into it. Way way back when I was first going to conventions, a friend bought me a t-shirt with a story printed on front and back, and at the bottom of the front it said "please turn person" where a magazine would say "continued on page X," and I immediately declared it a nightshirt, because I knew if I wore it in public, people would find it hysterical to pick me up by the elbows and turn me, and... DO NOT WANT.

Great meeting you, btw!
19th-Jan-2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
I like your hair, even when you don't. That doesn't give me any right to touch it whatsoever; my feeling is that if you ever want me to, you'll let me know. (This is not something I expect to happen.)

I really wish you didn't have to post this at all, whether before or after a con, because people would just GET IT. Sadly, this is not that world.
19th-Jan-2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
We've talked about this before, but I'll add that my husband likes his hair touched and even tugged... but only by me, because it is an extremely intimate act. As good as it feels for someone to run fingers through his hair, this is very intense and romantic, not something the average person is allowed. (Especially since he is ticklish. I know just how light a touch is permissible.)
19th-Jan-2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the pat your head response is cause you're short. Lots of people do that to kids, though I think less than they used to.

I like when people play with my hair, IF they are on the list of people who its ok to do so. Extra points if they still ask. It makes my headaches ease up a bit.

Randomly touching my hair is not so awesome, and sneaking up and grabbing for me tends to get a person quickly shoved into the nearest wall with my fingers separating the tendons in the grabbing arm. If I'm in a situation that I have to check that impulse, it tends to result in injury to myself. ~_~
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