Several people here and on Facebook noticed that I left out something big: the hosts' response. I stated everywhere I was asked that this was an open-invite party, that I was sure he had not been specifically invited (as he has not been invited to any invite-only parties within the community), and that the hosts were looking into it in order to make decisions in the future (which is why I've been silent on the topic, to give them space to do so). I extended the full benefit of the doubt and expected a logical result.
I was wrong.
I did get part of that - they banned Judah, but only after hearing from multiple other people that he had "creeped on" them in the past, thereby establishing the pattern I'd been pointing at all along. But I find it telling that that's the reason. I find it interesting that one rape isn't enough to ban someone for.
How many rapes is enough? Does the rapist get to rack up a few more if they're cute? Because the party hosts have publicly declared that they ban all rapists, but the ones I know about aren't cute. Reads to me like Readercon's situation enforcing a ban against one creeper no one liked and choosing to not enforce a ban on a creeper they were friends with.
It reminds me very much of that.
I posted a later post debunking that this was a me vs. hosts thing. At that point, I thought that was true. I now know where that idea came from - it came from sunspiral and roozle making it me vs. them.
So this all becomes the story of Scott Lefton and Rachel Silber making my rape, my assault, and my fear for my life and wellbeing on that day All About Them.
Scott posted his new party rules yesterday. Many people noticed something interesting, and it's this specifically: the post, as written, defends against people protecting themselves while making no statement about not breaking laws. It makes their parties look more welcoming to rapists than to people who are afraid of encountering rapists.
In other words, calling the police as prescribed to enforce a restraining order is much, much worse than rape, assault and battery, and animal cruelty.
As I've spoken to people offline about this, I've underlined again and again that all I want is for people to be able to make an informed decision as to whether they want to be in the presence of a rapist. Scott and Rachel's prior message of "we ban all rapists" made many survivors feel safe. Knowing that they don't ban all rapists is important information. Knowing that they are deeply against the enforcing of restraining orders is also information. I know that Scott's post will guide many of us in our decisions whether to attend his functions. I genuinely thank him for that. All I wanted was for people to be aware of what their policies actually are.
So let's break down the timeline here.
At pretty much exactly 7pm, I am inundated with text messages and Gchat telling me that he's there. I start shaking; my heart starts pounding. This is the first time he's tried to hunt me down. I respond with "I thought he was banned! Do Scott & Rachel know he's there?" People promise to tell them. I wait, violently nauseous and very afraid. People get back to me: "They say that they'd ask him to leave if you were there."
Me: "But... he's a known rapist who preys on young women at their party. Why is he not banned."
Everyone: "We have no clue but they won't ask him to leave unless you're there."
(I'm paraphrasing. Screencaps and shots of my phone are available, and will almost certainly be used as evidence in the trial.)
I talk - actually on the phone, which should tell you the state I'm in - to two trusted people, which helps a little. Time is ticking by and Judah is still there. Time is ticking by and Judah's next victim is there. Time is ticking by and the only thing that will keep my rapist from raping some girl he finds there tonight is me showing up at the party. (In my triggered mind.)
Remember that I am in extreme neck/shoulder/upper back pain, btw. Which is the only reason I didn't go. Which no one knew.
I get dressed. I text party host Rachel "On my way with the restraining order." To give her time to clear him out of there. I was told that's what it would take, so that's what I did.
(I texted another person, not a host, that this would involve police, because it would if Judah refused to leave. I chose that person deliberately as I had wondered if they were aiding and abetting Judah. I was right.)
I picked up the phone to call a cab - and my hands were shaking too much to dial. I sat down. I struggled to breathe. I thought things through.
I decided that I could not walk into that party at that time and look into his cold, vicious eyes. That that would do more harm to me than good. Even though it would help others. I chose to put my own oxygen mask on first, as I say. And I still feel shitty about that. I still feel like I should have been able to charge in and fix it. But doing so would have ripped me to shreds even more.
So I chose to stay home.
Here's drwex's post about that day, which starts to show the Lefton/Silber false reality being constructed.
And here's a thing: "My understanding is that he cleared this with the hosts beforehand; my understanding is that the hosts assumed Song would not be present, though they didn't speak to her directly."
I don't know if this actually happened. As Wex said, the hosts never spoke to me directly. Personally, if I knew about a situation like this, if the restraining order was for something much lighter, not assault and battery (because anyone who has an RO against them for violent behavior is not welcome at my house, PERIOD), and the offender called asking if his victim would be there...
I would not tell him no without contacting the victim in any way to find out. Especially since, in over 7 years, the victim has only missed one of this set of parties, and was seen on social media working out her ride to the party. The default assumption would have been, should have been, that I was coming. Scott and Rachel claim that they were told I wasn't - but given that I only made that decision at 2, and only told my ride, who did not tell Scott and Rachel, I find that not very believable.
The second interesting bit of evidence of lies on the part of the hosts is here.
"uh, when the guest isnt there, and the hosts are asking the person named to leave, and that person is doing so, threatening to show up at someone's home with the police is over the line. it was being dealt with, the person was leaving, and at that point it was clearly about making a point and not caring at all about the home owners."
Judah was not asked to leave until I texted Rachel. So the story being bruited about is that the hosts were handling it and that I escalated unnecessarily. The timeline does not support this lie in any way. (I also want to point out the difference between "On my way with the restraining order" and "I'm calling the cops on you, the hosts," because that is a BIG DIFFERENCE. They're claiming the latter. It was the former.)
And that last sentence - let's look at that. If my goal had been to make a point and I had not cared about the homeowners, I would not have texted them. I texted them to give them - and Judah - time to decide whether he should stay or go. If my goal had been to bring the cops to the party, I would have shown up with the cops. So clearly that was not my goal. My goal was to get Judah to leave, which I had been told could only be accomplished by me being there.
So I texted.
And Scott went up to Judah and told him he had to leave... and told him that he was always welcome in their house. A sentiment he shared with others who were curious about what he was telling him.
I became aware of all of this later. What I knew that night was that they would be investigating and might change their policies in the future. I know that many attendees were distressed to see a rapist at the party and communicated that distress to them; I've been told that they interpreted that as being under attack and as me bringing the internet down on their heads. Which is patently ridiculous, given that I had publicly given them the benefit of the doubt every step of the way, I had not named them, and I had not let anyone theorize about what was going on in their heads.
During their "investigation", they sent me nastygrams that showed that they were focused on the utterly imaginary idea that I was calling the cops on them to the exclusion of much else. However, the preponderance of "WE ARE NOT OKAY WITH THIS RAPIST BEING AT PARTIES" did lead them to ban him.
minkrose, who has seen much more of this stuff than most anyone else, wrote about why she does not want to be around Judah Sher. She wrote that the day Scott and Rachel were due to call her. That week put a lot of stress on all of the people who've had to deal with Judah.
Caution: Rape apologism in the comments.
My pull quote from this on Facebook: "I think Judah is sick of there being consequences for his actions. I think he feels that a year is long enough, and now he gets to have whatever he wants from our community back in his life, no questions asked, no remorse demonstrated, and no improvements or changes required. When I last spoke to him, a year ago, he acted very put-upon, as if this was all something that was being done to him, that he didn’t really understand why it was happening. He wanted pity, and sympathy, and I refused to give that to him, and I cut off contact.
"I would feel better about this if Judah demonstrated steps to improve or change his behavior, but I haven’t[sic]."
So. Multiple people had issues with Judah's attendance and said so. I'm told that that made the hosts feel attacked, and that's why they attacked me. I can only reiterate that I am not responsible for the actions of others; the only actions I am responsible for are my own. (I find it interesting that they say attacked, given that I'm the one who got beaten up.)
But the fact of the matter here is that Scott and Rachel find the enforcement of a restraining order on their property to be worse than rape. Were I them, my solution to that would be to not allow people who have restraining orders against them onto my property. Clearly they've made a different choice.
Geek Social Fallacies writ large.
During the course of this, I've spoken to several people about it. Some have said "You can't expect concom rules at a house party." I don't, at all. My view has been all along that if your vocal public policy has been "we ban rapists", you are telling your guests that your party is rapist-free (to the best of your knowledge). If that policy changes, you owe it to your attendees to let them know so that they can make an informed decision about their attendance.
I'm no longer invited because of my imaginary "threat to call the police".
But I decided weeks ago that I would never attend one of their parties again. I decided it when their emissary sat across from me in a restaurant and told me that they were banning Judah, not because he raped and assaulted me and has been abusive to other party attendees in the past, but because they'd heard from too many others that he has a pattern of being sexually inappropriate towards them. Hearing it from me wasn't enough; they had to hear it from unknown numbers of other people.
One known and confessed-to rape was not enough to alter his welcome at Scott and Rachel's parties.
How many rapes do you think is too many?