The Nice Guy Myth

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

There’s no such thing as a Nice Guy.

Not because all guys are monstrous, evil, puppy-kicking scum, but because we’re all human. We have moments of kindness and generosity, and we also have asshole moments. The ratio varies from one person to the next, but the mixture’s there in all of us.

What a bunch of a-holes

I bring this up because it’s relevant to the ongoing conversation about sexual harassment in Hollywood, in SF/F, and pretty much everywhere. More than a million people spoke up this week with the #MeToo hashtag, talking about their own experiences being harassed. According to a 2011 United Nations report:

  • Between 40 and 50 percent of women in European Union countries experience unwanted sexual advancements, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at their workplace.
  • In the United States, 83 percent of girls aged 12 to 16 experience some for of sexual harassment in public schools.

It would be a lot easier if the harassers were all mustache-twirling villains, heartless evildoers with zero redeeming qualities.

You know. Bad Guys.

Skeletor

The trouble is, most harassers and rapists and abusers are just…people. They’re friends and family members and coworkers and colleagues. A lot of the time, they’re perfectly pleasant. Maybe they have a great sense of humor. Maybe they always shovel their neighbor’s driveway after it snows. Maybe they donate money to animal rescue every month.

This is the first part of the Nice Guy problem. Because when someone speaks out and names their harasser, we look at them and think, How can he be a harasser? He’s such a nice guy. Nice guys don’t harass people. Ergo, this so-called victim must be lying or exaggerating or overreacting or misunderstanding or whatever. Because logic!

I remember the first time I sat in, learning how to facilitate a domestic violence intervention group. The man to my right had been sentenced to participate after a conviction for abusing his wife. He was friendly and charismatic. It would have been easy to like him. There was almost nothing to distinguish him from anyone else.*

Nice Guys can harass others. Nice Guys can be stalkers. Nice Guys can be rapists and abusers. Our belief in that false Nice Guy/Bad Guy dichotomy helps those abusers. It provides another shield against accusations, a first line of defense against any consequences for their actions.

Some of these guys know exactly how to play up that defense, using it to protect themselves and punish any accusers. Some abusers deliberately craft a Nice Guy persona in order to better harass their victims.

And we let them. We see someone crossing the line, but we rationalize it in our heads because we know they’re a Nice Guy. We hear the stories, but refuse to accept them. We allow the behavior to continue.

Just like the Myth of the Nice Guy makes us likely to excuse other people’s problematic behavior, it also gets in the way of us recognizing and being accountable for our own.

I believe harassers and abusers can learn to change their behavior. (Though many choose not to.) Better yet would be for them to have recognized the harm they were causing and learned to do better before it reached the point of chronic harassment or assault or abuse.

It’s hard to step back and realize you’ve done something abusive. It’s harder if you’ve built yourself up in your head as a Nice Guy. It’s called cognitive dissonance. Someone points out that you’ve been being creepy and inappropriate. That contradicts your self-image as a Nice Guy. So your mind searches for a way to safely resolve the contradiction: She’s wrong. She’s lying. She’s misremembering.

Even if you bring yourself to acknowledge you did something wrong, you recount the story in a way that preserves you as the Nice Guy. You minimize your actions. You obfuscate the details. You mention reasons the accuser might not be giving a fully truthful or reliable account. And you stress what a nice person you are, how you’d never intentionally hurt anyone, how the guilt is tearing you apart, and so on.

What you don’t do — what we don’t do — is own our shit. We don’t dig deep to look at where our own behaviors come from.

We grew up in a society that treats women as lesser. That teaches men to be “strong” and to take what we want. We learn about the “friend zone” and the idea that women owe us sex and companionship. We hear our peers boasting about groping a girl between classes. We see them passing around nude pics of their girlfriends, because girls are things to be shared and used.

You can’t grow up like that without some of it rubbing off.** It takes active, conscious work to change those attitudes, and to do better. And you can’t do better if you’re so fixated on being a Nice Guy that you won’t even acknowledge your shit.

And now, a few disclaimers…

  • I’ve referred to men as harassers and women as victims in this post, because that’s the most common dynamic. But it’s absolutely not the only dynamic. People of all genders can be victims, and people of all genders can be harassers.
  • “But what if she’s lying?” Why is that the first response from so many people — almost always guys? Yeah, false accusations are a thing. A rare thing. You know what’s a hell of a lot more common? Sexual harassment. Sexual assault.
  • I believe there are good people out there. I believe there are assholes out there. But nobody is 100% lawful good or chaotic evil.

We need to stop letting predators off the hook because they’re Nice Guys. We need to stop excusing ourselves, too. The goal isn’t to be a mythical Nice Guy. The goal is to be accountable for our behavior, and to strive to do better.

Ms. Marvel: Good is a thing you do.


*I say “almost” because I did pick up an undertone of attempted manipulation from him a few times. It was subtle, but it was there. That said, I don’t know if I would have caught it if I hadn’t been looking for it.

**Yes, I’m including myself here. I’ve spent decades trying to uproot the messed-up assumptions I grew up with. I’m still working on it. I suspect I always will be.

[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by kindness_says

Hello, sweet swappers! As promised, SWAPS ARE HERE. SWAPS ARE SWAPPENING.

Sign-ups are open now and will close on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 9:00 PM PDT. Main post here on DW.

Questions welcome in either location, but obviously please read the full DW post first. :)

<3 K
kindness_says: (Default)
[personal profile] kindness_says posting in [community profile] yuletide
Hello, sweet swappers! As promised, SWAPS ARE HERE. SWAPS ARE SWAPPENING.

If you are new to swaps, or to Yuletide, and curious about what the heck I'm talking about, our brand-new 2017 FAQ is here! If you are old to swaps, read on!

2017 SCHEDULE! REMINDERS! SIGN-UPS! )

Questions? Comments? First check out the FAQ, and then, if that doesn’t sort you, feel free to comment either here or there, or email us at yuleswaps at gmail!

<3 K

Yuleswaps 2017: Preliminary Announcements!

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 11:56 pm
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by kindness_says

Hello, my dear swappers! Some of you have recently been receiving emails from me about last year, so you know Yuleswaps 2017 is revving up, but others of you are probably a bit concerned. Don’t worry, it is happening! I meant to kick us off in early October, but I obviously didn’t (sorry). I currently dream of opening sign-ups tonight, but realistically…more likely tomorrow or Tuesday.

But don’t worry about missing it, as long as you’ve successfully received emails from us in the past! I will send our annual wake-up email once sign-ups are open, since, you know, LJ is dead.

On that note, we have finally moved to Dreamwidth this year! And I celebrated/mourned by writing a new FAQ. Our very first DW post about swaps! If you have a DW, feel free to check it out and start tracking our tags/communicating with us over there from now on!

If you do not have a DW, you can continue following us here. I will try to consistently post links to all major occurrences.

Questions, comments, and general merriment welcome — though, perhaps try the new FAQ first before asking too many questions, especially if you are new. :)

Thank you for your patience, lovely swappers!

<3 Kat
kindness_says: (yuletide - gotta swap em all)
[personal profile] kindness_says posting in [community profile] yuletide
Hello, beloved swappers! Don’t worry, swaps IS happening, as always! Sign-ups post will go up, ummmm, soon. I meant to kick us off around the beginning of the month, but #life #got overwhelmed by the idea of needing to rewrite this FAQ, tbh. Sorry!

This year! We have moved to Dreamwidth, because Yuletide has moved to Dreamwidth, and because it seems like most of our constituency has done the same. We will probably continue to crosspost to the Yuletide LJ community in some capacity, linking back to DW posts and providing a forum for LJ-only swappers to continue to ask questions and make contact when their yahoo emails inevitably fail. ;)

Tags will remain the same: “omnomnom” for candyswap, “who likes books” for bookswap, and “nice cuppa” for drinkswap (er, just as soon as I'm able to request their creation on DW). As on LJ, we strongly encourage swappers to track tags for the swaps they are interested in.

(Go to your DW Account Settings >> Notifications afterward, to make sure all the tags you wanted definitely took!)

And now…onward!

FAQ! )

But seriously, when are sign-ups going to be open for Yuleswaps 2017?

Soon, I swear. Tonight, I hope, but realistically, might be more like tomorrow or Tuesday. I will get it together. I promise. Swaps will happen.

Happy swapping, swappers!!!!

Kat (and sleeps, in spirit)

IF in Yuletide 2017

Friday, October 13th, 2017 02:48 pm
prosodiical: (Default)
[personal profile] prosodiical posting in [community profile] yuletide
I'm posting this since the usual people haven't! This is copy-pasted from the excellent posts last year and the year before (2016, 2015). Any new errors are mine.

[dreamwidth.org profile] raininshadows has also made a spreadsheet of requests!

Are you interested in text adventures, CYOA, twine games or other sorts of interactive fiction? Do you want to let your writer know you'd be happy to receive something along those lines? Are you looking for someone to write IF for? This post is for you.

What is IF? )
Writing IF for Yuletide )
Requesting IF for Yuletide )
Some IF Tools )

Continuum Schedule

Thursday, October 12th, 2017 05:11 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

Tomorrow morning, I’m off to Continuum in Romulus, Michigan, to do Guest of Honor stuff. I’ll be joining gaming GoH John Wick and Musical GoH Tom Smith.

This is the rebirth/rebranding of the old ConClave convention. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes!

If you’re looking to find me, here’s the most current schedule I’ve seen:

Fri 1700, Grand River, Opening Ceremonies
Fri 1730, Grand River, Supporting Diversity
Fri 2000, Grand River, Unlikely Heroes
Fri 2100, Grand River, Why Be A Writer?
Fri 2200, De La III, Adventurers Club Party

Sat 1000, Grand River, GOH Reading, Signing, Q&A
Sat 1300, Grand River, First Impressions: Get Your Writing Noticed
Sat 1700, Grand River, World Building
Sat 1800, De La IV, The Power of Fandom
Sat 2400, Salon A, Secret Pirate Party

Sun 1000, Grand River, Raising Nerd Kids: War Stories & Triumphs
Sun 1400, Grand River, Lit That Blew My Mind
Sun 1500, Grand River, Closing Ceremonies

I’m not sure about the late-night parties. Midnight is definitely too late for me in my old age. We’ll see how tired I am tomorrow night for the Adventurers Club Party, though.

The First Impressions panel required pre-registration, so that’s not one folks can just drop in on.

So, who else is planning to attend?

Two pinch hits!

Thursday, October 12th, 2017 04:51 am
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by fgemods

Fandom Growth Exchange currently has two pinch hits!

The minimum for fic is 2,000 words. The minimum for art is lineart with basic colors/tones as well as background OR two lineart drawings. The deadline is October 22nd at 11:55 PM UTC.

To claim, please comment to this Dreamwidth post with your AO3 username and the pinch hit you'd like to claim.


Loaded for Bears*

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 08:52 pm
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by morbane

Assignments are out! How do you feel**? Horrified, delighted, confused, cautiously optimistic?

*Bears: shorthand for panic, apathy, writer's block, anything that keeps you from writing. When the deadline approaches, the bears have been known to eat your toes.

**Please keep details very vague to prevent giving away your assignment.

Loaded for Bears*

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 09:47 am
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide
Assignments are out! How do you feel**? Horrified, delighted, confused, cautiously optimistic?

*Bears: shorthand for panic, apathy, writer's block, anything that keeps you from writing. When the deadline approaches, the bears have been known to eat your toes.

**Please keep details very vague to prevent giving away your assignment.

A Plea to Conventions About Name Badges

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 07:20 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

I have a favor to ask of conventions: please design your badges so that names can be easily and clearly read.

I’ve never been good with names. It’s frustrating as hell, and it’s become a bigger problem as I travel to more conventions. I get introduced to so many people, and within 24 hours, a lot of those names escape my brain like Batman villains from Arkham Asylum.

Most of the time, it’s not that I forget the people — just the names. (Sorry, Darla!) Especially if it’s been a while (folks I see once a year at a given convention, for example) or the context is different. Even when my brain retains a tentative grasp on a name, I tend to not trust myself, and still try to check badges to make sure.

Compare these two badges. The one on the left is from Convergence. The one on the right I made up as an example, but it’s pretty close to some I’ve seen at various conventions.

Convergence Badge Fake Convention Badge

Convergence’s badge is relatively easy to read, with clear black text on white. Even my old eyes should be able to read that at a distance. Whereas the other example uses small type in a non-standard font, and is hard to distinguish from the background.

(This will also give me a better chance of spelling your name correctly if I’m signing a book!)

I know folks like cool artwork on the badges. I know a lot of people are better at remembering names than I am. But please take pity on those of us with older eyes and leaky brains.

Thank you,
Jim and the Society of People Who Suck at Remembering Names

Two pinch hits!

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 09:24 pm
fgemods: (Default)
[personal profile] fgemods posting in [community profile] yuletide
[community profile] fandomgrowthexchange currently has two pinch hits!

The minimum for fic is 2,000 words. The minimum for art is lineart with basic colors/tones as well as background OR two lineart drawings. The deadline is October 22nd at 11:55 PM UTC.

To claim, please comment to this Dreamwidth post with your AO3 username and the pinch hit you'd like to claim.


2017 Assignments Are Out!

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 11:48 am
[syndicated profile] yuletide_admin_feed

Posted by morbane

Assignments Out


Yuletide 2017 assignments have been sent. You can find your assignment by:



My Sign-up
My Assignment
Sign-up Summary
Requests Summary

  • checking your email, if you have collection-related emails from the Archive of Our Own enabled in your Preferences.



Stay Chill, Stay Silent


This is a secret exchange. Don’t announce what your assignment is. Don’t reveal to your recipient who you are or what you plan to write for them. In fact, please don’t contact them at all. You can send questions through the mods at yuletideadmin@gmail.com (but please read further in this post before you send any questions).


I have questions!!


Naturally! Right now there are three kinds of questions: questions that we would like you to send right away; questions that we ask you to hold off sending until October 15th; and questions we can’t help with at all.

Questions to send immediately
  • My assignment doesn’t have the fandoms and characters I offered - what’s wrong? - We haven’t heard this one for a while, but if that does happen to you, please email us.

  • I don’t have an assignment! Where is it? - Please check that you signed up… But yes, please do let us know.


Questions to hold off sending until October 15
  • Could you please ask my recipient to unlock/complete their letter? - Please give them, and us, a few more days.

  • I don’t understand my recipient’s prompts. Could you ask them…? - Again, please give us a few days. If your question is very general - for example, they include a term you don’t recognize - you may be able to sign in to IRC or Discord and ask other participants! Please be careful not to give away what fandom you’re writing, and for whom.

  • How exactly do I fulfil my assignment? Do I have to… - Again, please give us a few days, see above question, and see the FAQ.


Questions not to ask us
  • My assignment is terrible. Can I change it? - No. If you have an assignment that matches what you offered, please either work to fulfil it, or default.


The FAQ may answer some of your questions.

Asking for more details through the mods )


Your assignment is due at 9am UTC on 18 December. In your timezone, that will not be the end of 18 December. It may be early. It may even still be the 17th.

Please click here to see what time the deadline is in your time zone.


(If you happen to be wondering, later, “when’s the deadline again?” you can check your assignment email, or look on the 2017 Yuletide collection - either at the top, or in the Schedule.)


And last and most important, have fun!

2017 Assignments Are Out!

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 12:44 am
morbane: uletide mod image of guinea pig among daisies (Yuletide)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin

Assignments Out


Yuletide 2017 assignments have been sent. You can find your assignment by:



My Sign-up
My Assignment
Sign-up Summary
Requests Summary

  • checking your email, if you have collection-related emails from the Archive of Our Own enabled in your Preferences.



Stay Chill, Stay Silent


This is a secret exchange. Don’t announce what your assignment is. Don’t reveal to your recipient who you are or what you plan to write for them. In fact, please don’t contact them at all. You can send questions through the mods at yuletideadmin@gmail.com (but please read further in this post before you send any questions).


I have questions!!


Naturally! Right now there are three kinds of questions: questions that we would like you to send right away; questions that we ask you to hold off sending until October 15th; and questions we can’t help with at all.

Questions to send immediately
  • My assignment doesn’t have the fandoms and characters I offered - what’s wrong? - We haven’t heard this one for a while, but if that does happen to you, please email us.

  • I don’t have an assignment! Where is it? - Please check that you signed up… But yes, please do let us know.


Questions to hold off sending until October 15
  • Could you please ask my recipient to unlock/complete their letter? - Please give them, and us, a few more days.

  • I don’t understand my recipient’s prompts. Could you ask them…? - Again, please give us a few days. If your question is very general - for example, they include a term you don’t recognize - you may be able to sign in to IRC or Discord and ask other participants! Please be careful not to give away what fandom you’re writing, and for whom.

  • How exactly do I fulfil my assignment? Do I have to… - Again, please give us a few days, see above question, and see the FAQ.


Questions not to ask us
  • My assignment is terrible. Can I change it? - No. If you have an assignment that matches what you offered, please either work to fulfil it, or default.


The FAQ may answer some of your questions.

Asking for more details through the mods )


Your assignment is due at 9am UTC on 18 December. In your timezone, that will not be the end of 18 December. It may be early. It may even still be the 17th.

Please click here to see what time the deadline is in your time zone.


(If you happen to be wondering, later, “when’s the deadline again?” you can check your assignment email, or look on the 2017 Yuletide collection - either at the top, or in the Schedule.)


And last and most important, have fun!

Letters App

Monday, October 9th, 2017 04:21 pm
karanguni: (Default)
[personal profile] karanguni posting in [community profile] yuletide
Hello, Yuletide!

I'm de-anoning as the coder behind the letters app here so that people can easily post corrections and ask for updates in the lull between now and Madness.

Of course, the original Dear Yuletide Writer and spreadsheet post is where you should start if you want to get your letter listed; the app will be updated per that post, including all corrections.

App-specific fixes: please comment on the corrections comment on this post if you see any fixes (tagset, letter links, bugs) that need to be made.

Madness & more: In the hope of making this useful for Madness (and the future?), I've put the code and a roadmap of features that will be added here on Github. Everyone is welcome to comment on what should be added next.

More details )

Sign-Ups Have Closed - Now What?

Monday, October 9th, 2017 09:03 am
[syndicated profile] yuletide_admin_feed

Posted by morbane

We have closed sign-ups for Yuletide 2017, and are now running matching. This is the process of figuring out who will write for whom, so that everyone gets an assignment and an assigned author.

This means:

  • Your sign-up is locked in and cannot be edited.

  • The sign-up number will go down a little as we delete duplicate (glitched) sign-ups and sign-ups from banned participants.

  • The sign-up summary has stopped updating. It last updated with 12 minutes to go before closing.

  • If none of your offers matches another person’s request, we will contact you (generally through email) and give you a deadline by which you must either provide us with more fandoms and characters that you can write, OR choose to delete your sign-up. However, if just one of your offers matches another person’s request, you can sit tight and wait for your assignment.

  • At the same time as assignments go out, we’ll send pinch hits.

  • It’s a good idea to check the email associated with your AO3 account, as we may use it to contact you - not just if you’re unmatchable, but also if your author has questions for you.


Assignments will go out by 15 October, but may go out earlier. Please ensure that if you are writing a letter, it is complete by the end of 15 October in your time zone.

Here we go!

Sign-Ups Have Closed - Now What?

Monday, October 9th, 2017 10:01 pm
morbane: Utena Shadow Girls Santa picture with text "absolute destiny apocalypse yuletide" (Utena)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We have closed sign-ups for Yuletide 2017, and are now running matching. This is the process of figuring out who will write for whom, so that everyone gets an assignment and an assigned author.

This means:

  • Your sign-up is locked in and cannot be edited.

  • The sign-up number will go down a little as we delete duplicate (glitched) sign-ups and sign-ups from banned participants.

  • The sign-up summary has stopped updating. It last updated with 12 minutes to go before closing.

  • If none of your offers matches another person’s request, we will contact you (generally through email) and give you a deadline by which you must either provide us with more fandoms and characters that you can write, OR choose to delete your sign-up. However, if just one of your offers matches another person’s request, you can sit tight and wait for your assignment.

  • At the same time as assignments go out, we’ll send pinch hits.

  • It’s a good idea to check the email associated with your AO3 account, as we may use it to contact you - not just if you’re unmatchable, but also if your author has questions for you.


Assignments will go out by 15 October, but may go out earlier. Please ensure that if you are writing a letter, it is complete by the end of 15 October in your time zone.

Here we go!

Last Day to Sign Up to Yuletide 2017

Sunday, October 8th, 2017 09:02 am
[syndicated profile] yuletide_admin_feed

Posted by morbane

Yuletide 2017 sign-ups end at 9am UTC on 9 October. This is the last day to sign up.

Here is a countdown.

Here are sign-up instructions.

Here is us wishing you good luck to get your sign-up in, if planning to!


Note: If you intend to write a letter to your author (this is optional) (and different from the Optional Details which Are also Optional), please make sure that you put the link in your sign-up form before sign-ups close - you can't add it afterwards, or otherwise edit your sign-up.

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