So here's the situation: in January, I had a blogger publicly take me to task for writing "blind items" about sexual harassers in comics, among other things. It was this long pedantic post. Was it addressed to me privately? No. It was meant to be this big finger-wagging thing. Given the blogger and her own unique history, I was kind of shocked she did this.
Recently, the same blogger has taken me to task again for allegedly expressing sympathy for a screwed-up freelancer who was bothering her. The freelancer in question, who is obviously in need of some mental help, was talked about by name through two posts by this blogger -- thus, of course, making him infamous and even mentioned in Lying in the Gutters.
However, I knew him personally, and knew his situation in life, and I felt since his name was put out there anyway, I should provide the full spectrum of who he is.
Basically, I was saying that he's not a worthless dog who deserves to die. That there were steps that led to this point. That he *was* employed as an inker's assistant and so not completely detached from the industry. That there was a time when he was better. That things are extremely dire for him now. And that I believe (oh yes I do) that an overriding obsession with both comics themselves and working in the comics industry is part of the reason he fell.
I don't think the men who sexually harassed me were worthless dogs who deserve to die, either. That's why when I speak to somebody who knows them well or is involved with them professionally, I don't say anything, and I certainly don't post long screeds with identifying information like names. When I write this in my memoirs:
"Because putting all the hoopla about the topic aside -- the catalogs of "atrocities" that make for such tasty sound bytes and quick and nasty Internet reading -- at its core, sexual harassment is just a goddamn sad situation for everybody involved. It is not simply a story of white hats and dark hats, Good vs. Evil. It is SAD.I'm not writing that because I blame myself. I'm not writing that because I want to garner sympathy for the other parties. I'm writing that because it's the goddamn truth. And sometimes I get real angry and forget that truth, but I always try to steer myself back to it, because I know thatway lies some semblance of rationality. I'm doing it for myself more than anyone else, or else it all just devolves into continuous hate -- and I lose.
It is just all so fucking sad.
Casualties. Me and *blank* both. And everyone caught in the middle."
Sympathy for the devil? Once we start think of these people as "devils," we're finished.