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If you step on my foot, you need to get off my foot.

If you step on my foot without meaning to, you need to get off my foot.

If you step on my foot without realizing it, you need to get off my foot.

If everyone in your culture steps on feet, your culture is horrible, and you need to get off my foot.

If you have foot-stepping disease, and it makes you unaware you’re stepping on feet, you need to get off my foot. If an event has rules designed to keep people from stepping on feet, you need to follow them. If you think that even with the rules, you won’t be able to avoid stepping on people’s feet, absent yourself from the event until you work something out.

If you’re a serial foot-stepper, and you feel you’re entitled to step on people’s feet because you’re just that awesome and they’re not really people anyway, you’re a bad person and you don’t get to use any of those excuses, limited as they are. And moreover, you need to get off my foot.

See, that’s why I don’t get the focus on classifying harassers and figuring out their motives. The victims are just as harassed either way.

By

Hershele Ostropoler, in a comment on John Scalzi’s blog post, "Readercon, Harassment, Etc."   

The comment is in reference to sexual harassment that occurred at the Readercon convention and the subsequent defense of the situation by some members of fandom and the Readercon Board.  

It’s also applicable to other situations where someone claims their intentions were pure and they didn’t mean to do something sexist/racist/heterosexist/abelist, etc.  Even if you did not mean to step on someone’s foot—you did.

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