You may recall that last April a group of (mostly women) Men’s Rights Activists known as the ‘Honey Badger Brigade’ were ejected from the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo because they had registered for a table under false pretenses and were selling pro-#GamerGate merchandise (and Calgary Expo classifies #GamerGate as a hate group). After the Honey Badgers were ejected, The Mary Sue picked up on the story, and the rest of the internet had a good laugh.
Because when bad things happening to MRAs it’s funny.
But because MRAs groups also don’t know when to quit (and know how easy it is to bilk other MRAs out of money), the Honey Badgers started a “legal fund” to raise money to sue the Calgary Expo and The Mary Sue. I mean sure they had no legal leg to stand on, but when has that ever stopped stupid people?
In the end, they raised over $30,000, hired a disbarred lawyer (no, seriously), and filed… something (?) against the Calgary Expo and (again – for no logical reason) the blog The Mary Sue a few months ago.
On this bigger than ever episode, Vinnk (of FamicomDojo.tv) is sitting in for Pher. We talk about the current state of Pacific Rim 2, the cancellation of Mythbusters, Donna Noble’s Doctor Who Audio Drama return, K-9 getting his own movie, IfCon Victoria disappearing into the night, the 2015 World Fantasy Convention coming to its senses, and SXSW’s complete and total bungling of its anti-Harassment summit.
Earlier this week we reported on SXSW canceling both an anti-Harassment panel called “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games” and a pro-Gamergate panel called “#SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community,” citing unspecified threats of violence directed at at least one of the panels.
Well, after a lot of public controversy (not to mention both Buzzfeed and Vox Media threatening to pull out of the event), SXSW management has reportedly decided to reinstate the Anti-Harassment “Level-Up” panel.
According to Re/code, SXSW hasn’t actually reached out to the participants in the panel — but… y’know… details.
SXSW organizers are apparently also considering a day long event on combating online Harassment. While it’s great in theory, I have to wonder who exactly will volunteer to stand in the crosshairs of the online mob (who hasn’t done so already). Let’s face it, the online hoard of harassing jackasses have a habit of proving their critics right by attacking them the moment they stand up.
(No word on the Pro-Gamergate #SavePoint panel… but who really gives a crap about that? The organizers of that panel already have a plan to run it anyway independently of SXSW, so it really wouldn’t make a significant difference.)
SXSW announced yesterday that they were cancelling the anti-Harassment panel “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games.” Level Up would have featured the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative‘s Randi Harper alongside Caroline Sinders and Katherine Cross. The panel (according to its official description) would have focused on “online harassment in gaming and geek culture, how to combat it, how to design against it, and how to create online communities that are moving away from harassment.”
Oh, they also cancelled the pro-Gamergate “#SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community,” but we don’t care too much about that.
The group was booted from the event for registering the table under false pretenses, being disruptive to the event, and selling #GamerGate merchandise (which, as the staff classifies #GamerGate as a hate group violated safe space policies).
After this happened, the Honey Badgers decided to get money together for a “Legal Fund.” We mostly laughed at this, because as far as we could tell, they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. I mean, the attendee agreements and vendor contracts are pretty damned clear.
The group registered the table under false pretenses
The Group had disrupted panels the first day of the con
The table was selling #GamerGate merchandise, which is classified as a hate movement by the staff (and thus violated safe space policies)
It’s all pretty cut and dry.
The Honey Badgers (a mostly-women group of MRAs with close ties to hate site A Voice For Men) decided to raise holy hell about it though. They’ve put out hours and hours of videos about the booting, and have started to raise money for a “legal fund.”
Here’s the thing though, they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. If they had actually read the convention policies they agreed to, they’d know the Calgary Expo staff can literally boot anyone for any reason they want. According to the rules they contractually agreed to passes to the event can be by revoked by “authorized staff without compensation for whatever reason deemed fit.” The staff could have booted them if they just didn’t like their shoes. The Honey Badgers have tried to invoke the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, except that they don’t actually represent a protected class so they wouldn’t have a valid complaint.
So, in other words, this is literally just raising money for nothing.
But hey, Men’s Rights Activists are a gullible lot who will just toss money at their leaders without really critically thinking about what could actually be done with that money. That’s literally what sites like A Voice For Men have built their entire business model on and the Honey Badgers are just following the examples before them.
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (or just “Calgary Expo” for short) is taking place at this moment in Calgary, Alberta. The convention, like many are trying to do, is attempting to create a safe space for fans, and sadly it hasn’t been completely smooth sailing this year.
You see, The Mary Sue is reporting that the “Honey Badgers” (a group of women “Men’s Rights Activists” affiliated with the hate site “A Voice For Men”) decided to purchase an exhibitor table at the con… and things went about as well as you’d expect. Besides littering their table with pro-#GamerGate propaganda, members of the group actively disrupted feminist panels.
Because of course they did. There is no one who angrily whines like a self entitled MRA.
The Calgary Expo staff then asked the group to leave, as they were clearly violating the Harassment and Exhibitor polices of the event — and after leaving the “Honey Badgers” of course recast it as their being “booted” from the event and having their “free speech” violated.
Because of course they did. There is no one who likes to play victim more than an MRA.
If you haven’t yet, you should go read The Mary Sue‘s full write up of the incident. They’re updating as things happen (and some of us have conventions to get ready for tonight).
On this episode of the podcast, we talk about Syfy returning to Sci Fi, the massive announcements in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, how GamerGate is ruining EVERYTHING, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack coming out on cassette tape, and how Funimation is now releasing simultaneous dub releases.
I don’t know if participants in #Gamergaters understand the concept of “proving their opposition right,” but it seems to be their forte. We’ve avoided talking about #gamergate here at Nerd & Tie, not because we don’t have strong opinions about the hate-movement, but honestly because we were kind of hoping it would have blown over by now.
But it hasn’t.
Zoe Quinn is still getting threatened. As is Anita Sarkeesian. As is Brianna Wu. And it’s not about “ethics in gaming journalism” no matter how you slice it, since that smoke screen was literally created just to confuse the argument. There may be some who joined on for that reason, but that’s not where this started.
And if you have a problem with Nerd & Tie’s opposition to #gamergate, feel free to stop reading or listening to our content – because we don’t want to hear it.
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