Following the discussion of the Westside Mosey incident (The FB discussion has been removed), I decided to try and begin to address the issue of sexual harassment and other related inappropriate behaviors on rides and/or between Ridazz. I am now collecting data and ideas to be put forth at the next Ridazz Summit. I'd like as many people as possible to fill out the following form, so that we can a) jumpstart this conversation and b) compile the data to create solutions to this problem. If you'd like, you can email it directly to me at sarah (dot) danya (at) gmail (dot) com. I promise to maintain complete confidentiality for those who request it.
ETA: I'd like to stress that responding for the sake of being counted, even if you don't want your story quoted or you name used, is a legitimate and useful thing to do. I plan to report the number of respondents I get as well as the number and type of incidents they report. It is possible to post anonymously on this blog, so it's not attached to a user name, or you can email me with from throwaway email account.
Name: (Anon is acceptable)
Name of Harrasser: (Unknown, Anon, and Changed names are all acceptable answers)
Approximate Time and Place of Incident:
Description of Incident:
Did you attempt to confront your harasser? Why or why not?
-If yes, what was your harasser's reaction? How did that reaction affect you?
Did you report this to other Ridazz? What circumstances made that possible, if yes, or would make that possible, if no?
-If yes, how did these Ridazz respond? Did you feel their reactions were sufficient given the circumstances?
Can I quote your responses at the Summit and/or in future writings?
-If you chose to use real names, would you like me to alter them or anonymize them in quotations?
And I'll get this started with one of my own, the very first one, and the worst. Believe me, I could report a dozen incidents off the top of my head, and it'd probably be way more (50+) if I had attempted to actually record instances of being made to feel uncomfortable as they happened, instead of just trying to forget about them.
Name of Harrasser: Anonymous
Approximate Time and Place of Incident: LACM, July 2008
Description of Incident: After drinking on a ride for the first time (it was maybe the 10th ride I'd been on, the first where someone offered my underaged self liquor), I was convinced to accept a ride back to the valley with a few of the other Ridazz I had recently met. The driver of the car was very conveniently the one who had been plying me with alcohol all night. Also conveniently, he dropped the other 3 Ridazz of before taking me home. Except he didn't take me home. He took me to his place, and forced me to come inside, even though I insisted that I could wait in the car for whatever errand his pretext for stopping his place was. He sat me down on his couch, and proceeded to touch and kiss me, ignoring my multiple protestations about having a boyfriend and the dozens of times that I simply and clearly said "No." I was too drunk to be able to move well, and the idea of being able to even lift my arms to push him away was laughable. When he tried to take my shirt off, I was so overwhelmed that I vomited. This instance remains the only time in my life I've vomited without mixing liquors. Luckily for me, he was repulsed by this and agreed to take really take me home at this point. I am convinced that if that had not been the case, he would have completed his attempted rape. I know others of my friends have not been so lucky within MR.
Did you attempt to confront your harasser? Why or why not? No.This was the first time anyone had ever attempted to violate my boundaries in such a way, and I had not been prepared to process, acknowledge, or report such incidents. The closest I came was writing about it as a private post on my LiveJournal the next day, and even then in a joking manner, as I couldn't fully acknowledge how egregious a violation it was.
-If yes, what was your harasser's reaction? How did that reaction affect you? Although I did not confront him, the next time I saw him, he exuded a silence towards me that I interpreted as a warning: we would not discuss the incident, and for my silence, I would be allowed to continue interacting and becoming accepted within that social group. At the time, this was my only option for being included in SFV MR, which was something I desperately wanted.
Did you report this to other Ridazz? What circumstances made that possible, if yes, or would make that possible, if no? I didn't report this incident to any other Ridazz until last year, when I told one person the barest facts in connection to a tangentially related discussion. It's been a long four years, and I have no idea what could have been done to encourage me to report.
-If yes, how did these Ridazz respond? Did you feel their reactions were sufficient given the circumstances? Yeah, I wasn't really trying to have anything done about the incident at that point, just requesting an increased sensitivity.
Can I quote your responses at the Summit and/or in future writings? (Obviously, I can quote myself.)
-If you chose to use real names, would you like me to alter them or anonymize them in quotations? (and again, I chose to anonymize it myself, although choice people can probably parse out who it was.)
The comments thread on this post will be very closely moderated. I reserve the right to alter and/or remove any inappropriate content, particularly anything which I feel diminishes those who chose to post their stories publicly.
New ‘FAQs’ page
1 week ago