When we are very invested in our particular passions, and the communities that surround them, it can be all too easy to fall into a number of rhetorical traps, including gaslighting, whatabouting, or sealioning (see below for Wondermark cartoon that inspired the term) against people trying to call attention to those who are behaving badly within those communities.
However, there’s another trap that can be easy to fall into, which is to assume that you don’t have any sea lions in your community because they are all barking elsewhere. The truth, however, is that no matter which community it may be — anime, literary SF, cartoon, or any number of others — the underlying issues with harassment and bullying are almost identical.
With that in mind, please do take some time to read this link (https://www.facebook.com/bill.ernoehazy/posts/10156637709013035) to a public Facebook post regarding some rather unsettling, recent upheaval in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). Further information can be found in two other blogs, here (https://amauncheargent.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/confronting-racism-in-the-sca/) and here (https://melessee.blogspot.com/2018/08/on-public-enemies-and-wars-between-us.html?m=1).
There is also a public Facebook photo album (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156598962501060.1073741875.619731059&type=1&l=ee731b05b3) with screenshots of a number of posts and comments demonstrating the seriousness of the issue. **CONTENT WARNING** Screenshot images contain a multitude of -isms and -phobes. If you can cope with those sorts of things, the album is worth reading, in order to understand the seriousness of the charges leveled against the king of Trimaras.
Whether or not you participate in the SCA — or even know what it is — the important take-away here is that the pattern of harassment and bullying in response to being called out for bad behavior is *identical* to what we have seen elsewhere in the geek community.
Essentially, all the sea lions sound the same. It’s time we treated them, and harassment and bullying, the same way.
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