Make a Scene

There is a problem lurking in the library world, as anyone who reads library blogs no doubt already knows.  A pair of librarians had, in tweets, called out a librarian that had been sexually harassing librarians at conferences, and was apparently well-known for his advances, to the point that women would be specifically told to watch out for this guy. The problem? They named him by name.

His reaction was to sue them. (Really, dude?)

The library world is aghast that these women are being punished for naming their abuser and his behavior. A number of librarians have written about this, notably the Librarian in Black.

Another young librarian has now written on the subject, and brings up the chilling result of all this mess: she has been harassed, and is now afraid to name her aggressor.  This is a bad, bad thing, people.

As I commented to her, it’s awful that she had to deal with his behavior:

How awful. And creepy. I’m sorry this happened to you, and even sorrier that we have come to a place where we feel unsafe naming the culprits.

I must admit, I think I’m old enough now that I feel empowered to stop behavior like this, whereas when I was younger, I would have most likely reacted exactly like you did. You shouldn’t have to deal with this nonsense.

I would advocate for those of us who witness this behavior to step in and say something. We’re programmed to be nice, not make waves, not hurt people’s feelings. As a result, we tend to let behavior like this slide because we’re afraid of making a scene.

Let’s make scenes, people. I, for one, would be glad to assist in telling one of these idiots their behavior is NOT. OKAY.

Let’s do make scenes. If you see this, say something. Publicly. Pulling them aside may be more polite, but it also keeps the behavior private. These guys are counting on that privacy, that politeness. Call it out. Make a scene. And let’s stop this crap right damn now.

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