Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Profiles" in Abuse: The Gaping Sinkhole

Eric Heather Haddox

In my previous post, I wrote about how abusive situations make you feel like leaving isn't an option. This post is about forms of group denial.

Another blogger came up with the idea of the missing stair. Basically, the missing stair is a problem or person [problem person] in a community that everyone simply steps over.

Do they replace the stair? No. Do they warn other people about the stair? Sure. Does that mean everyone, especially those new to the community know about the missing stair, so that they can do their best to avoid it? Probably not.

In the context of the post, the missing stair is a rapist within the BDSM community. What's staggering is that, although the writer didn't name names or give any identifying information, everyone knew exactly who the post was in reference to.

They knew. They knew they had a rapist in their midst, as in "Oh yeah, that's Charles, the rapist that also happens to be part of my social circle. He's not so bad once you get to know him."

The post over at Pervocracy is worth reading in full and then reading again and sharing with all your friends. Special points for using the phrase "Rape Babysitter."

The story of Profiles and Darrell W. Cox reminds me of this concept—because people knew about the abuse. They knew that there was something off. His fellow actors / employees (?) formed unofficial support groups around this guy. His co-director enabled him every step of the way. Women warned other women to stay away, keep their distance.

We need a new metaphor here, for a person who abuses those under his power with relative impunity, enabled by the system(s) in place around him. Darrell W. Cox was not a missing stair. He was a gaping sinkhole.

For years and years, important things would go missing. They would get too close to the edge of the sinkhole and be swallowed up whole. Dairy cows. A few really nice couches from IKEA, the kind you proudly buy when you get your first apartment. Once, an entire bus full of Swedish tourists got sucked in and was never heard from again.

For nearly three decades, those who lived by the sinkhole whispered stories about it, of what might happen to you if you got too close. Roughly once a year, someone would put up a sign warning passers-by. But the sinkhole would quickly swallow that up too.

When someone would make the bold suggestion that perhaps something might be done about the sinkhole, people would point out that the sinkhole was an extremely gifted communicator. Many spoke of the unique gifting that the sinkhole had to preach and spread the gospel. Yes, there was the matter of the cows and those unfortunate Swedish tourists, but sometimes, sacrifices must be made.

I once worked for a CEO who went through assistants like some people go through jars of Nutella. I think everyone (including the higher-ups) knew that he could be a difficult person to work for (how could they not?), but I have no idea if they knew the extent of it.

He was extremely intelligent and charismatic. Of course he was. Sinkholes always are.

Even now, I wonder how he could've happened. How and why was he allowed to engage in abusive behavior in a professional environment? Was everyone blind to it? Did they just not care? Am I crazy for thinking "This is crazy"?

At a certain point in most abusive contexts, you learn to accept the unacceptable. Gradually, you become tolerant of behavior that in any other context would strike you as absurd, even nonsensical.

Maybe no one bothered to warn you. Maybe everyone around you is acting like this is normal. Maybe there's a giant, gaping sinkhole beneath your feet and, "No big deal. Just walk a mile or two to avoid it and you should be fine."

Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Profiles" in Abuse: You Don't Need a Reason to Leave

In the latest scandal to rock the theater world, Profiles theater recently shut down due to allegations of abuse, sexual harassment and exploitation published in an extensively researched article by the Chicago Reader.

Before this, I had never even heard of Profiles theater. And now, sadly, I will never get a chance to see one of their shows (sarcasm alert).

Despite my lack of personal connection, I wanted to lay out some of the most striking and familiar aspects of this particular story—the things that strike me as uncanny (because abusers and abusive environments often share a lot in common) and the things that strike me as indicative of abuse as a system/structure (not merely the actions of one evil person).

This story doesn't come from the Chicago Reader, but from a blog post published by an actress who worked with Darrell W. Cox at Profiles.

Emily Vajda describes sitting in a chair "being abused for hours" by Cox after he misinterprets something she said:
I remember thinking, “Listen, breathe, rebuttal.” And so that is what I did. I would listen to his abuse, take a breath, and refute it. I threw his teachings in his face. I didn’t back down. I had no idea I possessed this much strength. And that is a beautiful thing to realize, to recognize one’s own power. 
Later that same night (after a break) she comes back to the theater for "round two":
There was one lone chair in the center of the stage, presumably for me, while the rest of the company sat in the audience, watching. I sat down in the chair and said, “Round two? Bring it.” And he brought it. And I fought. And no one stopped it.
There is much that is troubling about Vajda's story—she points out twice that no one attempted to stop the abuse. No one stood up for her. Instead, they watched.

But reading this, what strikes me the most is this:

She didn't leave. She didn't walk out. She didn't even seem to know that she had any choice but to endure the abuse and fight back.

By "leave," I don't even mean quitting the theater or the production. I mean simply leaving the physical space in which you are being abused.

I'm not saying this to place blame, but to point out how abusive environments work. They mess with your head—and the effects can linger long after you've gone.

Back when I was in an abusive work environment, I promised myself that as soon as my boss said or did anything even remotely abusive to me personally, I would leave. I prided myself on what I referred to as my own personal "Zero Tolerance Policy."

But of course, it wasn't simply the person who was abusive—it was the entire system.

What I wasn't able to fully articulate at the time was this: You don't have to wait around for blatant and outright abuse in order to leave. You can leave at anytime. You don't need a "good" reason.

As a culture, we seem to pride ourselves on sticking it out, perseverance, when the going gets tough, etc. But what about leaving the first time he calls you a "bitch," what about looking for a new job the moment your manager starts making veiled threats—what about walking away before something terrible happens.

We all want that one moment—that one, undeniable, awful thing that justifies us and our actions. So that when anyone asks, we can point to it and say, "See? I had to leave. I had good reason. I made the right choice."

Often, there is a part of us that knows before we know—that sinking in our stomachs. That awful feeling of shame. That primitive knowledge best expressed as, "This feels like shit." Even if you can't express the "why."

Personally, I tend to overestimate my ability to stay emotionally detached (read: safe) in certain situations (I believe I am the exception to the rule).

The voice in my head is saying, "This is crazy. This is not normal. This is wrong." But it is the nature of extreme communal activities (like theater or working at a start-up) to get inside your head, to justify what in any normal situation would seem insane, so that you are no longer thinking clearly.

Part of this is just the sheer camaraderie involved—the good feelings, the connecting with other people, the genuine affection you feel for those you are in the trenches with.

None of this (the staying, the personal investment) makes you a brainless herd animal, it is simply part of what it means to be human. And abusive systems take advantage of that. The system is f***ed up. Not the person.

I applaud Vajda for fighting back against an abusive bully. I only wish she hadn't felt like that was her only or best option.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

How to Manage an INTP

The title of this post is ironic, of course—you can't actually "manage" an INTP. If you do, he/she will simply give you a strange look conveying either, "The f***?" or "Come again, I couldn't hear you over the deafening roar of my teeming brain"

I jest. But only a little bit. 

When I contemplate dealing with authority as an INTP, it makes me want to laugh, cry and give up. When my bosses contemplate having to deal with me, It's probably much a similar response, though I'm sure some of them would go straight to strangling me to death with the nearest USB cable, zero tolerance policies be damned.

But it doesn't have to be this way! Things can be different! I believe! I hope! With all the irrationality of that first hit of caffeine at 9:37AM on a Monday, I hope and believe that we can do better than both homicidal rage and crushing indifference. 

I hope.

My theory is that with just a little bit of strategy, you can get way more value out of the INTP than whatever salary/rate you happen to be paying them, simply by capitalizing on the INTP's innate strengths and pre-existing inclinations. 

So let's just get this out of the way at the very beginning: The INTP does not respect you. 

Sorry to break it to you, but just because you are the boss, just because you are in charge, just because you hired her, just because you are signing his paycheck—means nothing. 

To her, the hierarchical structure of boss/subordinate is primarily a formality. An irritating one, a necessary one, perhaps, but mostly, just a formality. 

However, the innate disregard for authority demonstrated by the INTP must be carefully distinguished from an active, purposeful rebellion against anything perceived as a power structure.

The INTP is usually not out to actively subvert power qua power—too much work, and she has more important things to do than overthrow Capitalism. In other words, it is unlikely that she will leap to her feet at the next client meeting, yell, "F*** you and your commodity fetishism!", break something, and then storm out.

Also important to note: respect is not the same thing as following/taking direction. The INTP is perfectly capable of doing this. 

Which leads us to the first principle of managing the INTP: 

#1. Do not expect or demand performative deference.

It is possible to demand respect for no other reason than "I'm the boss." But all you can truly demand of a subordinate is the outward expression of respect. Not the reality. You simply don't have that kind of power. And do you really want to force someone else to respect you? 

Don't answer that.

The INTP does not respect you because she respects something else more—the work. 

The best way to earn the respect of an INTP? Be good at your job. Have integrity. Respect others. You know, all the normal things.

If you are hung up on a lack of "Respect," then you won't be able to appreciate the value that an INTP can offer. Which leads to the next principle:

#2. Catch them at the beginning. 

At the beginning of a job or work assignment, INTPs tend to be at their most motivated (this is probably true for most people).

In all likelihood, the INTP will bring the full force of her creativity and drive to the beginning of a new job. Take advantage of this.

Do you have a system in place that is broken, inefficient, or outdated? Set the INTP loose on its ass. It won't even know what hit it.

If there's anything that absolutely drives an INTP up the wall, it's an inefficient system for getting things done.

#3. Give them a challenging assignment and then (mostly) leave them alone.

Even better if no one else has been able to solve the problem or accomplish the task.

It is not necessary to check in with the INTP to see how things are going. In all likelihood, they will be checking in with you to vent about how frustrated they are. This is normal. Let them vent. Listen patiently, tell them you believe in them, and let them get back to work.

#4. Allow them to pursue their own passion and interests (within reason).

The INTP on a mission is like a heat-seeking missile—passion and single-minded focus are the name of the game. You can take advantage of this by letting them pursue the things that also help you accomplish your goals. There's probably some overlap here, so let the INTP zero in on what interests them (as long as it's also in line with your vision), then try to get out of the way.

#5. Work with their limitations.

You know that single-mindedness I mentioned in the last point? This can be both a good and a bad thing—but you can't capitalize on the one without factoring in the other.

Some examples of single-mindedness as a liability:

Being blunt and direct in speech—intensity of focus can tend to exclude things like wanting to be liked or being likable.

Neglecting housekeeping tasks that though important, are not a normal part of the INTP's routine (and hence are easily forgotten in the blinding light of the ONE THING).

Overestimating the importance of whatever it is they are working on rather than taking into account the whole project or the rest of the team.

Difficulty switching quickly from one priority to another, particularly if the first priority has already received their time and investment.

These are all things to take into consideration.

#6. Don't take their frustration personally.

Frustration is passion + obstacle. So, frustration means that the INTP cares. This is important, especially if the INTP cares about the things that you care about. Rather than seeing frustration as a bad thing, it's more helpful to see it as a necessary part of the process. Frustration is the precursor to breakthrough.

#7. Redirect their complaint into a mission to make things better.

Instead of taking their frustration personally, turn it back on them and ask them, how can we make this better or solve this problem? What would you like to see happen? How can we change the system so that this doesn't happen again?

#8. Don't let them get bored.

Challenge them, or they will leave.

#9. Give them free snacks. 

'Nuff said.

#10. Use time to your advantage.

If you sense that this is a short-term arrangement (maybe there's a limited amount of growth potential), use time to your advantage by capitalizing on the INTP's strengths from the beginning and asking them to create systems that will carry on after they leave—this could be as simple as a job description or task list for the next person or as complex as re-imagining an entire design process.

Get it in writing. Get them to write a training manual, create a wiki, or make a template. Get something you can use.

I try to approach a new job in such a way that I eventually "work myself out of of a job," usually by training someone else to replace me or setting into existence systems that make processes more efficient. If that isn't in the cards, I try to leave things better than I found them, so that the next person will easily be able to pick up where I left off or at least have some kind of starting point.

I'm not claiming this is out of some innate sense of altruism—it's rooted in pride as much as anything else—I want to be able to look back and say, "This is what I accomplished. This is how things were better because of me. Behold the works of my hands."

If you can capitalize on this instinct, you can get a ton of value out of the INTP. Just don't abuse it.

Hopefully, with these tips, managing the INTP can be a win/win situation for everyone. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Christians Suck at Consent, Part 2

It gets worse.

Chuck II

The same day all that other stuff happened, another guy messaged me. We'll call him Chuck II, because, again, I don't know anyone named Chuck. Unfortunately for Chuck II, I was on an honesty kick, because of a lack of sleep and what had just transpired with Chuck I.

So when Chuck the Second sidled up to me via facebook messenger and said he was also interested in the project I was working on (translation, "Heyyyyyyyy there"), I told him the truth:

That I felt like he was physically pushy when we dated (we went on two dates total) and that it made me feel disrespected.

His response wasn't great. In fact, it may have filled me with inchoate rage.

Let's go back in time again to a few years ago.

On our first date, we went to coffee. So far, so normal.

At the end of our second date, Chuck II tried to shove his tongue into my mouth after we hugged goodbye. I was taken aback. Again, it felt like it had very little to do with me or with us having a "moment" (I've had moments before. This was not a moment). There were no signals coming from any direction that said, "Now is sexy, sexy make-out time." Was it the bright sunlight of a Hollywood afternoon? The ambiance of the brick walkway in front of my rent-controlled apartment? Who knows.

I pulled away in surprise and soon texted him that I "just wanted to be friends," because apparently things were escalating quickly. He apologized and said he wanted to take things at my pace. I think we settled on something like friends with the potential for more.

The next time we hung out, he was all over me. And when I went to hug him goodbye, he didn't let go of me at first, but instead held me tightly and said, "What if I ask this time?"

And then he pressed me about why I just wanted to be friends as I was about to get into my car to leave.

THIS. This is why.

So when I told Chuck II that I felt like he was physically pushy and he didn't respond well, I got angry.

His response? He wasn't physically pushy—not from his perspective. In fact, he is "hyper-aware of [implied: all] the choices and moves" he makes. Respecting me had been really important to him because he liked me. And I had judged him too quickly.

Not only that—he was hurt that I felt disrespected

Come again? He had violated my personal boundaries—violated my body—but it was his feelings that truly mattered. I had misjudged him. I was wrong, and it was all my fault.

When I said that the conversation was upsetting me and I was ending it, he blithely suggested we meet up for coffee so we could "make amends." And that's when I really lost it.

Again, I felt like a face and a body that a man had projected his wishes and desires onto, not a real person. Hyperaware though he may have been, Chuck II made no mention of being aware of what I was thinking or feeling. I guess he meant, "I was hyperaware that I wanted to kiss you. And so I did."

I felt like a non-entity—Chuck II didn't think he was disrespectful, Chuck II thought he was very respectful. In fact, Chuck II was extraordinarily confident and wildly intentional about all the choices he made during the brief time we dated.

To put it graphically:

Chuck II was more confident about sticking his tongue in my mouth and pressing his boner up against me on a second date than I have ever been about anything in my entire life, ever.

It feels like I'm mocking him (which isn't nice, I know), but I'm actually dead serious: I wish that I had that much confidence about anything—ANYTHING at all—choosing which mismatched socks to wear in the morning, my career, my decision to live in Los Angeles, anything.

With credit to Sarah Hagi for the original version of this
Lack of dating experience or something else? 

It's not like I met these guys on the internet—we met through mutual friends and still have many, many mutual friends. We met in "Safe," "Christian" contexts. They are "nice guys."

It's easy to look at these incidents and think, "Well, maybe he just doesn't have a lot of experience."

I've dated Christian guys like this. They're not always good at dating. They make mistakes. Obviously, not all of them are this bad.

But there's something deeper going on when a guy corners me in his car and almost demands that I give him a chance and go on a date with him (Chuck III?) or when a guy takes my picture after a couple of dates so that he can show his friends a picture of his "girlfriend." Or when a male friend tells me I'm too closed off and judgmental because I don't automatically assume that a stranger who approaches me in parking lot, at night, is safe (because what if he's just a nice guy, standing in front of a girl in the parking lot of Sprouts, asking her for her number, even though all she wanted was to buy some Brown Cow maple yogurt because that sh** is delicious?).

I feel like something is deeply wrong when I'm expected to educate men in their 20s, 30s or even 40s about the fact that women are people too, or when I'm expected to "give a chance" to someone who doesn't even respect me as a real person entitled to make her own decisions.

What doesn't seem to factor into any of these situations is me—my thoughts, my desires, my body, my decisions, my judgment, my intuition.

And I'm tired. I'm tired of feeling like I have to scream "NO" at the top of lungs to get someone to leave me alone. I'm tired of feeling like my pain doesn't have any meaning or significance unless I'm literally bleeding to death or dying of cancer.

I'm tired of being so disconnected from my own body that I only feel the rage of physical violation weeks, months, or years after the fact.

Consent isn't just about sex

Consent is about treating the other person like a person—not a body, not a good-looking accessory, not a blank canvas on which to project fantasies of marriage and children, not a character from a movie—but an actual person.

And these two stories in particular (though kind of funny) have been painful to write about—I've had to sit in it and think about why I felt so violated in the first place.

I've thought about how scary it is for a man to physically grab me out-of-nowhere, against my will, and start tipping me backwards. I've thought about how f***ing scary it is to have someone you don't know very well not let go of you (restrain you) and pressure you for something sexual that you don't want to give. How out-of-control and terrifying it is to feel like in that moment your body is not your own, is out of your control, is in the hands of someone who doesn't even see you.

I don't know how to describe it except to say that it cuts you off from your own physical being. That when you do start to tune back in from the numbness, all you can feel is pain.

It feels like sh**. That's what.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Christians Suck at Consent, Part 1

We've all heard (and in my case, written) about how weird Christians can be about dating.

But I believe it goes much deeper than that.

A couple weeks ago, two different guys messaged me on Facebook after I posted about a project I've been working on.

One of these guys, we'll call him Chuck because I don't know anyone named Chuck, was someone I've had on my DO NOT ENGAGE radar for a long time, ever since I moved to LA five years ago.

You see, we kind of had a thing. Except that this thing was exclusively one-sided.

I had just moved to LA and didn't have very many friends, but somehow Chuck was always available to hang out. I can't really remember the first time he hit on me. He was the brother of a close friend, so I assumed he was safe.

I explained I just wanted to be friends and left it at that. Except, that wasn't enough for Chuck. It wasn't enough the first time. It wasn't enough the second time. Guess what, it wasn't enough the third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh time either.

You might wonder why I kept hanging out with this guy. I wonder the same thing. Was I leading him on even though I had explicitly stated that I didn't want any kind of romantic relationship with him?

One night he grabbed me suddenly and tried to dip me for a kiss (this after I had just given my semi-tri-annual "just friends" speech). I was shocked and taken aback. He explained that he was taking notes from the movie "Hitch" where the titular character explains that you go half way in for the kiss and then wait for the girl to go the rest of the way.

I'm not sure which was more disconcerting—that this guy was taking notes on dating and romance from a Will Smith/Kevin James comedy or that physical contact bordering on sexual assault was now somehow considered a move that you pull on someone who has just turned you down.

I stopped hanging out with him (finally). And yet still, he would call me, wanting to go to an event that I had posted on Facebook. Or he would text me, referencing a show that I liked and suggesting that we watch it together.

I felt threatened and alone—how could I explain to anyone else, especially my friends, that I felt harassed by the sweetest, gentlest guy in the world?

It took me a long time, but I eventually got angry. How dare he disregard my stated wishes and boundaries. How dare he GRAB ME AND TRY TO KISS ME.

Back to the present: he messaged me on Facebook asking about working on the project together—and I said, "No." He apologized for his immaturity. I said that I didn't think that not taking "No" for an answer was simply "immature." He apologized for not respecting my boundaries, and then...


I kid you not—after I referred to his actions as "more scary than anything else"—he told me I was "beautiful," and wrote, "I never want to take myself out of the running for more." He ended with:

"I will always think of you as a friend, Mulan."

It was too perfect. It wrapped a huge, obnoxiously pink bow on everything.

It proved to me that I could say anything to him, ANYTHING: "F*** you. You disgust me. I hate you. I never want to see you again. I will never, ever date you" and it would not matter one bit. Why?

BECAUSE I DON'T MATTER. I don't even exist to this guy. I am a fantasy, not a real person. I might as well be a two-dimensional drawing from the Disney canon.

So often with Christian men, what I think or feel or desire or say just doesn't matter. All that matters is that he wants me. I'm less a "person" and more a face and a body that he can project his own needs and desires onto.

In the end, I feel strangely justified—because so often women are faulted for "leading him on" or "Obviously, you didn't say 'No' loudly enough or firmly enough for him to get the message."

NO. He violated my boundaries. And it was not my fault.

We whittle women down into finer and finer points—Don't wear that. Smile. But not at the wrong guy—that could get you killed. Don't walk there at that hour. Don't drink. If you must, make sure it's around people that you trust with your life. Don't encourage him. Stop breathing. Why are you breathing? If you would just stop breathing, then he would leave you alone. If you could just—not exist—for a minute. Thanks.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Portmanteaus That Should Die in a Fire Lit by Pages From the OED

...with apologies to Shakespeare.

1. "Mom" + "Fill-in-the-blank"


Here are just a few examples: 

Mom + Entrepreneur = Momtrepreneur

Mom + Delicious = Momalicious

Mom + Sensational = Momsational

Mom + Orgasm = Momgasm

Mom + Ridiculous = Momidiculous

Thanks to Jezebel for these, except the last one, which I may have made up on the spot. 

And can we just—I mean—what—I can't—

Being a mother is not a niche, just like being a woman is not a special category. I object to it all:

I object to the term "Mommy Blogging."
I object to ever calling someone a "Mommy Blogger."
I object to the weird fetishization of motherhood generally.

But I especially object to jamming the word "Mom" or "Mommy" together with another word to create a new word (actually not a word, people, unless you're Shakespeare, are you Shakespeare, no, I didn't think so). 

Just, no. 

2. Feminist + Nazi = Feminazi

Fun fact, I first came across "feminazi" as a young preteen reading Rush Limbaugh's bestselling books, See, I Told You So and The Way Things Ought to Be, proving that even if you are 12 years-old and living in China, you can still grow up reading the classics. 

Did not!
How many times have I had some version of this conversation:

"So, you're a feminist. What kind of feminist are you?"
"Um, just a normal one, I guess."
"But—I mean, you don't hate men, right?" *laughs awkwardly*

Why is it always about you, random dude? Are you afraid I'm going to round up your kind and send you to a concentration camp because I believe that women should be treated equally? 

Yeah. 'Cause those things are totally the same.

3. "Fit" + "Inspiration" = "Fitspiration" or "Fitspo" for short

Don't even get me started. 

This can't be real
F*** you. (Photo via lovelivegrow)
Fitspo appears to be short for "an excuse to post a picture of my abs on Instagram." Now, explain to me how this is inspiring? 

Am I supposed to instantly go out and join the nearest Crossfit gym? Feel bad about my flabby stomach? Put down that cookie? 

"Fitspo," not only are you a crime against the English language, you are a crime against the human (usually female) body. 

Now, excuse me. I'm going to go eat cookies and read incendiary feminist literature about solving the "Man Problem." 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Serial Harasser Fired Because Facebook

Yesterday evening when I came home, I saw on facebook that James Grace, artistic director of famed improv theater iO West, had been fired for sexual harassment.

This is incredible.

Just to give some context, this Buzzfeed article about the firing was posted at 5:30pm, February 19, 2016.

The facebook group in which the new allegations were posted was created on February 11, 2016. The new allegations against Grace were posted in said facebook group on February 19, 2016, at 11:09 AM and 3:33 PM respectively.

By 5:30 PM that same day, Grace was gone.

Holy sh**.

If this doesn't demonstrate the power of social media, I don't know what does. Perhaps I am overstating the cause/effect relationship here, but when the allegations against Grace (what a name, by the way) originally came out in 2007 and then again in January of this year, nothing happened.

I mean, nothing happened.

In the first instance, according to the former intern who accused Grace of harassment, iO West co-founder Charna Halpern brushed off the allegations and offered her free classes. In the second instance, Halpern denied the allegations and that she had any knowledge of them, making some unfortunate comments about sexual harassment and false accusations that are surely the stuff of a public relations nightmare.

In essence, Grace sexually harassed and assaulted an intern at iO West in 2007, then went on as the artistic director for NINE MORE YEARS, harassing and/or assaulting at least two other women in that time frame.

To put it in context, from 2007 (before facebook and other forms of social media became ubiquitous) to today:

9 years
6.5 hours

More context: As sexual harassment in the improv community has come to light, Grace was apparently part of efforts to encourage those affected to come forward and ask for help from the theater.

In fact, he was quoted in the original Buzzfeed article entitled "Standing Up To Sexual Harassment And Assault In L.A.’s Comedy Scene." Here's what he had to say:
[Initiatives taken by iO West to address sexual harassment] were directly inspired by what happened on Facebook, said James Grace, the theater’s artistic and managing director. “You have to make everyone feel safe to create and perform,” Grace said. “We’re really trying to make a real effort to reach out and actively make people feel more included.”
Furthermore, there is an email address listed on facebook for those who have experienced harassment in the iO West community to contact: The post dates from September 2015. Assuming this is the same James who also sexually harassed and assaulted women at iO West—


The same person who was harassing and assaulting students/interns at iO West was the same guy coming forward in the midst of all this controversy to talk about protecting and helping victims. No wonder those who were harassed didn't feel safe coming forward—the very person they were expected to approach was himself a serial harasser.

I should note here that those who posted their stories on facebook also went through official channels and urged other victims of Grace to do the same.

But it's hard to underestimate the effects of social media in this particular case, given the timeline involved. There's so much debate about the negative effects of social media, but things like facebook and Instagram can be incredibly powerful in outing and exposing systemic abuses in institutional contexts.

I have incredible respect for these women for going public.

For once, it seems, someone was right on the internet. Holy sh** indeed.