Mad Sarah: Fury Road; Or, Things You Probably Shouldn't Do

A forum for discussing current and historical trends relating to the participation of women in collegiate quizbowl. Due to the contentious nature of the discussion, all posts in this forum are subject to moderator approval before being displayed.

Mad Sarah: Fury Road; Or, Things You Probably Shouldn't Do

Postby Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:48 pm

So, I took a look the other day at my post in the 2012 women in quizbowl thread, since a few people had mentioned it to me recently, and my initial thoughts were that things are much better now than they were then, and I need not feel quite so angry anymore. However, when I thought about the past season in more depth, I realized that isn't quite right. It's been a few years since I was overtly sexually harassed at a quizbowl event, so for me that's progress, but here's a brief list of things I think it would be great for quizbowlers (male and female) to be mindful of in the future:

1) Let's not discuss the morality of rape victims in tournament settings when such things are 100% off-topic. I have no desire to drag particular individuals into this discussion, but for the sake of an otherwise nameless example: I should not have to feel paralyzed and unable to speak up in my own goddamn control room at a national tournament I'm trying to run, nor should anyone anywhere else in quizbowl. If you want to have a conversation about a sensitive topic, pick an appropriate time and place.

2) Don't ask people, directly or indirectly, if they've been raped. I'm still flabbergasted by the amount of that I got in the wake of the Rolling Stone article from (well-meaning?) men in quizbowl and out. If a conversation about that sort of thing is going to go anywhere good, it needs to be initiated by the victim. It's rude enough to pry into peoples' consensual sex lives; any abuse in their background is absolutely not your business.

3) Don't be rude to your staff, but if you must be rude to your staff, make sure said rudeness is not gendered. Think before you speak. Most of our staffers in quizbowl are volunteers, and known or unknown, competent or incompetent, they all deserve some modicum of respect. Being rude reflects poorly on you and your team, but being rude in a gendered fashion can reflect poorly on the entire game.

4) Don't imagine that "private" conversations with your teammates take place in a Cone of Silence, and consider whether you want the people around you to hear what you have to say before you say it. I've been around the game too long to be anything other than irritated at hearing the phrase "are you scooping on the hunnies? the quizbowl cuties?" from someone about to play a game in my room, but I can easily see a younger player being appalled. I don't care what anyone says in private conversation, but if you have something to say that may make someone unnecessarily uncomfortable, at least try to be aware of your surroundings and appropriately discrete about it.
Sarah Angelo,
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016
Young Reader Literature and Middle School Literature, Pop Music, & Mythology Subject Editor, NAQT
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