10 April 2006

LINK: Sexual Assault Follow-up

Ronée Garcia Bourgeois follows up on her story from a few months back about a sexual assault at a comics convention that led to some serious behind-the-scenes dustups that found us fighting off complaints of libel from one innocent bystander; the guilty successfully hiding behind a ill-conceived bigger (but in actuality, significantly smaller) picture; and the victim hitting roadblock after roadblock in her quest for legal recourse.

What A Girl Wants #24 - The Rest Of the Story!

Back in December, I first told you about an alleged sexual assault that occurred at a comic convention and expressed my own personal feelings on the subject as I tend to do. Since then I have learned to be a bit more politically correct and all that crap but I do not apologize for bringing the topic up, for saying what I think or for being a passionate person for women’s rights.

However, at the time, the victim was not ready to come public and wanted to handle the situation the right way and through the proper channels, which I applaud her for of course… I then promised not to publicly speak of it again until SHE was ready to tell it herself.

Well. She’s ready.

Let me introduce you to Taki Soma, an extremely talented artist and a brave woman.
When this story first came out, I was only peripherally aware of the details, trusting Ronée's grasp of the story and the facts around it, while remaining completely, and purposefully, unaware of whom the victim or accused were. When Taki was preparing to come forward, having exhausted all legal means available to her, I got more directly involved because of the aforementioned (and totally empty) threats of a libel lawsuit and how potentially big the story might be.

The end result, where Taki has now come forward but not yet named the accused was a tough compromise for her, and the necessity of it burned in my gut as, having read the supporting statements from several others attesting, firsthand, to the low moral character of the accused, I wanted to pay him a visit and beat the shit out of him myself. And I don't even know Taki personally. I do have a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a mother, though -- not to mention several close female friends who are, effectively, my sisters -- and the thought of any one of them dealing with what Taki went through kills me, both the assault itself and its emotionally draining aftermath as she fought to do the right thing and seek out help instead of remaining quiet, allowing him the opportunity to do what he did to someone else. Again.

The brand new Friends of Lulu Empowerment Fund is a great first step to helping Taki and other women deal with the aftermath of situations like this and I wholeheartedly support their efforts, but I also want to see the spineless men in the industry who stood on the sidelines when this story first came out -- the ones who knew about this guy and his reputation, and stayed silent because, for them, it wasn't that big a deal, or there was more to lose than gain -- I want to see them stand up now and publicly declare their support for Taki and for the Fund, and to let HIM know that he dodged a bullet this time, but that from here on out he's being watched, and the next time he disrespects a woman in any manner, he can kiss his career goodbye.

1 comment:

Erech said...

Wow, crazy stuff. That's a good piece though, good on Ro.