Based in Portland, Oregon, Superopinionated is a blog by Courtneys Stanton. Their posts examine life through the lenses of addiction recovery, intersectional feminism, and mental illness.

Promises, Promises

Once upon a time

I knew a videogame developer who

for reasons I cannot tell you

wanted people to know that the other videogame developer who had assaulted them

wasn’t safe, but still

wanted to remain anonymous themselves.

 

What to do?

After some brainstorming, an idea formed between us:

Whenever their attacker’s name

Entered

Any conversation I was a part of

I was to say,

“I don’t like [name]” and if anyone asked

“Why?”

I was to say,

“[Name] is not a safe person.”

 

In all the years I have been saying this, nobody has asked me “why?” yet.

 

For a time

(my time in games)

everywhere I went was a confessional

some nervous person swimming across a crowd toward me to hear

“I believe you”

in a coatroom a hotel room a living room a stranger’s bathroom

I know too much about too many of you

I imagine some panic reading that, what if, a hypothetical list

(and, I thought about it: myself the Joe McCarthy of videogames, but)

I will not weaponize private grief and fear

I will not create a witch hunt to entertain bystanders

I will keep believing survivors of abuse, assault, and rape and

supporting their choices

 

In all the years people have said they’re “very sorry”, most manage to ship games (without doing much else).

 

Once upon a time

someone I’ve never met

vowed they would find my home

and rape me until I was dead

 

Hundreds have sworn this oath to me

but I wasn’t the first

and I wasn’t the last

(I’ll bet you say that to all the girls)

and their reason then wasn’t an anomaly

(I’ve never seen a masculinity so fragile before!...will it break if I touch it?)

 

But in all the years I have been told this will happen to me,

in all the long years that you have been

verbally abusing,

intimidating,

threatening,

undermining,

harassing,

harming,

hitting,

stalking,

exploiting,

chasing,

choking,

assaulting

and

raping,

 

you still haven’t raped us to death.

 

Super Opinionated Power Club #9: Don't take me for granted, just take me there

Super Opinionated Power Club #8: Oh my gosh, look at her