When I first started attending Science Fiction Conventions there were artists I admired. I got to know some of these artists. One of them: I got to know quite well. In fact, he had me invited to the British world con, Conspiracy, in 1987 by the art show director. He also gave me instructions to take Virgin Atlantic. I never would have gone to this convention if I had not been invited with a personal hand written letter, free panels and free membership. I thought somehow I had gotten in by my good works. I was mislead.
When I got to the convention I ran into the artist and we spent time together.
I was a very young naive girl. I was in my twenties. Here was an exciting time to be in SF, full of dreams about my future. I went to show my work, to get inspiration from a well respected
illustrator and to meet others. I was naive. I really and truly only desired someone to help me
with my dreams. Instead I felt a bit used. I felt more used when a writer he illustrated for had
the nerve to ask me to "hang out" with him in order to get any illustration work. He did this the very next day after I had spent time with the illustrator. I told that man to go straight to hell.
The whole World Con took on a very ugly tone, it felt like a Den of wolves.
Despite this, I moved on, even became friends with the wolf. My hopes, to get help in my career, to learn, to advance were never really observed by this person. I helped the wolf and the wolf told me about his other conquests. The wolf never helped me. In later years, I heard from several women who fell under his spell. Not sure what happened to them, but I know their careers never went anywhere.
The last insult after 25 years of a somewhat one sided friendship with the wolf was being accused of wrongdoing by his wife. Strange. I had not seen the wolf in years, I just suffered the continued annoyance of hearing about his alcoholism and his sexual exploits with other very young women via email. I even suggested that he get psychological counseling. He did, only he told me he went once and was cured. Then he resumed having affairs. This insult came in an email to me directly from her. It came on a day when my husband and I were both unemployed
could not pay our bills, had no food in our house. We were literally living off food from our garden and any food we could get from a local church pantry.
I got angry when I was attacked by the wolf's wife. I had had enough of this. I barraged the wolf with anger and rightly so. For this I was attacked back, insulted and accused of stalking.
I will acknowledge being a very young girl who stupidly allowed an older guy to take advantage of me years and years ago. But slapping me in the face with it 25 years later was outrageous and totally un call for. I think its rude, I think it should stop. I think it is also a power play on the part of men to extinguish a light, especially one that they consider a threat. In addition, I also compared this behavior to a type of misogyny. What better way to show your hatred of women then to use them like this and I think it is apparent in the art as well. That was why I got such anger, when I voiced this. There have been other male artists who showed this type of mental
illness, Picasso was a prime example.
I have always been aware of my part in this drama, but that does not excuse men who do not take any responsibility for it. Fandom was and is full of this type of abuse, writers who take advantage of women, artists too.
I have every right to talk about things that have happened in my life. This was a very sad story
that could have been a good one, but I think I share my experience with probably many other women who expect equivalency and instead get a type of hatred or anger. I am not sure what it
is, but it's harmful. I hope other young women see it too and recognize it when it occurs.