This is based on a riff by @evilrooster.

Image description: Red and black text on a white background. Layout and design is a pastiche of the cover for Joanna Russ’s classic nonfiction work, How to Suppress Women’s Writing. (WHICH, incidentally, is getting an ebook version next year: Amazon link.

The text in the image reads:

(Large, red): I didn’t do that.

(Small, black): But if it’s clear I did the deed…

(Large, red): I did it, but it wasn’t harassment.

(Small, black): (It was only a compliment, a look, a hug, an innocent question.)

(Large, red): I did it, but look who I was doing it to.

(Small, black): (They’re a slut, poly, fat, sexy, kinky, easy, queer!)

(Large, red): I did it, but only once, to one person.

(Small, black): (I was led on, and anyway should my whole life be ruined by one mistake?)

(Large, red): I did it, but I’m not a harasser, and accusations hurt.

(Small, black): (Don’t you see how hard I’m taking it? Isn’t my apology enough? Forgive me!)

(Large, red): I did it, but others were doing it, too.

(Small, black): (It’s locker room talk, don’t be so sensitive. Nobody else has a problem with it.)

(Large, red): I did it, but it’s my very own personal weakness.

(Small, black): (It’s just one bad apple, we don’t need a whole policy…)

(Large, red): I did it, BUT…



On my own part, I retained gender-neutrality, because although cis straight men typically harass women, there are victims (and perpetrators) of all genders. And, although this came out of discussions of harassment in science fiction and fantasy circles, I resisted the urge to insert too much single-location specificity, becauseĀ this is not a problem constrained to one community.

I don’t have much more to say about the piece except that these excuses (which are not even remotely comprehensive) are so common that those who have been harassed and tried to talk about it to others can recite them by heart. If you find yourself mouthing these excuses for inaction, shut your face.