1. So what’s this Backup Ribbon deal all about anyway?
It’s very simple. So simple that anyone can do it, and that’s the point! You take a Backup Ribbon and attach it to your con/event badge (don’t forget to peel off the protective paper first). This is your way of saying that you will be willing to help anybody being harassed by somebody else at the event. You will not judge them, doubt them, or make them feel even more uncomfortable. You will NOT make exceptions for the person’s gender, orientation, or presentation. You will assist them in any way you can.
2. OK, so how much will it cost me?
Our suggested donation is $10. We have a handy Paypal Donate button on the sidebar (underneath the picture of the ribbons) so you can just click and donate! Every cent of your donation goes right back to purchasing ribbons and other assorted material for distribution. We are an army of two, so we have no administrative overhead. Because that’s how we roll here at the Backup Ribbon Project.
3. Who the hell are you guys anyway?
Ah, we are mysterious as the wind in the trees… No, seriously. We’re a couple of long-time science fiction fans (and sometimes panelists) who want to give back to that fan/geek community that has given us so much. We’re just these guys (OK, one guy and one gal), yanno?
4. I don’t like confrontation, so how can I help?
Being backup does not have to be about confrontation. In fact, if a situation can be defused without having to be confrontational, all the better. It cuts down on paperwork, and nobody wants to do paperwork, right?
Maybe you can just sit with the person while somebody else goes to get help. Maybe you can just be a mindful listener. Maybe you can find a way to distract the harasser from their intended target, or provide the person being harassed a non-confrontational way to get out of the situation.
The point is that *anybody* can do this. Really. You don’t have to be built like the Incredible Hulk or have awesome Jet Li kung-fu moves. In fact, sometimes the more unassuming you seem, the easier it can be for you to help out.
5. Why are you guys running around like a bunch of vigilantes? Can’t you just let Security handle things?
First, we want to emphasize that we are NOT vigilantes a la Batman, taking justice into our own hands. We’re just an extra set of eyes and ears to help keep the con safe for everyone because Security can’t be everywhere. We’re just fans helping other fans.
6. But aren’t you worried that somebody with a Backup Ribbon might use that to take advantage of a situation?
Yes, we’ve considered this. And it is a concern. However, we feel that the benefit of having the Backup Ribbon Project be widespread and accessible to as many people as possible outweighs the risk of a few bad apples. Or eggs. Or whatever.
That being said, *PLEASE TELL US* if somebody with a Backup Ribbon has used that as a means to take advantage and harass or assault somebody else.
7. This is just for women, right?
Absolutely not! While it is a sad fact that women are more likely to be the target of harassment, we have seen it happen to men as well. We are NOT in the business of judging who does and does not require backup. If somebody asks for your help, you will give it in any way possible. No matter their gender, presentation, or sexual orientation. NO JUDGMENT. NO EXCEPTIONS. WE GOT YOUR BACK.
8. I have an awesome Backup Ribbon story to share. How can I let you know?
We LOVE feedback. Tell us your stories!