Some day I want someone to write up an expose on Monopod Man because, if he really is who people say he is and if his other identities are the same as they seem to be, it is important that people know who he is. But I’m not going to do that, or at least, not now. Monopod Man is the guy who was bothering women at a conference, and also, walking around with a camera that may or may not have been set up to obtain “upskirt shots” of people who may or may not have been wearing skirts or kilts, and while he may or may not have been doing that, he also may or may not have posted “upskirt shots” on the JREF forum.
Anyway, Rob Tarzwell wrote a Facebook Note that referred in part to Monopod man, and has become part of the corpus of information regarding TAM related events that may or may not have happened. Rob has modified his facebook notes and has asked me to indicate that here since I had previously referred to it. Also, this same information has been significantly expanded on by Greta Christina who has related information provided by a person who was one of those involved in reporting the activities of Monopod Man.
Rob’s updated post is here, and in case you can’t see that, this is what it says:
Act I: TAM 2009
I notice an outrageously drunk conferee hitting on a non-conferee in the Del Mar Lounge. She was at the stage of being quite anxious but trying very hard to remain polite. I asked him if maybe the woman had had enough. He was far too drunk to notice his inappropriate behaviour and became surly. I watched from a distance. He decided to kick it up a notch, leaned across the table, and licked the woman’s neck. Myself and another gent physically restrained him and frog-marched him to his room. Hotel security wanted to eject him immediately. God knows why, but I intervened so he could stay. He was a royal pain in the ass for hours while we babysat him in his room, and he remains bitter about the experience to this day. I would not plead with hotel security if that were to happen again.
Act II: TAM 2011
Two women approach me and another conferee. They are pale and trembling. Allegedly*, a man with a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod has been attempting to surreptitiously take photos up their skirts. Yes, he was attending TAM. They had taken concerns to conference organizers and got little satisfaction. Hotel security confiscated the camera. I later learned the individual was “well-known” and had been complained about in previous years, and yet there he was again.
Act III: Female safety?
I go to conferences. Lots of conferences. I am nauseated with conferences. None, NONE, involve the kind of outrageous shitshow behaviour I routinely witness at TAM. I could supply many more anecdotes. Oh, anecdotes aren’t data? Well, these anecdotes are human beings – our sisters.
Frankly, I admire Rebecca Watson’s restraint and tenacity, and her longsuffering support of an organization which, while it does perhaps do net good in the world, has yet to take a long, serious, hard look in the mirror and acknowledge that, if we’re ever going to get past this sophomoric bullshit and present a credible face of rationality in an irrational world, the irrational world we need to start with is us.
*Wording changed 15 June 2012 to make it clear that I did not directly witness the alleged incidents. I did directly witness the palpable fear and revulsion the women were experiencing.
There are many, many comments on that post including questions, clarifications, and all sorts of other stuff.
Greta Christina’s information and commentary is here, mainly. Or at least, start there and work your way outwards.