alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin
There's one theme I keep seeing in comments about the Jim Frenkel case, and while this particular thought mostly seems to be coming from erstwhile defenders from outside the immediate community (and people who probably be Frenkel's peers in age and other demographic markers, I imagine), I do have to wonder if it's related to why one piece of evidence in particular apparently didn't seem compelling to the sub-committee's chair.

Author/journalist Mikki Kendall reported that on her first meeting with Frenkel, he spent the entire conversation openly leering at her cleavage. She has written and spoken about this incident and about WisCon's handling of Frenkel here, with an addendum taking specific note of how the recently-released apology reflects (or rather, fails to reflect) the treatment she's still receiving.

The reason I'm speaking about this has to do with the picture that one of her friends snapped of the incident. This picture has been dismissed by the commenters I described above as being just a single moment of time and not proof of anything... you know, because a picture flattens perspective, he could have been in the process of moving his gaze down to something on the floor when the camera went off, he could have been suppressing a sneeze, et cetera.

I could point out that it's really unlikely someone would have managed to snap a picture just in time to catch an accidental juxtaposition like that, as compared to noticing something both obvious and ongoing and getting a picture of it while it's still ongoing. And I guess I just did. But let's forget that.

But the thing is, this line of argument requires us to throw out Mikki's own testimony as to what happened. She was there. Don't you think she knows the difference between someone who is supposedly engaging with her instead staring directly at her chest, and the same person glancing down at the floor next to her? Is there any reason to be interrogating her claim, especially when it's perfectly in line with other reports of Frenkel's typical behavior?

The photograph as a single piece of evidence, a single snapshot in time, might not be damning. But it doesn't have to be. It's supporting evidence; it backs up what Mikki has to say. Other people's experiences were believed without such support.

That the one supported by a picture is also the one that was apparently thrown out is interesting to say the least.
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