Please note I have not participated in either the OSBP, the debates about it in the originator's journal, and I had never even heard of him until today. This is purely in the interests of removing possible confusions and misunderstandings that may otherwise crop up and ruin my Con Experience this year. This is not an editorial about whether it's a good or bad thing; I am not open to debate on any sort of moral judgments. I am open to debate in the comments about expected behavior at Con as relates to this Project and possible ramifications.
Open Source Boob Project basics, as I understand them, having waded through more info than was good for me this morning:
If you Opt In to the Project, you may do so in one of two ways.
1). You may wear a Green Button. The Green Button says that you are open to BEING ASKED FOR PERMISSION for someone to touch your breasts. You may say yes, or no. I will have a suggestion about saying no gracefully at the end of the post.
2). You may wear a Red Button. The Red Button says that while you support or otherwise wish to participate in the project you are NOT OPEN TO EVEN BEING ASKED FOR PERMISSION for someone to touch your breasts.
Okay, freaks of all types - if someone's NOT wearing a button, they are NOT part of the Project, and you should treat them like they are wearing a Red Button - again, this means "don't even ask". Mmmkay? If someone IS wearing a button, that means they do know what the project is and consider themselves participants. Someone wearing a Red Button, for example, would be appropriate if they asked for permission to touch the breasts of a person wearing a Green Button. (I understand that the Green Button Guys are typically a "butt" rather than "breast", but it still applies).
THE BUTTONS LET YOU KNOW IF YOU MAY ASK. THAT IS ALL THE BUTTONS DO. If you ask and are told no, FFS take it gracefully, and thank the person for being open to being asked. Also, do not ask again. Nagging or hounding - even politely - will almost CERTAINLY class you as "That Guy". If you don't know who "That Guy" is - just trust me that you do not want to be "That Guy"... or "That Gurl", for that matter.
If you are participating, there's no reason you can't switch button colors mid con, mid day, mid conversation. If you are a person who has a difficult time refusing a request, but you still want to participate, here are some potential ways to do so - and these are suggestions meant to inspire thought, not "rules". If one of these suggestions sparks an idea that works for you, then my post is a success. (Also, if this post has even one person realizing that nothing about this project gives them ANY rights to ANY person at Dragoncon, and if even ONE sexual assault charge is prevented by clearing up confusion, then this post is also judged by me to be a success).
"Thank you for asking to touch my breasts - I'm feeling very [non-judgmental adjective such as overwhelmed, crowded, overloaded, sore, distracted] right now, so I must responsibly say no."
"No, you may not. I'm glad you felt safe enough to ask, though!"
The point of this exercise as I understand it is to create an environment that gives a visual signal for people to feel safe about asking honestly, and to feel safe about answering either yes OR no as they please. Anything else is just icing on the cake. Polite, nonjudgmental refusals that are honestly given only supports that safe environment. Please remember than when you're asking, and someone says no. Also remember that a refusal is probably much more based on the person you're asking and how they're feeling at that moment than about you. So don't get huffy. And if you REALLY want to get into the spirit of this thing, you might want to consider engaging in conversation with the person who refused, instead of running off to grab the next set of hooters. Because then we'll suspect you're "That Guy".
And if you are "That Guy" - please just don't participate.
And I really, really, really hope no one's surprised by my pointing out that this post applies to people of ALL genders!
I'm open to expansions, clarifications, and corrections. Please. Let's just make sure that, agree with it or not, everyone on the list *knows what The Project considers acceptable*!