Grothe has put his foot in his mouth quite a bit this week with regard to the issue of harassment at cons, but the last straw was him blaming Watson personally for scaring women off by misrepresenting TAM when discussing incidents of sexual harassment that have been her own personal experience in the skeptical community (not just TAM):
Over the past several years, I’ve been groped, grabbed, touched in other nonconsensual ways, told I can expect to be raped, told I’m a whore, a slut, a bitch, a prude, a dyke, a cunt, a twat, told I should watch my back at conferences, told I’m too ugly to be raped, told I don’t have a say in my own treatment because I’ve posed for sexy photos, told I should get a better headshot because that one doesn’t convey how sexy I am in person, told I deserve to be raped – by skeptics and atheists. All by skeptics and atheists. Constantly.
One thing we should be grateful for – Grothe just made the decision of where best to spend one’s non-infinite budget for conferences really, really easy for a whole lot of people. Go to TAM where apparently their much-vaunted anti-harassment policy doesn’t even have a proper documentation protocol so that data on incidents can be tallied (effective ad hoc action there and then is not enough when it leads to your spokes-figure claiming 0 incidents were reported)? Or go to a different conference where reported incidents actually get written down, by staff who actually initiate asking for details about the incident, so that patterns can be analysed, shortcomings identified and improvements made in future years to enhance the attendee experience?
I know which one sounds more appealing to me.