Update: scroll down for DefCon addendum
Update the 2nd: scroll down for Atheist Alliance International model-policy addendum
This time it’s the science fiction writing community undergoing Deep Rifts over a disputed implementation of an existing anti-harassment policy at Readercon following a verified harassment incident [background here, here, here and here]. There is talk of rewriting the policy to avoid problems uncovered by this incident, and plenty of pushback criticising Readercon for deciding not to stick with their penalty as written (lifetime ban), complete with yet another round of but-we-don’t-need-no-stinkin-policy-anyway backlash.
Ann Leckie at her Modern Felicity livejournal has a response to that:
But here’s the more extensive answer. If you really think that “speaking to women” is indistinguishable from harassment, there’s a problem and it’s not with the rules. If you really think anti-harassment rules bar flirting, you’ve got an idea of what constitutes flirting that really needs some re-evaluation. I mean, if someone said, “Hey, we should outlaw rape,” and the guy standing next to you said, “But that’s the same thing as saying people can’t have sex!” you wouldn’t say, Wow, good point!. You’d look at him sideways. Or, sweet unconquered sun, I hope you would.
One for the bookmarks folder.
Addendum: seriously – WTF, DefCon?
Let it be known that I went to Defcon with a reasonable amount of armor on already. I was reasonably aware of the frat party environment I was stepping into. I have many friends who are involved with helping make Defcon roll smoothly each year, from speakers to goons. And still, nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of bad behavior I experienced.
Like the man who drunkenly tried to lick my shoulder tattoo. Like the man who grabbed my hips while I was waiting for a drink at the EFF party. Like the man who tried to get me to show him my tits so he could punch a hole in a card that, when filled, would net him a favor from one of the official security staff (I do not have words for how slimy it is that the official security staff were in charge of what was essentially a competition to get women to show their boobs). Or lastly, the man who, without prompting, interrupted my conversation and asked me if I’d like to come back to his room for a “private pillowfight party.”
Emphasis above added by moi.
The author has come up with a red/yellow card idea (based on the cards handed out by football referees) that I find problematic in multiple ways but which has received a very positive response from other women intending to attend DefCon. At least it’s getting the conversation started.
Addendum: YAY! The Atheists Alliance International has drafted a model anti-harassment policy to which they are going to require compliance from cons operating under their umbrella. It’s inspirationally comprehensive while remaining plain-language. Well done AAI. (via Almost Diamonds)