They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

Harassment On My Mind

It doesn't go away.

It's 2014 and it still hasn't gone away.

There's harassment of a bewildering array of targets throughout society. But the one place you might think would be more enlightened would be among a group already considered fringe -- SFF cons -- we are still dealing with bad behavior AND bad official behavior against those affected. And in 2014, one of the biggest reported fails is WisCon, the feminist SF con.

One of my favorite cons, I was even at my third WisCon in 2014, and yet in its 38th year, they dropped the ball. When I saw Jim Frenkel working the con suite, I thought maybe it was penance or something. Surely WisCon couldn't be so inept as to ignore the situation. I mean, his conduct cost him his job. And WisCon can't get this right by their members?

Look, this has been a problem for a long time. Women, POCs, LGBTQ, other cultures, all have been targets of jerks. Verbal, physical abuse, dismissive attitudes, rape -- even just making people feel uncomfortable or ill. 2013-2014 has seen a big visible campaign by Big Name Authors and others to get cons to both HAVE a practical and effective safety and harassment policy in place, but ADVERTISE it and ENFORCE it. A number of BNAs have publicly stated that they will not accept Guest of Honor berths without these in place. This summer Tor arranged for John Scalzi to do some things at the mammoth San Diego Comic-Con. But when their policies were shown to be problematic, Scalzi insisted that his events be held offsite.

Detcon1, this year's NASFiC in Detroit, put an Abbreviated Code of Conduct right smack on the front cover of the pocket Schedule Book. Indeed, it's not hopeless. I don't have the original link, but via Steve Buchheit via Al Bogdan...
"When a science fiction convention is more affirming, less body-shaming, more welcoming and less sneering than a conference with 3,000 plus 'progressives,' we're doing something wrong." A little on Netroots Nation and Detcon1, both held in Detroit last weekend, and what it means to be inclusive and diverse. (Grokked from Al Bogdan)
It should be so easy.

-- Be kind.
-- Treat everyone with respect.
-- No means no.
-- Walk away when unwanted.
-- Your desire to apologize is trumped by the other person's space.
-- No one should have to leave because of your behavior.
-- You aren't funnier, wittier, smarter, sexier or any other -er when you're drunk.
-- ... Or high.
-- ... Or even just full of yourself.
-- And Good God NEVER administer any chemical to a person without their knowledge.
-- If you can't control yourself, you're gone.
-- You can guarantee your bad behavior will be talked about.
-- If you're in the industry, there will be repercussions.
-- You are not some fucking special snowflake that gets a free pass to rule the world and abuse people.
-- Period.

We have to do better. We have to get this right.

For everyone.

Dr. Phil

EDITED: 8/2/14 to be more specific beyond just being a drunk as whole. Would that such words were not needed, or that one has to think like a scumbag to come up with these recommendations.
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