Depending on which corners of the internet you’ve been paying attention to today, you may or may not have seen the useless and offensive piece of garbage that is the harassment policy for World Fantasy this year. It translates to “unless you are subjected to a criminally prosecutable instance of harassment, we’re not going to do anything about it. Play nice, guys!”
This is unacceptable.
And I’ve told the con runners as much. It’s barely a week and a half to the con; their ability to fix it is, at this point, limited. But they can at least do something. Me, I can’t get a refund on my plane ticket or my convention membership, so that cost is sunk. But if nothing improves by the time I get there, then I will not participate in programming — and I have told the con runners as much.
Because here’s the thing. It turns out I’m actually on two panels, not one; when I posted my schedule yesterday, the second one had vanished from the program, but it’s back now. That panel? Is on violence. And I simply cannot stomach the irony of sitting behind a microphone talking about violence, while knowing the event I’m attending has abdicated its responsibility to protect the safety of its attendees.
This isn’t rocket science. Many other cons have instituted policies against harassment and procedures to enforce same. I’m serving on the board of an organization that is, right now, dealing with a very complex allegation of harassment. I know what a good policy looks like, and this is so far from that, you’d need a telescope to see it from here. Their excuses for why they can’t do better are laughable. Their failure to even communicate this so-called “policy” to all of their staff is indicative of massive dysfunction. And if they didn’t see this storm coming, they’ve been willfully blind.
I will not support this kind of crap by lending my voice and my thoughts to their program. If they fix it, I’ll go on as scheduled. If they don’t, I’ll be in the bar. And we can have a nice chat about how “violence” doesn’t always involve blood.