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[personal profile] coffeeandink has a post, Sexual Harassment at Readercon, that details the harassment of author Genevieve Valentine by "a well-known fan," Rene Walling. Despite its stated policy of zero tolerance towards and lifetime bans for harassers, the Readercon board has banned Walling for…two years.

I'd previously heard that Readercon was snooty and inaccessible, but I can safely say that after this I will never go myself and will actively discourage women and people who don't believe that harassment is acceptable behavior to avoid the con like the plague. There are plenty of other great SFF conventions.

Finally: I fully support the decision of several people who were at the con to name Walling as Valentine's harasser. Protecting the anonymity of someone who has demonstrated a pattern of harassment only enables Walling to continue easily preying upon unknowing people. 

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-29 14:11 (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
I used to volunteer for a not-for-profit organization that ran a convention. Concom did the front-line boots-on-the-ground work of liaising with guests, scheduling panels and events, dealing with the hotel and vendors, making the program book, all the stuff that would be visible to attendees. The board of directors took care of financial and legal aspects and were largely invisible. Since it was a not-for-profit these people were not paid, and many of them were concom or had been in the past. Members of a board of directors can also be financially and criminally liable, personally, if anything goes seriously wrong with the organization.

I'm surprised to see as much of a disconnect between Readercon's concom and board as is being described. Yeah, a board can make decisions without concom, and concom has to live with them. But this goes into the realm of whether to allow criminal activity at the convention. It's the sort of thing that boards are supposed to be careful about and avoid, if I understand correctly.

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