the Readercon thing

I think the whole thing has been hashed out more than thoroughly, so I just have a fe tangential comments to make. As it happens, I reread Pollyanna recently, in the last week or so. Maybe that’s why my strongest reaction is that it may be an ugly situation, but it offers an enormous account of scope for the “being glad” game.

Most obvious, of course, is the reactions to the Board’s decisions – they’re closer to unanimous than I can ever recall in reaction to anything on the internet. Everyone is saying that whether or not they agree with the zero-tolerance policy, it should have been enforced, as it has been in the past. Whether they think Rene Walling was clueless or with intent, everyone is saying his actions were inappropriate and sanctions were needed.

More than that, by “everyone”, I mean EVERYONE – at least, everyone who has written about it. I’ve seen it from nearly as many men as women, from people heavily involved with cons and those who aren’t. Not “everyone who’s been harassed”, not “women”, not “everyone except people who know Rene”, not “everyone except convention organizers.” I’m sure there are exceptions I’ve missed (don’t bother pointing them out; I think I can be content without tracking them down) but even so, this is an extemely broad preponderance of opinion.

The other thing to be glad about is what the other congoers did. According to Genevieve Valentine’s own account, people helped by escorting her, having conversations with her that deliberately excluded him, and stepping in deliberately to make sure she wasn’t left alone. (The bad news here is that the good behavionr wasn’t universal – before the harassing incident, there was also a problem with a patronizing panel moderator. Even there, at least some people stepped up afterwards to be supportive.)

I hope I never have to deal with that sort of harassment (and maybe that’s one advantage of aging, that maybe I won’t), but if I do I hope I meet with similar reactions at the time and after.

(In other news, I’m in Japan this week and part of next for what is probably my last work trip here. I’ll be here over the weekend this time, so I’m trying to decide whether to visit Kyoto or Nagoya or just hang around – I hate missing opportunities, but it’s extremely hot and humid, and apparently Kyoto is worse because it’s in a valley. I may elect to be lazy. And last night I got to go to a yakitori restaurant, which was yummy and also featured waving mushrooms.)

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