No More Memory Holes

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. Fuck around and find out.

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August 28, 2015

So remember how Sasquan decided that even though Lou Antonelli violated their Code of Conduct they weren’t going to enforce the Code of Conduct because David Gerrold didn’t want them to?  Turns out that Gerrold wasn’t the only one feeling harassed and intimidated–and he wasn’t the only one to report it.

Meg Frank, the Events Deputy Division Head also reported same against Lou Antonelli and was told by the head of operations, Robbie Bourget, that she had not been harassed and one of the vice-chairs, Glenn Glazer, attempted to guilt her into backing down.  Instead of backing down, Meg Frank resigned a week before the convention.  Frank has provided a PDF of emails to back up her assertions.

I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not.  Here are a some screencaps from the Journeymen of Fandom group on Facebook in which it is clear that Robbie Bourget sees the rehabilitation of offenders back into community as a higher priority than attendee safety:

bourget 1

bourget 2

And here’s Glenn Glazer defending Robbie Bourget when she comes in for some criticism in the same thread. He is clearly putting his personal alliances and friendships over that of the convention. If he doesn’t know you, your opinion and experience are irrelevant.

glazer 1

Edited to add: If you’re interested in the full context: Facebook discussion.  If you’re not Facebook-enabled: screencap (right click and open in a new tab/window). Since someone was complaining about that (screencap–again, right click, open in new tab/window).

Oh, but Sasquan is over and done with! There isn’t anything to be upset about!

Not true.  Both these individuals are heavily involved in con-running and they have the potential to sidetrack and hijack the enforcement of Codes of Conduct in favor of offender rehabilitation in the future.  Robbie Bourget was co-chair of Anticipation, the last Worldcon held in Montreal (note her co-chair). And this is what she had to say in 2012 on the SMOFS mailing list on the subject of harassment and codes of conduct (click to embiggen):

And lest we forget, someone just last year thought this was appropriate to send to the the Sasquan mailing list when they were trying to figure out what their Code of Conduct should be–that someone felt that they could send this to the mailing list speaks to the general mindset of the organizers (click to embiggen):

sasquan mailing list harassment


So, yeah. This is a thing. I have no idea how to remedy it except that we can’t keep letting these incidents be forgotten. We can’t be complacent and we can’t pretend that there’s no responsibility to the membership outside of legal requirements. I do recognize and understand that running a convention is a lot of work and is often thankless. But the safety of the members should be one of the top priorities of the convention committee and I simply cannot understand why–so often–it isn’t.

No more memory holes.

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