This week (6/2) I posted the photo on left to the SFFragette Facebook page. I took it with my phone at Norwescon 36 this past spring, and was really sad to see it as NWC is one of my favorite cons, and local to me–I attend every year. I wasn’t the only one: commenters on Facebook and Twitter chimed in with their disapproval, some going as far as to say it was enough to make them cross NWC of their list of cons to attend–ever.
Around the same time I attempted to send a message to Norwescon Chair Peggy Stewart via the NWC site asking for her assurance that she understood why the poster was problematic (and requesting a progress update on an anti-harassment policy from NWC, more on which later). I’m not sure my email got through, as the little spinny thing was still spinning quite a while later, so I’ll wait a few days and resend if I don’t hear anything.
But meanwhile, I received this tweet:
— Norwescon (@norwescon) July 3, 2013
…and this comment on the photo on Facebook:
I’m really happy to see this, and I want to thank everyone who helped bring attention to it. And thanks to Norwescon for responding in a timely manner and taking appropriate action.
As for Norwescon’s anti-harassment policy, they don’t currently have one. Information wasn’t easy to find on their website, but a search for “harassment” dug up a post from January stating the following:
Norwescon’s concom has formed a committee consisting of members outside the executive team to address a possible official written harassment policy for convention membership.
The word “possible” above gave me pause, and as I said I (hopefully) have an email off to the con chair (and will resend if I don’t hear something soon). A member of this special committee posted on the SFFragette Facebook page that they have made a recommendation to the con committee, and I hope to be able to report soon that they are putting something in place before Norwescon 37. (If you have information about this, please let me know.)