We want SF cons and events to be safe spaces for everyone. No one should ever feel that they have to tolerate harassment to be polite, because “that’s just the way it is,” because “he’s really a nice guy, he doesn’t mean anything by it,” or for fear that the harasser or his (or her) friends might retaliate.
Harassment is about power, and we believe that it’s time to firmly place the power back in the hands of those of us who refuse to tolerate it. To this end, we’re proposing a campaign that lets each individual take action at a very real, personal level by making one simple statement and standing behind it: “I’m watching.”*
- we are aware of and will not tolerate harassment in our community.
- we are available if a fellow con-goer experiences harassment and needs a rescue (and will help them get to a safe place and report harassment if that is their wish).
- we will call out and report bad behavior.
Our proposal is that we come together to create a presence at cons that makes it clear that harassment is not only unacceptable, but that it comes with real consequences (from public shaming to being banned from cons and even facing legal charges). We’d like to see volunteers at cons all over the world wearing “I’M WATCHING” stickers and buttons and handing out printed info on how to handle and report harassment safely. We’d like to see this image on websites across the Internet (linked back to us, of course!) proclaiming an end to sexual harassment at SF conventions. We want to put potential harassers on notice: We’re watching.
These materials will be available on an open-source basis. Avery label templates, PDFs, etc. will allow each individual, group, con committee, etc. to print their own stickers at low cost. We’ll also make them available via various print outlets such as Cafe Press in case folks want to print buttons, t-shirts, or laptop skins! The possibilities are endless.
What say you? We’d love your feedback, and if you want to be a part of this effort, please don’t hesitate to let us know via the Contact page.
PS: We’ve just become aware of the Backup Ribbon Project and Nerdiquette 101, orgs with similar goals, and we’ll be in touch with them to find out how our orgs can work together to bring about change. Check them out!
*We’re doing up some new graphics with alternate slogans to address comfort issues with the “I’m Watching” slogan and allow people to choose slogans they like best when printing materials. We want people to participate! Let us know if you have thoughts on slogans you’d like to see. Thanks to Blair MacGregor for “Eyes Open” which we’ll definitely employ.
And here’s a new design. (Thanks, Blair!)