I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night, and had come to the computer ready to write about the fabulous time I had going to a ladies’ night “Wonder Woman” experience sponsored by our local comic shop … and I’ll do that at some point this weekend. However, something came up in my e-mail that I need to talk about.
Remember this post from a couple of days ago: How to be a Convention-Goer That Vendors and Authors Love? Well, I left something pretty important off from the item that talks about not buttonholing the vendor or author at their table.
Do NOT use the fact that they cannot get away as an opportunity to sexually harass them. PERIOD.
In that linked post, I talked about a person who had plunked himself down “backstage” and made some inappropriate remarks to one of our authors. He was spoken to and apparently left her alone last year. I just learned that, this year, he was back to his old tricks and had in fact escalated. I didn’t know a thing about it at the time … and it has now been reported in writing. He not only tried to sit down with her, but attended every panel on which she spoke, tried to engage her on personal topics, and was back to his old pattern of making rude and inappropriate remarks.
Needless to say, I am furious right now. I take very seriously my responsibility, as co-chair of the authors’ program, the importance of making sure our people are safe. The person this individual targeted has mobility issues and literally cannot get away.
This is NEVER okay. NEVER. Yes, I’m doing the equivalent of shouting. I don’t care if you think you’re being funny. I don’t care if you think you’re just being friendly or flirtatious. Sexual harassment is none of those things. Just in case you’re not sure, here’s a handy graphic, via Slideshare.Net.
I am so angry and offended that I even feel the need to write this in 2017 that I can hardly see straight. If you are the victim of this kind of behavior at a convention, please report it immediately to security, your up-line … somebody. You do NOT have to put up with this for the sake of politeness/not making waves/ the reputation of the convention. None of that matters as much as your safety and well-being.