Mar. 6th, 2014

quartzpebble: (you can't see me)
[personal profile] quartzpebble
I emailed this letter to the FOGCon ConCom today. I'm posting it here to offer feedback to the community from a fan and a feminist who thinks FOGCon sounds neat. Several of my friends attend; I'd been thinking about going in 2015. I was dismayed to read the ConCom's response to concerns raised about the appropriateness of someone who's harassed in the past acting as head of Safety. I hope that this letter can help open up a conversation around what this community wants its "welcoming back" to look like.


To the FOGCon ConCom: )


I firmly believe reconciliation and change is possible. I think that having a supportive community is essential to helping people who have harassed change their thinking and actions. That said, this support cannot be uncritical. It requires unflinching compassion to sit with someone as they figure out which of their attitudes made them think it was ok to help themselves to someone else's time, attention, or body. It is hard to come to terms with how you (a good person; most of us think we're good, deep down) could have hurt someone in a community you care about. This is hard work and I deeply appreciate those who do it and those who help others with it.

But welcoming someone back into a community is not the same as offering them a position of power in it, and accepting someone's offer to run programming (a random example) is not the same as allowing them to head Safety. Based on their statements, I think that Alan Bostick and the FOGCon ConCom made the wrong choice for the wrong reasons. I am sorry to see that, especially because FOGCon seems like the sort of space I would otherwise love. I hope it becomes possible for me to attend in the future.


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March 2014

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