Author Topic: FantasyCon 2014  (Read 61042 times)

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #60 on: January 20, 2014, 11:01:36 am »
Thing is, Jenny, some people will never complain of harassment even if there is a written policy. The way to allow people to make complaints about such things is not a written policy but organisers that are open and approachable. A written policy is worthless if the "bosses" refuse to listen (think about all the stuff going on in the news right now).


 

Offline Jen

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #61 on: January 20, 2014, 11:08:14 am »
Thing is, Jenny, some people will never complain of harassment even if there is a written policy. The way to allow people to make complaints about such things is not a written policy but organisers that are open and approachable. A written policy is worthless if the "bosses" refuse to listen (think about all the stuff going on in the news right now).
 

But a written policy means more people will have the confidence to say something to organisers because it carries the implication that someone at the top actually cares about this stuff.  First time con-goers won't automatically know if organisers are open and approachable, all they'll see is the cliquey groups of people who already know each other and are more likely to back up the harasser because they're old buddies. 


Offline David A. Riley

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #62 on: January 20, 2014, 11:13:58 am »


Quote
Included in this policy is this:  "Exhibitors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Dealer room staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing / uniforms / costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment."
Has whoever wrote this ever been to a fantasy convention?

Read her post on the SFX Weekender here - http://sophiamcdougall.livejournal.com/18005.html - especially this bit about exhibiters that included "all those half-naked women on stilts, (not cosplayers doing it for the thrills, entertainment paid for by the con) roaming around, and no half-naked men on stilts. And I wouldn’t mind that so much if there hadn’t also been girls wearing nothing but flashing lights strapped to their breasts and groins, dancing on the stage for the crowd’s edification at the final disco."  

Something that any sane convention should avoid doing.
 


"paid for by the con"

Something that would never happen at Fantasycon, I'm sure.

Baggy t-shirts, old pullovers and shapeless jeans are more the norm for dealers at Fantasycon in my experience. A less sexy mob I could hardly imagine!   :D

Offline David A. Riley

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #63 on: January 20, 2014, 11:21:06 am »
Have members of previous conventions been expelled for inappropriate behaviour?

If so, how many?

Are there any records of complaints over harassment? I'm appalled if there have been, though maybe that's a sign of the times we live in.

What kinds of inappropriate behaviour have there been?

I wouldn't be surprised if drunkenness didn't play a large part. Heavy drinking has always played a large part in conventions for some people. A difficult issue being that there are sometimes bars open all night long and drink is available all day. Some people struggle to cope with this, I know.


Offline Rolnikov

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #64 on: January 20, 2014, 11:32:37 am »
I agree with everything Jen has said. Having a harassment policy sets a standard that the organisers will be expected to live up to. It's a promise to attendees. The FantasyCon chairs haven't pulled this out of nowhere - it was a big issue all last year and harassment policies are quickly becoming standard practice at sf/fantasy conventions:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/07/02/my-new-convention-harassment-policy/
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/07/03/my-convention-harassment-policy-co-sign-thread/
http://jimhines.dreamwidth.org/257025.html
http://jimhines.dreamwidth.org/258644.html

Offline Mike Chinn

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #65 on: January 20, 2014, 11:41:08 am »
Included in this policy is this:  "Exhibitors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Dealer room staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing / uniforms / costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment."

I'm thinking of all those lurid S&S and heroic fantasy book covers -- plain brown paper bags required? It'll be like the top shelf in the local newsagent.

Better not bring any copies of Swords Against the Millennium, then. And woe betide anyone trying to sell second-hand copies of the Lancer/Sphere Conan books with the Frazetta covers: the thought police will be in there like a shot...
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Offline Mike Chinn

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #66 on: January 20, 2014, 11:42:30 am »

I don't like the Harassment Policy. Not because I object to anyone guilty of such conduct being dealt with, but because making it such a major issue is wrong when, so far as I am aware, we have never had a problem over it. Plus, convention organisers have always had the power to deal with any infringements - if such ever occurred.


We have had one or two incidents of boorish behaviour in the past. One time when I was chair I called the hotel staff and had the person ejected. Another time, when Jan was in charge, she -- um -- put the culprit right. No written policy in those days -- just common sense.


And a big stick... ;-)
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Offline CarolineC

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #67 on: January 20, 2014, 11:47:06 am »
I'm not sure this is an argument against FCon having a harassment policy per se, more an argument about the contents of that policy. I do understand the need for a written harassment policy - and I fully support the arguments that this helps people feel that they are welcome to report harassment (and also enables potential harassers see that they will be dealt with). But my argument is about the way this has been worded - it seems to take it to extremes. The bit about exhibited artwork being a case in point. Fantasy and horror artwork/book covers often do contain images which might be construed as "sexualised". So are they to be banned from the con? That seems very OTT to me.
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Offline David A. Riley

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #68 on: January 20, 2014, 12:25:40 pm »
I'm not sure this is an argument against FCon having a harassment policy per se, more an argument about the contents of that policy. I do understand the need for a written harassment policy - and I fully support the arguments that this helps people feel that they are welcome to report harassment (and also enables potential harassers see that they will be dealt with). But my argument is about the way this has been worded - it seems to take it to extremes. The bit about exhibited artwork being a case in point. Fantasy and horror artwork/book covers often do contain images which might be construed as "sexualised". So are they to be banned from the con? That seems very OTT to me.

You've hit the nail on the head, Caroline. It's one thing protecting individuals from being harassed (which, whatever the wording says, still depends on the proactive involvement of convention officials to make it work) it's another to make vague demands on exhibited artwork, etc., especially in an area like fantasy and horror. I would hate to see some over-officious con attendee using this as a pretext to demand certain pieces of artwork or book covers banned. Or even someone who has a grudge against any particular artist or book-dealer.

Offline Mike Chinn

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #69 on: January 20, 2014, 04:05:08 pm »
You've hit the nail on the head, Caroline. It's one thing protecting individuals from being harassed (which, whatever the wording says, still depends on the proactive involvement of convention officials to make it work) it's another to make vague demands on exhibited artwork, etc., especially in an area like fantasy and horror. I would hate to see some over-officious con attendee using this as a pretext to demand certain pieces of artwork or book covers banned. Or even someone who has a grudge against any particular artist or book-dealer.

The language needs to be tightened - made more specific; otherwise, sure as shootin', some self-appointed jobsworth will make it his/her job to find fault.
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Offline Debbie

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2014, 06:47:49 pm »
I'm *so* in two minds now. All three of us were planning on coming, which means two hotel rooms and I don't want to leave Clare on her own in strange hotel, even if she will be 18 by then - yes - scary, that, isn't it? She was two at her first FCon! But two rooms for two nights is ludicrously expensive.

Oh and can somebody own up to running the bank account because I'm *still* getting the statements!

Offline CarolineC

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2014, 08:44:24 pm »
There are some cheaper hotels quite close to the con hotel, Debbie. Hope you can make it.
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Offline GaryC

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #72 on: January 27, 2014, 08:18:17 am »
We have had one or two incidents of boorish behaviour in the past. One time when I was chair I called the hotel staff and had the person ejected.

If that's the incident I think it was, I remember it vividly, as I was sitting two rows behind you and him, and one row behind the person on the receiving end of his behaviour. Twenty years ago this year. The only time I ever remember hearing you swear.

But yes, as others have said, a policy does make it clear that certain behaviour is not acceptable. I don't know who the three harrassers at World Fantasy were, as I didn't witness any of the incidents myself, but I do know someone who was one of those harrassed. And being drunk or "being himself" is not okay as a reason for this.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 08:21:42 am by GaryC »

Offline Wayne Mook

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #73 on: February 11, 2014, 12:54:04 am »
As Jen pointed out with her links, a code of conduct is expected. Some authors will not join as guests unless there is one.

Usually the arbiter of what is allowed are the Con staff, but let's face it some of the old school pulp is near the knuckle.

To be honest the old Conan stuff can be embarrassing. It is the thing people point at as what is bad about our genres, but where do draw the line on the old stuff. Tarzan is much the same.

Some of the trade shows look bad, so I guess it's time fans made a stand before the companies sell us out.


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Offline Wayne Mook

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Re: FantasyCon 2014
« Reply #74 on: February 11, 2014, 12:55:16 am »
Just a quick note, I've booked and will be at the can with Nadia & Aysha, we are staying at the Ibis though.


Wayne.