So, there are a lot of things going on with Readercon. I've following everyone else's posts and watching what happens with the concom versus the board, etc. My position should be obvious: an aggressor's feelings should never, ever, be privileged above the safety and security, emotional and physical, of the victim. Not to mention, it's difficult to entrust my (or anyone else's) safety to a set of policies that seem to be nothing more than words on paper--it makes me uncertain that the convention is actually concerned about making their space a safe space.
And, moreso after an incident this weekend at my local queer club, I am extremely invested in having safer spaces. (I'm not terribly comfortable talking about this yet, but I will, because I think it matters.) Long story short: as friends went to the car, because the keys were locked in it and we were waiting on AAA, I stayed at the bar area so I could sit down and rest my feet. A man came up, initially sitting down on the couch next to me and asking how my night was--fairly normal behavior, at this club--but then grabbed me around the arms, groped my breast, and when I turned away, began trying to kiss me on the neck. I froze. This is not the kind of thing I've ever had to worry about at this club; that's why I let a stranger sit down next to me in the first place. Luckily, my friend returned and staged a strategic rescue pretending to be my girlfriend, but it left me rattled. I've been upset about it since that night, for a variety of reasons.
Not least of which is that it feels like one of the rare, special safe spaces in my life, to be a queer female-bodied person in without fear of assault, has been taken from me. I know this is silly; there's really no such thing as a safe space in this world if you're queer, or visually identified by most folks as a woman, etc. But I had been counting this space as a space in which I could let my guard down. It was freeing, and full of joy. I still like my club, but it won't be the same, now.
Readercon is another space where I've felt safe, and reasonably protected. The Board's recent policy choices make me feel as if that's one more place that I'm not--and my friends and associates are not--safe, or even respected enough to be protected after the fact of an incident.
And that's a big fucking problem.