I was on vacation last week and so I'm just catching up on the aftermath of this account by Elise Matthesen posted on John Scalzi's blog last week: It's a first-person account by a science fiction author who tried to report an incident of sexual harassment at a convention. The predictable arguments followed on sci-fi blogs: The trolls claiming that sexual harassment is a thing of the past, the head-in-the-sand-ers who claim that sci-fi is one big happy community, and so on.
But Slog tipper Tracy let me know that (former Seattle) author Cherie Priest put up a post on her blog about the issue, and it's well worth reading:
There have been times when I could’ve used a heads up. Mostly when it comes to conventions.
Like oh, say – that time I was with some other guests, posing for a group photo … and the day-drunk gent behind me snaked his hand onto my ass but goddammit it was time to smile. I would’ve appreciated a heads up about him. See also: the fellow panelist who yelled in my ears until they rang, and then put his hand over my face (yes on my face) to prevent me from answering a question. (It wasn’t my turn to talk. The next turn wasn’t mine either. I didn’t get a turn. No use trying to take one.) For that matter, maybe someone could’ve clued me in on the writer who leaned in for a selfie with me … and tried to nibble my ear.
You know. That kind of thing.
Go read the whole post (actually, go read both posts) and then talk to me about how women are making this shit up in their heads. This is a real problem, and the only way that anything is going to get better is if people talk about it. So, thanks to Priest and Scalzi and Matthesen for talking about it.