After I posted my Convention Harassment Policy Starter Kit, I learned about a study Nicole Stark had done about harassment policies at fan conventions. Stark’s article is available on Google Docs, here. I’ve seen a fair amount of discussion on harassment policies and why we do or don’t need to worry about them, but this is the first example I’ve seen of a more rigorous academic survey and discussion of harassment policies. Stark gave me permission to link to her paper, and to discuss some of the highlights.
From the abstract:
This study uses content analysis to evaluate a sample of 288 fan convention websites. These conventions took place within the United States from March to November 2013. The analysis was used to determine how common sexual harassment policies are and their characteristics. This study examined both frequencies and descriptions of codes of conduct, including promoted and prohibited rules, sanctions, reporting guidelines, and the existence of a sexual harassment or general harassment policy. Less than half of the sample contained any behavioral policy at all. Those behavioral policies that were present were found to be generally informal, unstructured, and devoid of a sexual harassment policy. However, many policies contained rules that could be used in the prevention of sexual harassment. These rules, when made clear and recognizable, may work as effective policy in informal spaces. (Page 2)
Stark opens by discussing an instance of sexual harassment from New York Comic Con, and goes on to note that:
A study on sexual harassment policy in manufacturing firms revealed that an available written policy resulted in a 76 percent reduction in one year’s reports (Moore and Bradley 1997).
In other words, to anyone arguing there’s no need for a sexual harassment policy, there is actual research showing that such a policy can significantly reduce sexual harassment.
I expect some people to protest that a convention isn’t the workplace, and that’s true. There are likely to be some differences in the dynamics and effects of a harassment policy in a convention space vs. a workplace. But the underlying premise and conclusion here is pretty straightforward: “We created a written policy on sexual harassment, and sexual harassment decreased significantly.”
I assume most people would like to see sexual harassment at conventions decrease significantly as well. Ergo, creating a written policy seems like a really basic and obvious first step.
Stark’s sample comes from the costume.org website’s list of upcoming conventions. The cons were all from 2013, all located in the U.S., and included media, anime, literary, gaming, comics, relaxicons, and more. So what did she find in her study?
Of the 288 convention websites, 59.38% had no listed policy on their website in regards to behavior or code of conduct. Less than half of all websites (40.62%) had at bare minimum, a behavioral policy explaining acceptable or unacceptable actions while at the convention. These rules ranged from a basic ‘be polite’ to lengthier explanations and examples of what was acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Of the total sample, only 3.47% used the phrase ‘sexual harassment’. However, 13.88% used the word ‘harassment’, not detailing readily available distinctions between harassments, whether sexual, bullying, or annoying otherwise.
Fewer than half of conventions have a posted policy about acceptable behavior, let alone harassment. And the policy is only the starting point; what about instructions on reporting harassment and other unacceptable behavior?
Only 15.27% (44) of the 288 convention websites contained guidelines on reporting. Of the three conventions participating in Project: Women Back Each Other Up, only one employed the use of purple ribbons to indicate female staff members who were prepared to intervene and handle potential sexual harassment. Several policies listed that if there were emergencies, to dial 911 or building security. This left 84.72% (244) of the convention websites devoid of response or guidance to potential victims.
Stark goes on to recommend:
…in evidence of the language and audience in these informal spaces, the following are suggestions for a comprehensive policy at fan conventions. The policies need to be recognizable and readily available (Moore & Bradley 1997), properly enforced, include and define sanctions, train employees for prevention and response, (Harmus & Niblock 2000), detail complaint procedure (Fowler 1996), and define sexual harassment in terms that the audience understands. (Emphasis added)
I have very little to add beyond Yes. That.
I recommend anyone interested in the ongoing conversation about sexual harassment in fandom read the full study. And my thanks to Nicole Stark for letting me link to and chat about her research here.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
I have no idea who is saying this or to whom, or why....
So, yeah, some days the hamster wheel in my head breaks loose and rattles down the highway, carrying me with it screaming all the way.
Lisa Costello held me and put up with snot everywhere and us going without sleep because naturally all this occurred (relatively) late in the evening.
I'm still here, but it's a damned hard life, even on the best days. Yesterday was not one of the best days.
Some frozen dude for sale at the Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA.
Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Meet Your Body’s Death Eaters — From brain to blood to bone, macrophages take out our cellular trash. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)
Calvin and Hobbes on ebooks — Hahahah.
Twitter’s World — Languages and Twitter.
Prosthetic Arm Found in Second-Hand Shop — Ah, headlines.
Irrefutable Proof that Santa is Odin — (Via
'Get me off this plane': Man locked in dark cabin in worst layover ever — Wow. (Via RWN.)
Fat Flag — Food, art, nationalism. (Via
Europe's rarest orchid rediscovered in the Azores
Blistering exposé prompts Johns Hopkins to suspend black-lung screenings — Coal companies paid the Baltimore-based university handsome sums to screen the claimants for the disease. After reviewing chest X-rays, the university’s scientists almost always concluded that the scans did not show black lung — a conclusion which often overwhelmed any other medical opinion in the case. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
What Names are Normal? Shifting the Center of the World — Culture and names.
Online Dating Shows Us the Cold, Hard Facts — Fascinating article, although it makes a couple of logical leaps.
"She Said 'This Is a Gun.' I Said No, It's a Prop for My Monkey." — Ah, TSA, we hardly knew ye.
At Least 194 Children Have Been Shot to Death Since Newtown — The NRA says arming more adults will protect kids—but most are killed at home, our investigation shows, often with unsecured guns. Yep. Definitely safer dead by those guns than they would have been remaining alive in a gun-free household. Ask any gun owner.
The Heartland Institute and the American Meteorological Society — If climate science really is in such disarray as the deniers claims, then why do so many resort to misleading tactics so often? Why post misleading graphs, why cherry pick data, why engage in egregious ad hominems, why send out emails about papers that say the opposite of what the paper actually concludes? If their claims are correct, then why even risk the perception of impropriety? It might seem as if they're more interested in scoring political and ideological points rather than scientific ones. But then, the evidence is solidly against them. So are 97 percent of the scientists who actually do research in climate science, as are the data, the science, and the reality of global warming. As with virtually all conservative causes, bearing false witness is far more productive than providing evidence, given that evidence-based reality almost never favors the conservative viewpoint.
Dear Pres. Obama: Dissent isn’t Possible in a Surveillance State — Sigh.
?otD: Does your staff have a knob on the end?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)
He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For [love] and for valour he rode through the land.
No charger have I, and no sword by my side,
Yet still to adventure and battle I ride,
Though back into storyland giants have fled,
And the knights are no more and the dragons are dead.
Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed
'Gainst the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed;
And let me set free with the sword of my youth,
From the castle of darkness, the power of the truth.
When a Knight Won His Spurs is a children's hymn written by Jan Struther and set to a folk melody (Stowey) and harmonised by Ralph Vaughan Williams.The hymn first appeared in Songs of Praise in 1931.
Hear it beautifully done by my new favorite British folk duo, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker.
Here are some things I need to finish:
You ain't gonna like what I have to tell you, but I'm gonna tell you anyway.
Patience and Fortitude
Nothing made Matthew hate himself more than waiting for the elevator.
Pewter scraped across the black wave-caps of the Atlantic on the morning Carl Hughes learned how his lover had died.
An Apprentice to Elves
Tin laced her fingers together across her gravid belly and frowned along her nose at the feeble human child.
"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"
"We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you'd flunked Algebra."
"This Chance Planet"
"It's not like I'd be selling my own liver."
Johnny Backus was a daywalker. Johnny Backus was a vampire. Johnny Backus was a friend of mine.
When Cecily was three years old, she announced that she was "stared of the scares," meaning the basement stairs. It stuck. Especially since Cecily wasn't scared--or stared--of almost anything else.
I loved you not.
There are no unremarkable worlds.
As the innate perversity of the universe would have it, Officer Jericho was up to her elbows in the guts of a roasted pumpkin as big as her chest when her pager shrilled.
The universe will always need plumbers.
"A Time to Reap"
Krissy paused in the wings stage left, in air thick with the smell of dust, imagining thunderous applause.
- Current Mood: lethargic
Anyway, it's hit 3k and may have a while to go yet but I'm thinking it's Pre-Draft - that is, I know where it starts, where it ends, and have a whole bunch of stuff happening in the middle that stands up to being poked.
And it has, no lie, a 73-word sentence in it. Yes, a functional, intentional 73 word sentence. Well, it wasn't intentional that there be 73 words, but I knew it would be...extended.
Fight scenes, man. They're either brute-force short, or elegantly elongated.