As of his latest update, about 500 people have co-signed John Scalzi's anti-harassment policy, meaning they either support it or are willing to implement it at conventions. So far ALA Annual, Context Convention, Geek Girl Con and Readercon have tweeted that they are on board as well, which means cons may soon be safer and more fun for all!
For those of you who missed it, Scalzi provided a space for his friend Elise Matthesen to share her experience with harassment at cons with the world. Shortly after, the award-winning Sci-fi author took a bold step and announced that he would not be appearing as a guest at any conventions that did not have a clear harassment policy in place.
His latest update also addresses questions like "You can't do this," "You'll be left out of some cons," "You're just doing this for feminist points," and the inevitable "What about free speech/political correctness/oversensitive people/the good old days?" It's a fun read, as Scalzi's posts usually are, and even better, it's a voluntary step made by a heavy hitter in the genre. I'd call that progress.
For those of you confused about what Scalzi is asking actually happen with harassment policies, he outlines his requests on his blog:
That being the case, moving forward from this very instant, the following will be a hard requirement for my being a panelist, participant or Guest of Honor at a convention:
1. That the convention has a harassment policy, and that the harassment policy is clear on what is unacceptable behavior, as well as to whom those who feel harassed, or see others engaging in harassing behavior, can go for help and action.
2. That the convention make this policy obvious by at least one and preferably more than one of the following: posting the policy on their Website, placing it in their written and electronic programs, putting up flyers in the common areas, discussing the policy at opening ceremonies or at other well-attended common events.
3. In cases when I am invited as a Guest of Honor, personal affirmation from the convention chair that a harassment policy exists, that it will be adequately publicized to conventiongoers, and that all harassment complaints will be dealt with promptly and fairly, with no excuses or rationalizations for delaying action when such becomes necessary.
So while Scalzi is not outlining the harassment policy for every con himself, he is stating that any con that would like to host him as guest must have a clear and enforced policy in place.