Lately, it seems there has been a lot of news about inequality in the geek community, starting with a situation where a woman was harrassed at Readercon and the less than perfect initial response of the Readercon board. If you go to that link, you will find a notice at the end that things have changed, and Readercon has reversed it’s decision and delivered one of the best apologies I have seen online (note to people writing apologies: if you are trying to be sincere, you have to admit you were wrong; apologizing that people were offended is not an apology, especially when apologizing “if anyone was offended”–you know people were offended or you wouldn’t even be issuing a quasi-apology! Don’t make things worse by pretending you aren’t even sure anything bad really happened!).
I didn’t even find that apology until today, though, because I was suffering from some outrage exhaustion, and I stopped following this sort of thing. Because, of course, when Readercon didn’t seem to understand why they weren’t doing enough, people started talking about the culure of harassment, and what happens when policies aren’t followed, and I just couldn’t read any more without getting depressed. I even stepped away from Twitter for awhile, because this sort of thing was all over my timeline, and I just needed a break. I am not going to lie, I cried a bit when I read that apology. They really seemed to understand why what they did was wrong, and to care about creating a safe environment. Sure, maybe it was the fallout, but the fact that there was enough fallout for them to craft a well thought out apology is encouraging, regardless of whether every member of the Readercon board is 100% convinced or not. They are convinced they have to have this policy and enforce it, because their membership and community demands it, and that makes me feel safer.
What sent me in this direction, though, is a great project at indegogo to create a music parody of the Fun. song called We are Geeks. I love when people take depressing situations and make something positive out of them! Ginny McQueen created this project, and they have some great help signed on from Greg Aronowitz (The Guild, Dragon Age) as director, to guest stars Grant Imahara, Richard Hatch and Teal Sherer. Please go check it out, and donate if you would like to support this effort!