If you were watching the SkepTech hash tag on Twitter during the conference last weekend, you probably would have seen the usual suspects making the usual whine-plaints about harassment policies, and how they’re ruining all the fun at conferences. Then you would have seen some of those same whiners lose their shit over the fact that there was a whole panel about sex (HEAVENS FOREFEND), populated by feminists (FETCH MY FAINTING COUCH).
An example tweet from a pro-harassment tweeter (I mean, seriously, what else can you make of this?), believes they’ve caught us feminists, and the founders of SkepTech who supported harassment policies, out on some sort of hypocrisy:
@iamcuriousblue #SkepTech policy:”Sexual language & imagery not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks.” In practice: [link to Youtube video]
The panel in question was fantastic. It was thoughtful, thorough, answered questions from the audience with aplomb, and every panelist was very obviously pro-sex. And yet, the whole panel was also very, very anti-harassment.
I strongly recommend you watch it all. And while you’re watching, have a pen and paper handy to write down all the instances of sexual language used.
And then, once you’re done, scratch out any that doesn’t involve actively mistreating someone else, present or otherwise, or otherwise treating someone as a sexual object with or without their consent, because that’s how everyone else seems to understand the term (pdf).
Once you’re done this tally and come up with the great big goose-egg that I got, then try to argue that the pro-harassment crowd is losing their shit repeatedly over anything but a phantasm. Perhaps they should keep their fears grounded in reality, and engage us on our actual arguments, our actual words, the actual effects of real harassment policies, et cetera. You know, obtain real and valid data and examine it critically.
Like skeptics do.