Oh Wiscon, how could you? You were the darling of my convention season, with your feminist emphasis, your stout writer’s track, your concern for multiple viewpoints, and your thoughtful programming. Have we just been living a lie?

I don’t understand what’s happening with your decision regarding Jim Frenkel. Because it seems so unlike you to put the needs of one harasser against the constituents of the convention.

Listen, I’m not going to go over my arguments again. Instead, I’m just going to link to the same post I put up for Readercon a couple of years back. Just change the appropriate personage titles and con titles, and we’re good to go.

The issue, dearest Wiscon, is that you must protect your constituency. You’re opening yourself up for legal action, should Frenkel harass someone on your watch. You are not equipped to evaluate psychological reform. AND, unlike the case of Readercon’s harasser Walling, Frenkel was fired from his job for harassment. If anything, your case is less ambiguous than the Readercon case, yet they took the stronger action.

You know I can’t come to the con now, right? I can’t come because of where I come from, and what I stand for. I can’t back your decision to say that’s it’s okay for a known harasser to come back based on arbitrary decisions you are not equipped to make professionally. You’re letting us down, Wiscon.

What’s sad is that you’re going to take a membership hit. Wiscon, you are supposed to provide the safe spaces. I shouldn’t have to be talking to you as a collective body about the issue of harassment. It’s a no brainer at a feminist convention. Right? Right?

Dammit. Wrong.

Give me some reason to come back next year, Wiscon. Grow a spine. Be what you pretend you are.

Otherwise, I will be writing you for a refund of my membership and my dessert salon ticket. Because you’re no longer a con I want to attend.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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