Code of Conduct at events [and 1 more messages]

Don Armstrong don at
Fri Nov 12 04:53:12 UTC 2010

On Thu, 11 Nov 2010, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Don Armstrong writes ("Re: Code of Conduct at events [and 1 more messages]"):
> > Additionally, I am uncertain that a code would have helped
> > mitigate this situation. I refuse to believe that the alleged
> > behavior is considered acceptable in any extant culture. [Even
> > though I fear it may be common.]
> In the situation which prompted me to raise this subject, a
> published policy would certainly have meant that the conference
> organisers wouldn't have washed their hands of the problem as they
> apparently did.

I have no problem with such a policy. I just reject arguments that
such behavior is acceptable, and therefore should be forgiven or that
merely writing down a set of rules will put a stop to it.

If a model policy of conduct is enacted, it should also include a
recommended plan of action for conference organizers so that
conference organizers can fall back on a work flow to handle the

> If Worldcon had such a policy, Harlan Ellison's behaviour would not
> have gone unpunished. Are you also saying that you refuse to believe
> that Harlan's behaviour is considered acceptable in any extant
> culture?

It's certainly not acceptable in the US. Nonconsensual touching is

> Harlan has publicly stated that he thinks it was acceptable!

If Harlan Ellison thinks that nonconsensual touching is acceptable,
he may not be sane.

Don Armstrong

1: I worked for a while in Campus Housing, and we were always drilled
on responses to all kinds of issues, including this one. We had a
policy which was written, and more importantly, we had a method (and
had practised) dealing with violations of that policy (and other
After the first battle of Sto Lat, I formulated a policy which has
stood me in good stead in other battles. It is this: if an enemy has
an impregnable stronghold, see he stays there.
 -- Terry Pratchett _Jingo_ p265    

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