It’s March, and we are now weeks away from the beginning of Convention season.
I know that conventions actually go on year-round, but March is often considered the kick-off of convention season with Emerald City Comicon at the end of March and going through New York Comic Con at the beginning of October.
Already, I hear the laments of cosplayers trying to get their costumes done in time. I hear fans complaining that San Diego Comic Con sold out in under an hour, again. I have friends doing panels at conventions who are stressing about what they are going to say. I had one person explain to me how the Gen Con Hotel lottery system is broken and how he wrote a program to fix it, if they would just respond to him.
All in all, pretty normal stuff.
But this year feels different.
There has been a lot of stress lately in geek culture and, with convention season almost here, people have to deal with what is happening in person instead of just online. The concerns about harassment, and even violence, have a lot of people on edge.
Most of what is going on is not new. I have been covering it here for the last few years. A lot of the old factors are still at play: misogyny, gatekeeping, fear mongering, and privilege. What has changed is the level of focus.
It would be easy to say that this is all Gamergate’s fault, but that would be over simplifying the situation. Gamergate is not the cause of what is happening, it has simply provided a rally point for the problematic aspects of geek culture. The old triggers are still at the heart of what is going on, but what has caused things to go ballistic is actually the fact that things have been improving.
Last year we saw several conventions adopt harassment policies that were well worded and comprehensive enough to actually be effective. You have also seen women, minorities, and LGBT come forth and demand representation and a safe place to be geeks with the rest of us. You’ve seen the industries that fuel geek culture start to respond positively to these segments of their audience.
Sadly, for many people, strides made by others are seen not as an expansion of geek culture but as a threat to them. It’s as if even though 95% of everything is still being about them, they begrudge the other 5%.
Thus, we have the atmosphere of fear that now pervades geek culture. The old guard fear that they are losing something, and they use fear to try to drive off those they see as interlopers. And with the escalation of threats, there is a legitimate fear of violence.
But as awful as Gamergate is, it also has a silver lining.
Yes, there are people being driven off, or deciding never to join in geek culture due to this, but others are being galvanized. People who might have just been going along have become activists to show that the harassers are a vocal minority and not representative of our culture.
The escalation of harassment is terrible, but it has caused wider exposure to it, resulting in more discussion on how to deal with it. It has also led to more mainstream media attention, which helps.
I am not saying it is all rainbows and kittens. I know several people who have been targeted. One had to find a new bank, due to repeated hacking attempts at her account. Another deleted her twitter history after receiving a Gamergate education post, so that she could remove any potential information about her daughter.
As a white heterosexual cis male, I doubt I can even begin to imagine what it is like to be a woman, minority, or LGBT on the internet.
I also do not expect any of this to just go away. I have been writing about it since 2012 and I expect I will still be writing about it, on some level, in 2020.
But as long as we still talk about it, and make sure we as a culture strive to be better, I can have hope for the future.
Until then I am still going to several conventions this year, and plan to do my part to make sure they are safe and inviting events for everyone there.
In years past when I have done my post San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) article, I usually latch onto an issue the show highlighted which I feel affects the entire convention scene. I even had a subject all lined up to cover, the effect of exclusives on the convention scene
And then news started coming out that has changed this from a look at exclusives, to a follow up on a previous column about the SDCC harassment policy. I guess I’ll look at exclusives another time.
You can go here to read my previous column. For quick review there was a petition to have SDCC adopt a more comprehensive anti-harassment policy. SDCC’s director of marketing (Daniel Glanzer) rejected the idea as he said it would suggest to the media that SDCC had a harassment problem.
So how did the event go?
Well there was a major incident that has been reported that suggests that Glanzer will need to rethink his position.
Adrianne Curry, a Model and Actress who is also a well-known cosplayer, was attending the event with friends. One of Curry’s friends was dressed as the Marvel character Tigra. A man approached the friend from behind and tried to put his hands in the bottom of her costume. When that failed he yanked the bottom of the costume down.
Curry, who was dressed as Catwoman complete with a bullwhip, immediately went after the man. Using the whip as a weapon she drove him off. One point to be made here: this incident happened in a crowded area, but not one person stepped forward to help Curry or her friend. In fact, the only thing most did were pull out phones to take pictures
This was, of course, not the only incident reported.
So what now?
It would be easy to say that this would have happened anyway, and maybe it would have, but then again maybe not.
San Diego Comic Con is not just an event, it has its own culture. To fight against harassment, it helps to make that fight part of the culture. We’ve seen other conventions adopt detailed policies that have led to the culture of those shows embracing anti-harassment and helping police themselves.
But step one is that the convention needs to make it clear what is and is not acceptable. The vague policy of SDCC is clearly not cutting it. My hope is the Glanzer and the rest of the governing body of SDCC will wake up to the fact that they need to address this.
Until then, it is our job to keep expressing the need for these changes and doing everything in our power to move the culture in the right direction.
Once again, we find ourselves wading into the issue of harassment in geek culture. This time it hits the big arena that is San Diego Comic Con (SDCC).
The growing awareness of the issue of harassment at conventions has led to many conventions addressing this issue in increasingly clear language. I have written about this several times. We have seen good examples (such as the policies put forth by Emerald City Comicon and The Calgery Expo), bad examples (such as with Fan Expo Canada), and even tragic examples (as was the case with Aki Con).
But unlike these shows, SDCC is well known to mainstream culture. It is THE big show, sells out in 90 minutes, and getting to go is akin to getting the golden ticket.
In light of all these factors, a group called GeeksForCONsent created an online petition to urge SDCC to create a specific anti-harassment policy. Right now, what they have is a broad code of conduct that mentions harassment, but does not define what it means.
Specifically, the SDCC code of conduct is as follows: Attendees must respect common sense rules for public behavior, personal interaction, common courtesy, and respect for private property. Harassing or offensive behavior will not be tolerated. Comic-Con reserves the right to revoke, without refund, the membership and badge of any attendee not in compliance with this policy. Persons finding themselves in a situation where they feel their safety is at risk or who become aware of an attendee not in compliance with this policy should immediately locate a member of security, or a staff member, so that the matter can be handled in an expeditious manner.
What GeeksForCONsent is looking for is a more clearly defined process that includes a visible reporting mechanism, signs around the convention outlining the policy, and staff training on how to handle these issues. If this sounds familiar, it is because I wrote about it here detailing Emerald City Comicons anti-harassment effort. These are also the steps that The Calgary Expo and many others adopted this year.
Unfortunately, any hope of this petition having any effect right now is stalled. We know this because the director of marketing for SDCC (Daniel Glanzer) has commented on the petition in an interview stating that he did not favor creating a more explicit and visible policy, because it may send the message that there is a harassment problem at SDCC.
I understand if you need to take a minute after reading that last sentence.
Glanzer’s stance is that he thinks that SDCC has taken sufficient steps to deal with harassment and anything else would just cause bad press. I want to go on record as disagreeing with Glanzer. While I do not think a policy needs to be point by point, I do feel it needs to be specific enough that it points out what harassment is defined as, and what mechanisms are in place for someone to report it and get help. In reading Glanzer’s, response I feel his message was that SDCC marketing and publicity was more important than making the convention a safe space. Not only do I find their position unsettling, I worry that they are sending a message to other convention organizers that they need not worry about their own harassment policies.
We are at a point in geek culture when the issue of inclusion vs harassment is now a major issue. Not every convention has a good policy, but as more incidents are having light shed on them, more organizers are taking steps to address the issue. The effects of these steps are visible. Conventions that make sure they are a safe space are reaping the benefits of good will and strong attendance. Conventions that ignore the issue are getting bad reputations and are starting to see more people staying away.
My biggest concern is that SDCC does not have as much incentive to change, since it is the big dog of conventions. Even staying with their lack luster policy they are going to sell out. The only thing that might be able to change their position externally is a lot of very bad press, or boycotts from major figures in fandom.
My hope is that someone with clout, either inside or outside the organization, can convince them that updating their policy is in everyone’s best interest.
Until then, it is up to those of us in the trenches to keep pushing this message and demanding better.
Convention season is upon us now and with it the questions about acceptable behavior have reared their heads again.
Specifically you had Fan Expo Canada, which was March 7th thru March 9th. In an effort to drum up last minute sales, they sent out an email which included the line “escape the deep freeze this weekend – cuddle a cosplayer.”
This obviously caught the attention of several people and eventually was brought to the attention of Jill Pantozzi of the geek news site The Mary Sue. There was concern that the statement could be seen as encouraging the harassment of cosplayers. Pantozzi reached out to Fan Expo Canada to attempt to get a response on their intent with the ad. The response she got was that they had thought about pointing out that consent was implied but felt bringing focus to the rules all the time would hurt the fun of the convention. They did resend the ad but added “with consent” in brackets to the end of the statement. So far, the only official response to this has been to accuse the Mary Sue of being inflammatory and making false statements. As the convention just happened, I expect more news to be coming out about this story, in the coming weeks.
While this was going on, another issue occurred with the Capital City Comic Con in Austin Texas. The convention, which is going to be held this upcoming July, put out several fliers; one of these was a close up of Power Girl’s Breasts with the tag line “Everything is BIGGER in Austin.” When a commenter complained about this on the convention’s Facebook page, the convention replied that the flier was all in fun and questioned if the commenter had ever been to a convention. A couple of days, later the convention responded to the issue as it started going viral. They stated that both the staffer who made the comment and the designer of the flier were no longer with the con staff, and apologized to the fans for what had happened.
Standing in contrast to this is Emerald City Comicon. The same week the two issues above were occurring, ECCC posted an image of the anti-harassment posters that will be going up around their own convention. The title of the posters is “Cosplay is not consent, and it goes on to detail the convention’s anti-harassment policy, including who to go to if you are harassed and the penalties you face if you violate the policy.
The contrast in the above examples illustrates where we stand in geek culture, in regards to dealing with the issues of harassment and making events safe and inclusive.
On one hand, you have people who have not matured in how they deal with these issues but find themselves running conventions. They want to grab people’s attention and fall back on the old adage “sex sells.” Unfortunately, they do not consider the broader message of what they are putting out, nor how it can ultimately promote a hostile environment. It is not from a place of malice, but ignorance. The best way to handle it is to do what was done above and call them out. Make it clear that even if they don’t see the harm in it, harm is still there. The ones that are receptive to the message will thrive, and the ones that aren’t will find their reputation falter and their event suffer. The ones that take steps to make sure their events are promoted as a safe and inclusive space will find more people wanting to go, and can use it as a means to actually promote their event. With all the concerns about hostility in the convention scene, the ones that make sure you know they will do everything in their power to make sure you are safe will be the ones that ultimately thrive.
In the shadow of events like Aki Con, (where we saw the worst case scenario play out),and other ongoing tales of harassment, this is going to continue to be a hot button issue. I think this year is going to be very interesting in this regard, and I for one am interested to see how conventions actually play out.
I’ll keep an eye on things, and let you know what comes from this.
The kickoff for convention season, in the Pacific NorthWest, is just around the corner, which means the people who put on these shows are gearing up with prep for the challenges that go with running an event with potentially thousands of people attending.
Last year a lot of focus was on creating awareness of some of the pitfalls that exist in the convention scene, with particular focus on harassment at conventions and the associated gate keeper mentality that lead to the idea of the fake nerd girl. A lot of work was done to bring these conversations to the forefront (such as John Scalzi’s call for all conventions to have a clear anti-harassment policy).
With the greater focus on these issues, I think this year is going to be about how these policies are enforced, and in general how we, as a community, can insure that conventions are a safe environment.
I’ve heard some discussion that this is a non-issue and focusing on it is actually a detriment to the convention community. For these people I would like to present the events surrounding a Seattle area convention called Aki Con.
Aki Con is an anime convention, held in the Seattle area, that is going into it’s 7th year. It already had a bad reputation, due to putting it’s artists alley in the parking garage the previous year, but the issue at hand happened this last October. Aki Con had regularly hired a specific DJ to play at the event. It was learned that the DJ was a sex offender who had done prison time in Arizona, but had failed to register in the state of Washington after he moved. The convention was informed of this, but did not remove him. During the convention an 18 year old girl was drugged and assaulted. The DJ was arrested and is awaiting trial. More details about this can be found here.
Aki Con posted a statement about the incident that can be found here. If you look at the statement it has the appearance of a neutral statement, but it is actually siding with the DJ and placing blame on the victim. It is also worth noting that Aki Con has no formal harassment policy.
Of course I was horrified to hear about what had happened, particularly as a member of the Seattle convention community. I am also disturbed by the fact that the Aki Con staff has gone completely silent. The community, however, has not. The story has become a rallying cry for making conventions safe and not allowing something like this to happen again.
And there are people taking this very seriously. The organizers of one of Seattle’s biggest events, Emerald City Comicon, are being proactive in making sure that their convention is as safe as possible. ECCC is conducting training for their volunteer staff, with a heavy focus on harassment prevention. This means that the staff will know exactly what to do if they witness something or an attendee approaches them with an issue. The staff is making sure they are also up to speed in case a volunteer needs to bring them in on something. The anti-harassment policy is going to be very prominent in the program book, and lay out what is and is not acceptable and what the penalties could be, including being booted from the show. It also instructs the attendees on who they can approach if they have an issue. The staff is not only working out a system of dealing with problems, but on recognizing and possibly rewarding good behavior.
I can only hope that this level of proactivity will become the norm for conventions in the future.
Outside of that it is up to those of us who attend to make sure we are keeping up the pressure to make conventions a safe place, both by watching out for each other and not supporting events that do not value the safety of attendees.
I had planned to have a completely different subject for this week’s column, but then the dickwolves had to rear their ugly heads. So now I feel the need to really weigh in on this matter.
Some ground rules before we get into this. I am going to recap what led us to this sorry state of affairs, if for no other reason than to make clear what my understanding of it is. Then I am going to give my opinion on what it all means and what can be done about it.
And due to the subject at hand, I feel the need to place a trigger warning here. This subject includes discussion of rape and sexual harassment. I am going to go in bluntly at times, so be aware going in.
And with that, here we go.
This all started on August 11th 2010 when the web comic Penny Arcade published a strip titled The Sixth Slave. The strip was about the odd morality presented in MMOs where you are given a quest to rescue five slaves. In it, a sixth slave begs for rescue and when detailing the horrid conditions of his captivity says he is raped nightly by monsters called dickwolves. The mention of rape is not the central them of the strip, and is clearly there as a means to make the condition of the slave as horrible as possible.
However it was still a gratuitous use of rape as set up for a joke and some people did take offense. The creators of Penny Arcade, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, reacted to the criticism by offering a quick commentary in their blog which amounted to “agree to disagree.” If that was all they had done I doubt I would be writing this right now. They also made a response strip called Breaking it down, which made light of the rape concerns.
This was the insult that really started the issue. Several blogs and even newspapers comment on the situation and almost universally object to how Penny Arcade had handled the situation. If you are interested in looking at these then go here to the Tumblr Debacle Timelinewhich has an exact timeline of events and links to articles.
Penny Arcade responded to these complaints by making dickwolves merchandise and selling them through their store.
Courtney Stanton, who had been asked to speak at the Penny Arcade convention PAX East, said she would not go to the convention as she is a rape survivor and could not support them, due to how the dickwolves situation was being handled. There were a couple of responses to this. One is that the dickwolves merchandise was removed from the Penny Arcade store. The other is that Courtney Stanton starts getting harassed by Penny Arcade fans. Of special note is that a pro Penny Arcade twitter account, @teamrape, is created with the express purpose of harassing people who voice any disapproval or the Penny Arcade over the dickwolves.
During all this there were no comments from Jerry Holkins. Mike Krahulik does comment, but only to mock the complaints or egg on the fans who are supporting the dickwolves. Again look at Debacle Timeline for specific examples.
And there were death threats made. Courtney Stanton of course received both death and rape threats. So did many others who commented on the situation. My friend Mickey Schulz, who writes Geek Girls Rule, wrote about this and to this day receives threats whenever the story resurfaces.
In February of 2011, Krahulik also received a death threat. This marks the only time Holkins makes any comment, to decry the people threatening Mike and to ask people on both sides to calm down.
There is much more that happened over the next year. Far more than I can possibly go over here. Again, debacle timeline covers it all very well.
Over time the dickwolves controversy, while never going away, faded into the background. But it was not completely forgotten. In July of this year, Krahulik had another controversy come up when he got into a twitter fight over his views on transgender. I covered that situation here. Unlike the dickwolves situation, Krahulik actually apologized and made an act of contrition. It was a good sign. However, this incident, combined with the dickwolves, led indie game developer The Fullbright Company to cancel their booth at PAX prime.
And this leads us to the most recent event. On the last day of PAX Prime, at a panel, when asked what his biggest regret was Krahulik said it was removing the dickwolves merchandise from the Penny Arcade store. PA President of Operations and Business Development Robert Khoo backed him up, saying the complaints should have been ignored. The audience cheered and applauded.
This, of course, has reopened the wounds of the entire controversy. Almost immediately, articles and blog posts came up condemning the statements by Krahulik and Khoo. On the flip side, you had posts once again calling those making complaints crybabys, and defending Penny Arcade by pointing out all the good work they do.
On Wednesday, following PAX Krahulik posted an apology and clarification on his position. While he does think it was a mistake to pull the dickwolves merchandise he does state that he thinks making it in the first place was also a mistake. He basically says that their handling of the entire situation was a long series of mistakes.
So where does this leave us?
First, why does this situation keep having legs?
The problem comes down to the how Penny Arcade overall, and Mike Krahulik in specific, have dealt with the situation.
As I said earlier, the original joke was about the senseless and abusive MMO story mechanics but the execution of the joke was crass and caused the point to get lost in the ensuing argument.
The entire mess could have been avoided, in the first place, if Krahulik and Holkins had just apologized for offending readers and moved on. Even a BS non-apology, or simply ignoring the situation, would have probably led to it blowing over. Instead, they opted to mock those complaining and double down on the offense. That fact that Krahulik himself says he now recognizes this is hopefully a step in the right direction.
But there are a lot of people not giving any slack on this. They have pointed out that this is not the first time he has apologized, after doing something like this, and yet here we are again. There are a lot of people saying that this is purely a PR move by Penny Arcade, and that when everything dies down it will be back to business as usual. This could very well be the case, and if true than something else will happen again, and we will all be having this discussion all over again. That is assuming this blows over, this time.
There is also a lot of speculation that this may not have been the most sincere of apologies.
One good question, about the apology, has already been raised: if Krahulik says that he regrets everything they did, than why, when asked at the panel, did he say his biggest regret was pulling the dickwolves merchandise, instead of saying his biggest regret was making it in the first place?
Also, there is no mention of any steps he is taking to avoid doing this in the future. Now it could simply be that he is not the most introspective of individuals, and taking those steps never dawned on him. It could also be that the entire apology is damage control, with no other purpose behind it.
Really, there is no way for us to know.
For the purposes of the rest of the points I want to make, we will be taking Krahulik’s comments from Wednesday at face value. Just mentally add “if he is truly sincere” to everything I write, from this point on.
Krahulik had stated, during the transgender incident, that when he feels threatened he gets hostile. If he is now recognizing this, and trying to work on it. then it is a step in the right direction.
When the comments appeared on Monday, Krahulik appeared to be lacking in this empathy. I think there may be some truth to this still, as he seems to not have the necessary awareness when he says things like he did on Monday. It is also possible that his apology comes from the fact that he has at least learned to recognize when something is blowing up in his face. His comments on Wednesday show that this may not be the case. The impression coming out of his latest comments could be those of someone who is in over his head. I don’t think he ever imagined, when starting the comic with Holkins, that they would end up running one of the largest conventions in the industry, and be seen as role models by the community. He has said that he still sees himself as just the guy that draws a web comic.
Unfortunately for Krahulik and Holkins, they now are role models, and off the cuff comments from them do have an effect.
Then you have the fans. As I stated earlier, Penny Arcade fans can get really passionate and aggressive against PA critics. They have been known to crash web sites in the name of PA. Hell, I recognize that just by writing this column I could very well become a victim of the Penny Arcade fan rage. But if Mickey can stand up to regular death and rape threats, then I can handle being called names and maybe having my site crashed.
Let us remember that the fans cheered when the dickwolves were brought up and people in the audience called for the merchandise to be brought back.
There is a very straight forward problem with all of this. Penny Arcade has made a goal of making PAX a safe and inclusive environment for all gaming fans. In fact, they have one of the best harassment policies of any large scale convention that I have seen. However, with the continual uproar over the dickwolves and the stirring up of the fans, they actually create a hostile environment for rape survivors and, really, women in general. During PAX east, in 2011, the @teamrape twitter tried to organize a dickwolves flash mob, and did so using classic bullying language (come join our fun dickwolves flashmob). If Krahulik and Holkins really want us to believe they want the inclusive environment, then they need to publicly decry @teamrape, and others like them, that harass people in Penny Arcade’s name.
Whether the apology was sincere or not, if they do not get a proper handle on this, Penny Arcade is running the risk of having the good work they do being damaged. Already you have people writing that they do not find PAX a safe place in light of these comments and the fans reaction to the dickwolves statement on Monday.
That segues into another problem with this, a lot of the people defending Penny Arcade simply point to the good work they do, such as the Childs Playcharity, as a defense saying that they do more good than harm. This is an empty defense, as harm is harm and good work does not offset it. It would be like saying Michael Vick does good work through the Vick Foundation, so that offsets staging dog fights. And Krahulik knows this, as he has said that he worries that his comments can damage the work they do.
So what needs to happen?
A lot rests with Mike Krahulik himself. He is not just an owner and creator at Penny Arcade, the brand is largely built around him. He has to internalize that his words carry weight, and that he needs to learn to pick them more carefully. If he has not taken sensitivity training, he needs to consider doing so.
In addition, Penny Arcade and its subsidiaries are going to have to face up to the fact that they have been damaged by this. They are certainly losing the impression that PAX is an inclusive environment. They are going to have people, in increasing numbers, not want to have anything to do with them. Right now, that will not have much impact, as Penny Arcade and PAX are so popular that there are more than enough fans to take up the slack. But if their long term goals are to be welcoming and inclusive, then they have a lot of work to do in order to regain that.
We, as the greater geek community, have a role to play too. Just as I am doing here, people need to give voice to this issue. But in doing so, we have to be careful to not just be screaming into the wind; we need to be making points and backing them up. The best way to make change happen is to make sure things don’t just get swept under the rug
Author John Scalzi has opened a new chapter in the ongoing debate about harassment at fan conventions. Scalzi is a successful science fiction author, and until very recently he was the president of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. A week after his tenure as president ended, Scalzi announced what he refers to as his new hard requirement for any convention that wants him as a panelist, participant, or guest of honor. The convention must have a very clear and readily accessible anti-harassment policy. Said policies must include clear guidelines about what is unacceptable behavior, and where attendees can go for help in those circumstances. The policies have to be made available in places such as the program book or the convention website.
This comes in parallel to another recent incident involving Penny Arcade. You can find more specifics here, but in short Penny Arcade co-founder Mike Krahulik got into a fight on twitter over comments involving transgender issues. The commentary got heated and Krahulik made what many people felt were transphobic comments. Taken on its own it is bad enough, but there was also the specter of the “Dickwolf” controversy from a couple of years ago, which had many people starting to look at Penny Arcade and it’s convention PAX as a hostile environment. The irony here is that PAX has one of the strongest anti-harassment policies of any convention out there. Immediately people started distancing themselves from Penny Arcade, including one game company canceling their booth at the event.
During the Dickwolf issue Krahulik stuck to his guns, which turned a lot of people off. In the time between then and now, he and the people around him clearly learned from the experience. The two days after the transgender argument saw Krahulik issue multiple apologies, admit he has an issue of getting hostile when feeling threatened, and a vow to try to work on these issues. He also made a $20,000 donation to the Trevor Project as a sign of contrition. He also acknowledged that his behavior was damaging to the Penny Arcade brand.
So with these events having just happened, we are once again having the conversation of how welcoming the fan community environment is to people. The positive in both these cases is that there is clear recognition that there are issues and that they need to be dealt with. I also feel they show that progress is being made.
In the Penny Arcade case, in the past this issue would have just festered, but now there is acknowledgement that there was a problem and an actual apology. It is a step in the right direction.
In the case of John Scalzi, you have a prominent author using the cred he has built up over the years to attempt to influence positive change. As of this writing, several 100 people, myself included, have co-signed his pledge.
This does put me in a slightly awkward position, of course. My local convention, Norwescon, is one of the conventions currently lacking in such a policy. However, they aren’t ignoring it. They had a discussion forum that I participated in at this year’s convention about adopting such a policy. Also someone connected with the convention posted in Scalzi’s comment section that they are forwarding the discussion to the convention committee for additional consideration. It is all about getting these important conversations started.
Emerald City Comicon is also in the same boat. I expect they will be addressing this soon as well. At least I hope they do.
It is worth noting that San Diego Comic Con also lacks an adequately published policy. They have one apparently, but it is not where you could find it.
If you are looking for a good listing of which conventions do or do not have policies in place, the site Girl Wonder is compiling a database that can be found here.
While it is clear that we still have a lot of work to do, I feel hopeful that we are seeing positive change, and that geek culture is coming around in regards to how it treats everyone.
I’ll be keeping an eye on all of this and I am sure we will be talking about it again in the future.