The self-billed "world's leading feminist science fiction convention" has decided that the appropriate response to multiple reports of harassment by Jim Frenkel is to prevent him from attending WisCon in 2015; possibly permit him to attend in 2016, 2017, or 2018, if he "chooses to present substantive, grounded evidence of behavioral and attitude improvement," but not let him attend those years if he doesn't; possibly permit him to return in 2019 even if he doesn't; and, if he's allowed to come back, ban him for the first year from "appearing on programming or volunteering in public spaces."
Why this is terrible, part one, in less than 140 characters:
It's not the job of a convention to rehabilitate a serial harasser. It's their job to offer the greatest possible safety to attendees.
(The longer version is What Conventions Are and Aren't, by rosefox—back in 2012, after a prior well-publicized fandom convulsion about harassment at cons, note. [Disclaimer: I am now volunteering on the Safety Committee that was created as a result. This post is not made in that capacity.])
Why this is terrible, part two:
It strikes me as abundantly clear that, unlike the case with Readercon in 2012, there's no changing it and no hopes of improvement in the future.
First, the statement makes a point of saying "These are official WisCon actions, and will not be affected by future philosophical or policy discussions."
Second, the committee that reached this determination is:
Debbie Notkin, chair [WisCon's newly-appointed Member Advocate]
Ariel Franklin-Hudson [current Head of Safety]
Jacquelyn Gill [chair of the Harassment Policy Committee, at least as of the just-concluded WisCon]
. . . yeah.
Edit: apparently what I meant here was unclear. I meant that given the positions the first three people hold, I hold out no hopes for better things to come: they are the ones in charge of safety for the entire con and they are the ones who are supposed to know better.
Between this and MoonFail in 2011 (various links in this old post), I'm not waiting for strike three. But hey, now I won't have to figure out the best way to get to Madison over Memorial Day weekend! /tiny silver linings