The world is a cesspool of harassment
I am a woman with a career in tech. I have attended several conferences and I still like them and think they are worthwhile. I have also existed in the world for my whole life and still think going outside is good and worthwhile.
When I read the article about A girl’s survival to a tech conference, I believed the author’s lived experience and didn’t gaslight her. Turns out, that even if I haven’t personally experienced something, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. It also doesn’t mean that I have good strategies for navigating around harassment at conferences, because preventing harassment is not the victim’s responsibility. Harassment is never your fault.
I, too, wish for a world where we all feel like conferences are the place where friends are made. Unfortunately, harassment happens. It’s not that I sometimes feel harassed. It’s that sometimes I am harassed.
So here are some tips for conferencing:
- Don’t harass people
- If someone harasses you, tell a conference organizer
- If someone tells you about being harassed, believe them
The world is a place full of harassment. We should spend our time fighting that harassment and not gaslighting people who experience it.