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:

  1. Don’t harass people
  2. If someone harasses you, tell a conference organizer
  3. 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.

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