At the end of this comment, DJ Grothe said the following about the “rumors” of harassment at skeptical conferences:
So much of that feels to me more like rumor and distasteful locker room banter, often pretty mean-spirited, especially when it is from just one or a few women recounting sexual exploits they’ve had with speakers who are eventually deemed as “skeezy,” and whom they feel should be not allowed to speak at such conferences going forward.
I know everyone else has taken him to task over this quote already. I just want to present a hypothetical in case DJ reads this. It’s entirely fictional, and as far as I know has never actually happened to anyone at any conference.
Let’s say, DJ, that someone — a stranger with whom you’ve had no previous interactions, but perhaps someone you know from the community in a vague and distant sort of way, perhaps because they were a speaker at some other convention or a member of a forum you frequent or are ostensibly responsible for — approached you at a convention. So you have a pretty good idea they have some idea who YOU are, even if you’re not really familiar with them.
Let’s say that this person suggested, entirely jokingly, that you were just tasty enough to eat and that they should taze you, stuff you in the back of a van, drive you to their home and lock you in their basement so they can rape you whenever they wanted. Let’s further say that this person appears to have the physical means to do it, and makes a point of being near enough to you the rest of the evening and tries to catch your eye and smile a toothy, evil grin every now and again.
I hope you’d agree that that scenario would constitute harassment and should be registered as an incident with the folks looking to collect data on harassment incidents. And yet you’re not actually physically harmed and are perfectly intact come the end of the evening, without further incident.
My question to you is: whose “sexual exploits” are those?