Anti-Harassment Policy

Anti-Harassment Policy

PantheaCon is dedicated to providing a great convention experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion. For this reason, we will not tolerate any form of harassment of conference members. Conference members found to be engaging in harassment may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference
without refund.

What is harassment?

Harassment includes but is not limited to:

1.Offensive verbal comments about gender, sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, body size, race or religion

2. Showing sexual images in public spaces. Discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language or similar is welcome if it meets all of the following criteria: (a) organizers have specifically granted permission in writing; (b) it is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists; (c) it is presented in a respectful manner, especially towards women and LGBTQIA people; and (d) attendees are warned in advance in the program and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand. This exception does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.

3. Intimidation, stalking or following: photographing or recording someone without their permission; sustained disruption of talks or other events; uninvited physical contact; uninvited sexual attention.

4. Participants asked to stop harassing behavior must comply immediately.

5. Participants must not engage in harassment at any conference venues or conference-related social event.

A Definition of Space:

Public space is defined as: any space in the hotel that is ‘controlled’ by PantheaCon. For example: any conference rooms (ballrooms, dealers, rooms with official programming in them), hallways, lobby or the convention’s hospitality room.

Any events or open hours held in a hospitality room must comply with all of the conference policies (anti-discrimination, anti-racism and the self identification for purposes of exclusion).

Not public space: We cannot control or enforce what happens in an individual’s hotel room or the hospitality rooms that are private events. If something happens in one of those rooms that breaks the anti-harassment or anti-racism policy, you can still bring it to the attention of the staff and we will do our very best to help you but it is not possible for us to actively enforce policies through closed hotel room doors.

What about rituals in hotel rooms/suites:

1. Private rituals held in hospitality rooms or a private room are not subject to the rules for the rest of the conference. Who can attend a ritual is set by the ritual leader and the host of the room.

2. If the ritual is an open invitation to the conference members then it is subject to the rules of the conference as if it were on the published program schedule. The self-identification rules still hold – if someone identifies as a member of the group that is eligible to attend the ritual or event, then they cannot be excluded. Please see our policy on limited access events for more detail.

3. What about rituals in conference space: Rituals held in the conference space, defined above as ‘membership space’ are subject to the rules of the conference. Please see our policy on limited access events for more.

What should I do if I am being harassed?

In some cases you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say ‘no’ or ‘please leave me alone’, or simply walk away. We would appreciate it if a volunteer was still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders.

If you continue to be harassed or notice someone else being harassed, please contact a conference volunteer immediately. Conference volunteers will help participants, if necessary, contact venue security or law enforcement, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe during the conference.

Anti-racism statement:

Like society in general, racism permeates pagan culture and pagan spaces, making them less welcoming and safe for non-white people. PantheaCon is committed to being as close to oppression free as we can make it, and central to this is our zero tolerance policy on racism. This includes contributions made in discussion sessions and also things said to and about other members, the PantheaCon staff and guests.

At PantheaCon we want to prioritize the voices of people who are often spoken over or erased in pagan spaces, and make PantheaCon as accessible as we can to people from all racial backgrounds. Problems non-white attendees of pagan events talk about include:

  • being expected to be an authority on non-white characters in non-Western religions
  • being talked down to or assumed to be less knowledgeable about topics being discussed.This sort of behavior will absolutely not be tolerated.(For full clarity, this statement on racism was written by a white person – if anyone who is non-white/a PoC would like to contribute to/comment on the anti-racist policy we have at PantheaCon, with suggestions or criticisms, please feel free to contact me on: programming@pantheacon.com)

    Why does PantheaCon need an anti-harassment policy?

    We’ve implemented an anti-harassment policy in response to widespread reports of harassment in our communities and at conventions.

    How can I help make PantheaCon safer?

  • Join our Gryphon volunteers!
  • Back up others – if you see someone being harassed or appearing uncomfortable, ask if they’re okay. Often times a show of support will make the other person back off.
  • Contact ConOps/CAT if you feel this is insufficient, the harassment does not stop and especially if you want to report the incident. We want to know when this happens so we can do what we can to improve the conference for everyone.
  • This anti-harassment policy is directly drawn from the Nine Worlds Anti-Harassment policy which was in turn based on an example from the Geek Feminism wiki created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers, and the anti-racism statement came from policies via the NUS and Race Revolt.

     

    Edited September 12, 2014 – changes: removed an reference to Nineworlds that should have been PantheaCon, added a definition of public space.

    Edited September 13, 2014 – changes: removed the read more about harassment at other conferences link because of link rot. It was under the ‘why does PantheaCon need an anti-harassment policy’ section.

    Edited February 25, 2015 – changes: Hospitality suite or party suite changed to read hospitality room consistently across the policy. Clarified that any items held in hospitality rooms that are open to the  conference must comply with all conference policies including the ones on anti-harassment, anti-racism and limited access.

    Edited June 26, 2015 – changes: Reformatted the text for clarity. No changes made to the text itself.

    Edited October 20, 2015 – changes: Changed language from convention to conference to match the rest of the site style. Changed attendee to member to match the rest of the site style.

    Edited January 25, 2016 – changes: Adding in the October 20, 2015 editing notice as it was not added to policy at the time the changes were made. Added spacing below the ‘back up others’ paragraph for legibility. Added the ‘contact ConOps/CAT’ action step for further actions someone can take.