It came to my attention today that Paul Cornell was retweeting comments by Kate Kligman. She was tweeting that she had been fired from Chicon 7 because she had attempted to bring light to sexual harassment that she had dealt with.
See this from Nick Mamatas (yes, I know he’s a troll) which includes a snap shot of the tweet from Kate and some unhappiness about the fact that Rene Walling was 1. attending and 2. volunteering at Chicon 7. Note that the link that is provided announcing that he wouldn’t be working Chicon is here and doesn’t actually say he won’t be at/volunteering for Chicon 7. Simply that he’d stepped down from the Hugo Award Marketing Committee.
Let’s set the record straight, because God knows that things on the internet aren’t always true. I have NO problem saying inconvenient and unpopular truths and opinions.
Kate Kligman was NOT, I repeat so there can be no confusion, she was NOT fired from Chicon 7 staff for trying to expose sexual harassment. No. Not one bit. She was fired because she dropped the ball on some major projects (plain speak: she FUCKED up) and was difficult to work with. Not to mention the fact that she was going around threatening to SUE Flying Monkee Helen Montgomery because Helen was honest about the fact that Kate had done fucked up.
Now the sexual harassment that I suspect that Kate is referring to was a sexual advance that she told me about late Monday night that came from a Chicon staff member AFTER she had been let go. Be aware that this is what I SUSPECT, not know.
Now, the reason that I know FOR DAMN SURE that this is not a legitimate sexual harassment issue is because the previously mentioned Helen Montgomery would simply not have stood for it. Helen is one of the strongest and loudest supporters of women’s rights, and personal safety that I know. She is supportive and very, very kind. She’s a mental health counselor and goes out of her way to help with these sort of situations at cons. Don’t want to take my word on Helen because she was possibly going to be involved in a law suit with Kate and that would mean she would turn a blind eye? Fine. Let’s talk about Dave.
Dave is a good man, and he would never, never ignore a claim like this. He can be an ass, but he also has a two-year old daughter (that I am in love with and attempt to steal whenever I can. She’s just so good!). Why is this important? Well, how many new fathers do you know that would be okay with 1. letting sexual harassment slide and 2 actually going a step further and sweeping it under the rug? Didn’t think so. Dave can be an ass. He’s not always my favorite person. But he is good, and he is fair, and he would never ignore such an important complaint.
There were two more Monkees that would have been involved and hide this, too. Steven H Silver, and Bobbi Armbruster (sp?). Two more really great people. Two more people who you trusted to run an over all pretty-damn-stellar Worldcon. I’m not trying to say an action like this should be excused by a great Worldcon, just saying, stop and think about the good people who would have to have covered this up for it to have actually have happened. Good people you trust would have to have lied to you. Four, good people. More actually, because I doubt that it would have stayed just between the five of them.
Seems so likely now?
Didn’t think so.
Now, I think it’s also important to state why I wrote this. I didn’t write it to help clear Dave, Helen, Steven or Bobbi’s name. I hold no grudge against Kate, although I don’t particularly like her (obviously). I’m writing this because I don’t want the entire organization that I worked really hard for – Chicon 7 – to have its name smeared for something that I honestly, down to my core, don’t believed happened. Shame on you Kate for pulling this shit.
Edit #2: Kate has made it clear that the harassment that she alleges she dealt with wasn’t actually sexual, it was physical. All of what I said above stands. Harassment of any kind wouldn’t be acceptable, and I’m confident that the Monkees would stand for any of it.
Edit: It has come to my attention that a few people are viewing this as victim bashing.
1. It’s not. It’s simply the absolute utter disbelief that a situation like this could have ever happened. Note, I mean the sweeping of sexual harassment under the rug.
2. I will absolutely eat my shirt if I am shown evidence to the contrary. If this is the case, I (a victim of multiple sexual assaults) will with complete sincerity apologize. Publicly. As loud as I can. And do my best to support Kate. I would absolutely never speak to those involved again, except in the case to send them emails letting them know that to be the case and on the off-chance they ask for a channel to pass on an apology.
That is how seriously I take sexual harassment, and part of why I had no problem posting the original content.