Writing an official policy for Alliteration Ink about sexism, discrimination, and harassment

I’ve been getting more and more angry over the last week. Not because of the flap over the Bulletin, per se. Definitely not about the official SFWA response, or the vast majority of the positive discussions on the public SFWA discussion boards.

I am getting more and more angry about the vitriol my female peers are getting.

Consider one of my female peers, who has repeatedly had mutual male acquaintances defend sexism and belittle feminism… But they refuse to argue it with me. Most notably, one individual ignored something I posted but argued when she shared the same material on her timeline.

Then look at Ann Aguirre’s experiences being diminished as a female writer. Then read on to see the (all too predictable) emails from goddamned privilege laden cowards.

Yes, cowards. Weaklings. Rather than having the strength of character to examine themselves, to question their own privilege, they simply double down on intimidating women.

That is unacceptable.

Many of my peers are women. Most of the books I’ve published had (and continue to have) women as editors. I try to foster a congenial, civil, and respectful attitude among all of my fellow writers and editors that I work with.

I wrote a policy (largely modeled after the SFWA policy) and posted it just a few minutes ago;  it’ll be up on the website itself soon.  If you have any suggestions on ways to improve this policy, please let me know.

Alliteration Ink strives to create a professional atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation.  Alliteration Ink will respond promptly and effectively to reports of harassment and discrimination of any kind and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and if necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this policy. This policy applies to any events or spaces sponsored by Alliteration Ink, including the website, official twitter feed, mailing lists, or real-world events.

I want to know if any of the professionals I have worked with have engaged in the kinds of sexist (or racist, or homophobic) behaviors as above. Especially when that behavior crosses the line into openly abusive language.  Further, I want to know if any of the professionals I have worked with have engaged in sexual harassment.  Bigotry and discrimination are not acceptable professional behavior.

My email is steven -at – alliterationink.com; please direct all complaints (formal or informal) there.

Thank you.

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