Subcommittee public statement on findings & recommendations

WisCon Concom & SF3

The subcommittee convened to review Rose Lemberg’s report of harassment by F.J. Bergmann has finished its work and issued a report of its findings and recommendations to the Concom. The Concom has voted to approve the subcommittee’s work and agreed to facilitate the recommendations. Once the Concom had concluded its vote, the subcommittee’s report and recommendations were sent to both Rose Lemberg and F.J. Bergmann for review and comment.

To start, we, the Concom and SF3, extend our sincerest apologies – first and foremost to Rose Lemberg, who has endured much due to our bureaucratic lapses. We also apologize to both F.J. Bergmann and, especially, the WisCon community that collectively as an organization we have taken so long to bring this matter to a conclusion.

Subcommittee findings and recommendations

The subcommittee considers F.J. Bergmann’s poem “Meet and Marry a Gorgeous Russian Queen” to be both anti-immigrant and potentially sexist. Given the timing of the poem’s genesis and publication, however, the subcommittee was unable to characterize this particular incident – the reading of the poem during the “Moment of Change” open mic at WisCon 36 – as harassment. The subcommittee’s research has documented that the poem was written long before the conflicts between Bergmann and Lemberg began.

However, although the subcommittee could not characterize this incident as harassment, they did find that Bergmann has a pattern of caustic behavior toward anyone she disagrees with – including Rose Lemberg. This has led to a series of recommendations, which the Concom has approved and will carry out.

Rose Lemberg’s primary request has been that F.J. Bergmann leave her alone and not attend any of her events, should Lemberg attend WisCon in the future. The subcommittee recommends that this request be honored and facilitated by SF3, and SF3 and the Concom fully agree. The subcommittee has conferred with the Concom to determine the specifics of how this will work at WisCon, and relayed those specifics to both parties. Furthermore, the subcommittee recommended, citing Bergmann’s above-mentioned pattern of caustic behavior, that should F.J. Bergmann volunteer at WisCon in the future her volunteer duties will be limited to non-public-facing positions. The Concom has approved this recommendation and will facilitate it by coordinating among all volunteer departments.

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8 thoughts on “Subcommittee public statement on findings & recommendations”

  1. Is it the intent of the Concom to apply this policy universally, such that anyone who has a pattern of directing caustic comments at people they disagree with will also be excluded from public-facing volunteer positions?

    1. Thank you for the question. I’ve taken it to the relevant Concom departments for clarification and will get back to you.

  2. The poem in question can be found here:
    http://the-toast.net/2014/06/11/poem-f-j-bergmann/

    Wiscon’s official opinion is that the poem is “both anti-immigrant and potentially sexist.”

    Perhaps Wiscon had best ban all poetry readings, because if your criteria for what is sexist is that broad, pretty much every poem that is more substantial than “flowers are pretty, and I like them” is going to have something objectionable.

  3. How in the world was the poem judged to be anti-immigrant and potentially sexist? It’s pretty damn gorgeous. Can we see the details of these findings?

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