Had a long talk with a good and smart friend, who conveyed to me some of the confusion over my opening at Fourth Street. She says that it could be interpreted as regretting the “good old days” when women could be freely preyed on by pros at conventions.
It is difficult to explain why I chose to use “safe spaces” and “threatened” in that talk without a long explanation which is inappropriate to this post, though I’ll happily get into it in comments if anyone wishes. I had thought that when I referred to physically safe and “no unwanted harassment” (a stupid phrase, sorry; I mean, as opposed to the more usual wanted harassment? Sheesh, Steve) that would be sufficient to make clear that I proposed no such thing.
Evidently I was wrong. And, while one can always blame the reader for failing to understand, when enough readers get it wrong, one begins to side-eye the writer.
So let me state clearly and for the record I do not support that kind of atmosphere, I do not want that kind of convention, and I deeply apologize for any pain or fear that was caused by anyone thinking I did mean that. My fault, not yours.
ETA: It’s worth pointing out that it isn’t just a matter of reading, but that this was a speech, not presented as text, and a speech that, moreover, I deliberately opened with a shocker. This makes more reasonable the number of people who went past the “physically safe” and “no harassment” parts. Again, my bad.