I think you're missing the objective of the
policy. It aims
at taking away the fear from potential participants to be
harassed. Encouraging people with insufficient social
skills to come is not going to help that cause especially if
pressure is put on the other participants to engage with
their harassers or even see them as "valuable".
In all high-profile cases that surfaced in the past years,
harassment almost never took place in a presentation or pan-
el discussion, but during "social events" which ostensibly
were meant to foster community building like you propose.
So to mitigate the risk, social interaction should be mini-
Well, I think if you look at conferences as a whole, the biggest cases
have been in presentations. Here's a list of examples:
Of course these are just examples that are sexist. I'm positive there
are way more examples out there.
In general, the social events are optional, but that doesn't mean we
should allow them to be free-for-alls either. The anti-harassment
policy should also involve social events. If you've had too much to
drink, then you should be cut off. If you harass someone at a social
event, even a non-sponsored one, you should also fall under this