Poet F.J. Bergmann, the subject of a harassment complaint filed by Rose Lemberg with the WisCon committee in 2013 that has been open for 18 months, alleges in a new blog post the animus driving the complaint came from Alex Dally MacFarlane, recently criticized by Athena Andreadis, Elizabeth Bear and Laura J. Mixon as part of the network of followers of blogger Requires Hate (Benjanun Sriduangkaew).
Alex Dally MacFarlane publicly supported Lemberg’s 2013 complaint against Bergmann with a series of tweets she later assembled in a narrative at Storify.
The substance of the complaint is that Bergmann harassed Lemberg by reading the poem “Meet and Marry a Gorgeous Russian Queen” at the Moment of Change-sponsored open mike at WisCon in 2012. Lemberg felt the audience was meant to identify traits mocked in the poem (accent, nationality, academic background) with her.
Bergmann denied this in 2013, and does so again in the new post with the added charge, “I believe that I have been intentionally harmed by Alex Dally MacFarlane (ADM), and I wish to make a public report of my experiences.”
Bergmann has also responded to File 770’s questions about WisCon’s progress in resolving the harassment complaint.
WisCon has been investigating me as a result of the official complaint from ADM and Saira Ali since summer 2014. The original Chair of the investigation committee, Debbie Notkin, stepped down and a new committee formed. One of those on it was K. Tempest Bradford, who had proclaimed herself to be a friend of both MacFarlane and Ali. I objected, and she eventually withdrew, reluctantly. Then another committee member quit. The replacement committee has been deliberating since October, which is the last time they asked me for any information. They said that they intended to present a public report after January 2, but this has not yet happened. I understand that they have reported to the concom and asked for input.
Today (January 22) WisCon issued its own update:
The subcommittee convened to consider Rose Lemberg’s report of harassment by F.J. Bergmann is beginning to wrap up its work. Finalizing conclusions and recommendations will yet take several weeks. The last stage of the process begins with the concom voting on whether to accept the subcommittee’s final report and recommendations.
The subcommittee’s next update will be an announcement when the concom begins voting.