Geographers said: Go wake up or you’re on shady ground! Society warns of ‘microaggressions’
- 1,200 geographers received a code of conduct before their conference
- But as the event in Newcastle drew to a close, no reports had been made.
- Organizers have set up a ‘recovery space’ with an adviser which has hardly been used
- Large banners said, “Keep your hands to yourself. Misogyny is a hate crime’
In issuing warnings about everything from bullying and “hate crimes” to “micro-aggressions,” they clearly expected the worst.
But the woke organizers of the Royal Geographical Society’s annual international conference seem to have misjudged the attendees.
For as the event in Newcastle drew to a close yesterday, no ‘inappropriate behaviour’ was reported – and the ‘recovery space’ staffed by an adviser remained largely unused.
About 1,200 geographers around the world have been told to follow a strict code of conduct, with the threat of “expulsion” for any transgressor.
A pre-conference workshop on “preparing for disclosures” was held for anyone who thought they had heard of incidents of harassment, discrimination, bullying or violence.
A geography conference was held at Newcastle University, where around 1,200 geographers from around the world were told to follow a strict code of conduct, with the threat of ‘expulsion’ for any transgressors
And a special counsellor-assisted ‘recovery space’ has been set up for those who want to ‘disclose an incident’ or need a place to ‘chill and decompress’.
In the foyer of Newcastle University, large banners read: ‘Keep your hands to yourself’. Don’t judge what you can’t see. Misogyny is a hate crime.
But yesterday, without even a verbal clash report, delegates tackled topics such as “realizing the radical potential and promise of vegan geographies” and “the geographies of the household energy transition to hydrogen”.
The studious atmosphere seemed at odds with a prominent section on the RGS conference website on “inclusivity and safety” at the event. Delegates were told that “inappropriate behavior was never challenged” at conferences.
The council added: “Prejudice, micro-aggression and abuse of power – in whatever form, and whether overt or subtle, conscious or unconscious – have a disproportionate impact on geographers new to the discipline. .”
Everyone in attendance was asked to help “act for change” and told that “bullying and belittling behavior” would not be tolerated.
At the ‘recovery space’ Councilor Joy Easterby was alone with no one to help her, but she said she had ‘seen a few people’.
She added: “It doesn’t have to be something that happened here. It could be something that triggers someone from a past experience.
Professor Joe Smith, director of the Royal Geographical Society, said: ‘The statement refers to academic conferences in general. We are not aware of any inappropriate behavior… at this year’s annual conference or in previous years.
“It is in place in response to unacceptable behaviors that are endemic in society. It is part of our code of conduct.