Interesting story from the International Conference on Men’s Issues, in Chicago last month. (ICMI 2019). Feminist activists managed to close down a previous conference run by the group, and other earlier conferences have attracted fierce protests – as featured in Cassie Jaye’s documentary on feminism and men’s rights, The Red Pill.
This time the activists used Twitter to attack Sheraton Hotels, which runs the venue where the conference was being held, making allegations that they were hosting a group of white and male supremacists and convicted rapists, and demanding to know what Sheraton was doing to ensure the safety of women.
Yet Sheraton Suites Chicago O’Hare didn’t give in. The conference was well underway by the time the complaint was made and the hotel management decided there was no reason to be concerned about the attendees. One of the managers said the event was no different than any other conference the hotel had hosted. The speakers, panelists and guests were nothing out of the ordinary— just normal people.
As Alison Tieman, ICMI Conference Chair says, “This is a HUGE endorsement given the current climate. Sheraton was literally fielding complaints on social media accusing our movement of raping and murdering women, all happening in a mainstream environment that sees deplatforming as a form of reputational salvation, and they didn’t fall for it.”
In fact, the manager went out of his way to assure the conference organisers that the Sheraton was not worried about anything anyone at the conference had done, and that the accusations on social media were exactly that—accusations, unsubstantiated and nothing to be concerned about.
So, kudos to the Sheraton Suites Chicago O’Hare for standing by their contract with the conference organisers, and standing by sanity. “If you have to travel for business and stay anywhere, I think the choice is clear. Seriously. Stay at the Sheraton, people!” adds Alison.