SAN DIEGO — Amid the costumes and fantasy of this weekend’s Comic-Con convention, a group of young women drew widespread attention to a very real issue — allegations of sexual harassment at the annual pop-culture festival. Geeks for CONsent, founded by three women from Philadelphia, gathered nearly 2,600 signatures on an online petition supporting a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con. Conventioneers told Geeks for CONsent they had been groped, followed and unwillingly photographed during the four-day confab.
Okay. Groping? That's a no brainer. I would go so far as to not only tell those hormonally raging geeks to keep their hands to themselves, but tell them not to touch the ladies with any appendage they are fond of and/or wish to go home with. Personally, I don't see groping as sexual harassment, but assault:
"an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact"Groping could lead to civil or criminal liability.
But following or photographing?? I dunno. Ladies, have you thought this through?? You go to a convention that is predominantly male, with perhaps the highest percentage of socially maladjusted males in the country, with a high percentage of adolescent males of all ages, and you show up in public in a sexually provocative outfit and you expect guys not to take your picture?? Isn't that the idea? To show up with the best costume, or body (or both) and get people's attention?
Adolescent males are a herd animal, easily frightened. Consider the buddy system when cosplaying your sexy self. A nice Iron Man or Hercules can tell these guys to shove off or make some other display of testosterone. Female buddies can give you strength in numbers, but pound for pound, my money's on the neo-Neanderthal.
Probably not the best "buddies" to keep guys from following/photographing you.
Remember too, that even though you don't mean it, you're leading some of these guys on. They may not be socially adept, but when you dress up as a comic book or anime character, you might be mistaken for a...fellow nerd. In other words, these guys might think they actually have a shot with you. (I know! delusions die hard!)
Ladies, if you have trouble dealing with adolescent males, comic book conventions might not be the best place for you. If some guy touches you inappropriately, call security, whip out your camera phone, take his picture and call the police. Toss his sorry butt in jail. (That might teach him more about groping than he ever wanted to know!) But, if some guy just takes your picture, consider it a compliment. Happens to celebrities all the time. On the other hand, if some guy is stalking you, certainly call security. Personally, I would think a well placed, unkind word or two would cause most of these guys to turn tail and run, leaving their bruised and bloodied egos in the dust behind them. Some of you ladies are good at this. Really. Really.
“The kind of behavior that needs to be modified is somebody taking a photo of you bent over while you’re signing a print.”-Toni Darling, a 24-year-old model dressed as Wonder Woman
Mm. I think they call that "castration". Toni, have ever even met a guy? If you want to modify that behavior, you need to take him home to mother and make a project out of him. It may take years. It may never be completely successful, but, hey! You'll have a ring and half his house!
That'll teach him!
Cross posted at LCR