We created a comic book to help start conversations about gender-based harassment in public spaces, because there isn’t enough candid discussion about better ways to interact with each other in public. The comic book bridged the gap between our work against cosplayer harassment and our work on gender-based harassment on the streets.
Help us create a geek-culture that supports formal anti-harassment policies, internal procedures for convention staff to uniformly and sensitively handle reports of harassment at conventions, and trained volunteers to support people reporting the harassment. Click through to learn more!
Comikaze has been doing a great job with their anti-harassment efforts. The convention has been advertising their stance on “Cosplay =/= CONsent” since the Spring, and has always been vocally anti-harassment. This year, in the weeks leading up to the convention, they’ve been posting their policy and posters on social media in anticipation of the convention.
hey friends #cosplaynotconsent remember the rules when you want to take a photo with a fellow attendee . Just a friendly reminder that we do not tolerate harrasment of any kind at #comikaze. Please read our Harrasment Policy on our site. Please report any incidents ASAP . If you are found to be doing something CREEPY we will remove you.http://comikazeexpo.com/harassment-policy #Comikaze14
Their harassment policy clearly defines how to report harassment with staff and volunteers trained to take reports seriously. And the policy defines parameters for people who don’t have the common sense telling them not to harass.
And these are the large (fun!) posters that will be at the convention space:
Their approach goes to show that we don’t need to take down the fun, celebratory mood in order to do a good job setting boundaries for convention spaces. If you go to the convention, let us know how it was! We are definitely bummed to be missing it this year! If you are there, use hashtags #Comikaze and #Comikaze14 to share stories and pics!
This past weekend I was up in Fargo, North Dakota for the first ever AnimeFargo. It was a Saturday and my boyfriend and I were cosplaying Loki and Sigyn from the Thor comics. We had just gotten there and were sitting in a panel when a girl who was in Homestuck cosplay came up and without asking started stroking his shoulder and asking him for a picture. My boyfriend and I just sat there in horror. To avoid any more of the stroking he went and took a picture. I heard him mention very blatantly to the girls that he was “cosplaying with my girlfriend” in hopes that after the picture he would be left alone. After the panel was over we went to the vendors room and after about 10 minutes the girls found us again and offered my boyfriend a flower and Vaseline as a “Token of their love”. Needless to say we found it totally weird and we threw both of them away. After about 45 minutes they found us again and demanded my boyfriend give a furry a hug or they were “Going to lick him”.
“Members of the gaming community launched a campaign in August called Gamergate as a response to allegations of unethical journalism. But it has grown to include outright threats against women who work in or critique the industry. Hari Sreenivasan talks to one of the targets of the harassment, Brianna Wu of Giant Spacekat.”
Watch Adrianne Curry describe the incident, where her friend and fellow cosplayer was groped. No one intervened, and they watched on as Curry retaliated against the groper. Read the story below from the woman/cosplayer who was groped.
Her friend, Alicia Marie, describes how the man pulled down her bottoms and exposed her. She also describes an incident from the day before, including shoving his camera between her friend/fellow-cosplayer’s legs to get an upskirt shot:
After waiting in line several hours Friday to attend the event, Nash Thompson and her fiance, Anthony Spear, of Anna Maria, grabbed beers at a nearby tiki hut.
“At least six guys tried to take pictures of just her butt,” Spear, 25, said.
Once inside, they walked through the main expo on the second floor. As she passed one booth, Thompson, 22, said a man reached out and slapped a sticker on her breast that read: “I have been touched by the Almighty One … And it was good.”
“We’ve been doing these conventions long enough,” Spear said.
“So, you know, you just kind of get used to it.”
Tampa Bay Comic Con did not have an anti-harassment policy at the 2014 convention.