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!
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.
Overheard at San Diego Comic-Con while I was having lunch on the balcony of the Convention Center on Sunday July 27: a bunch of guys looking at the digital photos on the camera of another, while he narrated: “These were the Ghostbusters girls. That one, I grabbed her ass, ’cause I wanted to see what her reaction was.” This was only one example of several instances of harassment, stalking or assault that I saw at San Diego this time.
1. One of my friends was working at a con booth selling books. She was stalked by a man who came to her booth several times, pestering her to get together for a date that night. One of her co-workers chased him off the final time.
2. On Friday, just before the show closed, this same woman was closing up her tables when a group of four men came to her booth, started taking photographs of her, telling her she was the “prettiest girl at the con.” They they entered the booth, started hugging and kissing her and taking photographs of themselves doing so. She was confused and scared, but they left quickly after doing that.
3. Another friend of mine, a woman running her own booth: on Friday a man came to her booth and openly criticized her drawing ability and sense of design. Reports from others in the same section of the floor confirmed he’d targeted several women with the same sort of abuse and criticism.
Cross-Posted from BBC UK, originally published on August 28, 2014.
“A student [Mary Brandon] who was punched in the face at the Notting Hill Carnival for telling a man not to grope her says she would do the same again. Speaking to BBC London, Mary Brandon said although she was having trouble sleeping she refused to let it get the better of her. Ms Brandon said since posting the image of her bruised face on social media, she had received much support. The Met Police said it was reviewing CCTV footage of the carnival.”