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!
Submitted September 28, 2014
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”.
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:
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.”
Click through here to see the images of her injury and video of her interview with BBC.
Brandon’s Facebook post with image and details below:
I’m well aware how I appear physically, I’m tall with a rather buxom figure, and I’m proud of who I am. The convention that I was attending at the time I decided to cosplay Tsunade from Naruto, I had done the work! Put time into my costume, I made sure my wig was perfect, that I had my makeup and attitude down for when it came to photos or cosplay skits etc. I was excited to go nonetheless and see all my friends. The day of the convention I arrive in style! I’m in cosplay as I head in, sign up, recieve my badge, and go off to enjoy the rest of the three-day con. It was only till the nearing evening hours I was approached by a guy.
I had plans to go to dinner with my friends, and I don’t take the offer of him treating me out to dinner as what was wrong. It was only after I declined to go to dinner with him that it took a turn for the worse. It was at once I was met with a barrage of questions as to: why I didn’t want to go, was he not good enough for me, was I already sleeping with other attendees, why not have sex with him, I’m just being a prude and prefer jerks over nice-guys. After I had that thrown in my face I retreated, and decided to enjoy the convention at the OTHER END OF THE CONVENTION! Despite myself literally walking away, I found that he was following me… maybe 8 feet behind me at all times. This made me feel that I was not safe anymore at the local convention; at one point I had gone in with a group of girls to the restroom and he had followed and waited outside for me. I asked the girls inside if they could check to see if he was still there, when they told me he was, and that he was asking for when his girlfriend was coming out, I knew security needed to be involved. After leaving with a group of girls, I made my quick escape with him RIGHT BEHIND ME!
Sadly, con-ops is located at a rather secluded area of the convention area, at this point he tried to come in and say, “I thought you were going to dinner? Knew you lied to me. Come on, I’ll be gentle.” I turned away from him, found a friend that was working security and told him EVERYTHING! Thank-Odin for security as they told him if he doesn’t stop he will be told to leave, and any physical contact with me could result in police involvement. The matter was settled, but it left me shaky for the rest of the convention and changed my outlook on cosplay and conventions. After that, I always travel with someone or am not far from my husband.
There were a few people who held on for a little too long when grabbing a pic with me, and a few creepers who came up and asked me for a hug. Frankly I’m so a fan of people touching me after catching a vicious case of ConSars (103 fever for 3 days) after ComiKaze last year, but the pictures come with the territory, and even the huggy guys were mostly respectful and more just having a laugh.
It wasn’t a fellow attendee. It was a female security guard that really humiliated me beyond measure. She walked up to me while I was standing in a large group of people chatting, mostly men but a few children, and said, “Where the hell did you get those tits? Are they real?” At which point everyone who hadn’t been looking at my boobs now was. I tried to ignore it but she asked again if they were real and in an effort to make the spectacle stop I told her they were. She then asked if she could feel them. At this point a lovely gentlemen, dressed as a particularly sinister looking Joker, intervened and told her that just because we were dressed up does not mean we were not people under our costumes and makeup, and her comments were unacceptable, especially considering that as security she was one of the people that we were supposed to go to if we were experiencing people harassing us.
Apparently she did not appreciate the feeling of embarrassment I was experiencing because she then proceeded to attack me and insinuate that it was my intention for everyone to stare at them, she said, “if I didn’t want people to comment then I would have found a costume that covered them better.”
I will admit that my costume was rather boobalicious, and I was already feeling a bit exposed. I had gained 12lbs. since I made it, made the mistake of not doing a run through prior to arriving in San Diego, and the corset made me pop a bit more than usual. Strangely though the minute I hit the convention center all self-consciousness was erased by a couple who asked me to take a photo with their kids, and then a woman who asked to take a photo with me. Considering that a convention hall of however many thousands of people had managed to not obviously stare them down for two days, most people were more fascinated with my contacts, or if they did they were subtle and didn’t make any comments, I would have thought a female security guard would have been better than that.
I ended up taking a not inexpensive taxi ride back to my hotel rather than the free shuttle because I was so self-conscious after the exchange that I just wanted to crawl under a rock. Not to mention for the first time ever I was afraid to get on a bus by myself with a bunch of men. The wait for the taxi was the longest 8 minutes of my life. Luckily I had just made a bunch of purchases and I was able to kind of hide myself behind the giant bag from the t-shirt shop until I got back to my room.
I can say is that I’m thankful for a couple of things: # 1 that it happened on Sunday or I might not have dressed up again for the rest of the Con and #2 for that Joker, whomever he was. Batman can suck it the Joker’s my hero now.