Sherrie’s Story: Her experience at SDCC involved so much harassment, she’s not comfortable going back.

I was cosplaying as a female anime character of somewhat large chest proportions. I happen to be large myself and wore a padded bra to slightly enhance it. Multiple times throughout the con, people asked to take pictures with me, and I agreed, but a few times men thought it would be awesome to grab a breast for the photo. When I got angry, they acted like it was no big deal and I was called a “bitch” and other things for standing up for myself.

By the time I could get the attention of con staff each time but one, the offenders were no longer nearby, The other time, the staff member was dismissive. I also received inappropriate sexual comments from both attendees and exhibitors. Being that I was fully clothed from neck to toe without tight clothing, and STILL getting that kind of treatment, I couldn’t possibly feel safe dressing in anything that would draw attention to me, and maybe even not then, because I got rude comments while NOT cosplaying as well. I have so little desire to return until they can fully convince me the atmosphere has changed.

5 thoughts on “Sherrie’s Story: Her experience at SDCC involved so much harassment, she’s not comfortable going back.

  • June 7, 2014 at 1:47 pm
    Permalink

    Well, as a LONG time volunteer, (15+ years), here are a few thoughts.

    It’s good to have a buddy system. Have some friends around. Or do you go by yourself? Most attendees travel with their friends. And keep a cell phone camera handy.

    “””””””””I also received inappropriate sexual comments from both attendees and exhibitors”””””
    This would fall under free speech. That’s my view. If you walk by and someone says””””Hey babe, nice (insert derogatory term here)”””. Well, that’s just goes with free speech.

    As a staff member and volunteer, 99.999&% of the time, most people are very nice. In my 15 years, I have run into 3 instances where a con official had to get involved.

    Also, at impromptu photo ops, you could say””no hugs, just side by side photo”. More people in costume do that now.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm
      Permalink

      “I didn’t see it, therefore it doesn’t happen” is a really shitty way to say “I don’t believe you.” This woman has told you, straight up, that there are problems with your con. It is on YOU to change things and to take that criticism and use it to make your event more inclusive, safer, and not a haven for predators. Congrats, dude, you’re officially part of the problem.

      Reply
  • July 29, 2014 at 6:48 am
    Permalink

    No, “free speech” doesn’t cover harassment at a convention that’s meant to be welcoming to all. Are you also comfortable with Klan-style racism at your convention? Fred-Phelps-style homophobia? Bands of conventionally attractive women roaming around laughing at men and calling them undesirable nerds, bullying them, generally making them feel as horrible as they did on the worst school days? Because (a) we can arrange all that; and (b) that’s what sexual harassment is: bullying and threatening.

    Women should not have to travel in packs or in fear at your convention. Clean it up.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    Permalink

    Ok, I’m not even american and I seem to understand your first amendment better than John.

    The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.
    source: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment
    another source: http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
    and another one!!: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/about-the-first-amendment

    So nowhere in there does it apply to speech towards an individual. Hence harassment laws. What the con goers (and the security staff) were doing was harassment, chargeable by law.
    I can look up the legal definition of that as well as google search seems to be beyond your reach.

    Legal definition of verbal harassment in the state of california:

    Civil Harassment
    In general, civil harassment is abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or serious harassment by someone you have not dated and do NOT have a close family relationship with, like a neighbor, a roommate, or a friend (that you have never dated). It is also civil harassment if the abuse is from a family member that is not included in the list under domestic violence. So, for example, if the abuse is from an uncle or aunt, a niece or nephew, or a cousin, it is considered civil harassment and NOT domestic violence.
    The civil harassment laws say “harassment” is:

    Unlawful violence, like assault or battery or stalking, OR
    A credible threat of violence, AND
    The violence or threats seriously scare, annoy, or harass someone and there is no valid reason for it.
    “Credible threat of violence” means intentionally saying something or acting in a way that would make a reasonable person afraid for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family. A “credible threat of violence” includes following or stalking someone or making harassing calls or sending harassing messages (by phone, mail, or e-mail) over a period of time (even if it is a short time).

    source: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1258.htm#ch

    i can look up plenty of more sources if that isnt enough.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm
    Permalink

    “Free speech” is SO FREAKING MISUSED by asshats who want to be able to say whatever they want without consequences. Newsflash, bro: “Free speech” means that the government can’t detain you for providing your opinions and thoughts, unless they constitute criminal acts. “Free speech” does NOT give you immunity from people calling out harassment, deliberate hostility, misogyny, racism, etc. So STFU and learn about what you’re trying to claim before spouting off about it mkay?

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Amy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *