Sexual Harassment at Comic-Con?

By Proof
Say it ain't so! I'm going to go out on a limb here, don my kid gloves, walk on thin ice and mix metaphors with abandon as I broach this subject.

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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.
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 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!)
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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 Proof Positive


  1. If you put it out there, you make a statement.

    Like it or not.

    And they're practically hanging out price tags.

    1. It's a little like when you wear a t-shirt with something written across it and getting mad if anyone actually reads it!

    2. You got it.

      Sad to say. I don't think some of these girls appreciate the message they're putting out.


  2. Me thinks this may be an O'Reilly style article...

  3. I'm not sure where this leaves me Proof. I was a bit of a Comic Con style nerd growing up. Back then, there were no girls who played Dungeons and Dragons and certainly none who came to conventions in costumes. In fact, I don't recall any conventions.

    I thought I'd grown out of my geek phase, but you've got me re-thinking that notion now.

    1. I took my youngest son to the Comic-Con in SF a few years back. It was a lot of fun, but I didn't see nearly as much pulchritude as they have in San Diego!

  4. San Diego is clearly the Superbowl of Comics, Gaming, Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Basically all of Nerd-dom.

  5. I went to many Cons in my teens, and yes, some gals dressed up. Some dressed up like that first pic, others in more dress-up-less-sexy fare.

    I heartily agree on the groping being wrong (and assault) but "following" and taking pictures!? They go to a PUBLIC (or semi-public, as you may have to pay to get in) event, walk around in "LOOK AT ME outfits" that often exemplify sexuality, and you wonder why guys are following, trying to talk to you, and take your pictures.

    or is it just the guys who you're not interested in who do that that annoy you.

    Bradd Pitt showed up and followed a gal and asked for a photograph, I doubt she'd call security.

    And that's subjective law, versus OBJECTIVE law. No way.

    If she dresses in a hot costume and walks through comicon and is "surprised" she's getting male attention, while wearing an outfit DESIGNED to draw attention, and MADE to be sexy, then the common denominatory problem is HER, not "everyone else".


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