Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Dark Side of Fandom

I'm away and left a stack of read comics to review, which I won't get to for a few more days, but I felt the need to post this link to a post about sexual harassment at San Diego Comic Con. I've never been to SDCC, but I've been to 2 of the 3 New York Comicons and I haven't had such experiences. I've rarely attracted this kind of unwanted attention. Back when I attended Creation Cons and the old Phil Seuling Comicons in NYC, I was never harassed. Mostly, I was ignored or treated as one of the guys, but mostly ignored, because back in the '70s, female comic fans were a rarity, let alone at cons, and maybe because I never had the body shape that attracts this sort of arrested development behavior, being a jeans and tee-shirt kind of gal.

There is no excuse for the things mentioned in the aforementioned blog post or anything like them. Unwanted attention is wrong. Women should feel secure enough to tell the assholes to fuck off and/or find a security guard to intervene or at least to report the incident. That there are no guidelines or relevant info in the con book is deplorable. I have no idea if NYCC puts such things in their con book, but next year, I'm going to look for it.

But for now, gals, don't let the assholes get away with it. Find a security person and report it. Tell the assholes to cease and desist, and if they don't, and this is in a public place, ie the dealers' room, or even a corridor in the con center, scream bloody murder. Bring attention to yourself and the idiot(s). Yes, there is always the danger someone would hurt you if angered. I don't know if I'd be brave (or foolish?) to take my own advice. But I do believe that as long as these jerks can get away with this sort of behavior, they'll continue to behave like jerks. Most probably think they're being funny or cute, or maybe they're high or had too much to drink. Likely, they'll get embarrassed by unwanted attention brought to themselves. Who knows? But at the very least, after the incident, find someone in authority or secuirty and report it. Maybe if the people running the con hear about enough of these incidents, they'll do something, put down a policy in the con guide, establish a way to properly report the incidents, and enforce zero tolerance.

Comicons should be fun. No one should be made uncomfortable by unwanted advances or someone's lewd behavior directed at them.

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