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A man rode his bike by and yelled “hey lady how you doing today?” I ignored him so he rode back around again and yelled “sexy”. I continued to ignore him so he rode around once again and yelled “work it baby!!!!” Finally he rode off for good.
A man walked behind me and said things like, “hey baby! Sexy sexy sexy lady here!” I had my headphones in and ignored him so that I could get away from him quicker. That made him angry and he ran up to yell, “What! You think you’re miss thing?! Uggggly!” Fortunately he turned down another street after that.
A friend and I were walking to dinner. As were walking to dinner, we unfortunately had to split a group of men taking up the sidewalk who, of course had to stop their conversation and make several comments to us, about our bodies, how “sexy” we looked, whole lot of “damn”s and “oh baby”s. I could tell she was uncomfortable, and being very tiny I can understand how she might feel very intimidated. As we continued to the restaurant, we discussed how these types of experiences affect us. I told her that I had recently started yelling back at guys who do this to me on the street. Her fear was that something worse would happen, specifically that the harassers would become angry and physically attack us, rape us, shoot us, stab us, etc.
I can understand this fear, and the time when I was followed for 3 blocks, at 2am, when I was by myself on an otherwise empty street, it would not have been wise to turn around and yell at the guy to F*$% off and leave me alone. It would have been more dangerous. As we were leaving the restaurant and returning home, another situation presented itself. A man walking the opposite way on the sidewalk physically grabbed my arm and asked me if I had plans and wanted to hang out with him tonight. Looking to show her that she doesn’t have to be afraid, I pulled my arm away and yelled in his face that I want nothing to do with him and that he better not dare touch me again (there may have been some expletives in there for reinforcement). He tucked his tail between his legs and took off. My friend was stunned, saying she had never seen me behave like that.
I wanted to share this story in order to promote courage. Courage to stand up for yourself and yell back. Let these men know that you will not take this abuse. Again, listen to your instincts and if you feel you are in an unsafe environment it might be safer for you to keep walking. But maybe you could call someone on your phone, record the incident on your phone, or call the police if you feel threatened. You don’t have to feel powerless against this. You have a voice!
I was at the family thrift store and had to use the bathroom. The store did not have a public restroom so i had to use the one at the bar down the street. After i used it i was walking back to the store. A bunch of trashmen honked at me but i couldn’t get a number to call their company to report the harassment. The next car, a white one honked and the white trash in the passenger side hung out his window and said “hey baby!” I took a picture of the car in hopes of getting a license plate number but only got the one attached. It was bright out but you can see the red tail lights as he stopped at a redlight.
Cross-Posted from GeeksForCONsent.org, orginally published on July 23, 2014 at 12:02 am.
Our Petition has over 2,500 signatures and we are here in San Diego ready to deliver the petition to San Diego Comic Con International! If you have a badge, you know they sent out a vague email Friday night saying that you can call the emergency number if you feel unsafe. Though there is still no definition of harassment, it has been made clear that the only harassment the convention feels is worthy of a response is that which would constitute an emergent enough harassment situation to call the emergency number. We deserve a harassment policy that allows for ALL con-goers to feel comfortable and safe in the comic convention setting – that sets the standards so much higher than “you deserve not to feel so unsafe that you need to call an emergency hotline” – but that you deserve to feel comfortable and not harassed.
Additionally, there is still no definition of what sort of behavior would actually lead to consequences for the harasser. If you do not have a badge – SDCC made no attempt to let you know about the policy – there was no social media update, no update to the policy page on the website, no post made on the SDCC blog. Press, who can be quite serious offenders, weren’t even notified until Tuesday. While this is by SDCC as being treated like a minor issue, radicalized by the “few” people who’ve experienced the harassment. Studies and personal experiences don’t lie. Janelle Asselin at Bitch Magazine did a survey of over 3,500 people, and the results are pretty staggering. And make it all the more alarming that Comic Con isn’t willing to at least make an effort to curb the harassment cosplayers experience.
Out of all respondents, 59 percent said they felt sexual harassment was a problem in comics and 25 percent said they had been sexually harassed in the industry. The harassment varied: while in the workplace or at work events, respondents were more likely to suffer disparaging comments about their gender, sexual orientation, or race. At conventions, respondents were more likely to be photographed against their wishes. Thirteen percent reported having unwanted comments of a sexual nature made about them at conventions—and eight percent of people of all genders reported they had been groped, assaulted, or raped at a comic convention. To put these percentages into perspective, if 13 percent of San Diego Comic-Con attendees have unwanted comments of a sexual nature made about them this week, that would be around 17,000 people. And if eight percent of SDCC attendees are groped, assaulted, or raped, that’s over 10,000 attendees suffering harassment.
While San Diego Comic Con continues to ignore our requests while making haphazard adjustments to their policies without publicizing them widely, male allies (including the hosts of Matty P’s Radio Hour), fellow cosplayers and geeks, and various press outlets have been covering San Diego Comic Con’s utter failure at their anti harassment effort. Because we all believe in Comic Con, at its roots, as a safe space to celebrate our geeky fandoms. Doug Porter said it well at San Diego Free Press:
What should be a dream-come-true event for fans of the genres involved has turned out to be a nightmare in recent years as an institutional malaise about dealing with harassment issues has surfaced. Last year photographs of attendee derrieres were posted online after Comic-Con as some sort of sick tribute to the misogynist mentality that’s flourished in recent events in San Diego and other cities.
Whether it’s only a handful of people who are made to feel unsafe, unwelcome, or unworthy at a convention just because of their gender, or truly a group of 17,000 strong – we are here in San Diego (and online) to say IT IS NOT OKAY. We will be at comic con all day Thursday Friday and Saturday collecting stories, monitoring the harassment reports, and providing resources for anyone who needs! Tweet us at @GeeksForCONsent if you are harassed, have been in the past, or otherwise want to chat about cosplayer harassment! Or if you just want a temporary tattoo or some harasser cards keep your eye out for us or tweet to find out our location! Whether it’s only a handful of people who are made to feel unsafe, unwelcome, or unworthy at a convention just because of their gender, or truly a group of 17,000 strong – we are here in San Diego (and online) to say IT IS NOT OKAY. We will be at comic con all day Thursday Friday and Saturday collecting stories, monitoring the harassment reports, and providing resources for anyone who needs! Tweet us at @GeeksForCONsent if you are harassed, have been in the past, or otherwise want to chat about cosplayer harassment! Or if you just want a temporary tattoo or some harasser cards keep your eye out for us or tweet to find out our location! Looking forward to an awesome convention – and to meeting as many of you lovely geeks as we can. Here’s to hoping it is as harassment free as possible!
I was walking down a quiet part of the neighborhood, I walk past a construction type truck , a guy that had to be in his 50s or 60s said to me as I walked past “hey little girl” while staring hard at me
Coming out of an alley in Old city, I began to make my way down 3rd Street. A man was collecting garbage. I hear, “Hey, beautiful. Hey beautiful. Hey, hey beautiful. Hey gorgeous! Look over here, gorgeous.”
I didn’t look him in the eye, and kept on walking, pretending not to hear him.
A group of all male religious demonstrators with megaphones were enlightening all of us within earshot about how abortion is a sin, and a white conspiracy to brainwash us into committing genocide against our “babies” (zygotes).
As an indigenous woman (“Indian” in their shout-out to our people), I’ve got a lot of distrust of white policymakers, and a lot of anger about genocide (‘sup contemporary blood quantum laws).
But just trying to walk down the street, I don’t need to hear a group of men telling me that I shouldn’t exercise my right to choose, that I’m a race traitor if I don’t agree to be a heterosexual baby factory, or that my feeble girlmind only believes in the right to choose because I’ve been tricked.
The icing on the cake was getting catcalled half a block from the demonstration.