Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
Walking from 69th street terminal up west Chester pike RIGHT ACROSS FROM POLICE STATION a man in an old great Honda pulls up next to me and asks to use a lighter. Upon looking up from my feet I realize this man has his pants down and is rubbing his gross dick.. after he witnessed my utter disgust and shock, he drove off.. with the satisfaction of getting the reaction he desired.
I had just come out of my bodega and walked across the street towards my house. An older (50+) came up to me and said “I’ve been with white women…” I practiced my safest reaction, dirtiest side glance, and kept walking. He was almost standing right in front of my door while I tried to unlock it and said “yeah, I’ve been with A LOT of white women” while he tried to open my house door further. I pulled it shut behind me and locked it.
I was on my break at work and a group of 20-30 year old men cornered me and said “damn look at this fine ass motherfucking bitch. Give me your number, lil mama. We can hangout and mess around a little” and they wouldn’t let me walk away for at least five minutes even when I told them to
Cross-Posted from GeeksForCONsent, originally published on April 14, 2014.
Sexual harassment and groping at comic conventions is a serious problem that has received increased attention in recent months. Awesome Con, a crowdfunded, by-the-fans, for-the-fans convention, responded to reported harassment at their first convention last year by creating an anti-harassment policy and procedures for dealing with harassment, training their volunteers, and partnering with GeeksForCONsent to provide an in-house, trauma-informed team to provide resources to attendees.
Unlike harassment in public spaces, conventions are private events. There are rules in place, and they should extend to include and address harassment. GeeksForCONsent (affiliated with HollabackPHILLY) is a safe haven for victims of convention related harassment to build community and organize to influence conventions to improve and enforce anti-harassment policies.
The team has collected stories at conventions across the U.S., revealing that con harassment encompasses crude comments, sexual requests, physical harassment, unpermitted and sexually explicit photographs (upskirt shots, “creeper shots”, etc) and misuse of photographs on social media. This harassment leaves cosplayers feeling objectified and humiliated. Despite this, most mainstream conventions continue to resist instituting specific policies designed to hold harassers accountable. Their inaction leaves the targets of harassment feeling even more vulnerable and discouraged.
“We are excited to partner with a forward thinking convention who, not immune to harassment itself, decided to do something about it this year,” said Erin Filson, Creative Director of GeeksForCONsent, of their partnership with Awesome Con DC this weekend (April 18-20). “We worked with Awesome Con to train their volunteers to respond to harassment situations, and will be on hand to provide resources and support to anyone who is harassed, or wants to talk about harassment they’ve experienced at other, less-progressive conventions.” GeeksForCONsent will have a prominent table in Artist Alley, where they will share anti-harassment resources, assist volunteers, and provide a safe space for con-goers to share stories.
The GeeksForCONsent team’s efforts include auditing convention harassment policies, determining whether or not those policies are enforced, and especially focusing on whether volunteers are trained/equipped to deal with reports of harassment. The end goal is not to criticize conventions, but to work together to come up with a comprehensive plan to actually create these conventions as safer spaces.
To learn more about their efforts, or to join them at conventions, visit GeeksForCONsent.org, or email GeeksForCONsent@gmail.com
Director, Geeks for CONsent
About Geeks for CONsent:
As experts in dealing with harassment, training women and LGBTQ folks in coping and responding to harassment, and training people how not to harass, the GeeksForCONsent team has been conducting workshops on gender-based harassment and better ways of communicating with each other in public for over 3 years. The GeeksForCONsent team spread the Cosplay =/= CONsent message by tabling at Wizard World Philadelphia in 2013 and Locust Moon Fest 2013; presenting a panel at GeekGirlCon 2013; and interviewing cosplayers at Baltimore Comic Con 2013, Boston Comic Con, MicExpo and New York Comic Con 2013. Cosplayers have signed petitions, sent in photographs, and provided video testimony of their comic-con harassment experiences – all empowering our mission to hold conventions accountable for making their conventions safe and inclusive spaces for EVERYONE in attendance. Our training manual is being used to train all the Awesome Con 2014 volunteers – and GeeksForCONsent will be the in-house anti-harassment team at the convention.no comments
I was walking to the bus from work a short walk from 16th and walnut to 15th and JFK. They followed me from Starbucks trying to get my attention by calling me names and commenting on my body. It was a group of 4 young men in their early 20s like me. I ignored them then they followed me the longer I ignored them and kept walking the harsher the names. They then began throwing quarters and change at my back and head as I was walking. They stopped following when I was able to get in the bus.
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A man yelled “hey sexy” at me as I got off my bike.
As I was walking past Trader Joe’s, a middle aged white man going the other direction spat loudly and said “Disgusting!” As he passed. I tried to confront him but he just kept walking. Didn’t have the courage of his convictions I guess.