If you host a convention and are interested in creating an inclusive anti harassent policy, or for more information about the cosplay =/= CONsent effort, visit GeeksForCONsent.org.
The Etsy store is now live! Grab your copy of the comic book, a limited edition print, or other great Gear! 100% of the proceeds go back into HollabackPHILLY programming, including youth workshops, public service advertisements, research and community events! Check out the items in our left sidebar here, or head on over to the shop!
Meet Red, Yellow, and Blue! Red and Yellow are girls who get harassed and have to figure out how to deal with it. Blue is Red’s boyfriend, and he has seen other dudes harass girls but doesn’t realize the impact, or that he can help, until Red fills him in.
This comic book project, which will be used for educational workshops on street harassment against women and LGBT folks and bystander intervention. The comic book is 24 full-color pages, created by artist Erin Filson, with input from HollabackPHILLY activists Rochelle Keyhan and Anna Kegler. We will also be creating an online, interactive comic (choose your own adventure!), and making the comic book available for sale as an e-book, tentatively scheduled for early 2014 release.
Who we are
Rochelle and Anna work with HollabackPHILLY, the Philadelphia branch of the global anti-street harassment Hollaback! network to plan events and projects that raise awareness of the problem of street harassment (check out our website to see what we’re up to). Rochelle has been passionate about street harassment issues for a long time, and serves on the Board of Directors for the main Hollaback! organization. Anna loves thinking about creative and effective ways to get the word out, and Erin is a brilliant Philadelphia artist and creator of the web comic, The Adventures of Ranger Elf. She was named Geekadelphia’s “Geek of the Week” in May 2013, and spotlighted by the ActionStudioWorks blog with a great interview. All three of us love it when smart people kick butt and stand up for each other.
Why support us?
By supporting our effort, you are supporting a global educational effort with a proven track record. Comic books are used by the United Nations and other organizations as best practices for youth education on tough issues. Street harassment is a tricky thing to talk about, and it starts young. Yep. Nobody likes to think about 10-year-old girls being sexually harassed on their way to school, but for a lot of kids, it’s a reality. We want to use this comic book to start the discussion through educational workshops in local schools and communities. Lucky for us, we already have a built-in global Hollaback! network (64 cities and 22 countries) and many, many more allies in other anti-street harassment organizations around the world to help with translation and distribution, so this won’t just be a Philadelphia effort. It will be a global effort.
Our goal is to spread the word that street harassment is not okay. It’s not a compliment, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Street harassment affects women and girls, and can be particularly violent when directed towards members of the LGBT community. Not only can it have serious effects on people’s self-esteem and sense of safety, but it also says something big about who we are as a culture: if we accept street harassment, that means we accept the objectification of women, gender-policing, and gender-based violence. We can do better! The first step is to start talking about it. The comic book, and especially the choose your own adventure computer based version (scheduled for release early 2014!), will help youth think through this difficult issue in an accessible way. Your support will help make those conversations happen.
Women and Comic Books
There’s another big reason you should get behind our project. For many years, the world of comic books and gaming was boys-only, no- girls-allowed. This is changing – slowly – and every effort towards expanding the culture makes a difference. We are part of a growing movement to support talented female comic book artists, strong female comic book characters, and the community of women and girls who love comics.
By donating to our project, you are helping to chip away at sexism in two places – on the streets, and in the world of comics. Harassment and groping at comic book conventions is a real problem that gets little attention or support from convention hosts. We’re going to change that. Starting with our anti-harassment team at Philadelphia Wizard Con 2013, HollabackPHILLY team members will be walking around the convention with 16 Bit Sirens’ “Cosplay =/= Consent” signs, taking pictures, talking about harassment, and arming cosplayers with “That was harassment” cards, to make it easier for them to call out convention goers who cross the line. We will also be taking this effort to San Diego Comic Con in 2014, so stay tuned!
How you can help
First and foremost, steal street harassment’s current “invisibility cloak” by talking about it. Be aware of street harassment when you are out in public, call it out when you are comfortable, and talk to people in your lives about those experiences. Help us change the culture surrounding street harassment that just ignores it into one that actively works against it.
If you want to help us start more conversations about street harassment, financial contributions will go a long way. Any amount you can give is sincerely appreciated, since even the smallest amount will help us expand this comic book to more classrooms and the anti-harassment effort to more conventions. If you’re strapped for cash, we completely understand and would be very grateful if you could help by doing any of the following:
Post about our project on your Facebook page.
Follow HollabackPHILLY on Facebook and Twitter for updates and share/retweet.
Offer an in-kind service or discount in the form of printing/shipping costs, supplies, translation, web-design, convention access, etc.
Help us connect to press for our project (newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc.)!
Refer us to anyone who can help, we’d love all the help we can get!