Three women from Philadelphia are fighting back against the rampant sexual harassment that goes on at Comic-Con.
Every year, thousands of people flock to San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), and a bunch of them do it in costume! Dressing up like their favorite character is half the fun of going out for the event for many patrons. People take pictures of cosplayers and admire the detail many put into making their outfits.
Some male Comic-Con attendees take it too far, and they hide behind the excuse that women dress up in revealing costumes to get attention from guys. Geeks of CONsent, asserts that this is an incorrect assumption.
“Unfortunately, some con-goers see women in costumes as just a part of the convention scenery and believe they are dressed up solely to attract male attention,” the organization states on its Website.
The founders–who identify themselves only as Erin, Anna and Rochelle– formed Geeks of CONsent to make the point that “cosplay does not equal consent.” They’re calling on the organizers of SDCC to establish an official anti-sexual harassment policy at the gathering.
As of last year, they reported that over 100 cosplayers have signed their petition. That was after spreading the word about their mission at Wizard World Philadelphia in 2013, GeekGirlCon 2013, Baltimore Comic-Con 2013, and New York Comic-Con 2013. Geeks of CONsent saw huge boom in support this year at San Diego Comic-Con, which is the most popular comic convention of all.
Time.com reports that after SDCC, more than 2,600 people had signed Geeks of CONsent’s petition. They even got some support from Wil Wheaton of “Star Trek: The Next Generation! Trust me, he’s huge in the nerd community.
This is a good and necessary time to remind everyone that cosplay ≠ consent. Be polite. Be respectful. Don’t be a dick.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) July 27, 2014
Sadly, this movement is fighting two-steps-forward-one-step-back battle. Many companies that show up to SDCC still used scantily clad women known as Booth Babes to attract people to their stands. More upsetting than that is the fact that late-night talk show host Craig Ferguson referred to female cosplayers as being “vaguely slutty,” according to the New York Post.
Geeks of CONsent encourages women to report their incidents on its Website. Some have shared that random men will engage in cat calling, but there are guys that have gone as far as trying to take under-skirt shots and groping them. Maybe bringing more of these stories to light will help end sexual harassment.