14 MAY 2014
Let's talk about sexual harassment! Everyone's favorite contentious topic is back. A group called GeeksforCONsent is circulating a change.org petition about San Diego Comic-Con's harassment policy and what they call "their insufficient anti-harassment efforts" - a petition they shall deliver in person at the Con.
What they want: "San Diego Comic-Con should develop and publicize a formal and thorough anti-harassment policy and create internal procedures for training staff in understanding and effectively enforcing that policy."
Sounds reasonable enough, until you remember that they're asking this of an organization that struggles with basic IT and communication skills. Drafting a policy is one thing: "effectively enforcing" it may be a taller order. (In my most egregious Con groping, committed by a 12 year old by the Bud Plant booth, he simply scampered off in the crowd with a smirk when I yelled at him. Gropers grope in crowds because they know it's easy to get away with it.)
Still the petition is a justified endeavor. A few years back I wrote a post about sexual harassment at Cons that pissed some people off. While I won't rehash it, I will say that I still find SDCC to be less gropey than other Cons (and subways, shows, bars, etc.) but that clearly hasn't been everyone's experience. So I'll say this again also: be nice to the pretty cosplayers. Their weapons may be foam, but they can still probably kick your ass.
ETA: That was fast. An astute reader directed me to a Mary Sue post that gives more history on SDCC's actual policy, along with other Cons.