Group Cites Comic-Con for Chronic Sexual Harassment
The just-wrapped San Diego Comic-Con, a Mecca for all things geek, featured the standard supply of provocatively dressed women on and off the stages. Think costumes inspired by Princess Leia's metallic bikini from Return of the Jedi as a typical ensemble.
One group says that trend, combined with a culture where sexual assaults are too common, are making the annual event untenable for some women attendees, according to the Boston Herald.
Geeks for CONsent, founded by three women from Philadelphia, gathered nearly 2,600 signatures on an online petition supporting a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con, saying conventioneers told them they had been groped, followed and unwillingly photographed during the four-day confab.
Geeks for CONsent also object to what they regard as blatant objectification — scantily clad women were still used as decoration for some presentations, and costumed women were described as “vaguely slutty” by panel moderator Craig Ferguson. When Dwayne Johnson made a surprise appearance to promote “Hercules,” 10 women in belly-baring outfits stood silently in front of the stage for no apparent reason.
Comic-Con International released the following press statement to address the issue:
Comic-Con has an explicit Code of Conduct that addresses harassing and offensive behavior,” said Comic-Con International in a statement. “This Code of Conduct is made available online as well as on page two of the Events Guide that is given to each attendee.
Fantasy costumes are the norm for similar gatherings, with patrons sporting intricately designed costumes replicating pop culture heroes and villains alike.