Sexual harassment at Comic-Con overlooked and in the shadows

By Melissa Barclay,

Sexual harassment at Comic-Con is not a topic that has been openly discussed since the convention began 44 years ago. However, a group of women are bringing the issue into the light.

Geeks for CONsent was formed by three women who want Comic-Con to create an anti-harassment policy. The online petition they created has nearly 2,600 signatures.


Guests at Comic Con in New York, October 2013

The convention provides the opportunity for people to dress up, or cosplay, as any character from their favorite video game, movies, or television show. However, what should be a fun environment is actually dark underneath. Those at the convention complained of being groped and having their pictures taken when they weren’t looking, reported the Associated Press.

“People who are the kind of people who are going to take a photo of you when you're not looking from behind are going to do that regardless, whether you're in costume or not,” said Toni Darling, who was also in cosplay.

In a statement Sunday, Comic-Con International said they have “an explicit Code of Conduct that addresses harassing and offensive behavior.” However, CONsent believes more can be done.

The results of a survey conducted earlier this year by writer and fan Janelle Asselin, showed that of the 3,600 responses, a large amount of people said they had their pictures taken against their wishes. Thirteen percent also reported sexual harassment, including rape, reported The Telegraph.

The attendance for Comic-Con in San Diego is about 130,000 people. More than 40 percent of the attendees are women.

Image courtesy of Nancy Rivera/ACE/INFphoto.com

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