Oh man. I just found out there’s going to be a Brony con next weekend. If only it didn’t cost a laughable $40 to get in, because the thought of reporting to you ~~LIVE~~ from a male-dominated My Little Pony convention really tickles my fancy.
For the record, my Brony friend says I am a Rainbow Dash.
This came up on Gawker today… Oh, Union Square. So full of peepers and pervs and people taking upskirts. I certainly have seen some creepsters there. This guy really captures what how creepy these fucks do, and it’s definitely unsettling how long the guy in question lingers. What kind of perplexes me, however, is how long Normal Bob Smith allows the filming to go on, with the subjects seemingly unaware (are they bait? does he know them?). I do like the thought that the slitherly old pervert with the digital camera goes home to watch his prize and discovers someone else has been filming him. However fleeting it must be, I like the thought that perhaps a pang of humiliation and self-loathing may wash over him. Unless that’s his thing. Oh, who am I kidding; I’m sure it is.
Click the link to his site; there are a number of “peepers” to be found. A man after my own heart! He has employed the use of some really informative graphics too!
Perhaps he and I should team up and troll New York Comic Con to look for pervs. I’m sure at least one or two of these asses will pony up for a weekend badge and be milling about there as well….
Mariah Huehner is a comics writer and editor. She is badass, as evidenced by her appearance on the New York Times bestseller list. In July she wrote the below entry on her blog. I didn’t find it until by chance recently. In a nutshell, it’s a documentation of her experience at a past Comic Con. I just think it’s worth noting that this was not a booth babe, or a skimpily dressed cosplayer. Not that either of those things excuses the behavior Ms Huehner describes. But a lot of times, people outside of the situations like to commentate, and suggest that the way a woman is dressed has “something to do with it”. It doesn’t, and shouldn’t, and that’s why I’m reposting her entry. Anyway:
SDCC is rapidly approaching, and amidst the stress of figuring out my flight, hotel, booth duty, and what the hell I’m going to wear so I don’t feel uncomfortable but also don’t look crappy for 4 days…I’m thinking about two incidents that happened at my first SDCC (which is about 5 years ago now, maybe even 6) that have forever colored the way I view it and every other convention I attend, and likely will attend, for the foreseeable future.
In short: during the 2nd night, at the Hyatt, I experienced two separate physically and sexually threatening situations. The first was a groping that I was too shocked to register until the next day. The other was being cornered, touched, and made uncomfortable by two drunk men.
Both left me feeling shaken, upset, and like I had done something wrong. I kept thinking: how did I get in that situation? What did I do to provoke it? What mistakes had I made? How did I allow this to happen? Why didn’t I make a huge scene? Basically, I immediately started blaming myself for being a woman who did not prevent someone else from making me an object. Something that I had absolutely no control over, did not deserve, and yet still feel responsible for in some way, to this day.
First, the groping. I was standing with a group of fellow professionals I had worked with for years. Most of them I knew quite well, one not very well. They were all drinking, I was not. I suddenly felt a hand trail down my back and cup my right…er…posterior. My stomach immediately flip flopped and I turned to the guy, shocked. He was talking to someone else and then stumbled away. He did not look at me once. I said nothing, because I had already started telling myself it hadn’t really happened, I must have imagined it, who does that, no way.
The second happened about an hour later. I had drifted away from the group I had been talking to, to write an idea down in my sketchbook. I was against one of the large windows. There were many groups of people around, as there usually are. I did not notice the two men until they were towering over me. I was stuck and felt very small and uncomfortable. I looked around to see if anyone I knew was close by, but they weren’t, and in any case, couldn’t see me because these two men had neatly blocked me from view. I didn’t know them at all and, the clearest thought I can remember when I realized I was cornered, is that I wished I was wearing my boots. I had left them at home because they’re a pain to deal with at the airport. I was wearing flats after a day of standing on my feet, and I suddenly felt about two feet tall (I’m actually a little over five feet tall). They started asking me what I was so intent about, why was I so serious, what was I doing at SDCC, was I a friend of someone there. I said, no, I’m an editor. This was a mistake as they were then curious about why a girl worked in comics. They moved closer. I backed up, but there wasn’t anywhere to go. I could tell they had been drinking, likely a lot, and for some reason I felt compelled to be…nice. I was scared to be mean or just get away, afraid they’d get mad or rough. I felt like I was stuck to the sidewalk. One of them men reached out and touched the front of my jacket, telling me I looked like a Tim Burton character. He tried to run his hand down the stripes and that’s when I unfroze. All I could think of to do, because for whatever reason I just couldn’t yell, I said…oh, I see some people I know, bye. And I quickly moved away. I had to squeeze myself against the window and duck. I practically ran to open the door and went up to my hotel room where I proceeded to have a very hard time sleeping.
My mind raced. I had every cliche thought you can think of. Had I been wearing something “wrong”? Not unless you think being covered from neck to ankles in baggy black, with a striped jacket is “revealing”. Had I somehow suggested I wanted attention? Not unless being shy and a little freaked out at my first SDCC indicates that. Had I acted inappropriately? Other than a bit awestruck and not drinking (which might be considered weird at a convention), no. Had I, in short, done something to deserve what happened?
Although I am rationally aware I did not, and that you can’t “deserve” being objectified in any case…emotionally, I was convinced I had done something wrong. Namely: that I had moved away from people for a brief moment, thereby allowing myself to be in an unpleasant situation. I had not been vigilant. I had not been “smart”. The groping I felt less responsible for, because it had just…happened. And I was sort of convincing myself it hadn’t, like somehow someone’s hand would trail down your back and cup your ass by accident. I just couldn’t process it. And it didn’t occur to me at the time that experiencing both in one night was perhaps a lot to deal with and that I was having a panic attack. I felt sick, I remember that.
The rest of the convention I didn’t really go out at night. I avoided the bar. I was at my industry’s largest event, with all kinds of people I admired right downstairs…and I was scared to leave my room. I felt wrong, that’s the only way I can describe it. I spent the rest of the convention nervous, on edge, and not because of how big it is or the fact that it was the first time I’d been there. That was overwhelming enough. I had wanted to be this strong, independent professional…and instead I felt like a groped, disrespected, thing.
I didn’t feel like I could talk about it because I’d be confirming all the stereotypes about women being harassed at conventions…and I was worried people would blame me. That they’d say I should have done something different, not been alone, yelled…or worse…that it was something I would just have to get used to.
In the years since, I haven’t had a single experience like it at SDCC or any other convention. And yet, it colors the way I view every nighttime event. I don’t always have the option to go to something with a group, and professionally, going to the bars or hotels to interact with creators and publishers is important. It keeps you visible, lets people get to know you a bit in a more casual setting, and can lead to opportunities. And it can also be cool to run into the various other people who go to cons, you never know who you might get to chat with. It’s supposed to be, you know, fun.
But for me, it rarely is. I can’t not think about what happened that night. I still blame myself, if I’m being really honest. It’s a big reason why I don’t drink, although it’s not the only one. I might have a beer I’ll nurse all night, but that’s it. There are plenty of reasons that’s not a bad thing, and I don’t wish I could get smashed. But I do wish I didn’t have to spend every second being vigilant and on guard. That I didn’t have to feel scared, way down, most of the time.
Women tend to get criticized for bringing up scenarios like this, because most people want to believe we did do something to “make” it happen. And I’m sure someone reading this will think, well, you SHOULD have been more vigilant. Honestly, it’s exhausting. And no one can keep that up 24/7. Then there are the people who will say it was either complimentary, or I took it too seriously, or they were drunk so what did I expect? Well, I’ll tell you what I didn’t expect. To have my personal space invaded, to be touched without permission. No one should be assuming, no matter how drunk they are, that other people’s bodies are a free for all. The fact that they did shows a profound lack of respect for me personally, and women in general. It’s not a compliment, I can tell you that. As for taking it to seriously…no. Other people don’t get to define what is threatening to me, and cornering a young woman in the dark is, by definition, threatening. Every man on the planet should know better.
And anyway…shouldn’t the men, who acted like that, be responsible for NOT putting me in that position? Being a woman is not a reason to harass me or any other woman. Drinking isn’t an excuse. Just…don’t do that, okay? It’s awful. And I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.
Now, the only time I’ve been north of the border for anything comic-related was when I exhibited at TCAF a couple of years ago. And indie comic fans tend not to be as outwardly creepy for whatever reasons—smaller crowds and lack of cosplayers I assume—so I never witnessed anything weird happening there. But, a few people on Twitter had told me that they’d be going to Fan Expo this year, and inquired as to whether I’d be up, and if not, they could serve as freelancers for the Comic Con Pervs cause.
So, if you’re reading this, and you’re going to be at the Fan Expo, please, consider this a call to action! Any photos can be sent to me, as can any anecdotes, to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to send me some Timbits, I can provide a physical address as well.?
Never before has the other side been so well represented. Let’s see what this gentlemanly scholar has to say, shall we?
The purpose of hot costumes is to look hot YOU STUPID BISH, and a guy appreciating it and giving admiration not make them “pervs”. Any one who thinks that preventing a guy taking a photo will get them women, it wont, your tactic will backfire, women do not like nice guys. I bet you anything I am a happier person “learing” at hot peaces of ass in hot costumes at a con than you fucks that drag any one else through the mud for doing so. Woman who want nice guys do not where skanky fucking slut clothes. What we are the “BAD GUYS” for wanting to stare when a woman has the tops of her tits hanging out for all to see or even for taking a picture you have to be kidding me. That’s my fav argument, REALLY, and it usually comes from a fucking UGLY ASS SLUT that NO ONE WANTS to LOOK AT and you are just jealous. You bitches take any excuse to dress like a whore but bitch becouse some one took the opportunity to do what you obvs wanted, and that is look. So yes I will lear and yes you can call me a perv. If I see you and I like what I see I will take a fucking photo. That is the point.
So! Okay! There we have it folks!
Man, check out that creeper hiding behind the fern. And his friend is totally drooling.
I was searching Flickr just now, to see if there might be any candid shots someone had uploaded from GenCon or Comic Con, and came across a set called Hot Chubs at GenCon. And it’s….. a lot of photos of heavyset men that were taken without their knowledge and surely without their consent.
It’s….. weird. I don’t know what the fuck to make of this one. Strictly based on the photoset I wondered if it was all a humiliation thing instead of a fetish, but no, according to his profile, “My pictures range from the mundane, to the pornographic, to the profane, to the artistic. I like to snipe pictures of fat guys.”
So there you have it! Ladies, we’re not the only ones getting creeped on by dudes! Dudes are also being creeped on by other dudes.
A reader submission, with photo AND story attached!
I’m part of a comedy group that performs at several cons through the year. The most recent was last weekend at GenCon. Our outfits usually consist of athletic shorts and the t-shirts that we sell. Some of our friends noticed a creeper taking MULTIPLE pics of our red head’s ass while we chatted in a circle. The guy even moved around to get different angles. Our friends moved my red head to the other side of the circle and he disappeared. I grabbed a camera phone, put her back in her original spot (butt out) and he reappeared. You can see him over her shoulder snapping away again.
I’ll try to keep an eye open (and camera available!) for these idiots on our travels. I think what you’re doing is good. Really good!—-
PS, their group is called The Damsels of Dorkington! Fair warning, pervs; when you try to creep on these ladies, you may want to make sure they’re not taking photos of YOU.
Like I said, Wizard World is totally happening in Chicago, and that got me thinking about the missed opportunities at it and any future shows this year. Dragon Con is a big one, right? Save for a short, obsessive stint playing Gemstone IV in college, I’ve just never gotten into fantasy stuff, so I’m not familiar with it, and had no plans to go out to Atlanta for it. So that right there are two shows that probably will have their own share of pervs perving it up all over the exhibition floors. The only show I maybe was going to be able to go to NYCC…
So, I was checking the dates for the NYCC and it’s October 13-16. Hrm. I’m obviously free that weekend— in my case, being a “freelance” artist means “I am woefully unemployed at the moment”— but I’m hesitant to plunk down money to go in. I used to live up there! The Javits Center was maybe 45 minutes from my apartment, and we actually exhibited in 2009. I already had a reason to be at SDCC— we were exhibiting— so I was already gonna be there, and so this project wasn’t any skin off my nose. I like to get back to the city a few times a year but I’m just not sure I can do it in October.
So— any of you reading this who do live in the city, or will be heading to NYC for the show— can you be my eyes? Or, I mean, can your camerphone be my cameraphone?
I am holding my breath on being sponsored and sent up there (to stay in a luxury suite, of course; only the best for me!!), and I am also holding my breath eying my account balance, so it’s still up in the air whether I’ll go…. I shall let you know, intrepid reader!
My first night there, Preview Night, I left the table to go to the restroom. I passed two large men. I am only 5’4, so most creatures over 5’8 register as large with me. Anyway, they seemed large. I walked past them, minding my own business and bladder, and right as I passed by, I heard the one…
So, with DragonCon approaching, I keep going back to the last time I went, and how, after the burlesque let out, I was taking the stairs up the few floors to the lobby, hoping to bum a smoke (bad, I know) before going up to my room in the same hotel. All my friends were staying in other hotels and had already gone their separate ways. I was dressed up, but not dressed as anything. Nor do I think I was dressed provocatively (not that that should matter!), esp. since I’d just spent an hour and change watching much better looking women than myself take off their clothes in humorous and artistic ways. Nevertheless, some dude followed me. Up one, two, three flights of stairs.
I finally whipped around and confronted him: “Do you need something?”
“Um. Can I take a picture of you?”
I said yes, struck what I hoped was a flattering pose, and then wheeled around and took the last flight of stairs a little too quickly to the relative safety of the smoking porch to get away.
He was a little guy, very nebbishy and shy and probably harmless, but it made me feel freaked out for three cigarrettes-worth of thinking time. I had been totally alone with him for the first three sets of stairs. It was so late it was going to be early soon, and there wasn’t a soul in most of the hotel (with the exception of the smoking porch and a couple other common mingling areas).
So, now I’m wondering, what IS the appropriate response? That guy, ultimately, didn’t bother me all that much. I’m guessing he’s a chubby chaser with a preference for polkadot dresses or something. But I’ve had my ass grabbed and my boobs “accidentally” brushed by a stranger’s hand before. And I’ve both overheard and been the intended audience for comments about parts of my anatomy. Luckily, none of these at the ‘Con. But what should I say? How can I react in a way that lets the person know that they are being an asshole without provoking a really bad response?
Yikes. In all honesty, in THAT situation, alone the way you were, you probably handled it the best way you could. Creepy photo-taking aside, he followed you in a deserted stairwell. It’s… yikes. That’s when the game changes. And I am DEFINITELY NOT an expert or sociologist or cop or… whatever. So I can’t say I know for sure (not that you asked me) (and though i totally definitely did say that more women should speak up), but I did once just simply say to a guy, “Why do you have to be so rude? Are you proud now?” and he actually didn’t have anything to retort, and looked ashamed.
This DOES bring up a good question though, how SHOULD someone address the situation? And isn’t it fucked up we even have to wonder?