Conventions are not evolving sexual harassment policies because women are overreacting to jokes. Conventions are evolving sexual harassment policies at conventions because jokes about sexual harassment can lead to actual harassment. Women know that sexual jokes can lead to real harassment. That is why sexual jokes make women uncomfortable. That’s why women in these environments are often edgy, wary, and on their guard, and why they are increasingly forming groups like the Ada Initiative and the Con Anti-Harassment to protect themselves and strengthen the safety of their environments.
If you’re a woman at a geek, gamer, fandom, or tech con, regardless of whether you’re wearing cosplay, there’s a very good chance you’ve endured a moment, or moments, that made you feel unsafe. If you’ve ever been in that position, the absolute last thing you want to do is to continue talking to the people who have put you in it.
It is obvious that the two offenders saw the victim as some one that could be treated as a thing. This is not about sex, it is about power and control. I guess that is what I am getting at. Sex was probably not the hardest thing for the two to get, so that wasn’t the objective. When you hear the jokes being made during the crime, it is the purest contempt.
So, how do you fix that? I’m just shooting rubber bands at the night sky but here are a few ideas: Put women’s studies in high school the curriculum from war heroes to politicians, writers, speakers, activists, soldiers, revolutionaries and let young people understand that women have been kicking ass in high threat conditions for ages and they are worthy of respect.
Total sex ed in school. Learn how it all works. Learn what the definition of statutory rape is and that it is rape, that date rape is rape, that rape is rape.
In the spirit of equal time, sites like Huffington Post should have sections for male anatomy hanging out instead of just the idiotic celebrity “side boob” and “nip slip” camera ops. I have no idea what that would be like to have a camera in my face at every turn, looking for “the” shot. I know what some of you are saying. “Then why do they wear clothes like that unless they want those photos taken?” I don’t know what to tell ya. Perhaps just don’t take the fuckin picture? Evolve? I don’t know.