Harassment at SDCC, and how to fix it

I’ve met both John and Bully and they’re both good people (well, one’s more of a good stuffed little bull, but you get my point). But this would be important anyway. He recounts a few instances of harassment at San Diego Comic-Con and was shocked to discover there’s no policy in dealing with such instances:

So, according to published con policy, there is no tolerance for smoking, drawn weapons, personal pages or selling bootleg videos on the floor, and these rules are written down in black and white in the con booklet. There is not a word in the written rules about harassment or the like. I would like to see something like “Comic-Con has zero tolerance for harassment or violence against any of our attendees or exhibitors. Please report instances to a security guard or the Con Office in room XXX.”

I think it goes without saying that people need to not behave this way to begin with. But since there’s always going to be a few that do, it is the responsibility of a con like this to provide some sort of disciplinary action against them. Without it, it does come across as being a “boys’ club.”

Don’t the girls who were there for Stephanie Meyers and Twilight deserve the same respect as the boys who were there for, say, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (although I dare say there were some girls there for that, too)?

I like how John finishes up his piece:

Comics oughta be fun. Comic book conventions ought to, as well. But as long as harassment goes on and there is no clear-cut official written rules on convention behavior and what to do in circumstances or physical or mental assault, our hobby runs the risk of alienating and endangering those within it.

Comics should be for everybody. Let’s start acting like they are.

Leave a Reply