Thursday, May 8, 2014

A PSA for Ottawa Comiccon #OCC #consent

In the current conversation about consent and sexual harassment/assault, the subject of how people are dressed often comes up. Whether it's a police officer saying "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized" (the wotrds that launched Slutwalk) or questions about behaviour or reputation, victim-blaming contributes to a culture that enables rape.

At this weekend's Ottawa Comiccon, you can expect to see all kinds of attendees, men and women, getting their "cosplay" on as they dress up as their favourite comic book and sci-fi characters.

Unfortunately, some attendees see costumes as an excuse to harass and assault women at the Comicon. To address this issue, Hollaback! will be there, "to explore the issue of harassment in geek spaces and open up the floor to discussions on how we can make the community safer."

They are also participating in the "Cosplay =/= Consent" campaign by Geeks for CONsent, an organization started by Hollaback! Philly that encourages the organizers of comicons to adopt an anti-harassment policy and train their volunteers on how to appropriately deal with offences. They also encourage people share their stories of harassment, to hand out "Harasser Cards," learn how to be supportive bystanders, and to promote the Cosplay =/= Consent meme by posing with branded placards.

Have fun at the con, everyone. Just don't be a SuperAsshole.

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