The post on sexual harassment at Comic-Con on Comics Oughta Be Fun has been making the rounds. It’s disturbing, but worth a read. It lists a few examples of women being harassed during the con, then points out that there’s no written policy against harassment, and no clear procedure for reporting it.
In theory, it shouldn’t be necessary to spell out “Don’t stalk or assault people” in the program. We’re talking about behavior that’s already unacceptable and, once you cross a certain line, illegal. Unfortunately some people either lack basic social graces (I’m trying to keep the language family-friendly, here), or think that costumes give them a free pass.
I do think the convention needs a clear reporting procedure. Let people know they can report incidents to security, and follow through.
They also need better coordination between convention staff and security. My wife and I spent an hour and a half dealing with what we thought was the theft of her purse. She stood up at the end of a panel and it was gone. She reported it to security, filled out a missing property report, checked lost and found, canceled her credit card…and in the end it turned out that the room’s staff had removed it from under her seat during the previous panel break, thinking someone else had left it behind, and put it at the back of the room. But they hadn’t said anything to security about it, and security didn’t ask them.
(Found via several blogs.)