If you’ve been paying to the SFF Writer/Fan blogosphere of late, you’re aware that sexual harassment has become a topic of discussion. Again.
Because the people who pull this shit at conventions don’t seem to ever get it.
Look, I rarely use profanity on this blog, so hopefully the impact I’m going for here will sink in: what the fuck is wrong with you people?!?!?
I mean, really, the number of times this has come up, and keeps coming up, and the people who harass their fellow con-goers seem to think, “Hey, that’s just how Chad* is. It’s harmless.” Yeah, that’s not harmless.
And the defense of this behavior is appalling. “Oh, but if you censor us like this, we can’t talk to women!” No, you don’t know how to talk to women. Let’s take a quick quiz of Convention Behavior.
1. At a convention, you see an attractive fellow con-goer wearing a low-cut sundress that displays ample cleavage. Do you:
A. Say, “Wow, that’s quite a rack you’ve got there.”
B. Say, “That’s a great dress. It would look better on my hotel room floor.”
C. Not say anything. Just stare at it.
D. Say, “Hi, my name’s Chad. What’s yours?”
2. At a convention, you see an attractive fellow con-goer wearing a Doctor Who T-Shirt. Do you:
A. Say, “That’s a great shirt. What do you have under there?”
B. Say, “Hey, do you wanna know what’s bigger on the inside… OF MY PANTS?”
C. Quiz her on her knowledge of Doctor Who minutiae to prove she’s not a real fan.
D. Say, “Cool shirt. I love that show.”
3. At a convention, you see an attractive fellow con-goer with long blue hair. Do you:
A. Walk up and smell her hair.
B. Walk up and stroke her hair.
C. Ask her, “Does your hair color have a sexual meaning?”
D. Talk to her like you would any other human being anywhere ever.
4. At a convention, you see an attractive fellow con-goer in a Supergirl costume, with short skirt and bare midriff. Do you:
A. Say, “I think you should kneel before Zod. And by ‘Zod’, I mean my penis.”
B. Put your arm around her waist so your buddy can get a picture of you with her.
C. Quiz her on her knowledge of DC Comics minutiae to prove she’s not a real fan.
D. Say, “That’s a great costume. Would you mind if I took a picture?”
SCORING: For every “D” answer, give yourself one point. For every other answer subtract five points and re-evaluate your role in society.
To put it bluntly: if you are going to a SF/F Convention with the primary goal of finding exciting new places to put your penis, you are doing it wrong. There literally are conventions where that is the point, and perhaps you should consider attending one of those instead.**
*- Not to specifically disparage guys named Chad. But our hypothetical harasser will be named Chad.
**- I am given to understand there is a degree of crossover amongst the crowd. I understand that may generate some confusion. Either way: learn to read the room.