Last night after pulling into Atlanta and checking into our hotel, we went to one of the Dragoncon hotels to mingle for a spell.
While standing in the hallway looking around, a man walked behind us and grabbed my ass. I don't mean that a man walked by and accidentally brushed against my back side, I mean he purposely chose his path so he could grope my body without my permission.
Now, I wasn't dressed up. I wasn't scantily clad. I wasn't cosplaying. And even if I was, it wouldn't fucking matter because whatever I'm wearing is NOT an invitation for anyone to touch my body without my permission. Instead, I was an easy target for a man who either is so socially inept that he had no idea that his game plan is unacceptable or is so convinced that his gender is "allowed" to be fucking disgusting because, well, men are the stronger sex or whatever.
We joke about the necessity of harassment policies at cons. Everybody knows that you shouldn't be a douche, right? Wrong. Some sort of social barrier drops when you mix socially awkward people, alcohol, and a marked lack of clothing. I stared at this man, in shock, and watched as his unruly behavior was repeated against other unprepared women down the hallway.
Were I at Archon, I would have trailed the man, yelling until Con Security showed up. Here at Dragoncon, I didn't really know what to do. It was loud and crowded and even if I did yell, would anybody be able to hear me? Had I read the harassment policies before this event, I would have known that the kind folks wearing red lanyards (of which, in hindsight, I saw plenty) were security volunteers that would have been able to help me. And now, if I run into this guy again, I'm prepared with this knowledge, pissed, and ready to call him out for the jerk that he is.
I'll say it again since we still don't get it: Cosplay is not consent. Skimpy outfits are not consent. Having a vagina is not consent. And your high BAC is abso-fucking-lutely not consent.