We’ve been discussing sexual harassment and creepers at conventions recently, and someone pointed out to me that a lot of the stories of creepers we’ve been hearing about have been men (and women) who have been trying to approach a women (or man) and express their interest in them, but don’t really understand how to do so without crossing boundaries and being… well, a creeper.
That’s not to dismiss or erase the fact that our geek culture is spiraling out of control after years of being geared towards a hetero-cis-male demographic, and that a lot of our eggs are bad and can’t really see women as anything but sex objects. But I digress — there is the factor that some people just don’t get how to interact in these circumstances.
Is it possible to approach someone you’re interested in at a convention without being labelled a creeper? Yes. It is entirely possible to do so. I’m not going to claim to be a relationship expert or anything, to be completely honest with you I’m currently typing this at my laptop at 1.30am with a glass of wine and waiting patiently for Mark Ruffalo to knock on the door to whisk me away from my life of being single despite not being terrible looking or a horrible, soul-sucking banshee demon, where I assume we’ll talk a lot about the US Healthcare reform and rage together about water fracking.
But, I am a woman, I am (and I say this grinding my teeth and going off what I’ve been told as I don’t believe a word of it) attractive and I do find myself at conventions spending more money than any reasonable person should on X-Men merchandise. I have been ‘the girl at the convention’ and as a result I have been creeped on, verbally abused, followed, groped and photographed against my will.
Let me get to the point, though — I’m going to share a story with you about a time I was approached without it being creepy or invasive at all. In fact, it was quite nice, even if I didn’t reciprocate or want to continue past friendly conversation. (For the privacy of the gent who approached me, I won’t be naming the convention I was at.)
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