I was out and about a few weekends ago wearing an outfit that I could have probably worn to work in my conservative day job. That shouldn’t matter but I’ll note it anyway. The difference is that I was wearing my awesome red fox Spirit Hood because A. I love it and B. I was at a con and hey fun, right?
What a world of difference.
For some reason, it seems that the second I put on anything that indicated I was there to have fun dudes felt it was ok to touch me.
I’m not talking about people I know hugging me or anything normal. I’m talking about groups of 5+ guys walking down the hall whom I’ve never met before that felt it was OK to reach out and grab me for a second and then keep going without ever even speaking to me.
It was almost like they were reaching out to get a drink of water at a fountain before continuing on their way. I mattered as much as an inanimate machine that spits out water.
My followers on Twitter urged me to sock one of the dudes in the jaw. As much as I have no problem with that, it’s not that simple. When someone basically does a drive-by on you it’s not generally feasible to:
1. Realize the person is a stranger and not a person you are friendly with.
2. Play judge, jury, and executioner that quickly.
Most people will be trying to figure out if the toucher is someone they know first and by the time they realize that it’s just some d*ckweasel he’s already gone.
It’s a cowardly act of putting women down. The implication and truth is that these these people believe that women’s bodies don’t exist for anything other than their amusement. If you complain too quickly, you are immediately disregarded as being “too uptight”.
It seems that we can’t win.
If I come to a con dressed in the Banana Republic or dark wash jeans and tops that I have to wear at my day job, I’m seen as if I don’t belong at the con. People regard me fearfully or warily. I’m often shunned. I get accused of not being a “real geek”, whatever that means.
Last I checked I was a person who liked stuff and not some stupid marketing jargon label.
I feel for the most part like I’m the thing to avoid because I look “Too Normal”. On the bright side, people don’t touch me as much on those days.
If I come to a con wearing so much as an awesome hat (for once) I immediately get touched at random by cowards.
So I can choose between being shunned and being a water fountain.