Sunday, November 19, 2017
News Roundup

Amid the Tampa Bay Comic Con fantasy, some feel harassed

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — The gawkers had gathered near the entrance of Comic Con to snap some photos of Wonder Woman. Or, rather, the woman dressed as Wonder Woman.

The woman flipped a strand of hair, cocked her hips and smiled. A circle of camera phones flashed.

Comic Con is a nationwide convention that invites everyone to dress as beloved superheroes and science fiction stars. The event invaded the Tampa Convention Center this weekend with thousands passing through the doors, dressed in costumes you'd likely never see outside of Halloween.

For many, the convention was a wonderful gathering of geekdom, a chance to role-play and pay homage to classic characters. Around one corner, Batman and Robin munched on pretzels. Around another, Spider-Man shot a string of web from his wrist.

For others though, Comic Con-related events, including the one in Tampa, have started to develop a reputation for groping, upskirting and sexual harassment.

Tired of what they saw as blatant objectification, three women from Philadelphia formed Geeks for CONsent to raise awareness about the issues surrounding fantasy and appropriate behavior. A costume doesn't mean consent, they say. "It doesn't give someone any reason to overstep a woman's boundaries," said Rochelle Keyhan, the group's director.

In San Diego, the mecca of Comic Con, numerous reports surfaced of men harassing women. One woman said a man tried to follow her home after stalking her during the event. Another said a man grabbed at her butt while they were posing for a picture.

One post on the group's website from someone who called herself Hannah from Tampa said that at MetroCon earlier this summer, she dressed as Lady Loki. She wrote that a group of guys joked about her costume's horns and made obscene hand gestures.

Some conventions have a code of conduct to prevent such behavior. Tampa Bay's Comic Con does not, said Kailee Baylor, the event's spokesperson.

"The only policies we really have are based on costumes or weaponry," she said.

There were no sexual harassment incidents reported over the weekend, according to the Tampa Police Department.

But some eventgoers cited examples of inappropriate behavior.

After waiting in line several hours Friday to attend the event, Nash Thompson and her fiance, Anthony Spear, of Anna Maria, grabbed beers at a nearby tiki hut. "At least six guys tried to take pictures of just her butt," Spear, 25, said.

Once inside, they walked through the main expo on the second floor. As she passed one booth, Thompson, 22, said a man reached out and slapped a sticker on her breast that read: "I have been touched by the Almighty One … And it was good."

"We've been doing these conventions long enough," Spear said.

He paused.

"So, you know, you just kind of get used to it."

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Contact Zack Peterson at [email protected] Follow @zackpeterson918.

Comments
Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Player of the Week | Michael Penix Jr., Tampa Bay TechPenix, a Tennessee commit, has been good all season and it seems as if he’s getting even better in the playoffs. On Friday night against Palmetto in the Class 7A region semifinals, he was too ...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Updated: 10 hours ago
No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

PHILADELPHIA — There were so many reasons for UCF coach Scott Frost to worry about his team’s focus. With a huge game against USF looming, playing an improving Temple team in a stadium where the empty seats outnumbered the filled ones by about a 3-1 ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates during the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first: Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL pla...
Updated: 12 hours ago
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI — After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?With WR Mike Evans back from h...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher longed for his team to play in this type of game throughout its disappointing season.After Hurricane Irma caused a three-week layoff between FSU’s first two games, forcing it to play 11 in a row to finis...
Updated: 12 hours ago