Har-Asses, by Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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6 Responses

  1. Alan Coil says:

    I worked for a major corporation for a while. We were required on several occasions to take training on harassment. Every time the corporation lost another lawsuit, we had to re-take the training. While I do see the importance of refresher training, it was most annoying that it was only emphasized after another lost lawsuit.Talking about harassment does help, but it is better when actual examples are seen on video tape. That's why I like the idea of your new employer requiring that you go to a site to take the training.

  2. Alan Coil says:

    I'm stunned that there are no other responses here.Is everybody on vacation?Or is it that the male readers here think there is no harassment problems in comics?

    • Russ Rogers says:

      I have a theory that sometimes the number of comments a web posting receives can be inversely proportional to it's importance. I'm not sure. Math is hard.I'll go on the record and say it out loud. There is a reason that comic books, dungeons and dragons, war reenactment, video games and living in your mother's basement are labeled as the activities of skeevy dorks without any social skills, especially in relating to the opposite sex.Computers, war games, video game and, yes, comic books, all can give people (generally boys and socially under-developed older boys) an escape from a reality that is confusing, sometimes mystifying. They offer entrance to a reality that is much more easily quantified, bagged and boarded.Look at the CBS show, "The Big Bang Theory." There is a show that is just playing off a stereotype, the nerd. Conan O'Brien regularly trots out the comic trope of the sexually inexperienced Star Wars Fan-boy. Comics have realized that it's OK to stereotype folks who can't make a claim of racial, ethnic or religious oppression.Nerds are oppressed. I speak as a self-confessed nerd. But… there is also a kernel of truth to the stereotype.I have not been to many conventions. But from what I've read here and about stuff like the Open Boob Project, convention goers can be near Autistic in their lack of empathy and basic understanding of male/female interaction. Before you can reinvent the rules of social interaction, with signs that offer "Free Hugs," or buttons that promise "Free Gropes," you had better have a clear, working knowledge of how social interaction works in the REAL world. You better also have a clear understanding about what might be considered harassment, or worse assault.

      • Mike Gold says:

        I think there's a real problem with nerds (as you define 'em) in general: little real world experience, little live interaction with people outside your family and closest closest, inner-most circle.I've seen this grow to sometimes preposterous proportions among the blogging and online gaming community. Online socialization is in no way a substitute for live interaction, and all too many folks just aren't getting out much. Ergo, they have social skills that are limited at best. And no, meeting your online friends at the cineplex to see Clone Wars does not constitute "social interaction." Not even the midnight show.Having said this, the type of attitudes and behaviors that we see in these settings are nothing — ABSOLUTELY NOTHING — compared to what I've observed at Sports Illustrated. And that's a company that's a division of the "liberal media," which, in turn, is owned by a Fortune 500 company. I honestly can't believe that none of the women over there haven't simply shot any number of those bastards.

      • Alan Coil says:

        I watched 2 or 3 episodes of The Big Bang Theory, saw what it was, left it behind me forever.Yes, I am a nerd, a geek, etc., but I also have social graces. In 1977, I saw Star Wars in the theater 6 times. After the lameness of Jar Jar in the 4th Star Wars movie, I left that behind, too. Life is hard enough without stupid stereotypical, characterizations and harassment of those some see as their inferiors.

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      Alan, I've noticed that sometimes word of mouth travels differently among female bloggers than among male bloggers. I suspect this column may get a few more comments in the next few days as people hear about it. I've just gotten a terrific email from Karen Healey of GirlWonder.org with the news that they've established a Con Anti-Harassment Project that looks real promising. Well worth everyone checking out!