Why Women In Comics Don't 'Just Report' Sexual Harassment
“If the harassment is so bad, why don’t women just report it?” “I want to believe these women, but if they’re not willing to come forth and put their name to these accusations, I just can’t.” “These claims of harassment are all so overblown. I never see it happening.” I have been a woman in the comics industry for a few months now. It has been wonderful. It has also been terrifying. Terrifying in a way I’m used to, though. When you grow up enveloped in the miasma of “tits or GTFO,” “attention whore,” and “fake geek girl,” fear becomes the price you pay to enjoy your hobbies. You don’t even think of it as fear most of the time. Sometimes you join in the fear mongering yourself, enjoying the a**hole glamour of not being too pussy to call another girl a slut. Sometimes you hide in woman-heavy spaces, which go maligned elsewhere (“Tumblrinas!”) but do a pretty solid job of keeping you safe. The fear comes back eventually, though, as a slew of graphic rape threats or a simple joke about “feminazis” you are expected to chuckle along with. It might be in response to a screed worthy of Andrea Dworkin—or maybe you just tweeted something about disliking Guardians of the Galaxy. What matters is that you were a woman with an opinion on the internet, and now you must be punished. You must be made to fear.