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Cosplay=/Consent Universal hand gesture for getting Help from Harrasers Suggestion brought up in Cosplay/=Consent panel

#1 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:52 PM

Dear Fellow ACener's,

During the panel Cosplay/=Consent one attendee gave out an intersting suggestion to IRT to allow for Cosplayers and others who are being harrased to get help, a hand gesture that IRT will recognize as a "I'm being harrased please come over and help me." sign that doesn't notify the agressor so that IRT can deal with the jerk that was attacking the person or cosplayer.

IRT said that in order for them to get it rolling it had to come from the forums, so, since apparently no one has one up about this in the suggestions area as of yet, this is a thread for anyone that wants to help think of some sort of hand signal of gesture that could be used as a means of getting IRT's attention and keeping con-goers safe from being harrassed or attacked by other con-goers.

One thing to remember, it should be a easy to recognize gesture, and two it needs to be something that can't be mistaken for something else. A hand wave won't cut it. Also Volcan "Live long and prosper" hand gesture won't work either. I'll be posting this up on the ACen Facebook later to see if there's suggestions there. I think this is a brilliant idea and one that would be helpful for people that are too scared to say anything. If there was something of a gesture they could shoot IRT then maybe they would feel better and be more willing to do so to help themselves or others that might be in trouble if they spot it.

My suggestion:

An H shaped gesture that uses both hands.

How to do it: Place your middle and ring fingers against each other pointing down. (You know how people make a heart shape with their hands and how the fingers look? Like that.)

Second: Extend your pinky fingers and index fingers straight up, your thumbs may extend in the back.

This quick motion I think could be easy to make and fast for people to see since it's not something you would do on a daily bases and has no other connotations that I know of.

What other suggestions could be used? Again I think this is a great idea and hopefully IRT will read this and put this in their book. The more suggestions the better we can figure out what we can do as con-goers to get the attention of the right people as well as protect ourselves and others from harrassers. :thumbup:

Special thank yous to the Panelists of Cosplay/=Consent. You guys are awesome for bring up a serious topic that really needs to be covered. :highfive:
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#2 User is offline   Drake_Ravencraft 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:53 AM

i will talk to my department head and see what we can come up with.
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#3 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:04 PM

Thank you so so much.
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#4 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:38 PM

Would you be able to post a picture of this gesture somewhere? Maybe it's still con-exhaustion, but I can't figure out how it's supposed to look.
Another suggestion I have that (I think) is related- would it be possible to get staff on the elevators in the parking garage, too (the ones with the color-changing lights and ceiling-mirrors). We had a problem with one girl in our group having her shirt looked down by someone on the elevator using those mirrors, though we had someone in our group who was okay with telling him to stop out loud. It might discourage such shenanigans in the first place if an authority figure is present.

#5 User is offline   evaunit01berserk 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:37 PM

Thanks for deleting my post and proving what is so broken with this con.

Have fun using a method that was attempted already and proved to cause more trouble as people started flashing it like it was a fad.

Some research
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#6 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:59 PM

@ AkaRisu: I'll have my sister take a picture of it with my camera and upload ASAP.

View Postevaunit01berserk, on 21 May 2013 - 03:37 PM, said:

Thanks for deleting my post and proving what is so broken with this con.

Have fun using a method that was attempted already and proved to cause more trouble as people started flashing it like it was a fad.

Some research


Flashing it like it was a fad? I did research, the hand signal would only be used in the event of something happening, it wouldn't be something that looks cool to flash, like a Heart or a Peace sign. I was actually trying to find something that needed two hands to make it harder for people to just randomly flash it.
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#7 User is offline   Agatha 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:07 PM

I think that this is an interesting idea, but that there are some issues.

-How would ACen ensure that everyone knows about this gesture? The vast majority of attendees don't visit the forums, and I'm willing to bet that a lot of them also don't look at the program book beyond looking at events that they're interested in. Since this is something totally foreign to people (a completely new gesture that they've never heard of before) getting that information out and ingrained, so that when caught up in the moment they know what to do, would be vital.

-If this is to be a universal gesture that everyone knows, then the person doing the harassing is going to know about it too, which brings up the same issues that having the target of the harassment tell IRT would. Namely, making this gesture would be the same thing as saying, "Get away," or going to get IRT, so if someone feels too intimidated to do those, it could also be that they'll feel too intimidated to make this sign (because if it's distinctive enough *not* to be mistaken for anything else it's going to draw attention to itself.)

-If it's meant to be flashed subtly, (say, I look like I'm fixing my costume, but my hand is shaped a certain way) - a method which could avoid the problem mentioned above - it's going to be a lot easier for people to miss. Even if it's not meant to be subtle, I think for someone scanning a crowd of hundreds of people it would be difficult to detect the precise position of someone's hands while looking at everything else too! I could see this working in a smaller room, but I'm trying to picture it happening in a place like the exhibit hall and I just don't know that it would be noticeable enough.

I think that last part could really be trouble, if someone's in a situation where they feel unsafe and they think they've called for help but no one saw it.

I do agree that harassment is a serious issue. As someone who's previously been on the receiving end of harassment and not been able to speak up, I also understand what it's like to not want to directly engage with someone and/or cause a scene, and if there's an effective way of getting help without doing those things, I think it would be good. However, given the issues presented above, I don't know that I'd be comfortable making this the official method to deal with it. I also feel that once a policy like this is effected, there's a risk of viewing the issue as done with - as in, "Well, if someone was feeling uncomfortable, they should have signaled and since they didn't it's their fault. Didn't know the signal? Too bad, should've read the program book, no one to blame but yourself," which is obviously not a constructive attitude to have.

In short, I think the concept is good but I think the sheer size of ACen presents some difficulties for implementation. Unfortunately, I don't have any ideas for overcoming those.

#8 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:08 PM

View Postevaunit01berserk, on 21 May 2013 - 03:37 PM, said:

Thanks for deleting my post and proving what is so broken with this con.

Have fun using a method that was attempted already and proved to cause more trouble as people started flashing it like it was a fad.

Some research


Just gonna note that we'll be keeping an eye on this thread as well.
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#9 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:21 PM

I think the hand gesture would work well as long as your group knows it- you can flash whatever signal you want as long as the people you're traveling with knows about it (and I hope people have at least one other person with them at cons, especially at one as big as ACen), and generally people within a group would (I'd think) not screw around and flash it for giggles. It would be silly to expect IRT to follow up on all hand gestures, but if someone in your group sees your gesture, they can intervene and/or fetch IRT for you.

This post has been edited by AkaRisu: 22 May 2013 - 02:22 PM


#10 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:24 PM

Can we have this thread merged with this one:

Link

Having both of these open at the same time is needlessly confusing.

This post has been edited by rondo: 22 May 2013 - 02:25 PM


#11 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

That is a fair point. Actually, instead of merging, I'll lock this one and leave the link so others know where to find the other one. :)
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