Convention Turns Fan’s Request for Refund into PR Nightmare

A fan feeling that she might be uncomfortable at an event she had purchased a ticket to wrote the organizers a private message asking for a refund.  This exchange started off reasonably enough:

“Hi. I would like a refund.” she wrote. “Due to recent
interaction from the organizer of this event I don’t feel it would
be a safe place for female cosplayers. Thank you for understanding.”

Throw a large crowd into a room and there’s bound to be a few jerks in the bunch. Ones who have to be told that cosplay doesn’t equal consent.  That if a person attends a comic convention or entertainment expo, and they just happen to wear a tight and/or revealing costume, that doesn’t automatically give others license to touch or otherwise harass them.

To counter this and keep events fun for everyone, many of the event organizershave adopted policies designed to stamp out harassment. Mileage may vary depending on how these policies are designed, how
they’re enforced, and by who. If someone has a  concern and asks for a refund in advance, event organisers should give one. No muss, no fuss.

Chana W. an event ticket holder, noticed on Sunday that the upcoming Cherry City Comicon in Salem, Oregon* event’s Facebook page had uploaded 9 pictures of adult female cosplayers for every 1 male,
she asked about it. Mark’s reply was “Feel free to create a Sexy Men of Cosplay page”.

When Chana privately messaged Mark Martin, organiser of the event, for a refund she was expecting a response of “We’re sorry to see you go. Here is your money back” or maybe “We’d be glad to refund your money. May we also ask the details of your concern or negative experience, so we can address them?”

Instead Mark, conflating Chana and Jennifer as one person and feeling “attacked from every side by Chana”, posted this on his personal Facebook timeline:

Click on the pic for the full story over at strongandfree.org

 

 

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