Culture Report: Comic-Con’s Harassment Problem - Voice of San Diego

Arts/Culture

Culture Report: Comic-Con’s Harassment Problem

How to make things a little nicer for attendees of the massive convention, plus border crossing, jazzy freshness and the new cultural mecca in our weekly culture roundup.

With the UC Santa Barbara shootings still fresh in people’s minds, the very real issues of misogyny and harassment against women have become major topics of discussion. That’s a good thing.

People need to talk about this out in the open so that those who are blissfully unaware can start to understand the threats women deal with every day.

One hotbed of sexual harassment is San Diego’s Comic-Con, but a group is working to change that. Comics Alliance highlighted a group called GeeksforCONsent that has started a petition urging Comic-Con International to adopt a formal harassment policy that would better protect attendees.

Female cosplayers are often harassed at these conventions. Anyone who has ever attempted to navigate that sweaty, smelly dweeb storm has seen it happen. Women in costume are often groped, or hugged a little too tightly by uber fans, or hear tasteless things yelled at them, all because they’re dressed like Leeloo from “The Fifth Element.” And before any of you say it – no, they’re not asking for it. Don’t even go there. Most of these women gladly pose for photos, but at some point it goes too far.

Comic-Con currently has a standard code of conduct outlined on its website that says, “harassing or offensive behavior will not be tolerated.” GeeksforCONsent has asked that Comic-Con amend its policy to include, among other things: on-site support for people who report harassment, signs throughout the convention alerting attendees to the harassment policy and a harassment reporting mechanism. I hope Comic-Con International takes note and rolls out these changes for its nerd fans’ safety.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Welcome Gallery, Photographic Realness and More Visual Art Goods

The San Diego Museum of Art unveiled the Welcome Gallery, featuring interactive exhibits, space for chillin’ out and a mural by Mario Torrero, among other neat stuff. (CityBeat)

• Some military veterans turn to art as a means for moving past their days of service. CityBeat profiled one in particular.

• MCASD is currently in the midst of its annual 25 & Under Contest, for which artists under the age of 25 submit their work. You can vote on your favorite on Facebook. In true Internet fashion, the artist with the most likes will be declared winner.

• The San Diego International Airport and New Children’s Museum have new large-scale pieces by artist Miki Iwasaki. (CityBeat)

• Interesting photography exhibitions abound this week, with compelling, human stories told through the lens. A free exhibition memorializing the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide is on view through Friday at the Jon B. Croc Institute for Peace & Justice Fine Art Galleries. The striking images capture a horrible moment in world history. It’s worth a visit.

Expressive Arts Gallery in North Park will have the photography exhibition “Journeys to Freedom” at 6 p.m. Saturday featuring works by survivors of sex trafficking.

• Were you one of those jerk kids who liked drawing unibrows or missing teeth on people’s photos in magazines? Me too! Artist Nicholas McPherson runs with that idea with his series of “Poortraits,” on view from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Visual Shop in North Park. Get to know him a bit in this small profile courtesy of Pacific San Diego Magazine.

• Pacific also has a roundup of June’s extra-rad art openings.

Border Crossing, Jazzy Freshness and More Music and Performance Pieces

• The San Diego Museum of Man and La Jolla Playhouse announced “Border Crossing,” a partnership slated for summer 2015. The site-specific theater program will bring to life vivid stories of undocumented immigrants crossing the border from Mexico. (U-T)

•  The La Jolla Athenaeum Music and Arts Library is still stoked on its jazz program after 25 years. (U-T)

Classical music festival seeks new maestro. Four candidates are in the running. It’s like the seminal television experience “Rock of Love,” but with fewer clear platform heels. Who will continue to rock Mozart’s world? You can watch ensembles that are part of the ”Mainly Mozart” series at the Timken Museum of Art this Thursday. (U-T)

• The La Jolla Music Society is building its very own $40 million performing arts center. No more renting. Isn’t that the San Diego dream? (U-T)

• The San Diego Opera named William Mason its new artistic adviser. (KPBS)

• And here are your THEATAHHHH reviews: “The Book of Mormon” is a hilarious, equal-opportunity offender (Reader), “Twelfth Night” sparkles, “Faded Glory” brings the wit and “My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy” is personal and funny (U-T).

Maya Angelou’s Sordid Past, New Cultural Mecca and More Culture Crumbles

• The world lost one of its most powerful voices recently with the death of author, poet and activist Maya Angelou. But did you know about her history right here in San Diego? Turns out she was a straight-up pimp. Voice of San Diego’s Randy Dotinga shares the sinful story.

• Liberty Station is the new cultural mecca of San Diego, according to the U-T. Check it out for yourself this Friday during the ongoing Friday Night Liberty. There will be ballet performances, open readings by So Say We All and much more.

• VOSD launched Partner Voices, where nonprofits can shine a little more light on their missions.

• There’s a fight brewing over whether to allow wheelchairs at the Lakeside skatepark. (CityBeat)

Plans for the Balboa Park Centennial were revealed. In a word: #TBT. (U-T)

• Jaycee’s Market in Golden Hill is being converted into Krisp Market, which will sell organic and name-brand foods. DiscoverSD reports that Jaycee’s employees retained their jobs after the change of ownership. As a Golden Hill resident, this makes me very happy.

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