By Howard Gensler (Philadelphia Daily News )
A few weeks ago in Rittenhouse Square, a man said something to a few other men in a car who were catcalling a group of women. One of the men, offended that someone should try to halt his verbal barrage, got out of the car and knocked the good Samaritan unconscious. The story blew up on social media and for a brief while people were talking about street harassment.
The irony is that it took a man getting beaten up to make it a story. Women deal with the problem every day.
It’s those kinds of incidents that prompted Rochelle Keyhan, Erin Filson and Anna Kegler to form Feminist Public Works several years ago and, more recently, Hollaback Philly and the now-more-famous (thanks to their work at San Diego Comic-Con) Geeks for CONsent.
The Philadelphia women’s goal is to change the way people think about street harassment – for the people who do it to stop and for the people who let it happen to step in. Using comic conventions as their laboratory makes sense, they say, because that environment is an enclosed community, the harassment of women who dress in costume is an ongoing problem and . . . all three women are comic geeks who like dressing up in costume.