And that's mostly because I haven't had much to say that added to the discussion beyond the usual, "please, thank you, don't touch what's not yours, most of us figured this shit out in kindergarten."
But something struck me earlier tonight. Won't solve the problem, but at least might give a historical perspective on it.
Prior to say, 2000, cons generally weren't a big inclusive phenomenon in and of themselves. Entrance to them almost always involved whatever geek flag you flew the heaviest, whether that was gaming, Star Trek, SCA, Rocky Horror, or whatever else really hung your hammer. Cons guaranteed you coming face to face with like minded individuals no matter what your obsession lay with. And if you were lucky enough to live in an area populated with more of your fellow geeks, that meant that you found a social circle to hang out with in your town.
And as with all tribal structures, they took on quasi-familial traits. Older, more experienced geeks would look out for younger folk and newbies.
And because nerd stereotypes came from life, there was a definitive trend of the bulk of the population being straight white guys with high IQ's and minimal social skills. A girl who wandered into one of these primitive nerd-tribes suddenly found themselves with multiple examples of two things:
A) romantically interested gents, and
😎 adoptive "big brother" types.
Now, the latter occasionally crossed over into the former. But whether the latter's intentions were primarily agapic, erotic, philic, or storgic, they were all well aware that there was a conservation of boobs in their chosen fandoms, and had vested interests in making the ladies' experiences good enough to stick around. By the mid-90's, most groups also had their big sister types, performing similar functions.
Cosplay in and of itself wasn't near the phenomenon it would become by the mid-aughts, but it happened often enough. And then, as now, some of the more popular costumes for ladies were also more scantily-clad characters.
But the problems we face today either weren't happening, or were happening much less often. Harassing someone was liable to get you harassed back harder, get you yelled at, or in some cases get your ass kicked. Make untoward advances at the teenager wearing a couple of strategically placed hankies and all of a sudden a defensive line's worth of armed and armored nerds suddenly wanted to talk about your manners.
Fast-forward to the last 15 years. 2000-today. Your geek flag flies, you go online to look for more. Local BBS' give way to forums, then LJ, then social media explodes. You don't need a local niche to find like minded individuals, because they're all over the world. You might seek out a group, but you're just as likely to go to cons on your own and meet people as individuals as opposed to members of certain fandoms.
At the same time, fandom has grown exponentially. Lord of the Rings proved geeks had serious box office money to spend. Then Harry Potter. Then the Marvel Universe.
Geek culture exploded, but the sub-tribes either withered or remained static instead of growing with the population of the overall culture.
Those little tribal fandom societies are still there. But they're not as close. They're not as involved with each other. And they don't nearly encompass as much of their chosen fandom as they once did. Those support structures are diminished. And that includes the "big brothers."
And now growing problems with harassment and even assault are hitting cons more every year.
Now, it's possible that this was always happening, and it's just coming more to light these days because social media. But I've got a gut reaction it's more of a societal shift. Coming to cons as individuals as opposed to part of a fandom.
This might be the ramblings of an aging nerd bitching about how much better it was in the old days. But I can't help thinking it's more than that.
Hopefully I'll have another epiphany, with more solution than cause.