60% of Our Customers are Women
You might find that hard to believe. Comic shops are not often thought of as bastions of feminism; but there you go.
Women buy the majority of books, graphic novels, and D&D materials; they pay for the comics subscriptions and event entries for their children, they make up the biggest slice of our general retail sales. Women make up the majority of role players, more women than men come to board game nights, and social events like our cinema trips attract more women than men.
My business was designed – literally – by women who advised me on things like colour schemes, layout, safety features and utilities. You have women to thank for free toiletries and sanitary goods in the toilets, that the shops have big windows and bright lighting, that there are no blocked sightlines, and that you can see under the tables. Women made the shops comfortable for men but also, quietly and without you noticing, made them physically safe for women too.
Yet over the years I have seen men making unwanted advances towards women who are in quietly playing games with their friends, I have heard men openly discussing the “hotness” of women in the room, I have watched men step in and literally take a woman’s cards out of her hands and play her turn for her, and I regularly witness women being challenged on their comics knowledge to “prove they are real fans”. Andy and I are never, ever asked to prove we know our stuff when talking about comics, but Louise? She gets it all the time.
Women belong in every space that men do, and learning to share the room respectfully makes everything better for all of us. We will soon be reopening and hopefully getting back to running events, and when we do everyone will be welcomed. In the light of recent news though I want to reemphasise the point that women make up a huge part of our community and any attempts to treat them otherwise or encroach on their personal space will not be tolerated in Big Dog Books.
If there is a man out there reading this message and is somehow taking it personally, then that is because it is intended for you and you need to have a serious look at your behaviour.
Art in the featured image is from the She collection by Karen Hallion
You can buy the print here.