So, I’ll preface this article with this fact, I’m a guy. And as a guy, I enjoy the visuals of a woman just like any one else, but there is something that needs to be addressed not only within the cosplay community but society at large, sexual harassment.
It’s become a systematic cycle of degrading behavior by men; justifying disgusting actions based on what a woman is wearing or what they perceive to be a distorted mating call.
This year, The organizers of New York Comic Con had to make billboards that said, “Cosplay is Not Consent”, because female cosplayers were being groped and harassed at events. The sign was a nice touch, but the behavior continued. Several accounts of misguided affection were reported to Glomp.
Let’s get into this touchy subject that has been a battle since the advent of the mini skirt and low-cut shirt.
The long-standing male argument is that if she dresses like that, she must want something, or “she’s asking for it”.
I will now dispatch of that truly Neanderthal mind-set.
A woman, no matter if she’s walking around half-naked, naked, kinda naked, looking like she wants to be naked, or otherwise in no way deserves to be touched or talked to like she’s less of a human being. IF a woman is asking for it, she will actually be asking for it, probably from a significant other, and not from the guy at the con trying to grab her ass, or the internet hero saying something completely derogatory.
No cosplayer puts on an outfit or takes a picture thinking, “I sure hope someone will ask me to show them my tits today”.
Just because a woman dresses a certain way, it’s not an invitation to open the floodgates of your sexual frustration. Nobody wants a dick pic, nobody wants an offer for a dick pic, and no one wants to be called a slut or whore because they cosplay Cammy or a character with cleavage and decline to engage in erotic banter with you on social media.
Cosplay, as many cosplayers will tell you, is for fun. Cosplayers are not attention-starved minions that will do anything for a Facebook like. (Except Share4Share, which let’s face it, is incredibly annoying, but it does expose our team to cosplayers we would not likely ever find**End Rant**). They’re not misguided nerds that have never had the affection of a man, and certainly don’t need you to show them what’s it’s liked to be loved and taken care of.
They’re not anything, but people, doing what they love, and trying to share it with their fans. Unfortunately, there’s a large majority of the male population that feels that revealing skin means “come and give it to me”. And it’s very clearly not.
I will add this, if cosplayers were so attention starved, they surely wouldn’t pick one of the absolute hardest things to do in the world, create costumes. Spending countless hours crafting, buying material, making mistakes, and then going through the photoshoot process…All for a Facebook like? No.
In interviewing a multitude of cosplayers, I’ve found that they’re well-adapted, somewhat misunderstood people who truly love nerdom and creativity. It’s a community of artists, performers, and creative geniuses. Some obsessed with Disney princesses, some with video games or comics, but none with fame.
Despite the millions of social media likes across the world, cosplay is still a subculture within a subculture, and most cosplayers go along with their regular lives just as we all do.
99% of cosplayers have day jobs, and real lives in which they make real money, and spend said real money to create a replication of a fantasy world for their fans and showcase their creativity.
The ratio of female to male cosplayers is roughly 20-1. And we all know, wherever there are girls, guys won’t be far behind. It’s been a winning formula since the 8th grade house party.
But in all of this madness we call cosplay, it’s a matter of respect. Women don’t deserve to be disrespected, especially in a forum where creativity and fun is paramount. The human element and social fabric of this society needs to change on many levels.
Women have been objectified for centuries, and social media has made it even easier to say something disgusting from thousands of miles away. It not only affects the cosplayer, but it devalues the work they put into their art. Cosplay is just a place for nerds to be nerdy and share other nerdy things with other nerdy people who love nerdy things.
This isn’t match.com or some porn site with a bunch of female callers “waiting for your reply”.
There is no getting around the fact that men are visual creatures and will continue to fawn over attractive women, boobs, butts, and everything in between…no pun intended. But admiring beauty is what we need to learn to do, not objectify, dehumanize, and degrade.
Is it ok to give a woman a compliment? Absolutely, we’re not living in a monastery. Is it ok to launch into an overtly sexual rant because you get hot and bothered over a cosplay picture? No. Get a grip, fella.
So, this is my plea. As a male, and a fan of cosplay; guys, stop being dicks, Thank you.
Lady CosNerds of awesomeness, keep doing what you do, we appreciate it on many levels. And may I challenge you to take screenshots of any inappropriate messages and forward them to our Glomp Team. We will publish and expose the naughty people who hide on the internet and bully.