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Today in things that make us scream incoherently

Black Cat Cosplayer Draws Attention to Comic Con Sexual Harassment. So What Can We Do About It?


Apparently there are still people out there who think that a woman dressing in a revealing cosplay outfit is tantamount to her giving permission to be a sexist jerk. Not surprising, but it’s no less disgusting for being so common.

Professional fashion designer and artist Mandy Caruso found herself the subject of such harassment when she cosplayed at New York Comic Con as Marvel’s Black Cat. It’s a revealing costume, but that’s no excuse for what happened when she was interviewed by a group of men for their video channel. As Caruso related on her Tumblr:

Him: I’m here with…
Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat
Him: ..And she is HOT. Do you think I’m hot enough to pull that off?
Me: Uh, I’m not sure, I’ve never seen you in drag.
Him: I’ve got a great ass. Go on, spank me.
Me: (look at his large ass, popped up mere inches away from me then look into the camera like are you kidding me . No thanks. I may hurt you, I’m a lot stronger than I look.
Him: Aw come on!
Me: No, seriously. Stop.
Him: Damn, alright! Well let me ask you an important question then…what is your cup size?
Me: (big talk show smile) That is actually none of your f***ing business.
Him: Oh! I think that means to say she’s a C.
Me: I actually have no breasts at all, what you see is just all of the fat from my midsection pulled up to my chest and carefully held in place with this corset. It’s really uncomfortable, I don’t know why I do it.
Him: (to the male crowd) Aw, come on what do you guys think? C cup?
—a few males start to shout out cup sizes as I stand there looking at this guy like this has to be a f***ing joke, then look at the crowd and see that no amount of witty banter or fiestiness will stop making this whole thing f***ing dumb. It was clearly a ploy to single out cosplaying women to get them to talk sexual innuendos and flirt with this a**hole and let him talk down to them simply because they were in costume and were attractive. Whether I’m in a skintight catsuit or not, I’m a f***ing professional in everything I do and I don’t need to play nice for this idiot.
Me: This is not an interview, this is degrading. I’m done. (I walk away)
Him: (clearly dumbfounded and surprised) ..Come on, it’s all in good fun!
Me: Being degraded is fun? That was unprofessional and I hope that isn’t your day job because you can’t interview for s**t, my man.

Though the reaction of the NYCC crowd to the host’s sleazy behavior was a big dose of silence, Caruso’s story has sparked outrage on Tumblr, where it’s generated praise for Caruso’s attitude toward con scumbags and discussion about harassment at comic cons. (The discussion has continued at Jezebel and The Daily Dot.)

For me to say that the way Caruso was treated is reprehensible and that this sort of thing happens all too often is preaching to the choir. What this story left me wondering is how the attention it’s generated online can be translated to have a real world effect. 41,000+ notes on Tumblr for Caruso’s story is great, and the first step toward changing any problem is talking about it… but this sort of sexist behavior is so obviously messed up that I just can’t understand why the guys who act this way don’t realize what they’re doing is unacceptable.

So. Readers. Restore my faith in humanity. How can the geek community take the reins and stop sexual harassment at cons? Aside from calling out individuals who act like this (which is necessary, as Caruso points out in her post; be sure to give the whole thing a read if you haven’t already), there’s got to be something we can do to make it so this stops happening in the first place. Is talking about it online the only tactic, or is there something more we can do? Posters at cons? Awareness campaigns that target comic book shops? Let’s workshop this thing!

(via: Jezebel)

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  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    If you witness something sleazy, name it. I think not being a bystander and injecting yourself in the situation, no matter how uncomfortable it might be for you, is probably the most powerful thing you can do. Strength in numbers.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    If you witness something sleazy, name it. I think not being a bystander and injecting yourself in the situation, no matter how uncomfortable it might be for you, is probably the most powerful thing you can do. Strength in numbers.

  • DarthRachel

    Cons need to take responsibility for people’s behavior. that means they need to draft, implement and enforce a no tolerance policy. we’ve seen from various incidents over the last year that cons are generally pretty reluctant to take a stand against inappropriate behaviors. until the cons themselves enforce standards of behavior, it doesn’t matter how many bystanders shame individuals for poor behavior bc those people won’t be banned.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.wrestler Brian Wrestler

    In the beginning, there was darkness. Twenty years ago, at my high school, athletes were praised above nearly all else. I’m proud to see that geeks have come so far as to create a desirable culture that folks want to integrate into instead of hiding in the corners of the cafeteria, drooling over dice sets in the back of a magazine. But for every geek who has asked what a “down” was there is a jock at a con asking who the girl in the spandex is. Before the flames of condescension wash over me, I’m not defending Douchey McDoucherton in the least. Just pointing out that in the world of cons, the likelihood of encountering an idiot with a camera and microphone is high, and the best thing to do is take away their power. Walk away and hopefully another girl who would likely be sexually harassed will know it’s okay to walk away. And before too long misogyny may be eradicated from the genome entirely.

  • FyreFalcyn

    Some gamer boys have no sense of proper behavior or boundaries, if they don’t get it they will eventually get smacked down by the law.. I got a permanent restraining order against one Klingon FanBoy earlier this month because he crossed over into harassment. My daughter was at a gaming store last month and some kid grabbed her breasts ‘to see for himself what size they’ were. My son just about went medieval on him, and it’s no surprise that kid is no longer part of our group.

  • http://www.facebook.com/msacal Michael Sacal

    outfit men at cons with shock collars and give the women the controls to turn them on.

  • http://www.erynroberts.com ErynRoberts

    I felt a little uncomfortable in my ghostbusters dress. My arm was actually sore from people grabbing me from behind and yanking me around because they wanted a picture. I feel like the crowd this year was just so rude. It’s like they were treating cosplayers like they were required to take pictures. I watched a couple grown men throw fits when they couldn’t get a picture of someone. For the first time I was actually really uncomfortable with people taking my picture.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.bailey.773 Jesse Bailey

    Firstly, the ethos of the culture towards women starts with the *material* – the comics, the films, and the video games. That is where the change in this specific sub-culture needs to begin (so, go to Feminist Frequency and support her work, as well as sites like this one, and if you are a writer, *start writing substantial female characters*). Secondly, the broader culture needs to change in some fundamental ways, but other than education, I don’t have any concrete suggestions. I am obviously not invited to the workshop. : ( I guess one step is for us *all* to STOP PAYING SO MUCH EXPLICIT ATTENTION TO TITS. Seriously. If we agree to pay more attention to creative costumes and less to anything with cleavage, that might help a bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Neko636 Rachel Castro

    Make some kind of t-shirt design or badge/pin for girls to wear at cons, or anywhere reall, that has some kind of slogan warning guys not to try that kind of behavior on us, or we WILL call them out, report them, or whatever the appropriate course of action may be. Something like, “sexy =/= easy: the harassment stops now!”

  • Anonymous

    1. I love that The Mary Sue writes about what’s happening on Tumblr. I read the post a couple of days ago through a friend’s FB and thought, ‘That’s BS. But nobody cares but Tumblr and FB folks.’ I was clearly wrong.

    2. This is exactly the reason why I’m afraid to cosplay. I want to. I have quite a few good ideas (some of them conservative, some of them not). This is also why I kind of shy away from cons, too. Of the handful of ones I’ve been to the guys are mostly nice, but the creepers are CREEPERS in every sense of the word. The good thing though is I don’t think every guy that goes to a con is looking to cop a feel or make awful unwanted sexual advances. Getting those guys to step up and say something (instead of standing in the crowd and watching in silence) would be a start.

  • Life Lessons

    She looks great and should be treated with the respect she deserves. In fact, every human being, male or female, deserves.

  • Kate Drew This

    Unfortunately, there’s only so much women can do, and she did it. Call them out, and walk away.

    I don’t think the men that do this will change their behavior until they see OTHER men calling them out for it. I have a friend who does this. When he sees this kind of behavior at cons, he approaches them and says “She’s a person, dude.”

    Though, I do like the idea of buttons, like Rachel said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.schmitt#!/ David R. Schmitt

    Awareness campaigns work at the workplace so why not a con? But it has to come from the organizers. Get some celebrities like Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion to back it up and it will put more pressure on the organizers to eject harassers and protect the attendees.

  • http://twitter.com/FroWillis Sarah

    Or “I am not just a set of boobs” with “human being inside” on the back or something

  • http://twitter.com/FroWillis Sarah

    Ok “Seriously. If we agree to pay more attention to creative costumes and less to anything with cleavage, that might help a bit.” bothers me. Sometimes awesome characters have crap costumes and sometimes a cleavage costume makes sense. Power Girl’s boob window doesn’t feel like man fantasy pandering, it just suits her. Anyone should be able to cosplay someone like Power Girl without being reduced down to a set of tits.

    If you forget it happened in a comic conventions, you still have a adult male who thinks it’s acceptable to ask a woman he doesn’t know her cup size because she’s showing off cleavage. It’s not the presence of boobs that’s the problem, it’s individuals thinking they’re entitled to something because of boobs on display. That’s a bigger problem that’s not just in the comic con world.

  • http://twitter.com/FroWillis Sarah

    I like this idea! I can see Nathan Fillion doing an ad saying “Really dude? Don’t be a scumbag. She’s a person.”

    Reminds me of Wil Wheaton’s ‘don’t be a dick’

  • Anonymous

    And this, boys and girls, is a genuine heroine.
    She shot him down so hard and fast Felicia herself would be proud!

  • Anonymous

    Outlaw cosplay at cons permanently. Period. No brains, no decent social behaviours, no more con. End of story.

  • http://twitter.com/DcSensai DcSensai

    ive seen a few of the smaller cons print up “cosplay is not consent” posters. we neet to have some people come up with more generalized version for people to post at all cons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Intangir Anders Vesterberg

    yes there is a lot of horny idiots out there. but not everyone is like that idiot <.< there's still a few of us that treat girls like people not like a toy. agree with darthrachel there needs to be a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment and it needs to be enforced to not just a slap on the wrist "shame on you. you bad person" but a punishment that will scare off any further attempts.
    @kryptotsd banning cosplay is not a solution you muppet.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Agreed! It’s easy to say “Hey, guys, don’t do this, it’s not cool”—but I think the next step is a concerted effort to get cons to draw up (and enforce) some sort of code of conduct. Cons are so crazy that it’d be impossible to enforce it 100%, but at least if there were SOMETHING in place people could respond to harassment with “What you’re doing right now is actually not allowed, and you can get thrown out for it. Stop.”

  • http://twitter.com/empuska Emppu Nurminen

    That’s so sad and true. I think it’s nice thought that there seems to be more and more guys writing about these issues too, so hopefully, it’s slowly changing.
    It would be really rad if guys would stand out in those kind of situations, thought. Writing about these issues can only take to a certain point.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarakenobi Sarakenobi

    yes! YES ! You can’t sit and watch and you should definitely do exactly what the cosplayer in the article did – walk away and make a point to say it is NOT OK. you can’t change your behavior if you don’t see where you are wrong. It would really stink to have to constantly call people on it, but that is the only way it will change. you can have awareness brought up all you want but until someone is called on their shit they WILL NOT change. and even then… I always think I am in the minority for thinking this. Change happens when people speak up.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarakenobi Sarakenobi

    no. the best part is that people love something so much they dress up like it. HANDS DOWN.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarakenobi Sarakenobi

    I like that phrase A LOT!

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    Exactly this. Always call out creepy behavior when you see it. These guys exist and go unchecked because their behavior is accepted by their peers. The Missing Stair, I suppose. Whether it’s happening to you or another cosplayer, call it out. Maybe if it’s happening to someone you don’t know, and you’re not sure whether or not they’re okay with it, a simple, “Dude, what the hell? That’s kind of creepy.” will work. Otherwise, I’d go full out, “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

    They need to be made to feel ashamed of how they’re acting. They need to know that it is unacceptable. If they won’t treat a woman with respect because it’s basic human decency, then at least they may treat her with respect because they’ll look bad in front of their peers.

  • http://twitter.com/HotPinkJoystick Nateal Erickson

    The crowd’s silence is part of the problem. The geek community at large can help by speaking up in these situations. If you see something like this happening, speak up. If it’s obviously not okay, the right thing to do is not to be silent, but to instead stand up and say “hey, knock it off.”

    Though I agree with the ideas about awareness campaigns at Cons themselves. I think that’s a good proactive plan.

  • Anonymous

    It’s sad that the name of their video channel isn’t said. It might be cruel but I never found a better teacher than humiliation for those situations. Those guys said those stupid things in part because they wanted to look cool. Putting them on the spot for their behaviour would make them look uncool and make them think twice about repeating their act.

    That’s the problem with the internet though. Before, only legitimate reporters for legitimate channels* would try to film people and there would be a screening of the people who are allowed to do it. Now, anybody a little tech savvy can start his own channel and we end up with idiots like those guy.

    * Please, no one mentions Rush Limbaugh. You know what I mean.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scarletyum Tracy Penner

    Due to such things we’ve revamped our harassment policy at our convention.(OryCon) It will be featured on a giant billboard by registration as well as in every elevator. There will be no excuse for any person to say ” I didn’t know”. The policy is in layman’s terms so it can’t be misunderstood and the consequences are also very clear.

  • Anonymous

    I’m talking about the Black Cat cosplayer and the jerk she “shot down”. They’re both a couple of losers who don’t know how to deal with the real world. The Black Cat cosplayer especially. If she knew what was going to happen to her going in, and still did it any how, she hasn’t got any sympathy coming from ME. The jerk she shot down, is self explanatory…
    The Black Cat Cosplayer is what they call a Histrionic Personality… Somebody who likes to be the center of attention in possibly inappropriate ways and then they have nerve to “defend” themselves in some fashion or other, that is as over the top as the previous behaviour…
    Again, neither party need bother asking for sympathy from me. Neither has it coming.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    LOL, you are on the wrong website my friend.

    Go look up “victim blaming.”

  • Anonymous

    Gross. I mean, gross enough anyway, but then to start trying to get the audience involved? Like she’s a Guess-how-many-M&Ms jar. To the guys dressed as Green Lantern or whathaveyou, did he say, “That’s some great, tight spandex you’re wearing. How big is your dick? Ladies? Guess how big his dick is.” I’m baffled as to why people don’t recognize that it’s the Same Thing. But of course, one is totally creepy and wrong, whereas the other’s “all in fun!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.bailey.773 Jesse Bailey

    Good points – BUT – You criticize point 2 without reading point 1, or, without realizing that what I mean by point 1 is that there need to be more female characters whose awesomeness is not visible through a boob window. Those of us who are *not* writers have a different problem: we don’t write, but writers who create sexy smurfettes claim, time and time again, that they are “giving us what we want.” So, let’s communicate that we want something more by paying attention to other things. 2ndly – you are right that a woman *should* be able to wear *anything* without being treated the way Ms Caruso was – I did not mean to suggest she brought it on herself (far from it). The problem you identify in your last line is dealt with through education, and there is nothing the nebulous “we” can do about it directly. What we critics etc can do is to stop posting so many photos of boob windows in the days post comic con, and stop asking so large a percentage of boob windowed cosplayers to pose, thus contributing to a culture in which girls think “Hmm, next year I think I will come dressed as tits so I, too, can share in the attention in this culture.” So, to sum up: Writers operate at one level, educators at another, and then those of us ‘on the ground’, so to speak, can only try and change the culture by ‘naming the sleaze’ as another poster already said, and by not focusing on boobs alone. I hope I am not missing your point, but let me know if I am!

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    BTW, I love your “Guess-how-many-M&Ms jar” simile.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Now now, muppets are lovable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    I LOVE this. For some reason, I’m almost imagining a Goofus and Gallant style of video.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    And what if people just want to dress up like Power Girl, boob window and all, because they happen to identify with her? And maybe they do want to feel sexy, but not objectified. The difference: when you feel “sexy” you feel confident and good about how you look. Objectified is creeper strangers asking your cup size and making lewd catcalls at you.

    The two problems maybe have some correlation, but not really. On of the answers of “how to fix comics” is “less broken back syndrome please.” But that’s not what this question is. It’s: “How do we teach people to treat cosplayers like human beings” It CAN be taught, because basic con etiquette is something most con-goers learn very quickly, but this portion has gone by the wayside.

    Overall, the biggest problem with your argument is: How do you KNOW? How do you know that the girl cosplaying as Black Cat or Power Girl is “only doing it for attention?” How do you know that, as with most cosplayers, it isn’t some combination of “I love/identify with this character, that costume looks like a fun thing to make/I think I’d look cool in this.”

    You don’t.

    Actually, I take it back. That’s only the second biggest problem with your argument. The primary problem is, even if she is dressing like that “for attention,” even if you have a lady running around as Red Sonja or Psylocke or any other inherently sexy costume…it is not okay to sexually harass a person physically or verbally for what they’re wearing.

    The character creation is incidental. The portrayal of over-sexed female characters is a symptom of this problematic mindset, not the other way around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    I love the idea of putting this up in or by the elevators (and reg).

  • Anonymous

    I still think one important step needs to be increased criticism not just of the street-level fans taking part in this behavior, but of the geek outlets catering to them.

    Why, for instance, would DC Comics accept those CollegeHumor “Fake Geek Girl” ads? Why do programs like Attack Of The Show present a vision of geekdom that is based on the male gaze? (For more on this, let me refer you to Sady Doyle’s takedown of the show’s paradigm during the Munn era.) Where are “geek icons” like Chris Hardwick in this discussion, other than some random boilerplates about how “geek girls are awesome”?

    Are these people solely responsible for the reprehensible behavior exhibited by creepers and people who harass cosplayers? No. But the creeper viewpoint and Male Gaze doesn’t just come out of nowhere; on at least some levels, it’s encouraged by commercial forces, and that has to be addressed more seriously than just “focusing on the positive.”

  • LB

    Respectful treatment begins with accountability and responsibility. She really DOES need to inform SOMEONE (maybe not the interwebz but SOMEONE) of who did this and have some kind of action taken. Harassment is harassment no matter HOW much skin she was showing.

  • Sarah Micheals

    I usually don’t like to comment on these types of post because of how 1 sided the comments are (often with good reason). But to simply tell someone that a differing opinion is not wanted on your website is quite the pathetic response.

    Also to add, I find it quite amusing how “victim blaming” has become such an umbrella term that is used so frequently in so many situations to frequently be nothing more than dismissive. KryptoTSD obviously gave mention that the guy asking about cup sizes was well out of place and far over his bounds no matter the situation. The highlight you seemed to focus on was that Krypto had no sympathy for a person knowingly walking into that situation. Victim Blaming operates on the idea that the Black Cat Cosplayer created this problem, which is not the case. She simply walked into it with prior knowledge and complained after the fact. Still not her fault, but again it is reasonable to not have sympathy for her in that situation.

    I fully understand and accept my futile words are falling on truly deaf ears here. But I’m suppose I’m happy to add to the fire and be the “troll” so you can gather and lynch accordingly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Neko636 Rachel Castro

    Showing off your body isn’t asking for inappropriate sexual attention any more than showing off your wealth (nice car, clothes, etc.) is asking to be robbed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stewart.wymer Stewart Zoot Wymer

    As you say, it really is about strength in numbers. These sleazes want a positive reaction from their peers/hangers-on and some will even react to a negative reaction from their target (yeah, using the term “target” because to their viewpoint, the woman isn’t actually a person to them.) However, being assertive and refusing to accept such behaviour will hopefully teach the ignorant and stupid a lesson, even if it won’t affect the really die-hard types who will enjoy any reaction from the cosplayer. With enough people decrying the practice, the popularity of such an action will fade away and it will no longer be worth “brag points” to others. Laura and Sara have also made some excellent points on mitigating this appaling practice.

    With any unacceptable behaviour, if you let it happen without protesting it, you are tacitly approving of it. By no means be passive and accept something that is wrong, while still making sure you are safe from things like physical retaliation. This applies to those being attacked and people who witness it and do nothing to assist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alice.tordoff Alice Tordoff

    Poor woman. She did the right thing by walking away, shoulda done it sooner maybe around when he asked her cupsize.

    So glad I didn’t have to deal with this asshole the last couple of times I went to a Con as Catwoman. Did get my fair share of stuff though, only really prevented by the guys who were cosplaying Two-Face, Penguin, Riddler and our Henchman. During a photo one guy had his hand suspiciously close to my arse which I noticed and so did Henchman who had his toy weapon aimed to strike if the guy went for it. The other one was shortly after where a man with (I presume) his wife and daughter who looked me dead in the eye as I walked past and then immediately downwards…

    I think the worst I got was actually a friend who fired a bb pellet at my backside as I bent over to talk to a friend on the floor, he missed and hit my spine instead. The rest of our friends told him off, I screamed at him as I was tired.

  • http://twitter.com/clickoliver Oliver Schwarz

    chaoslindsay posted one of those posters on tumblr a few months ago: http://chaoslindsay.tumblr.com/post/27660931079/costumes-are-not-consent-ill-be-posting-these

  • http://www.facebook.com/Intangir Anders Vesterberg

    oh right point taken sorries :o

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    Let’s go ahead and blame Rosa Parks for getting on a bus full of people that she knew would’ve treated her like shit. I mean, she KNEW, right? Then why did she go on?

    Oh. Because it’s still wrong.

    Change has to start somewhere. You’re victim blaming: the behavior is unacceptable, and you’re encouraging a lack of sympathy by calling it ‘reasonable’.
    You’re not a troll, just ignorant and encouraging the problem. Basically, worse.

  • http://twitter.com/Kartos Heather

    I was waiting for someone near the AA entrance, and I got to hear all the positively stupid questions that TruTV was asking people… some girl didn’t even look 18, and they were asking her, “would you rather have sex with a slug, or kill your dad?” WTF? I don’t remember the rest of the questions, but they were just as stupid. I thought getting badges for press was harder this year, but apparently not.

  • Anonymous

    Simplest approach would be to make it a non-refundable, ejectable offense. You get one strike, and if anyone, ANYONE complains and can single you out (which I’ll admit is the big flaw in this logic, but what con is well-staffed enough on security?), you’re tossed, no money back, no admittance for the rest of the con, and your name is put on a grey list for the following year. You show up next year and you do it again, you’re on the blacklist, and you’re not welcome back.

  • http://twitter.com/Kartos Heather

    That won’t solve anything, as women who walk down the street can tell you.

  • http://twitter.com/Kartos Heather

    You’re wrong, plain and simple. Telling someone if they don’t like it, it was because of their clothing, and that bs about “histrionic personality” is victim blaming. People keep using it because it keeps happening. It’s not going to go away if you stick your fingers in your ears and pretend to not hear it.

  • J. Preposterice

    There are some anti-harassment projects extant — Girl Wonder did/does have one, and there’s also the Backup Project (which is very loose & freeform).

    http://backupproject.livejournal.com is the main location for talk about the Backup Project.

  • http://twitter.com/runininternet Dalloshh//

    I read the story days ago on tumblr and right now I can’t believe that it’s happened, I hate those things, I hate those totally jerks. They are geeks.. sure, but in our “culture” we celebrate the knowledge, the intelligence not the assholeness. Crap.

  • Anonymous

    It’s illegal to wear any kind of disguise on both sides of the 49th parallel.
    The Black Cat Cosplayer and lots of others tend to wear masks. That’s illegal, and should continue to be, especially after 9/11/2001. You can’t change my mind, so don’t even try.

  • Anonymous

    Just for the money, If I had a girlfriend myself, as soon as that happens, the jerk can expect a hit in the head with a brass knuckle augmented fist…

  • http://twitter.com/urbansuburbia Marie

    It’s amazing that you’re able to tell so much about a person by her cosplay outfit! Those are some pretty awesome psychology skills. Please tell me where you learned your psychological magic so that I too may possess it.

  • Kazombie

    So what if she likes to cosplay, and display her boobs, in this culture its a damn fine thing to be proud of your body! We should be able to wear what we like without someone saying “oh she was asking for it, look how short her skirt is, look how much of her boobs are on show, I’m gonna give her what for and treat her how I like, shes dressed provocatively after all, therefor its my right!” It is no ones right to harass a woman/man based on their clothing, hobbies or personality. As cosplaying females we should be able to dress how we like, and if people look, thats fine, sometimes its nice, if people get up in our faces, asking about our bra size and making a show of themselves how is that right? Please elaborate.

  • Brian

    If someone keeps hearing people complain about victim blaming and their response is to say there’s too much complaining rather than too much victim blaming, they are a bad person. And yes, it still counts as victim blaming even if you say the other person did wrong, too.

  • Brian

    Oh, sure. After all, she can’t speak for herself, so it’s a good thing there’s a man there to punch people up for her. You’re just so cool, man.

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    I’m a female Ghostbusters cosplayer (flight suit and scratch-built proton pack, not the Rubies crap) and have yet to have a whole con go by without at least one dude oh-so-helpfully informing me that a ~sexy Ghostbuster~ costume exists and I should be wearing it instead.

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    Hello, poster child for internalized misogyny.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=774950160 Dean Kish

    Ummm… that was a video game chat? The host should be ashamed. Who does he think he is Howard Stern? Show these cosplayers some respect for actually being brave enough to bring all these dynamic comic creations to life. Respect the art!

  • http://www.facebook.com/louis.gonzales1 Louis Gonzales

    Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm should totally solve this problem! :D

  • Jenn W

    This reminds me of a few Con videos I’ve watched featuring “Kassem G”. I think he is a comedian but alot of his stuff comes off as inappropriate and sexist. It’s a shame but you’d have to think twice about doing any kind of interview at a convention these days, especially if you are unfamiliar with the interviewer.

  • http://www.erynroberts.com ErynRoberts

    That costume cracks me up because in the pic, the proton pack is upside down.

  • orlando

    ARE THEY talking about NEW YORK city people? please New York people are freak’n rude by nature..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=569160876 Em Singh

    Personally, I feel that dressing in sexy clothes does not empower women at all – At least not in the eyes of mot men. “Sexy = sex” and men go from logical to dick heads by seeing their fetish dreams in the flesh. Its better to keep the sexy outfits in the bedroom or under your regular clothes. That said, its no excuse to treat the cos-player the way these guys did. They assumed she was game for sexual humor and they assumed wrong. They also ignored her clear “you are making me uncomfortable” signals & got what they deserved. That said, dressing provocatively when you don’t welcome sexual advances sends out mixed signals.. and lets be honest, this particular character was drawn to turn men on. Also, there are women who would have dressed the same way and not minded one bit about answering the questions because they see it as “just fun”. So its always a good idea to expect this a sexual mind-frame and be ready to do as this woman did and tell the guy to back off. Even better if she can cut him off after the first inappropriate joke and say “yeah, if you want to talk about my measurements or make sexual jokes, not interested”.

  • http://twitter.com/Swimmingbird243 Brittany Huss

    Honestly i havent been to a large amount of conventions myself but i have found those so called “creepers”. The most i’ve had is people staring at my boobs. It really hasn’t bothered me since no one’s acted on it thankfully. In this above story though, that’s terrible. It’d be different if they were friends but even then that’s sketchy since why would you want that in an interview. Ask important questions. Not foolishness. When you wear a revealing costume you’re going to attract attention and unfortunately sometimes it’s the wrong kind of a attention. Not trying to blame the girl or anything but you’re increasing your chances of attracting this kind of behavior as shitty as it sounds. I’m well aware this jerk shouldve just known when to stop since she gave clear signs she was uncomfortable. Hopefully this makes cons more aware of the issue if they aren’t already. I’m sure they should be but if people don’t speak up about problems how are they going to know?

  • http://twitter.com/BrianBuckler Brian Buckler

    It’s reasons like this why I avoid cons. You mean I get to hang out with a bunch of fat, sweaty ADD-riddled virgin assholes that have never talked to a female in real life?

    WHERE DO I SIGN UP :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.bailey.773 Jesse Bailey

    I agree with virtually everything you said. NOTHING in my argument relied on the claim that all or any individual girl is dressing some way for attention. I merely claim that IF a girl is dressing that way for attention, AND we want fewer girls to dress that way (that is a big “IF” – I think it is a good idea, but I can see why someones might want the same number or even more girls to be dressing in revealing manners at comicon – I am just not one of them) THEN if we pay less attention fewer will have have motivation to dress that way (look at any collection of pics of cosplay and tell me there isn’t a disproportion of girls dressed in revealing ways). This is a sound argument, I assure you, and it does not rely on me judging any particular person’s motivations. Secondly, I might reply: How do you know *some* women *aren’t* dressing as they do in order to get attention, and then rooting their sense of self-esteem in how they look, rather than in more substantial aspects of their identity? If you don’t think this is a broader problem in society, then you are in the minority and the burden of proof is definitely on you. 3rdly – I agree that NO ONE should be treated this way – if you think an awareness campaign can work, then I am all for it! Sceptical, certainly, but also ready to be proven wrong. Go for it, I will help in any way I can (which is, sadly, in no way – I am powerless) 4th – I do *not* think women being *treated* a certain way for dressing in revealing manner is the ONLY problem (though it IS a problem, and one that needs to be dealt with, and again: I hope y’all’s ideas work and change the culture!!!) – I think it points back to broader problems in society as I argue above, and as is generally accepted. Lastly – Clarification: In your past paragraph do you argue that the creation of over-sexed female characters is a RESULT of men (fans) seemign to think it is OK to harass actual women dressed in a revealing manner? That is an odd argument – I do not understand. Can you explain?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.bailey.773 Jesse Bailey

    Let me briefly reiterate- Your 1st 2 paragraphs are RIGHT ON THE MONEY. I *did* import “another question” about social issues into this question – about treatment of women at comicon. That might be a mistake, and it certainly risks derailing the conversation, and for that I apologize. However, I really do think that this is where the answers to *this* question in fact lie. : (

  • http://www.facebook.com/baronforo Foro Pallavincino

    I was very happy to see my local SF con (Convergence, Bloomingon MN) festooned with Anti-creeper informational posters, and the updated anti-harassment guidelines.
    http://convergence-con.org/about-us/policies/

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    Last part first: It’s a result of the mindset that says “women are here to be sexy ornamentation.” The idea isn’t something confined to comics–it’s a society problem. The overall idea that it’s appropriate to cat-call a woman and sexually harass her verbally, and if she doesn’t respond by being either shy-but-charmed or sexily flirty, then she’s a frigid witch. That’s a common, if often subconscious (see: She was asking for it) mindset, part of the entitle concept that says women are there to receive men’s sexual attention (if she’s wearing make-up/dressing nice/dancing sexy, it’s for a guy) and should be treated as scenery. Which in the world of comic books, translates into creating women as bikini-holders first, and characters second-or-never.

    “AND we want fewer girls to dress that way (that is a big “IF” – I think
    it is a good idea, but I can see why someones might want the same number
    or even more girls to be dressing in revealing manners at comicon – I
    am just not one of them) THEN if we pay less attention fewer will have
    have motivation to dress that way”

    You’re right. That is a big “IF.” It’s an awful “IF” as well. I don’t “want” fewer women (let’s go with “women” rather than “girls” shall we? The lady in the article is definitely a “woman.”) to dress one way or another. People should be able to dress the way they want, ESPECIALLY at a convention. Pay less attention? To what, to awesome characters like Power Girl? Or to awesome cosplayers like the lady above? Because she is NAILING the Black Cat look, and she looks amazing. Why not give her attention, same as you would for any successful cosplay?

    ” How do you know *some* women *aren’t* dressing as they do in order to
    get attention, and then rooting their sense of self-esteem in how they
    look, rather than in more substantial aspects of their identity?”

    You’re cute, and a little tiresome. The point isn’t whether or not some women are dressing up for attention–THE POINT IS THAT IT DOESN’T MATTER. You’re protecting the fragile, hypothetical self-esteem of people that you don’t know at all, and you’re doing it with an increasingly smaller set of “but what if!” statements. But what if, but what if, but what if…?

    There are all kinds of people at cons. Well-adjusted folks, unstable folks, people with genuine issues, probably even a person or two who considered an upcoming con reason enough to maybe not think about doing something drastic to themselves. That isn’t the point. Motivation isn’t the point, because MOTIVATION DOESN’T MATTER. (At any rate, if they are doing that with cosplay, they will do it in the real world; if they have that issue with self-esteem, it’s going to come out in one way or another until they confront it.) I’m going to copy-pasta my overall point from my previous comment:

    The primary problem is, even if she is dressing like that “for
    attention,” even if you have a lady running around as Red Sonja or
    Psylocke or any other inherently sexy costume…IT IS NOT OKAY TO SEXUALLY HARASS A PERSON PHYSICALLY OR VERBALLY FOR WHAT THEY’RE WEARING.

    That’s it. That’s the point. The primary solution isn’t to delve deep into the psyche of each person cosplaying a “sexy” character and making her justify her reasons. IT’S CALLING OUT MEN WHO THINK THAT IT’S APPROPRIATE TO START BLATANTLY SEXUAL CONVERSATION WITH WOMEN BASED ON WHAT THEY’RE WEARING. Those men are in the wrong. It’s not even a grey issue–what they are doing is inappropriate and needs to be called out WHEN THEY’RE DOING IT, and held up as an action to be ashamed of, an action that makes people feel unsafe and dehumanized.

  • Travvy b

    did anyone actually see the video from the ‘reporter’? its hilarious. dont dress with your tits hanging out, and you wont attract droves of disrespectful, horny neckbeards. you cosplay at cons for the attention, and the positives come with the negative. quit complaining.

  • http://twitter.com/Kea_Alwang Kea Alwang

    Gamer boys…construction workers…drunken CEO’s. It makes no difference. That type of bad behavior is out there in all walks of life. I’ve known people with aspergers (a type of syndrome often marked by poor social skills) that know better than to behave that way. I don’t care if you’re at a comic con or a Hollywood premiere, most people know what’s right and wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/Kea_Alwang Kea Alwang

    How awesome was her comment: “Me: I actually have no breasts at all, what you see is just all of the fat from my midsection pulled up to my chest and carefully held in place with this corset. It’s really uncomfortable, I don’t know why I do it.” I love it!

  • http://hoydenabouttown.com/ tigtog

    The Ada Initiative has a model anti-harassment policy framework which is being used by more and more orgs and cons to workshop/tailor their own AHPs to their particular circumstances.
    http://adainitiative.org/what-we-do/conference-policies/

    Since its publication in late 2010, over 100 conferences have adopted an anti-harassment policy of one kind or another. Several organizations have adopted a policy for all their events and run a dozen or more events per year.

    The key to successful introduction of an AHP is clear communication with all stakeholders and attendees, thorough training of all con/org staff in incident reporting/recording procedures, and a transparently equitable enforcement process.

    [This para edited for clarity] There also *will* be blowback from the folks (a majority, often) who genuinely don’t understand what the problem is (so why harsh on everybody’s squee?) and especially from the predatory minority(who usually pretend they are the clueless majority) who see their plausible deniability veneers being stripped away by the new rules. The cons/orgs need to be committed enough to withstand that blowback.

  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0977888401 Sabreman

    He needed punching. She wasn’t doing it. I’d say that open-seasons the punching rights.

  • Bob Bane

    A room full of socially inept super nerds with half dressed women in skin tight clothes. I don’t see where the problem might be. You would think that the 15 hours of WoW a day and countless arguments of what superhero could beat up some other superhero would have given them common sense and basic social skills. On top of that the fact that they are fighting off the ladies with all of the Star Wars trivia they know. ;)

  • Nick Smith

    Wrong. You dress like a slut then you should expect to be treated like one. Women can’t have their cake and eat it too. No, men are not going to accept women walking around practically naked without responding sexually to it in kind. Men are attracted to women dressed “sexy”. It’s nature. And women make comments and say things too when men show off their bodies as well. I’ve dressed like a “sexy” woman before for a local event and all the women were actually touching me, grabbing my ass, and lifting up my dress to see what’s underneath. Did I complain? Nope. I knew BEFORE I dressed like that that I would be getting lots of female attention and be treated like a slut because I was wearing slut clothing. If you see a man in an orange jumpsuit that says, “State Inmate” on his back, do you treat him like any normal man? No! You stay far away from him and think he must have escaped prison. The interviewer’s comments may not have been wanted by her but maybe she should have thought about that BEFORE she dressed like a slut and agreed to interview with him? Just a thought. FFS, women have got to take some responsibility and stop blaming males for everything – especially when women DO knowingly bring a lot of this attention onto themselves by dressing and acting the part. Want to be treated with respect? Dress modestly and don’t aim to be “sexy” if you don’t want male attention. Common sense goes a long ways in this world.

  • RG

    Why is someone being interviewed just because she’s wearing a costume? Did she expect to talk about literature or film or something? She could be famous, but I’ve never heard of this woman. And I’m not a con-goer, either.

    I’m not supporting the behavior of these jerks, but if she’s not there to talk about some talent she possesses or plug a book or movie or comic or something, then cleavage is about the only thing she’s about. And there are plenty of idiotic guys out there willing to engage her with stupid talk about boobs.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    “And I’m not a con-goer, either.” Well that explains it. This is the norm at conventions. Usually they ask the cosplayers about *gasp* their costumes. People like to hear about what went into making them.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Thank you for that gross generalization and wonderful contribution to the discussion!

  • http://www.facebook.com/grailchaser Andrew Leitch

    I remember seeing a youtube article earlier this year with some guy walking around an American convention interviewing cosplayers for his Channel and he was obnoxious, rude and sexist to every woman he came across. I couldn’t believe it at the time. I’d like to think it doesn’t happen in Australia, but I’ve seen it here at an Australian convention as well, and from one of the show’s own Host Speakers when he singled out a Catwoman cosplayer. Glad that someone is taking a stand and stopping the world backsliding into a 1970s level of social justice.

  • Xen

    I like how there’s one down arrow on almost every post. Some poor fan boy must be upset.

  • lammy

    Anyone realize that perhaps a portion of the problem lies with people who dress in revealing and skin-tight costumes?

    It’s like that Dave Chappelle joke about girls dressing slutty and then getting upset when you call them out for it.

  • 21149315

    Can you not associate an air of Sexiness with physical Sex for at least a
    minute? I don’t know how many times it has to be said, it is just
    amazing.

    A woman on a beach- in a bikini is not telling you to
    walk over and start sexually harassing and degrading her based on what
    she is wearing or what her body type is. Women like attention, what they
    don’t like being harassed. It shouldn’t be this difficult to find the
    differences between a compliment and a insult.

  • meprovencal

    Unfortunately, the harassment doesn’t even stop at women. For a lot of people, the fact anyone is wearing a costume is sudden license to touch. I’ve once been punched in the “head” while dressed up as an Xenomorph. You couldn’t even tell I was a woman in the costume, as evidenced by the guys “Sorry, I didn’t know you were a woman” when I told him to back the fuck off. Dude, that was hardly the point! A lot of my male cosplayer friends have been “play” punched and kicked while cosplaying as some type of fighting character. Not always gently, and often damaging costumes and props. And that’s without mentioning the countless times cosplaying as a sexy character where someone wants to take a pic with you and thinks it’s fine to put an arm around my shoulders or a hand on my hip. It’s like the costume disconnects the viewer from realising there’s a real person in there, or that they are talking to a character, or perhaps a paid performer or an employee at some attraction park. Like suddenly they have the right to act however they want because the person in front of them is not real. It’s a strange psychological phenomenon and it impacts more than just women and sexism but all forms of respect in general.

  • ThanosMan

    Happened along this through a friends link that was sent to me, though 2 months old, I’ve been seeing complaints about this on some blogs. I have to add though, that any woman that modifies her costume from how the costume was used from the original character…..let’s say the character was more conservatively dressed….let’s say that character never had any low-cut tops on…..but the COSPLAYER decides to take it upon herself to cut the V down to her navel on her top….well….some “cat calls” and such are to be expected. Comments like “Wow…I never saw Princess Peach from Mario Bros in a PUSH-UP bra before? Yowsers Bowser!! lol

  • Mandy Caruso

    I just came across this article and have to thank you for the concise reporting and for understanding my side of it- I had no idea my post would get as much exposure as it did (had I known it would go a bit viral I might have extracted some of the f-bombs and saved many editors a bunch of asteriks ). I know I’m a little late to the party but I also wanted to thank the commenters here for showing solidarity and support in something that I feel is important not only to the cosplay world but really to the way women are treated in general when it comes to how we dress and what men feel they can say or do that they would otherwise hold off on based on that sole factor of dress. I’m happy to project the matter into internet conversation but it’s not about me and what I did, it’s about making sure that women understand that if they find themselves in a similar position, as most women unfortunately do at one point or another, they know that they do not have to go along with it or stay silent and polite. These men were doing this to women and the women were uncomfortable with it but let it go because society tells them that it’s just “boys being boys’ and it comes with the territory of dressing in any kind of sexy way. I firmly believe in every fiber of my being that this is NOT the correct way to teach women to approach verbal harassment and that this is NOT just “boys being boys”, it’s men being boys, indulging in the practice of treating women as convenient sex objects first and an equal, biological human being second. It’s them affirming the idea that just because a man finds a woman attractive he has the right to make it known to her, without regards to her personal comfort level or absolute lack of interest in what he thinks of her as a physical specimen.
    Keep being aware, informed, and committed to being an example of how you wish to see your fellow (wo)man treated, and you are making a wonderfully huge difference already.

  • Jponce71

    “So. Readers. Restore my faith in humanity. How can the geek community take the reins and stop sexual harassment at cons? Aside from calling out individuals who act like this”

    The first thing we have to do is raise our children with values. It’s painfully obvious that for all the effort his parents may have put into instilling a healthy respect for not just women but people in general, somewhere along the way some slight bacterial form of transient value found its way into this idiots consciousness and told him this type of behavior is acceptable and looked highly upon. As a dad raising two “geeks”, a boy and a girl, I make sure I teach my daughter the difference between a man and a boy. A boy might lust after her, but a man will love her. A boy thinks he’s gods gift to women, and a man remembers that woman was gods gift to man. Then, teach our sons to be that man.

    I think its deplorable how this BOY treated Ms Caruso, and if it were my sister, or my daughter, he’d have an a$$ kickin coming. But something tells me that wouldn’t have made him think twice about his actions, just that some d!ck kicked his a$$ for no reason.

  • Jponce71

    Bravo!

  • Jponce71

    Even if she walked in butt a$$ naked, you still don’t have the right. Think it? ok, fine, but don’t let it fly out your mouth.

  • Jponce71

    you must have been one of the neckbeards touching yourself, getting all butt hurt cause someone finally called you out.

  • http://twitter.com/Jinxter69 Tom Jenkins

    Basically those running these cons just need to stand up and BAN this type of behavior. The cosplayers, both male and female, are first and foremost fans of the genre and are expressing themselves through cosplay. They are NOT to be treated as objects but as people who are taking pride in showing off their work in their costumes.

  • http://www.keremgogus.com Kerem

    LOL

  • Isaac Zich

    There is absolutly no denying that this guy went way to far and is a horrible interviewer.
    That said I’m gunna go out on a limb and play a bit of devil’s advocate here Lets look at what we have

    1. A large gathering of males celebrating a male-centric form of entertainment.
    2. Comic fans and gamers are notorious for two things, Being incredibly socially inept, and very awkward around women
    3. scantily clad women prancing arround half dressed in front of the worlds most social inept males.

    Lets face it, this is a recipie for disaster. you put a woman who is effectively in her underwear in front of a bunch of lonely guys who have no idea how to interact with women. Thing is, the women in the fandom KNOW this. They know that the vast majority of guys in the fandom are slobbering drooling morons who simply don’t know how to treat a woman with respect. I don’t like the insinuation that women are stupid, and by saying that women shouldn’t expect at least a little boorish treatment when they are near naked in the epicenter of the hive of scum and villainy is, simply put, unrealistic and stupid. And calling on the con’s themselves to police this? Hell, the con has it’s hands full just making sure the attendees take showers! They simply don’t have the man power, and to be frank, responsibility to police every little aspect of behavior among con goers. you don’t want someone staring at your ass? Then cover it up.

    I know that saying this is likely to earn me allot of hate, But women really need to take some responsibility themselves. They need to be smarter about their own interactions, and they have to be aware that, yes, if you wear a g string among a sea of mouth-breathers, they are going to get negative attention. Is it fair? no. Tough noogies. Life isn’t fair. never has been, never will be.

    In conclusion. It’s not the zookeeper’s fault if you get bit after you climb into the lion’s den wearing a bodysuit made out raw meat.

  • Isaac Zich

    the problem with this is that I Can see this backfiring I’ve seen people in the workplace file sexual harassment charges because they made advances on someone, and that person rejected then. I’d hate to see people banned from cons because a spurned con-goer decided to badmouth them.

  • Anonymous

    Rejected advances are how sexual harassment starts. I honestly am not quite following you, here. I’ll readily grant that people may in some circumstances cry harassment too easily, but it’s subjective. What you may think is a friendly and cordial invitation to your con hotel room, the cosplayer may take as “Psst…wanna bike? I have one in my windowless van in this dark alley.” Making people welcome and comfortable should be any con’s only concern, not pairing everyone off.

  • Isaac Zich

    okay. I had a friend who was a manager where we worked. There was a girl who wanted him to date her. he told her he was not interested because he had a girlfriend, and went to his bosses and reported that he harassed her when he did not.
    I could see girls trying to get guys who made them angry banned from cons by making false claims of harassment against them, and that is why a policy like this would not work.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll readily grant that any policy can be abused; so can the ability to buy a ticket to a con. Any policy that punishes or disincentivizes bad behavior can have adverse applications and effects. I have to fall on the side of saying that the potential abuse would be far outweighed by the number of misogynistic, self-entitled, mouth-breathing oglers who’d find themselves on the sidewalk. I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone could consider that a bad thing in itself. I’m sorry for your friend who had the obviously disturbed co-worker, but a single example of a disturbed woman’s spurned advances is not an apple-to-apple comparison here. It’s getting very ugly at cons, and it’s not being addressed effectively. The policy I proposed would do that and in a way that would not have anyone banned outright on a first “offense.” I think there’s some MRA lurking in your argument, whether you might realize it or not.

  • Isaac Zich

    The ugly truth of this situation is that the women choose to put themselves into this environment in the first place. They -know- the kind of guy that comes to this thing, and they choose to go anyway. Is it fair? no. But it’s not fair that men can be recruited to go to war against their will and women cannot. Life is full of inequalities, and like it or not the vast majority of comics plays right into these guys hands. nearly every single female hero is a busty woman wearing just enough fabric not to be considered porn. The con goers didn’t make that, the industry did that, and as such it’s the industry itself that created the attitude towards women. the reason the cons don’t do more to stop these guys is because they can’t afford to.
    You can’t honestly tell me that if a woman shows up nearly naked in public where you are that you aren’t going to at least notice her. There are plenty of other costumes they could wear, but they choose the barely there bodysuit. yes, as men we have a responsibility to be respectful, but lets face it, the pigs outnumber the decent guys and women who don’t do anything to protect themselves from these assholes aren’t making things any easier.

  • Anonymous

    The whole point of this is that regardless of what a woman’s wearing, she should not be subject to harassment. Arguing that “she shouldn’t dress that way” plainly shows you’re exactly the type of person this policy would have the greatest effect on to start with. I don’t really understand how any argument can begin with admittance of the fault, and then shift blame for it to the victimized party, but there you are. I’m done responding to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrienne-Huntley/100000224697829 Adrienne Huntley

    i never seen that behavior happen before at a con

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kakistos153 Martin Walsh

    ConWalks imo. SlutWalks but in con costume. I personally think they’re the most fucking amazingly potent way to send that message. I know its kinda over blowing the situation to compare it to actual rape but noone has the right to victimise anyone for any reason. Least of all their clothes.

  • Nick Gaston

    Since the harassers have such a problem with boundaries…hire some Punisher or Deadpool cosplayers to harass ‘em right back?

    Seriously, though, organized threats of boycotts or bad press towards the con organizers that don’t enforce anti-harassment policies would probably work. Hit ‘em in the wallets.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.psc Ryan Psc
  • http://twitter.com/Bluetooth Bluetooth

    From which point did you find the interview sexual harassment?

    When he told you to spank him? When he insisted (Aw come on!)? Or even his first line (she is HOT)?

    Obviously the rest of it is sexual harrassment. But I’m thinking from a roles reversed perspective… a woman asking a male dressed in cosplay being asked to spank her, even after being repeatedly asked (once), isn’t too untoward in the realms of acceptability.

  • http://twitter.com/Alonzo2469 Saul Silver

    “It’s not fair that men can be recruited to go to war against their will and women cannot.” What country do you live in?

    You’re argument basically is that same lame idea that if a woman behaves or dresses a certain way they deserve to be raped and/or harassed.

    Noticing someone for being sexy is one thing but asking a woman about her cup size or asking her to spank you is a douchebag thing to do and it’s inexcusable!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=619132895 John Slade

    Cons need to understand sexism,. embrace feminism, and crack down on abusers.

  • Anonymous

    If you are going to be an attractive woman, you should get used to morons trying to talk to you. It happens everywhere, not just Con, not just in costume. If a guy or a group of guys is being harassing, that is because they are stupid or bullies or both no matter what the circumstance, especially if its pretty clear that the woman is not enjoying that attention.

    If she explicitly asks for it to stop, then the scum has zero excuse for persisting and gets whatever they deserve that comes afterwards. The range of repercussions depends on the situation: maybe she walks away and you get no play, maybe she responds with cutting words that shred your ego and self esteem and the crowd laughs at your expense, maybe her boyfriend or even some more cultured stranger chooses to teach you some manners by introducing your face to the sidewalk or she is black belt martial artist that does it herself. In the case where a woman can’t speak for herself as in that Ohio story, then those who see it happen need to take a stand to stop it, and support the prosecution of anyone who would violate her if she cannot consent.

    You can’t make people stop being stupid, unfortunately, but if a woman handles herself well, she needn’t be degraded by people who would be degrading like that. The more people get discouraged by the negative consequences of the behavior, then the less the behavior will occur. If a man is raised correctly, he doesn’t laugh and encourage other men to be disrespectful, but leads the animals to the light by admonishing such behavior when they see it. It has to be tolerated to be accepted and continue.

    She did more to discourage that kind of stupidity with her own actions than any rabble rousing about the “cause” could ever do, though. Those morons either will realize that they need to read a persons social cues better if they want to get laid, or they will continue getting scorned and rejected and blame women for them having all the wrong ideas about how to talk to them.

    Want to discourage women being treated badly and disrespected, or even
    anyone being treated that way? Start by raising confident children and
    teaching them how to respect themselves and each other, and how to handle conflict effectively. That is really what it boils down to in the end. It would help if dumb people wouldn’t breed, but what can be done about that?

  • Anonymous

    “hat they are doing is inappropriate and needs to be called out WHEN THEY’RE DOING IT, and held up as an action to be ashamed of, an action that makes people feel unsafe and dehumanized.”

    Exactly. Anything that leaves the perpetrators of that sort of thing feeling unsettled and thinking about what went wrong is a good start.

    Stupid is as stupid does and no matter the rules of good manners someone will always break them. They only continue to do so when there aren’t any consequences for it. The doofus in the interview probably is a doofus in general who never gets to talk to hot women at all. And he didn’t get to talk to that one long since he could not do it respectfully.

    I keep thinking “What if she had been the REAL Black Cat? How would she have handled it?” Women who respect themselves command respect, even dressed like that, or even *especially* when dressed like that. I think Mandy did justice to herself and the character (if she were really Cat, they got lucky not to be nursing some injuries!).

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.shirley.524 Dave Shirley

    And this is why people should be allowed to hit each other and not be worried about getting brought up on charges. A couple really good cracks to the jaw on camera and I’m sure the guy would stop. Worked in Die Hard, pretty sure it would work in real life too. Not that I’m condoning or promoting violence here.

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect i’ve seen some of the outfits and you CANNOT tell me that some of the women who wear this ultra low cut boob popping out tops and the mini skirts that are illegal in some states, aren’t crying for “OH LOOK AT ME ” type reactions. When you wear those types of outfits you are going to find the douche bags as you put it, doing cosplay doesnt require trying to find the dirtiest, most revealing costume you can find either. I have seen some of the attire that this “black cat” has worn and almost EVERY top has most of her breasts flowing out from them, dont tell me that you dont choose these characters for a reason. I agree that people being rude to you or assuming your going to get “dirty” with them is obnoxious but sometimes being a little more conservative would save you the crap, just my opinion.

  • Ballira

    A really big problem is that most of the ‘staff’ at the conventions are actually just volunteers. They’re there for the perks of being there, especially for the conventions that offer a ‘free badge for volunteering’. They have a few people that actually work as employees for the convention, which tend to be the ‘managers’ while everyone else is usually a volunteer that goes through orientation.

    This also includes the people on Security. Almost anyone can be placed anywhere, depending on what the convention needs at the time. Sometimes if, say, some volunteer(s) are unable to show up for the times they were supposed to come volunteer, they’ll take volunteers who are working as one thing (say a ‘gopher’, someone who is supposed to keep water jugs filled, fetch things, run messages to other staff, etc.. This is typically the first place volunteers are pulled because they’re ‘extras’) and then put them on security if not enough volunteers showed up or they realized they needed more security folks.

    Now you can probably imagine someone, who was originally intended to run around to fetch things and fill water coolers, might end up feeling when they’re suddenly told, “Hey! We need more people for security! Come fill the hole!” A lot of times they won’t do the job but will nod along anyway and stand around while stuff happens….. Or you get to the other extreme where some take the job far too seriously and start harrassing the con-goers over something that really can slide by with a warning, such as someone who might have not realized they were blocking the flow-through by stopping to take a picture, and instead taking them aside and harrassing them for a period of time and chewing them out.

    I’m not meaning to defend the Conventions, of course. Not all conventions run the exact same way. I just know that this seems to be the case with a lot of conventions out there. Not all of the volunteers on security detail are bad, either, of course. These are just a couple of examples of some of what tends to go on, and they aren’t even made up.

    This only really applies to the conventions that do, indeed, run off of volunteer staff for the security detail. I think what really needs to happen is this: Either hire professional security that is trained for this sort of thing or educate ALL of the volunteers you intend to staff for convention on the security proceedures. Not only would it help if they got put on security detail, it would also help them to spot ‘bad con behavior’ and help to put it to an end or even to go get staff or security to actually handle the misbehavior.

    And should something like this incident begin, said reporters should be stripped of their own badges to the convention and not allowed back in. Ever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Schultz/100001957532060 Jonathan Schultz

    You can’t treat people like that, I don’t believe it’s all the corset though.

  • will smith

    There are a million con videos on Youtube of people doing this and they get tons of likes. Simple fact is, when you have more girls liking the attention than not because, A, they are porn stars hired to do the cons or, B, Girls with low self-esteem liking the attention they get from others. I suggest when you run into “creepers” to simply walk away. I am sure the above play-by-play was edited and actually longer, why stick around so long?

  • isaned .

    Yeah, I remember when I was at a Ren Fest and this big, dumb asian guy who was standing near me and my friend when we were getting pictures, kept poking my mask and then lightly punching it. I told him to knock it off, and he gave me this “huh?” look and did it again. The problem with confronting these jokers is that if you stick up for yourself, they get offended, and sometimes they get violent. I thought I was gonna have to punch this Kim Jong Un a$$wipe in the face to get him to stop, and luckily he did, because I don’t like beating up the mentally retarded.

  • isaned .

    Here’s a thought, and something I’ve seen practiced: If you are a (lone) female cosplayer, and someone is making inappropriate advances, find another cosplayer (like a big/intimidating male cosplayer/group) and make a new friend. Usually, these creepers are looking for single targets whom they can advance on because they are presumably alone. It works best if it’s someone within your character’s story (ie. if you cosplay as Chun-li, find a guy dressed as another Street Fighter character) and pose for some pictures with them. They will get the hint and usually the creeper will not want to get in with the other cosplayers, or if he does, now you have back-up.

    This was done once when I was coplaying Darth Vader, and this very pretty girl was dressed as an “ewok” (it’s in quotations because she was tall, and only wearing a furry hat, furry tank-top, furry bikini bottom, and furry boots) and these guys wouldn’t leave her alone. She came over and I met up with her and some people we talked with the day before, and we all took group shots as Star Wars Characters. These guys couldn’t get in the shot with us, or if they tried I was between them and the ewok. Sure, they took pictures, but they couldn’t get anywhere near us.

    Another time I was wearing a full body costume(not going to say what), and we found another cosplayer who was dressed similarly. She had gotten separated from her ride so she hung out with us, posed for pictures, and she was good company. We formed a congo line to walk around (due to not being able to see very well out of our masks) and this one guy got behind her in the congo line, being a douche and holding on to her. The next time we did the line, I took up the rear so she wouldn’t get harassed, though another person got behind me to congo, but at least she didn’t have to put up with it. When we arrived at the exit, her ride was there waiting, so they were reunited. She thanked us for letting us hang out with her.

    Case and point: If someone is going to be a dog, go find a bigger, meaner dog and watch the little poodle scamper away.

  • Anonymous

    It sure as hell is. Especially in the less affluent neighbourhoods. You know, the ones the COPS don’t even go to unless the call is in the DAYTIME, and then in large groups…

  • Anonymous

    If that got to be bad enough to warrant Law Enforcement, then BOTH PARTIES deserve citation. This continent possesses a culture of irresponsibility and disrespect, and IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME THAT CHANGED FOR THE BETTER! The Way things are now, it can only keep deteriorating before it does get better…

  • Anonymous

    You got that right.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll agree with you as I’ve also staffed at cons. Most of the staff aside from the leads would likely not be prepared to handle that kind of situation well. I’m thinking about maybe bringing it up at the next con I staff at. Maybe ask the leads to give a flier or something to the volunteers that outlines what they’re supposed to do if that kind of situation comes up and who they’re supposed to contact, etc.

  • Zichelle Smythe

    Unfortunately, this kind of thing comes down to what we are immersed into believing is ‘okay’, and entirely cannot be solved until more and more people stand up against it. Everyone is doing the right thing when they see it and put a stop to it, people will slowly, and sadly, maybe over decades, start to realize it’s wrong. It won’t really actually stop until we as a society, and as a nerd culture, stop sexualizing females in our culture. No more unnecessary or revealing costumes, that kind of thing. (especially if you’re a crime fighter, why on earth would you want to wear nothing but a bikini and fishnet? just sayin’.)

    I do not beleive this is wholly the con’s responsibility. I saw a comment saying it should be, i cannot disagree more passionately that it is not. The con is a venue, and like all entertainment venues, they owe it to their patrons to allow the patrons to feel safe. So is it the responsibility of the con itself to mend this societal issue, or is it actually a problem that should be fought to the same level as equality was fought for in any other topic?

    Sadly, ladies, gentlemen, if we want to see change, and want this to end, we need to simply start taking action against it. Talking more about it, stopping it when we see it happening. We have to let people know that it is NOT okay, and not let it happen, just as this lovely catwoman did. I will think of her the next time it happens around me, and let it be known, it is not okay.

    that’s my two bits. cheers.

  • cgthegeek

    The only people that matter to SDCC are the celebrities.

  • Roy Margasa

    Yes, I agree that the guys is a total jerk, that’s not the way you
    treat a girl like that. BUT, in my opinion, I wish ladies will stop
    doing cosplay from too sexy / skin tight costume / revealing /character
    from male fantasies (She-Hulk, Psylocke, Tyris Flare, Ivy, Mai Shiranui,
    etc.). I wish there’s more cosplays for Jade (Beyond Good and Evil),
    Rochelle (L4D2), and other reasonably dressed characters? Let’s stop
    putting bait in each mouth.

  • Jason Enos

    This is sad. There is no call for this action. When I went to my first con (HeroesCon 2013), I was a babbling, nervous fanboy. I mean, I got to meet almost all of my favorite artists! And yes, there were some awesome cosplayers. I treated every one of the women (and the guys) with respect. I remember one Zatanna cosplayer in particular. My wife asked the Zatanna to pose with me, and she asked, “Can I touch him?” I replied back, “Can I touch you, that is the question?” As soon as I asked for the photo, I was public property: the Zatanna cosplayer was free to pose as wanted. However, by accepting the photo opportunity, I did not consider her to be free to touch where ever. She did NOT become public property for me to grope or whatever. I went for the “around the shoulder” photo. (Here’s the photo, for those interested: http://bauerpower24777.deviantart.com/art/Zatanna-and-me-HeroesCon-Charlotte-2013-378377906)

    Just because a female cosplayer may be the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen, that does NOT make her a piece of meat! She is still a real person, someone who probably worked really hard to look like her favorite character… Treat her like you’d want the sister you love treated. Don’t act like you were raised in a cave, guys…

  • DualBrush

    There seems to be a misunderstanding of what sexism actually is and how the interviewer is not at fault, anyone who has ever stepped foot into a woman’s study course would understand how this is part of the bilateral portion of an equality argument and the “professional” is utilizing her “feminism” as a way to sway the audience in her favor, albeit incorrectly and in a way that actually harms true feminist progression. This leads readers, viewers, etc; to come to an impulsive conclusion which prompts the supporting public of the aforementioned institution to immediately side with the female partition regardless of the actual facts; largely due to the fact that women’s inequality has existed for thousand of years and the current resounding solution seems to be apprehending the occurrence of even a resemblance to the actual crime before such measures forcibly follow.

    A widely accepted example of this (in America) is the idea that any crime against an African American initially faces an immediate backlash as a hate crime to the community at large, this ultimately challenges an otherwise straightforward legal proceeding.

    This is exactly why many journalists, bloggers, and writers are viewed as mediums of propaganda – creating an incomplete view or understanding of the situation which leads to a public-wide distrust in information, thus undervaluing actual authorities on a particular subject matter (In layman’s terms the self-imposed professional creates problems for the actual expert when defending or correcting the bad advice of others).

  • DualBrush

    This is a common fallacy and is actually an anti-women’s rights statement, while the latter portion is an illogical statement.

    For you to suggest that the female members of this “imaginary crowd” to be unable to judge the appendage of the “Green Lantern” cosplayer creates a disproportionate system of equality which has been superficially imposed upon the female gender since the beginning of mankind. Where females have been widely viewed as un-sexual beings without the ability to create fantasies and being able to openly voice one’s actual presences as an equal portion of our species without being judged as overtly masculine or in plain english; as a slut.

    The illogical statement you presented as prose is quite incorrect, if there were an inability of the interviewer to question the supposed “Green Lantern’s package” then what is actually happening is not “a double standard” but in fact it is an underlying issue with the male interviewer’s sexual esteem, for it is easy being sexually comfortable with the sex a person happens to be attracted to be but quite difficult to be sexually comfortable with the opposite attraction.

  • White__Rabbit

    Why don’t people ever actually name these jerks so people know who they are and how to avoid them? “a group of men for their video channel” could be ANYONE!

  • JanArrah

    So the obvious solution has to be.. women can now ONLY cosplay as Ma Hunkle or Amanda Waller or some equally not-overtly-sexual woman right? I mean.. that way they can’t ask to be sexually harassed all the time. *rolls eyes*
    One of my favourite authors, who is a man, was sexually harassed by a drunk lady on an elevator. He was not wearing anything remotely “sexy” or revealing and she decided, that he was hot and grabbed his butt even after he’d turned her down several other times. He didn’t say anything at the time and felt bad about it. So it can happen to men and women and can be equally not ok in either manner. Though men probably do it more, it’s still a problem of BOTH sexes not just one. Nobody should feel that way, period.
    All that said, I really wanna see someone cosplay Ma Hunkle now. She’s the bees-knees.

  • Anonymous

    Volunteers for security need some TRAINING in how to deal with harrassment, not just a handout. Some role playing, and clear understanding what their job is, and perhaps they can be asked to sign something that says YES I understand what my job is and what the zero tolerance policy entails.

    So, anti-harrassment policy. Well publicized. Lean on con committees to have them. Consider not going to a show that doesn’t have one, and write a note to the con committee telling them why you’re not coming.

    Then, ENFORCE the policy. Harrassers get warned, if they have more than one complaint, they get expelled, no refunds. Real consequences. That will help to change the culture.

  • DualBrush

    Read again, not defending the Green Lantern guy’s actions – if anything near the end I am pointing out the negativity of his action; this is about females judging males (which is equality), I don’t see what you’re trying to say and how “No, stop” relates to anything I’ve posted.

  • DualBrush

    Really, most people have no clue what women’s rights actually is. It is not chivalry and it is not pleasing, it is merely to be treated equally as a human being. Anything more or anything less is not correct.

    Women’s rights > Feminism

  • Mildred Black

    I like how we focus on the varied controversies surrounding women dressing up as scantily-clad characters from geek entertainment, rather than the raw fact that they chose to do this over getting involved at the initial creative level.

    We all agree about those douchebags who can’t handle being in the company of a cosplay actress. But maybe what really plays into mens’ lowest expectations isn’t that attractive women are getting into scanty latex outfits, it’s that their collective interest appears to extend as far as pure vanity, rather than creating their own comics/cartoons/TV shows with realistic female role models.

    I don’t mean to suggest AT ALL that there aren’t women right now fighting the good fight, but what do you really think is the ratio of those women to women opting instead to just dress up and take selfies?

    What does it say when the men in these industries equate their popular creations to art, while their female fans equate “art” with dressing up?

  • DualBrush

    That is complete and utter feminism, which is why you don’t agree. You are taking the equality from the two genders and splitting them back into their social roles and then complaining about their outcomes. Instead of man or woman it should just be human kind. Although, I am not saying that there aren’t certain boundaries that is associated with the current social standards, I am just arguing that there shouldn’t be. So what was your point?

  • Anonymous

    The costumes that cosplayers make get more and more highly sophisticated in construction every year. It is indeed an art. Even fabricating something like that Black Cat domino the woman in the image is sporting, that perfectly resembles a comic book illustration and perfectly conforms and adheres to her face without constantly peeling off, takes an awful amount of skilled work. You denigrate the artwork of costume designers everywhere. Whatever character the cosplayers choose replicate is simply a matter of choice; it may seem that the more scantily or sexily clad ones are ubiquitous, but that is merely a reflection of your perception and possible lack of experience going to these events. You’ll see a vast array of characters, many you won’t recognize; particularly at anime/manga based conventions.

  • Anonymous

    It says that you have a very narrow view of what makes “art”, as well as a total lack of grasp of the point.

  • Anonymous

    Lovely post! But I respect the cosplayer for asking for permission to touch you. I once nearly decked a “bodybuilder (not sure how serious that was)” for trying to drape herself over my husband without his consent – but, I suppose, the crucial difference was that a *third party* had pointed out my husband as a likely specimen, and she went with it, without checking to see if it was ok. And when I told her to keep her hands to herself, she snidely informed me that she “wasn’t going to take him way” from me. I think the incident stuck w/me for just how rare it is for the shoe to be on the other foot.