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Today in Depressing

Female Cosplayers Share Their Creeper Stories Through Photos



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As we all know, convention season means costumes, merchandise, panels…and creepy dudes harassing cosplayers. At NYCC last weekend, BuzzFeed asked women in cosplay: “What’s the creepiest thing that someone has said to you while you were in costume?” and took photos of them standing with the quote. Warning: may make you want to scream.

(via: Blastr)

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  • Anonymous

    Guy who autoinvited himself to our table and then said he was going to call me Boobs from now on because that was all he saw of me.

    Worst thing? My friends trying to be funny by telling me I should go with him to his room when he asked :/

  • Joanna

    I really can’t believe people say that shit and expect a positive response from it.

  • Roberta

    That is all kinds of “Hell no”

  • Laura Truxillo

    Ugh. Those would be my “ex-friends” if that happened.

    Sorry that happened. Times like that, you always want a glass of something nearby to do the classic “throw drink in jerk’s face” routine.

  • Anonymous

    Well, drinks had been had and as I said, they were trying to be funny. They did look vaguely alarmed when I asked them what would they have done if I had taken their advice and really gone with him (not that I ever would have).

    I wouldn’t waste a glass of perfectly good alcohol by throwing it :D But it was one of those times where you wish witty retorts happened instantly and not six hours later xD

  • Anonymous

    Well, drinks had been had and as I said, they were trying to be funny. They did look vaguely alarmed when I asked them what would they have done if I had taken their advice and really gone with him (not that I ever would have).

    I wouldn’t waste a glass of perfectly good alcohol by throwing it :D But it was one of those times where you wish witty retorts happened instantly and not six hours later xD

  • Michelle Hunt

    I went to ECCC last year and my sister went as Castiel and I was Sam Winchester. Lots of people really liked her costume. Most people told me “you’d be a better Sam if you didn’t have boobs.” Not a lot I could do about it, but thanks for the feedback?

  • Michelle Hunt

    I went to ECCC last year and my sister went as Castiel and I was Sam Winchester. Lots of people really liked her costume. Most people told me “you’d be a better Sam if you didn’t have boobs.” Not a lot I could do about it, but thanks for the feedback?

  • Anonymous

    I literally left the opposite way he did and asked a group of steampunk people if I could hide with them for a few. The good thing about these conventions is that I have a lot of friends in different groups, and if I can’t find one, I WILL ask to hang out with the biggest guy I can find.

  • Anonymous

    I literally left the opposite way he did and asked a group of steampunk people if I could hide with them for a few. The good thing about these conventions is that I have a lot of friends in different groups, and if I can’t find one, I WILL ask to hang out with the biggest guy I can find.

  • Anonymous

    Got a similar response gender-swapping as Sam, Dean and Castiel (myself and my daughters) at NYCC. Yeah, good idea – we should bind for authenticity’s sake. Sorry you had to deal with this. :-(

  • Anonymous

    Got a similar response gender-swapping as Sam, Dean and Castiel (myself and my daughters) at NYCC. Yeah, good idea – we should bind for authenticity’s sake. Sorry you had to deal with this. :-(

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get this at all. I LOVE gender-bent cosplays because for me it’s always interesting to see how the character would be.

  • CPS

    Amen and amen! Attention, every guy who gripes about how dudes who go to comic cons are stereotyped as socially clueless juveniles who are too intimidated by women to speak to them normally:

    Act like THIS, and say things like THIS, and you’re just reaffirming the stereotype.

  • Jamie Jeans

    Warning: The following photos may want me to send off my Irate Grizzly Bear Army to maul some arseheads repeatedly.

  • Sabrina

    Drink the alcohol, throw the empty glass! ;D

  • Nicole Elizabeth Currie

    I’m pretty that face is what the actual characters who make to such a comment.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t let a few a**holes ruin it for you. Most people in the cosplay scene are really nice. I’ve often gone up to groups of people asking if I could hang with them for a bit because I’ve lost my friends and I’ve never had a bad experience with that :)

  • Anonymous

    They were just trying to tease me. I don’t think they got
    how creeped out I was until I told them. But I did tell them I was pretty upset
    and left to find some other people to hang with for a while.

  • John Keegan

    Well, doesn’t that assume that the ones doing the griping are also the ones making the comments?

    On the other hand, making an effort to act properly and call out those who don’t does a lot more than griping about something you’re not actively trying to change….so there is a degree of accountability from that perspective.

  • John Keegan

    WTAF

  • Michelle Hunt

    I think part of it is that it was in Seattle, and EVERYONE wears plaid, so they didn’t actually know I was dressed up, but I thought me walking around with Castiel would kind of give it away. And it still doesn’t really make up for the boobs comment.

  • Anonymous

    They were those disposable plastic ones. Could’ve used a bottle, though ;D

  • Anonymous

    I’ve had a few creeper moments, but this guy was the worst. Normally
    I shrug it off and laugh, but this one really freaked me out.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t win with boobs. Either you haven’t got enough or you’ve got too much ¬¬ Seriously, I bet you both looked awesome .

  • http://pontoonification.blogspot.com/ AverageDrafter

    What even more sad is that it almost assured that at some point this crap has worked for them. They just picked what they thought were easy targets based on their geekiness and dress.

    What they don’t realize is that for a female to brave the halls of a con (in costume or not), they have to have a strength I have noted to be prevalent and somewhat unique in many geek girls.

    I believe this comes from having to deal with a culture which actively tries to objectify and dismiss them as outsiders from the get go. Talk to any girl who plays Magic the Gathering in a remotely competitive environment.

    Thankfully, bit by bit, exposing this jackassery is diminishing these shameful attitudes to (gasp) women in the clubhouse.

  • Joanna

    “What even more sad is that it almost assured that at some point this crap has worked for them.”

    Ugh yeah. I hear about a guy who would go up to random women in night clubs and ask for a blowjob. More often the not he’d get a slap but it worked for him once and apparently that was worth all the slaps in the world. Weirdo >.>

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never had any issues playing MtG. To be fair I wasn’t
    all that serious about competing. I did it mostly because it meant my brother
    could check two different decks in competition: one control and one aggro. Most
    of the people I’ve met were nice, albeit surprised that I liked to play.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, now. It’s not plaid we wear here, but flannel. :P

  • athenia45

    I’ve never had a problem, but then again, I usually go to anime conventions….

  • athenia45

    Those guys are SOOOO funny! LOLNOT.

  • http://pontoonification.blogspot.com/ AverageDrafter

    Having witnessed the verbal onslaughts perpetrated by men (well boys really) losing to a woman in a tournament (one match in particular comes to mind – to determine top 8) I can tell you it is disgusting.

    This woman had to deal with a nasty “Hand Jobs for Hammers” rumor as well, and I’m sure a hundred other things that I was not witness or privy to.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, I’ve never played well enough to qualify for anything. But then sore losers are always sore losers, whether you’re a man or a woman, the excuse is the only thing that changes.

  • Jennifer Nicole

    Some of these are actually relatively tame compared to the stuff that you overhear women complain about at the cons. I used to cosplay as the Queen of Hearts, and for better or worse, my chest was a frequent point brought up by both genders. There seems to be this idea that since we’re playing at fantasy, the rules of reality don’t apply to boundaries, either.

  • Anonymous

    i guarantee that was meant to be a compliment, not a creepliment…let’s not mistake a lack of social grace with an attempt to belittle.

  • Cy

    Pin the jerk down and drip a little in each eye. You only waste a tiny amount and he gets the full impact.

  • Anonymous

    Ooooh, good idea :D

  • Anonymous

    I KNOW! I HATE it when someone tells me I’m fine and my partner is lucky. What an insult!

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Hey look, intent’s magic!

  • Anonymous

    i can respect your viewpoint and valid points whilst simultaneously stating that the connective tissue between the statement on that sign and your examples is gossamer thin. i believe you’ve extrapolated (and granted intent *is* magic and maybe i have as well) and placed your own life experience onto this content, and that for all our pomp and circumstance we cannot place it in its proper context, as neither of us were there, but equating it to racism and a comment that could have been delivered leerily and could have been delivered jokingly suddenly becomes “constant awareness of hotness” is as knee jerk as me saying “FINE! THEN NO ONE SHOULD EVER COMPLIMENT A COSPLAYER IF WE CANT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!”

    i have two school age girl cosplayers at home, and i take them to cons a few times a month, and while i abhor and defend against creepers, i just feel like there’s no grey area on this subject when it comes to thread comments – its scorched earth policy, all day erry day,

  • Anonymous

    i’ll replace guarantee with bet, upon a second reading.

  • Sowmya Guru

    Why do men make cosplaying for women such a pain in the rear..! Damn you perverts.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Regardless of their intent, compliment or creepliment, what matters is how it was received by the person in question.

    And she was obviously unhappy about it.

  • Joseph Finn

    Jesus, this makes me want to strike people. Who the hell talks like this? (Answer: assholes.)

  • Anonymous

    well said, and, ultimately, thats all that matters.

  • http://nerdsoftheradtable.com/ Samantha

    These are ridiculous! I’m relatively new to cosplay, having only done it about 3 times now (twice at PAX East and at NYCC last weekend) and luckily I haven’t had anything creepy said to me. But I have had issues with some uncomfortable touching during photos; I was Velma last Sunday and some guy put his arm around my waist *really* tightly (like you’d have thought we were making a break for a life raft on the Titantic kinda tight). That was bad enough, but then he did one of those creepy thumb rubs against my hip while his hand was there.
    I really don’t mind people putting their arm around me for photos, but be respectful about. Don’t squeeze tightly (creep factor aside, for certain costumes this could cause damage!) and respect the cosplayers personal space.
    Good rule of thumb: if you would be upset by someone saying something or touching your sister/wife/gf/daughter in a particular way, don’t say/do that thing!

  • Anonymous

    It’s not assholes, it’s not creeps, or jerks, or limited to the geek community- it’s all part of a larger problem. It’s living in a society, where women are hated, where men are entitled and encouraged this type of behavior.

    (I hope it goes without saying that not all men do this/feel this way, that some women might also be a part of the problem to feel like One of the Guys, that there isn’t more wrong with our society then just misogyny, etc.)

  • Anonymous

    It’s not assholes, it’s not creeps, or jerks, or limited to the geek community- it’s all part of a larger problem. It’s living in a society, where women are hated, where men are entitled and encouraged this type of behavior.

    (I hope it goes without saying that not all men do this/feel this way, that some women might also be a part of the problem to feel like One of the Guys, that there isn’t more wrong with our society then just misogyny, etc.)

  • Kellen Connor

    Now, now. We don’t know how the guy said it.

  • Anonymous

    Ladies, I’ll tell you how to handle this. When some creeper guy says something like, “Would you like to handle my gems?” Laugh at them. Not with them, not at the line. AT. THEM.
    “Would you like to handle my gems?”
    “Bwahhahahahaha. I’m sorry, but the thought that you’re even close to my level just made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe.”
    Destroy their confidence…utterly.

  • Michal

    I wish people (mostly guys) would consider the fear they have the power to inflict when they make comments like this. I haven’t had the courage to cosplay at a convention yet for this exact reason; while I know that harassers are in the minority, I am too nervous about attracting their attention to hazard my feeling of safety for the sake of a costume.

  • Bexley Lister

    Ah, if only the devastating comeback remark were always ready to hand. Problem is, when someone says something overtly sexist or otherwise shocking to you you’re sometimes just too stunned to reply.

  • Jodilyn

    I cosplayed once as Morrigan from Dragonage and had to push a guy’s head away from my boobs as he seriously tried to do a motorboat on a complete stranger. Pretty sure if he had succeeded I would have punched him in the face.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Probably should have punched him anyway.

  • DarthRachel

    i had a guy come up to me at NYCC while I was in my Wonder Woman costume (based on the Rory Phillips redesign feat. on The Mary Sue a while back) and he screamed at me from 15 feet away “WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE?” and I have a mask on so I flip it up and tell him and he goes “Well I’m not feeling Wonder Woman from all of this. But you tried.”

    Meanwhile he comes closer and reaches up (he was shorter than me) and attempts to yank my mask off of my head which doesn’t work bc it’s attached to my wig and I say “That’s nice I’m leaving” and he responds “Well now that I’m up close I can see you have some symbols. But I don’t read the comics.”

    The touching me part is clearly not OK and I’m shocked he thought he could just lay hands on my costume, but the other stuff? Fucking typical nerd guy shit. Ugh.

  • DarthRachel

    i feel like this stuff can’t possibly have worked for them. maybe one guy. once. but all of them? all of them have done this and its worked for them just once? there’s no way i believe that. it’s just negging and it’s pathetic.

  • Audra Tallis

    I don’t believe that all of them are expecting to get a positive response. What they expect is to get pleasure from humiliating, objectifying and/or harrassing the person they’re talking to.

  • DarthRachel

    what does that mean? i’m genuinely curious. i saw NK Jemesin state on twitter a week or so ago that she thought anime cons were more inclusive, less prone to crappy con behavior syndrome. i’ve never been to an anime specific con. is it really all that different?

  • Audra Tallis

    Don’t forget the pointing at them while you laugh. That’s the only way to get the message across that they are acting like douchecanoes.

  • Audra Tallis

    And because you’re so incredibly desperate and lacking in self-esteem that a random perv’s comments are like catnip foryou, NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO FEEL DIFFERENTLY!!!

  • http://www.tinypinkrobots.com/ Rori

    Reading this article this morning kinda broke something fierce in me, so I wrote this pledge as an artist and an exhibitor:

    http://roricomics.tumblr.com/post/64404877089/what-can-artists-creators-vendors-do-about-con

    As someone who tables at cons, I feel I have to do something to make them better.

  • athenia45

    Here’s my speculation: In anime, there is girl anime and boy anime and even in those anime, girls aren’t necessarily there for eye candy (Sakura from Naruto, Rukia from Bleach for example). So if you are a girl cosplaying Sakura or Naruto, nobody is really going to give a fuck. Heck, it has been reported that 53% of attendees at Otakon this year were ladies. Ladies with boobs are not a novelty.

    I’m sure there are probably some not-so-cool stories out there, but again, I think in the anime community there’s a crap ton of ladies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/glennsimpson1 Glenn Simpson

    I’m not excusing it, but I would imagine the people who talk like this are people who are generally socially awkward but now find themselves in an environment where they feel more relaxed and confident and they let it turn them into jerks. Which is to say that the behavior needs to change, but people shouldn’t be shocked that it exists to begin with.

  • DarthRachel

    ok. so the increased female attendance (maybe even majority female attendance in general?) plus a lack of traditionally sexualized costumes.

    i’ve seen some incredibly sexualized anime but i honestly have no perspective on the more popular types of cosplay at an anime con.

  • Mark Matson

    As a guy and former teenager, I definitely felt like the jerks got all the girls. I think shotgunning does work. It is also easier to accept rejection if you expect rejection. So they just hit on everyone, rudely, hoping for just one case to work. And eventually, I think if often does.

    During this whole time, of course, they are never thinking of the women as actual people. Never considering how their entire day (or longer) can be ruined by one seriously negative experience like this.

  • Mark Matson

    Every guy who does this should practice these lines:

    “I love your costume”
    “Wow, that’s costume looks great”
    “I don’t recognize that character, who is it?”

    And if you’ve started a conversation and she’s smiling, you might be bold with:

    “You’re pretty.”

  • Anonymous

    we know neither of these things from the example in question.

  • Anonymous

    “You’re the one who came in here defending a comment someone made because oh no, we’ve got to think about the potentially socially awkward stranger I know nothing about!”

    of course, i did no such thing, all i said is we lack context, and without context we can’t determine intent. i’m not entirely sure why i can’t attempt to make rational plea for uncertainty in this sitch while you can project left and right, but thats the internet i guess.

  • Anonymous

    I’d be happy to go with you next time. I don’t let that shit pass. Ever.

    If you don’t mind someone in a full Trekkie outfit that is.

  • Saraquill

    Now I want to find the names and faces of these creepers and get them banned from all cons forever.

  • TokenOfficeGoth

    “I definitely felt like the jerks got all the girls”

    I wish people would STOP repeating this myth. Just because you did not get the girls you wanted, personally, does NOT mean women want to be treated badly.

  • Anonymous

    Aww, that’s so sweet!

    I would never mind going around with a Trekkie :D I grew up on the original series (and Doctor Who, my parents were unwittingly making a geek out of me even then xD).

  • TokenOfficeGoth

    “Scorched earth”…

    Demanding that I be treated with respect, is not “scorched earth.” I hate this false dichotomy that keeps getting picked up by apologists “oh well fooey, no one can compliment anyone now!”

    “You all kinds of fine” is not a compliment, it’s a sexual come on.
    “Hey, your costume is fantastic!” is a compliment. And it’s an inoffensive compliment at that.
    “That ass” is not a compliment, it’s a sexual come on.
    “You look great!” is an inoffensive compliment.
    A good way to tell the difference? Are you basing your “compliment” on someone’s gender alone, rather than the time and effort they’ve put into cosplay? Then it’s probably inappropriate.

    Most people know the difference and when someone doesn’t know the difference or crosses the line they should not expect to have their right to be creepy or perverted (intentionally or unintentionally) be sacrosanct.

    If you have two girls who are cosplayers then I would consider you lucky that they have never had someone try to harass them, grab them against their will or touch them inappropriately. If you or someone you love ever experienced that (as many of us have) you wouldn’t feel quite so guilt ridden about “scorched earth.”

    Ultimately it is MORE IMPORTANT that the geek sphere be a comfortable, supportive place for everyone, than to make allowances for some dudes to give you unsolicited compliments.

  • TokenOfficeGoth

    Seconded.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the point is very important to make them realize the laugh is…AT…THEM.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. I don’t think even most harassers/predators care what sort of reaction they get as long as they get one.

  • Anonymous

    In my experience, if you feel the need to gripe, it’s probably because you feel personally attacked.

  • Anonymous

    Really, I don’t think it’s ever worked. I’m not even convinced they care if it works. I think most guys who try this just want to seem tough or cool, to humiliate and degrade the target. Studies have pretty conclusively shown that men do this sort of stuff in groups for the benefit of the people they are with.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. I know a lot of socially awkward people and most have managed to avoid sexually harassing and degrading people. Intent is irrelevant in comparison to the feelings of victimization and objectification that results.

  • Anonymous

    And intent is irrelevant. Even if someone didn’t mean it maliciously, it’s still creepy and it still made the cosplayer feel uncomfortable and objectified. If you can’t compliment without mentioning a stranger’s physical attributes, then you probably shouldn’t comment at all.

  • Anonymous

    Thankyouthankyouthankyou! So true.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve sort of been in the same place for a while. But this sort of thing happens anyway on a fairly regular basis, regardless of what I’m wearing, so may as well have as much fun as possible and have the experience than be intimidated out of something I really want to do. Or, at least, that’s how I feel about it.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t bother. Apologizing for your gender doesn’t change the behavior of the dingbats and doesn’t make it stop. It’s much better to just call it out when it happens, especially since a lot of people do it only when they’re hanging out with other guys in order to show off.

  • Anonymous

    For some people? Yeah. Especially since some members of the nerd community don’t view women as actual people.

  • Anonymous

    “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”― Gavin de Becker

    I don’t think even the most aware and well-intentioned men realize how true this statement can be.

  • Anonymous

    This is not a con exclusive thing, though. I think the true problems are entitlement, dehumanization, and the need to look cool for friends.

  • Anonymous

    My friends and I will say stuff like that to each other or someone on TV or the internet, but while we may admire and later discuss someone’s ass, I don’t think any one of us would say it to a stranger.

  • Greg

    Yeaaaah. So very sad and hulk-enducing.

  • http://pontoonification.blogspot.com/ AverageDrafter

    Ever? Come now, that’s awfully black and white in a world mired in grey.

    Women such as yourself and DarthRachel above (with obviously healthy self esteems and likely significant support systems of friends and family) may have difficulty imagining a scenario where this crap does work, but I’ve seen it played out – dozens, maybe over a hundred times.

    This isn’t a jerks get all the girl complaint, its more of a jerks get all the girls with little self worth and massive attachment deficiencies. They exist, and they respond very favorably to this type of treatment, as bewildering as that may be.

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    Were you the Victorian Supernatural cosplayers? If so, loved it. If not…I still love gender-bent cosplays.

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    So wait. The reason he had no clue isn’t b/c you didn’t do a good cosplay but b/c he’s a clueless moron & decided that his opinion was still necessary to you?

  • Mark Matson

    I absolutely agree about how people want to be treated. I apologize if you think I implied otherwise.

  • Alexa

    I’ve never been to a con myself, never really have time or investment in cosplaying (not that it doesn’t look awesome) but I have to say that even with the knowledge that there are guys there who will harass and belittle you, that you still go to those cons, makes me bow down to you patience. But I guess really in the end all you can do is feel sorry and pity for these guys who feel they’re being charming. Yeah they’re as charming as a butt crack…

  • SCP3

    Yikes. The least offensive was the Thor/Loki one, and that was still overly familiar (While I’ve never said “You’re so fine,” it has been my understanding that you should only say it to someone you already know and usually only if you are in the process of courting them).

    I’m getting the sense that if one feels irresistibly compelled to comment on a cosplayer’s appearance, one should be as stereotypically English as possible, i.e., reserved and apologetic.

    For example, “I apologize for being so forward, but I just wanted to say that is a very good costume and it complements you very well.”

  • BrooklynBornAnd Bred

    That ain’t right. They should be escorted out of the event and banned. One of my wife and I’s favorite part of Comic Con is appreciating ALL the Cosplayers. They make the events BETTER and should be treated with RESPECT!!!

  • SCP3

    That’s good advice, though I would add that you should start with “Hello.” There are some people who just don’t like to be talked to by strangers, and saying “Hello” is a good de minimis way to determine that. If they react favorably, then proceed as suggested.

  • Anonymous

    Cool. You’ll be the only person at the con with a short, plump grandmotherly type in a Trek outfit as a bodyguard, lol. Maybe you can start a new trend!

  • Anonymous

    I blame the Patriarchy.

  • Anonymous

    Right, we have no context at all, except….(insert all teh links to all the dudebro sites that would support this type of behavior). I’m sensing a pattern, here…it’s almost like…dudes…feel ENTITLED to this way of thinking/behaving…O.o

    And in the end, it has nothing to do with these creepers and everything to do with how these women felt. Which was uncomfortable, at best. Dismissing their experience for the random dudebros really shows where your priorities lie…

  • Anonymous

    Actually, we do.

  • Anonymous

    I saw the link too between the survivor project and this, but I’m not sure how this disrespects the original project.

  • imelda

    Did you say anything to him? I’m guessing not.

    That’s something that pisses me off – that when women tell these stories, men often respond that the guy’s just being complimentary, or doesn’t “intend” to harm, and how are they supposed to know if no one says anything?

    But we’re taught not to say anything, because saying something – so we’re taught – serves to escalate a problem, not solve it. Why take the risk that he’ll get angry and get even more offensive, or even dangerous, when you can just grin and bear it and wait for your discomfort/humiliation/misery to end?

    All this instead of men bothering to imagine – or, eureka! – ASK how a woman might feel based on their actions.

  • Michael Vincent Bramley

    I suppose it’s down to the women of Project Unbreakable, (rather than me) to say what it is that is offensive to them or not. This just isn’t something I’d have made.

    It’s hard to put into words, but Project Unbreakable is a very powerful series of photos about something several times more serious than this is – even though this stuff is on the same spectrum and is indeed serious.

    A cosplay version of that project, invites comparison. Taking on that format kind of implies that victims experiences are comparable, when I personally don’t these experiences truly compare to the Unbreakable ones. What the women experienced above IS bad, it does need to be stopped, but to compare it to full, physical rape? That’s where it feels a little disrespectful. To me anyway. Again, I kind of want to be wrong.

  • Sara Green Williams

    I would have told him that I was going to call him Broken from now on, because that was what he was going to be in 3, 2, 1…

    And my friends, they wouldn’t be called at all. Ever again.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s closer to a cat call than a working pick-up line. It reminds me of this bit by Caroline Rhea
    http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/dwu4ul/stand-up-caroline-rhea–catcalls

  • Anonymous

    Cosplay has always been a positive experience for me. I dressed up as Mama-san from Kodomo no Omacha in ’01, and the connection I felt for people who recognized my costume, and the positive feedback for my efforts (last minute as they were) was really great. My favorite exchange went something like this:

    (voice behind me) Mama-san?
    Me: Yes? (turning around)
    (voice behind me) it’s your daughter!
    Me: Sana!

    If memory serves we hugged and took pictures. Where else but through cosplay are you going to find instant family members?

    I took my (shy) 9-yr old son dressed up as a creeper from minecraft this last year, and the people who interacted with him, took his picture and generally played with him was really great. He had a blast.

    This creepy thing is a problem and it needs to be called out stopped, but cosplay is still a really fun, instantly inviting way to interact with other people. Don’t let a few jerks ruin it for you.

  • TokenOfficeGoth

    It’s quite alright. Men don’t have a corner on unrequited love, though one always feels like they’re the only person in the world that gets burned. There are a lot of girls out there thinking “men only like ____” and it’s just as bad a generalization. Love is hard and complicated and making a match is clumsy and awkward–that’s why empathy is key.

  • Skye

    Yes, leave the offense taking to Project Unbreakable. I don’t doubt that some catcallers would love to take advantage of these women if they weren’t in a public area. For all you know, some of the ladies above have been targets of sexual abuse already, given the statistics.

  • Skye

    I’ve been to the SJ FanimeCon for a couple years and most attendees were very courteous about asking for pictures, not creeping, and being generally nice. I dunno if I wasn’t wearing a “sexy enough” costume [a Sudowoodo] or something but all remarks directed toward me were generally just amusement/recognition. I can’t say if the experience of the more scantily clad goers was more disrespectful, but generally it seems like the vibe was chill? People at ComicCons seem more hardcore since I’m guessing you can’t walk around without admission like they do at SJFC. And prevalence of gender swapping/various sexual orientations/equal representation of sexes in animes seem to be more generous than in the most famous comics series. But that’s just my speculation.

  • http://bowee.deviantart.com Anonymous

    Each of these girls is a better person than I since I’d definitely have started something (and finished too if my martial arts training means anything) for most of those comments. Violence is not the answer of course, but I’d have a hard time suffering fools. Bravo to those cosplayers who cosplay despite creeps.

  • Anonymous

    I see where you are coming from, though I echo Skye’s reply. I am about to speak from absolute personal experience, and NOT for the people of Project Unbreakable, nor the awesome survivors that took part in the project. As a survivor myself, I don’t see this as disrespectful to my experience. I see every instance where a woman is oppressed as terrible. It all enrages me; I do not put value in one experience over another. All that seems to do is silence those that deserve a voice just as much.

  • Anonymous

    I met some of these cosplayers while I was covering NYCC! They were all incredibly sweet and gracious about getting stopped every few yards, and all really seemed to appreciate being *asked* to get their photos snapped.

  • Anonymous

    Ever. I know some girls respond to negging and crap, but outright harassment? Yeah, no.

  • Rica Owah

    I am glad that you matured from a jerk to a fine man. I hope other guys would do the same. It’s just disappointing to meet a guy in his 30s or 40s who never learned how to respect women.
    ______________________________________________
    nail designs

  • CPS

    Good call, John!

  • Anonymous

    We weren’t. They were AMAZING! We were just the flannel and tattoo wearing 21st Century versions, but it was still fun.

  • John Keegan

    This shouldn’t be an “A-ha!” moment, but considering that “think about how the other person is interpreting what you say and how you say it” is literally the subject of 3-day business communication courses, a lot of people have a hard time grasping it…sigh…

    When it comes to cosplay, I’ve learned to compliment by telling someone “I love/really like your (insert character name here)”, or something similar. It makes it about the craft and investment of the individual into the costuming and character work, and for another, it’s a good, relatively neutral icebreaker for conversation.

    Of course, I’m a somewhat older guy who cosplays as well, so I’m also trying to find a way to discuss costuming details like stitching and materials without seeming like a creep who’s trying to get a closer look at someone’s chest or something…LOL…

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    You have misread my comment.

    Saying “what matters is how it was RECIEVED by the person in question” puts the onus on the person saying something objectionable to take responsibility for the harm inflicted on the recipient.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to state here…but in my personal experience, people who act like jerks…are jerks. It’s not “Oh well they do that to Look Cool”, being a jerk really is part of who they are. Typically that comes from some sort of insecurity. Or they’re just sociopaths (whichever is the right term atm; plus, I’ve dated both…I’ll take an insecure asshole over a sociopath, whom delighted in my suffering, any day.)

  • Anonymous

    Well, aside from witnessing this behavior, from your point of view with all of your biases (including Confirmation Bias, I would assume), have you ever talked to these women and got THEIR point of view? And on top of that, if they said it did, do you consider the social context in which they are reacting “favorably” to this attention? (ie, women are taught that we HAVE to give men the time of day……or else…)

  • Anonymous

    Mmmmmmm, no, it’s not about “Being the Victim”. It’s completely fine to want/need boundaries in your life. There really are people out there who will be friends with you regardless.

  • Kevin Burnard

    It’s not men as a whole’s fault, it’s just a large population of idiots in the world who happen to be hormonal, straight, and male.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely most of these comments were disgustingly sexist. However, some of them were merely rude/crudely phrased comments that people *will* make on seeing a body displayed. Which doesn’t make them right (still wrong, totally!). Just not necessarily misogyny. Gee, why do I not feel better…?

  • Anonymous

    I see your point, but disagree for this reason: this is where the attitude to rape is first expressed. Rapists don’t suddenly wake up one day & say “Hey, I bet I could rape someone & get away with it!” No. They *start* with behavior like that discussed here, & go from there.

  • Anonymous

    Even better rule of thumb: if you would be upset if a guy did that to you, don’t do it to some girl (& yes, I used what genders I did deliberately; these guys would be the *first* to say that they’d *love* some *girl* doing it to them).

  • Anonymous

    Because, of course, ANY female cosplayer is AUTOMATICALLY sexually intimate with the male with whom she’s cosplaying – what other relationship could a man & a woman possibly have, other than “sexual/male superior”?

  • Bea

    Cosplayed as Tron Boone, if you’ve seen her outfit you know it’s like a one piece over leggings which was what I wore so I will admit my ass was looking more amazing than usual. I knew some were looking but I didn’t need for one to come up behind me and go “Nice thongs.”

    But someone else did come up to me, look me in the eye, and said without the slightest hint of sleaze or flirtation, “I’d love to be your Megaman.” That was the sweetest and nicest pick-up line I ever heard.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder what the psychology of this is. It’s very strange.
    Is it “I see this as a guy space, so it’s ok for me to do weird freaky things to women I encounter”? “I’m not very well socialised so I don’t know how to behave in general?” or is on some form a deeper “I’ve formed a relationship with this character, I’m therefore entitled to treat someone dressed as this character how I have/would do in my fantasies”? A combination of all of the above?