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The Mary Sue Exclusive

When Professionals Aren’t: The PAX East Tomb Raider Cosplay Harassment Story

Convention harassment is just an off-shoot of regular, old harassment but seeing it invade your “safe space” can be tough to stomach. And some people have had enough. At PAX East this past weekend, a journalist (I use that term loosely) decided to interview a group of Lara Croft  cosplayers at the new Tomb Raider video game booth. What followed was not a professional interview of fans but rather a chance to treat women in costume not as people, but as sex objects. The Mary Sue spoke with one of the cosplayers involved as well as PAX management about the situation – a situation we’re hearing about far too often these days. 

We were alerted to the situation the day it occurred, Saturday March 23rd at PAX East in Boston. Meagan Marie, Community & Communication Manager at Crystal Dynamics (developers of Tomb Raider), tweeted, “Had a member of the press use the ‘Cosplay is Consent’ argument on me after asking a sexual question on film to a group of Lara cosplayers.”

This caught our attention because of a situation that occurred at New York Comic Con 2012 in which Black Cat cosplayer Mandy Caruso was harassed during an interview. She related her story on Tumblr, and while she never named the media outlet, there was considerable outrage about her treatment at their hands.

So what exactly happened at PAX East? We spoke with Lauren Wizemann, one of the Lara cosplayers involved in the incident. A frequent cosplayer and convention attendee, Wizemann decided to do a more casual costume for PAX.

“At other conventions I have done more revealing costumes like Rogue, Emma Frost, Huntress, and Wonder Woman. I had always liked the Tomb Raider game, the comics and the movies. I had played the demo in SDCC this past summer and was just blown away by the graphics and just how incredible it was. I decided on Friday to wear khakis, a grey tank top and my official Tomb Raider necklace to the Tomb Raider panel.”

It was at that panel Marie encouraged Wizemann to don the costume again the next day because Crystal Dynamics would be holding a cosplay event at their booth. And so she did. Wizemann was joined by several other women, making them a group of 15-31 year-old Lara Crofts. She said, “The other Laras all wore khakis, combat boots, grey tanks, had a bow and did some blood makeup. I think we were all pretty excited.  We were taking pictures in the booth and then we moved out towards the walkway so that people walking by could see a group of Lara Crofts. We took more pictures and then this guy comes up and asks if he could ask a few questions. His partner had a more professional looking camera and so I think all of us just shrugged and said ok.”

Wizemann had been interviewed in the past and said everything seemed normal. That is, until the interviewer asked his first question, “How does it feel to  be at a convention where none of the men could please you?”

In a post on her Tumblr, Marie wrote, “I couldn’t hear what he said over the hubbub of the show floor, but the confused and uncomfortable looks from the ladies indicated that it wasn’t what they expected, to say the least.”

I moved in closer and inquired “Excuse me, what did you ask?” with a forced smile on my face, so to give him the benefit of the doubt. He laughed and didn’t respond, moving a few steps away as I repeated the question to the group of women. Turns out he’d probed what it felt like “knowing that none of the men in this room could please them in bed.” Yes, I’m aware it’s a poor adaptation of a gag told by a certain puppet dog with an affinity for insults. Lack of originally doesn’t excuse this behavior, however.

My anger flared upon hearing this, and for a moment I almost let it get the best of me. I attempted to calm myself down before walking towards him and the cameraman, and expressing that it was rude and unprofessional to assume that these young women were comfortable discussing sexual matters on camera. I intended to leave the conversation at that, but his subsequent response escalated matters quickly and clearly illustrated that this ran much deeper than a poor attempt at humor. He proceeded to tell me that “I was one of those oversensitive feminists” and that “the girls were dressing sexy, so they were asking for it.” Yes, he pulled the “cosplay is consent” card.

At this point, as he snaked off into the crowd muttering angrily at me, I was livid.

Yes, sadly we still live in an age where people try and excuse inexcusable behavior because of how someone is dressed. Wizemann said, “Honestly, I couldn’t think of a less sexualized costume at the event, but I suppose anything worn by a woman can be ‘sexualized.’ I’ve worn outfits that were completely spandex and ones that have shown a lot of skin and yet out of the hundreds of people I have interacted with, I don’t think anything like this had ever happened to me while I was cosplaying before.”

“The fact that something like this still occurs regularly at conventions makes me sick, and that people try to justify away the behavior,” Marie wrote on Facebook. “I went to PAX with PR. The positive side to this story is that they took the issue incredibly seriously, and were apologetic for his behavior,” she wrote, also saying they handled the issue “with flying colors.”

We reached out to PAX for a comment from their point of view. Robert Khoo, President of Penny Arcade, Inc. responded:

Our media guests are expected to behave in a professional manner, and it was clear to us this particular individual crossed that line. We got in touch with the outlet and the individual during the show, and that particular journalist is no longer welcome at PAX. We want everyone at PAX to feel welcome and comfortable, and that includes those that staff the booths.

It’s great to hear an unfortunate situation was dealt with swiftly but we have to ask – when will this type of behavior stop? For Wizemann, it came as a shock.

“I’m pretty sure my initial reaction was one of those stunned chuckles, but I think I was too caught off guard to be angry or upset at the moment,” she said. “It wasn’t until later when the shock wore off and analyzing what happened that I realized how messed up the whole thing was. I’ve been victimized before and none of the times have I ever reacted immediately. I don’t know if it’s the way I’m programmed to just smile and accept or if it’s just a fear of making a scene.”

In her extremely poignent Tumblr post, Marie touched on this particular behavior – something she isn’t immune to.

When it comes to defending others, I’m fierce. I’m assertive. And I will hold my ground. One of the cosplayers tweeted me to praise my bravery and say they wish they had the courage to stand up too. The truth is my bravery doesn’t run that deep. When it comes to defending myself I’m a rug that is walked over repeatedly. This has to stop.

Similar behavior has been directed at me for years. Back in 2007 at my very first GDC, I was starry-eyed and overwhelmed to be in the midst of so many people I idolized. So when a drunken CEO of a then-startup pointed to my midsection and said “I want to have my babies in there,” I laughed. I did the same next year when another developer told me that he “didn’t recognize me with my clothes on” after meeting me the night prior at a formal event (to which I wore a cocktail dress). The trend continued for years, and I took it silently each and every time.

This is something we see a lot, and something you may have experienced yourself – being able to stand up for others but failing when negative behavior is directed at you. “I know it took a lot of guts for her to do what she did. And to have one of my peers feel the need to protect me, it was unsettling,” Wizemann told us. “I felt very guilty and shameful because there were young women in our group and I couldn’t do anything about it. Granted, no one should have to experience that, but it’s worse when it’s a kid or a teenager who might not have the personal tools and experiences to handle it. The least I can do is talk about it and help raise awareness that this stuff happens.”

Marie is of the same mindset. “I’ve got hope for change even if it is motivated by fear. In a social economy where one unprofessional tweet can ruin a career, I feel like the few unsavory industry personalities are becoming more aware of their words. My line in the sand doesn’t end there, though. I’m going to start holding commenters accountable for their actions too, even if I can only do so on my social spaces,” she wrote. “The situation this weekend at PAX made me question why I’m willing to stand up for others, but not myself. By allowing myself to be treated this way I’m perpetuating that this behavior is acceptable. And it isn’t. If I continue to stand by silently, I might as well sit on the sidelines and watch while other young women endure what I have.”

Whether it’s joking about harassment in a comedy video to teach a lesson or simply speaking up when it happens to you, talking about it is the key to change. As far as journalists are concerned, it should go without saying you should ask interview participants if they are comfortable speaking about the topic you want to talk about.

“I want to feel safe and valued as a member of this industry, whether I’m conducting an interview, talking to fans on a convention floor, or cosplaying. And I have a right to that,” said Marie. “I’m not afraid anymore. I’m angry.”

(Top image via LJinto)

Previously in Tomb Raider

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  • Perpetual Geek

    I absolutely hate reading about these things happening. As a 36 year old guy, it seriously bothers me that men would treat women like this.

    Besides the obvious actions of denouncing these things after the fact, and stepping up and confronting someone I see actively acting this way, I often wonder how I can best help foster change in my chosen community when I’m at something like PAX or a comic book show or what have you. Luckily most of us men aren’t creeps but “One bad apple” as they say and to be honest if there’s even one dude in a sea of 60k nerds that thinks this is ok it’s one too many.

    It’s a shame this happened, I’m glad Khoo and PA were quick to boot him from the con, but it needs to stop happening. I spent most of my youth feeling unwelcome and put down for my interests and geekdom, if fucking kills me that some of us now do that to other people.

    Know that these events sicken a lot of us guys as much as it does women.

  • Bill Hedrick

    this sucks so much I can’t add much. Brevity being the soul of wit, I would suggest this response “F*** off and Die”

  • R.O.U.S.

    slow clap, sir.

  • Sheryl Nantus

    Why not out this idiot and let him deal with the consequences of his actions? I want to know what sort of savage caveman I might be walking by at a con…

  • Grahame Turner

    … in what way does question glean useful information. As a (reluctant) journalist, I can’t really see any value, story-wise, in asking that question. Even intended as a joke, it’s not a question I’d ask someone in a formal interview setting, or even if I was attempting to flirt. The only thing I could see it doing is creating antagonism–you know, like it did.

    So, basically, this guy probably has no business calling himself a journalist anyway…

  • Kate

    Mad props to PAX for handling the situation quickly and professionally. That’s exactly how I hope a convention would deal with a problem like this. I’m wondering though how much longer these situations are going to be dealt with in the moment by keeping your rage to yourself and trying to explain things maturely. I got grabbed at a convention and I punched the guy who did it. When I’ve been harassed, there weren’t many who expected me to curse them out. This isn’t going to get better if we keep conditioning ourselves to be calm and diplomatic. Name the media outlet. Make their behavior known outside of the convention hall. If anyone’s “bringing it on themselves”, it’s the assholes who choose to be boorish to others when a convention is supposed to be a safe place for fans. Make THEM uncomfortable.

  • Curtis Owings

    Simple. Don’t ever do it yourself and don’t tolerate it in any of your friends.

  • Emppu Nurminen

    …after seeing what happened to Adria Richards? I doubt consumer end of the geek industry is as capable to deal with drama as well as the creator end.

  • Jen Roberts

    This nameless journalist gets extra ewww points for asking that to a group that includes younger girls (15 years old!). The question was tacky, pointless, and absolutely uncalled for; the response of “they were asking for it” is sickening.

    I’m glad to hear about PAX’s reaction; I haven’t yet been to a PAX but my husband is dying to go, so we’ll show up there one year, I’m sure. I’ll feel a lot better about giving money to PAX knowing this is how they deal with these things. Bravo.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    They don’t seem comparable to me.

  • Anonymous

    I know in my heart of hearts that it wouldn’t have done any good, but I hope someone, while kicking him out, explained in no uncertain terms that what someone is /wearing/ doesn’t equal consent to anything. It also reads like he was looking for an excuse to make these women feel bad–even if he thought, genuinely, that women who ‘dressed up’ were interested in talking sex with him, his opening line could never be taken as anything other than a backhanded put-down.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    There’s nothing more outrageous than when people use the term “professional” as a synonym for “be quiet”. I agree that a public chewing out is in order.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Honestly, I see the value in “silly” interviews and have taken part in a few myself at conventions. The difference is, people asked first. They said, “we want to do x,y, or z, are you ok with that?”

    Of course this interviewer might have thought this question was a legitimate one he wanted answers too…

  • Angela Campbell

    I’m disgusted by this as a female and a journalist. I can’t imagine this guy works for any credible media outlet, and actions like this by so-called i-reporters cast a bad light on the rest of us who went to school for journalism and have worked years honing our craft, learning media law, interview techniques, etc. I would love to know who this person was. No official media outlet that I’m aware of — outside of TMZ and the like — would allow him to remain employed if they were aware. I’m guessing he owns a blog or website and got media credentials that way.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Going to second Curtis Owings-if you want to help, don’t put up with it when you encounter it. Since you’re a man, other men are going to take your views on sexism more seriously.

    Friend makes an unfunny joke, guy next to you is harassing a waitress, some dude is catcalling a woman as you walk by: just say *something*.

    The goal here isn’t to change the minds of every single entitled douchebag, but to let them know their behavior is no longer going to go unchecked and tolerated, even if you’re part of their group.

  • Anonymous

    Are there any guidelines/rules about conduct given out to those who get press passes and what have you for these events? Or even to all attendees?

  • Rick McDowell

    Whoever that Journalist was, he’s a real asshole. I especially feel for the ladies being asked a question like that. But to insult the attendees of PAX, as well? Assholes like this perpetuate the “Feux Geek Girl” hype, by envoking a past when our hobbies and interests had to be closeted, and the lone male geek stereotype was more common. I wish somebody would have punched him, during that interview…

  • Kim Pittman

    Wow… that’s just sad. Even worse, the woman on there defending him and calling the writer all those wonderful go-to offensive names for women.


  • ModernDayMom

    This article is meaningless if you don’t name names, or condemn PAX for protecting the creeps. PAX is protecting themselves by not admitting that they weren’t more careful about weeding out the pathetic Howard Stern wannabes. Also, the Conan O’Brien wannabes.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    I can think of a lot of reasons, actually, as to why some men stand by and do nothing when this occurs.

    Some see it as normal and unpreventable, even if they don’t like it. Others are afraid of being labeled a ‘pussy’ or a ‘liberal’ by their peers if they call out sexism for what it is. Still others are just fine with it and thus don’t see the point in standing up. There are also some who just don’t know what to do.

    In the end, no matter what the internal reasoning is, the result is always the same.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    I couldn’t read more than a few comments before seeing red. Yowza.

  • Sara Sakana

    You help stop it by stepping in when you see it–the moment you see it–and telling the perpetrator that his behavior is not appropriate.

    And I can see that you are trying to be one of the good ones here so I’m going to be nice about this: next time, spare us the “most of us men aren’t creeps” line. We know ALL of you aren’t creeps and saying that as if you think we don’t is kind of condescending.

  • Elizabeth Amber

    I was really worried when I first saw the headlines popping up about this because it said someone was banned from PAX forever and I mistakenly thought Meagan was for speaking out. After the tech conference last week where the woman was fired for tweeting the photo of the guys making lewd comments, that’s where my mind was. I’m happy to hear PAX took care of the situation. I hope that jerk realizes he was including a 15 year old in his harassment.

  • Sara Sakana

    There’s “silly” and then there’s “degrading.”

    I’m trying to imagine how one might ask nicely for permission to treat a woman like an object in a way that isn’t creepy and disgusting and coming up empty.

    Some things are so Not Okay that you shouldn’t even ASK.

  • TKS

    Another example of how women are just naturally not as into video games as men are. That’s why games like the new Tomb Raider are so rare, Girls just don’t play games. There’s no cultural reason, it’s just biology!

    (This post is sarcastic.)

  • Kenta Takashi

    I think it started off as a playful jibe on the fact that Lara had become a strong woman and then devolved into something more intense both sides being at fault. The reporters fault for misusing both his status and his words. Also the cosplayers fault for taking it the wrong way perhaps? I wasn’t there so I can’t judge this myself… I agree that things were in poor taste but I honestly think it’s blown out of proportion. Stuff happens do you need to make an article about it though? It’s great that she stood up for herself but does the whole world need to be aware of her “brave” actions? Seriously I don’t know what passes for journalism anymore these days… Drivel running down the side of humanity’s chin or actual news like how awesome that new game demo was….

  • Aviana Knochel

    If this guy was for real and not actually attempting to do a parody of awful men to prove a point:
    …then DAMN did he screw up badly. Here’s the thing: if you’re really good friends with someone and know that they’re comfortable with that kind of joke, then asking your REALLY GOOD friend that question while at a con is completely hilarious. But a group of cosplayers (dressing as the much more tasteful New Croft, I might add) who you are interviewing are not your really good friends. That’s what both men and women don’t understand. (Seriously, lesbians, you don’t have a right to behave the same way men do. I would hope that as women you’d be better than that but damn.) What’s appropriate for stand-up comedy and a night of playing Cards Against Humanity is not appropriate for any sort of public situation involving people you don’t know. I’m not a feminist, I don’t care for most of the rhetoric, but come on people. Besides, I know for a fact there are plenty of nerd guys out there who are MORE than capable of pleasuring nerd girls.
    If he was in fact trying to do a parody, he should’ve made it a bit more obvious to those around him, and PAX shouldn’t have banned him.

  • Nikki

    I hope all of this sexual discrimination at cons stop soon as more people become aware of this BS. I just wish everything thats happened ALREADY would be enough to open everyone’s eyes
    Even just at this pax east, I had guys come up to me while I was cosplaying, one asking me to “pose like I’m [their] girlfriend” or another asking someone to take 20 pictures of us together, and then follow me around afterword , continuing to take photos of me. Then there was another guy who asked me if I “even played the game” for whom I was cosplaying as, and proceeded to fail at trying to….hold me? while talking, then acting really offended and “why do I hate” him when I gently but assertively pushed him away when he did that, and otherwise acted awkward (now i wish i told him off, but like Marie said, sometimes in the moment you don’t really register whats happening) Can’t people be able to dress up as a character try love WITHOUT the fear of being harassed?

    Thank you for posting about this to get the word out there. Keep up the amazing work. I realty hate that these girls had to go through this (seriously 15 year olds?!?), and I am SO GLAD this asshole isn’t allowed back.

  • Brian

    I feel like being an optimist today, so I’ll pretend he snaked off muttering because he just realized he said “asking for it”, and that makes him an objectively horrible person.

  • Aviana Knochel

    I applaud you for trying to to play Devil’s advocate…but how is his question at all a commentary on the new Tomb Raider? He literally asked a bunch of women how it felt to be surrounded by men who aren’t good enough to satisfy them in bed. That’s a little bit cut and dried. And honestly, if this happened at Dragon*Con, it wouldn’t be a story, because that con is ALL about sex. But it happened at PAX, which is a family-friendly convention. AKA no sluts and no sexual harassment. The girls weren’t sluts, the guy was harassing them, case closed. Hell, I’ll even agree that the women who wrote the blog post isn’t that brave. I call brave grabbing the guy by the shirt and telling him exactly what’s wrong with his actions, and then marching him to security. But it’s still a story, and this site is DEDICATED to stories like this. Hence being named after a trope that describes the male vision of the perfect woman.

  • Brian

    “Ladies, please. I, a man, assume you weren’t really being harassed. So it must be fine. Indeed, I bet you are menstruating or something. Since this has never affected me, I will assume it is not an issue and that any reporting I read on it can be ignored. Bon weekend!”

  • Anonymous

    I think for some, it can be the same problem that a lot of women (like myself) have … they may be too shocked to react properly or they can’t process that harassment is happening. Or they think they can’t properly gauge the women’s reaction — “she’s not responding or defending herself so maybe she’s OK with it.”

  • Aviana Knochel

    Hang on a second. What if he really was doing this as a parody of awful men at a convention? What if he was actually batting for our side and the blogger just got him banned from PAX for not making it clear enough that it was meant to be fake? There’s probably more going on here.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to risk dipping a toe in the water here.

    Is there, or perhaps the phrase is “should there be” a difference between harassment and just plain a bad attempt at comedy? There is clearly a difference in scope and seriousness between out and out making a grab for a hot girl in a costume, being quietly creepy and collecting butt-shots, saying aloud and unwarranted that you want to do various acts with a hot girl, and trying to do a bad attempt at insult comedy. They’re all unpleasant at the time, and some are a lot more serious (and potentially dangerous) than others.

    But I guess the question is, are they all harassment?

    Maybe my problem is I think harassment is a “level ten” word, meant to refer to very serious, blatant and overt actions, and not necessarily just physical ones. This guy’s attempt at humor was rude,, unprofessional, and clearly not very funny. It clearly made some of the ladies in question uncomfortable; I’m willing some didn’t even hear the question, and some just shrugged it off, internally (and rightly) declaring the guy a jerk, and not worth spending energy over.

    I’m not trying to belittle the guy’s move – it was creepy and dumb, and it annoyed and upset people, so it was worth being complained about. But to apply the level-ten term to it runs the risk of diminishing the power of the term. To quote Syndrome, “When everyone’s special, then no one will be”.

    It’s easy to jump to the buzzword – it makes it easier to summarize the situation, and makes the likelihood of getting a response in the telling. But like so many terms that have been overused to the point of public exhaustion, I don’t want to see a very serious issue become trivialized by using what I consider a very serious act used to apply things that may not warrant its use.

  • Anonymous

    No sluts? What does that mean? How would you be able to tell if a convention attendee is a slut or not, and how does that matter?


    Journalists have to act with a sense of understanding, and instead of defending his position instead of apologising was the problem. We all have our moment of weakness, but to belittle someone and feel entitled because of it is just is childish.

  • Kenta Takashi

    You have chowder for brains if you truly believe that’s what I said. Based on the wording of the article it doesn’t seem like the interviewer party was intentionally at fault. Sure it happened, poor wording or lapse of judgement may cause misunderstandings but does it really do anyone any good to say that this was his intention? This article also fails to represent the 2nd party the alleged prepetrator. Leading to a very skewed article note that as a journalist your job is not to be objective but subjective. Not having obtained any information on the perpetrator is the same as writing an article based on rough details and incomplete facts. Sure I feel sorry for the person who had to deal with him. No one wouldn’t but blown out of proportion is what I call hot wind like this

  • Ricky Brigante, Host

    As a member of the press who regularly covers conventions like this, frequently talking to cosplayers in big and small costumes alike, I say this has to stop. While not every interview has to be serious, there’s no need for a supposed “journalist” to descend into the mentality of a middle schooler. It’s possible to be funny and witty while discussing the topic of tight or revealing costumes without being demeaning, insensitive, rude, or creepy. BUT it’s not necessary to even go there, as there’s MUCH more to cosplay than showing off body parts.

    It’s about tact and respect. Sadly, conventions do very little to vet many of the unprofessional bloggers and YouTubers that receive media credentials for these events. They often figure more press is good press. While I am both a blogger and YouTuber, I hold my credentials with care, abiding by the general laws of human decency when covering these events – that there are indeed real people behind the spandex outfits, ones who are offended and likely infuriated by this type of questioning. It actually makes my task more difficult knowing that convention attendees have to be on their best defenses when I ask to talk to or photograph them. It’s sad, really. This type of mentality should have no place at these events.

  • Kenta Takashi

    I wasn’t really trying to play Devil’s advocate, I am the Devil’s advocate. Yeah the article did say that he asked them this. But, if you think about it when the last time you said something inappropriate by mistake thinking that perhaps it was a good idea? Then consistently thinking that way until the bitter end. It’s happened to me, I’m sure its happened to you in your lifetime. However, does it really justify blowing into a story about how one person got victimized without examining both sides of the story? I do however thank you for that clarification on what this website is about I just linked from one gaming website to the next. However, Assuming that PAX EAST is family friendly convention is by no means a long stretch. That is because we have M rated titles that enter the fray at this convention. I think with an ounce/grain of truth that this isn’t your normal geek convention. Everyone gets together at PAX for the sake of gaming, not for the level of maturity or its “family-friendliness.”

  • Anonymous

    I agree – to blow off the complaint at “stop bein’ such a b” is unprofessional and unacceptable. Nine times out of ten, it’s not a person’s initial error, but how they (mis)handle the response. He was a boor, and he clearly had a poor opinion of women who protest against boorish behavior, and the more people like that in the world, the worse the world is.

    But my original question holds – can one still be ill-bred, stupid and rude, but not be guilty of “harassment”?

  • リャネス トミー

    OLD. He took it from here. There is nothing to be stupid about; the person was trying to be funny. Thank you and good day.

  • Anonymous

    One issue with allowing “bad attempts at comedy” as something existing outside of harassment is that veneer is easily used in many situations. I’m certain that when women are asked to show their tits, or being “complimented” on their bodies, it’s always given in humour as well. How is this evident? So, so often, the women who feel harassed are told “they don’t have a sense of humour.” If the harassment isn’t meant, then it didn’t really happen.

    Apart from that, to me, there are many different kinds of harassment, and different degrees. Having that word applied to many situations does not dilute it for me, because the word is only a beginning and a signifier. I always read descriptions and accounts to form my own feeling of how severe or serious I find the incidents.


    I’ve heard of people pleading insanity, but I have yet to hear of someone pleading ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    I think Amanda Blum writes a very illuminating and fair take on the Adria Richards issue, including Amanda’s experience working with Adria, Adria’s history of reporting her concerns (or not), the problematic decision to fire her, the completely unacceptable actions, slurs, and threats directed at her following the blow up:

    That aside, WTF was that guy thinking? 15 year olds and you want to make some joke about their ability to please a man? Did he even play the game? It makes 0 sense and is totally inappropriate for anyone of any age who was there…

  • Zaewen

    It’s not just that he asked an inappropriately sexual question (or even that he asked it of a group of women that included minors). It’s that (a) he did not back down or apologize when it made his interviewees visibly uncomfortable and more importantly (b) that when he was confronted about the inappropriateness of his question he said that because they were dressed sexually, questions about sexuality were free-game.

    He KNEW what he was doing was highly and abrasively inappropriate and sexualizing the women involved and he thought they deserved it because of their tank tops and khakis. That is more than worth the call out and the ban-hammer and definitely deserving of the word ‘harassment’. abrasively

  • Aviana Knochel

    That’s actually a thing at PAX. They kicked out Jessica Nigri for dressing as an alternate costume from Lolipop Chainsaw. It’s not my words, it’s theirs.

  • Zach Gaskins

    They have a lot of bad Dickwolves karma to burn off, though.

  • Aviana Knochel

    I’m not assuming PAX East is a family-friendly convention. I’m going by what Gabe and Tycho themselves said that PAX is. Check it:

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard that story. I don’t think Nigri was kicked out, but she was asked to change. If you have a link that quotes PA as calling Negri or booth babes as ‘sluts”, I’d like to read it. Thanks!

  • Daylina Miller

    I second this. I’m also a female, a journalist AND a cosplayer and it’s bad enough that I have to deal with sources who sexually harass me, let alone to know there are journalists out there doing it to sources. At least I was trained on how to handle those situations. They should never even have to encounter them.

  • Zach Gaskins

    He failed. Journalism isn’t about being funny. Comedy is. He should hope he gets to keep his job.

  • Eric

    I recommend doing what my gf did. She went to a con as Harley Quinn (the Asylum, nurse outfit). And she got a couple lude comments and one guy tried a low grab on a picture. So she asked the guy for a solo pic of him, he ok’d it. Then she posted the pic on Facebook and Twitter, labled it Sexual Harrasser w/a short explanation. A month later, the guy replied to her on FB and apologized and requested the pic be removed. A little public shaming never hurts and is a deterant.

  • Kenta Takashi

    Good article problem with that is the writer takes it upon themselves to write a subjective title. He even quotes whether or not this level of censorship is hypocrisy given PAX’s lineup of game booths certainly don’t by any stretch meet friendly family criteria… Disney is family friendly not Lollipop Chainsaw ( actually I should say that’s up to judgement but I think most would agree) .

  • Anonymous

    If he was actually parodying, I imagine that he would have stated as such, loudly, repeatedly (to PAX, to the women, etc), and while apologizing for not being clearer about his intent, as soon as someone said something–rather than the reported muttering about feminists and walking off. Furthermore, I also imagine PAX investigated and didn’t just release the statement that “it was clear to us this particular individual crossed that line” based on nothing.

  • Anonymous

    This is really saddening to hear. And yet somehow people still think “fake geek girls” are swarming around cons just waiting to be hit on by “real” fans.

  • Aviana Knochel

    Not gonna lie, I agree with you there. At the very least, there should be a separate room for the M-Rated games, because there were pictures of the costume that Nigri was dressed as all over the booth.

  • Kenta Takashi

    It doesn’t take a whole lot for an organization like PAX to want to cover their asses. That being said none of us were there its hard to say what is truth and what isn’t

  • Aviana Knochel

    Well, for the sake of convention policy everywhere, I hope you’re right.

  • Nicole Roberts

    It seems like the way he responded to being called out for the inappropriate question was the worst part of it. Anyone can make a social gaffe, think something’s funny and have it fall flat, or not realize it was inappropriate. But when you’re called out for it, that’s when you have the choice to act like a professional or a jackass.

  • Kenta Takashi

    Perhaps PAX needs to segregate or seperate their venue It’s not an uncommon practice among conventions. It’d alleviate any future problems that might occur in this sense. Allowing for more R-rated conversations to happen in the M rated booths while . The “family friendliness” of PAX can be preserved.

  • Anonymous

    Does one need a pamphlet to tell them why it’s not appropriate to make comments a group of girls about their sex lives when they’re posing for pictures?

  • Aviana Knochel

    I’ll agree with that, but she could’ve held back the fury of a 1000 angry valkyries and asked why he was asking such an inane question, and then when he doesn’t mention a parody, go ahead and fly off the handle.

  • Kenta Takashi

    Yeah tell your gf not to do that again while that person’s actions might not have been the greatest what your GF did could land her in legal hot water that is to say unlawful use of photography and defamation of character.

  • Anonymous

    I think you read a little too much into that statement, or as you put it: “line”. Sometimes people state the obvious -it happens, but not because they assume other people are unaware of something, and it’s almost certainly not because they’re trying to be condescending. It also helps when the rest of us aren’t looking for something to personally take offense to whenever this happens. Take it from another “good one”. :-/

  • Jill Pantozzi


  • Anonymous

    These pukes sometimes makes me embarrassed to be a guy. If you see it and hear it, call it the fuck out right then and there! Even when your friends do it. Even when the woman being harassed doesn’t appear to be reacting negatively. I’ve even called out female friends of mine that make derisive comments about the way other women are dressed -it’s just not fucking right.

  • Amanda Cain

    Typically, these sorts of events do have a “code of conduct” that all attendees must abide by, whether press or not. But I agree with TheMarshal, it should be common sense.

  • Ian Osmond

    I feel this burns off a noticeable chunk of it. I personally feel better about PAX East because of it, anyway. Perhaps even enough to consider going next year, which I certainly WASN’T before, because of the Dickwolves thing.

  • Bill Hedrick

    Unfortunately testosterone poisoning is epidemic in men 13-50 years old. And fans in general have poor social skills, that combo insures that dumbasses will insult women in perpetuity.

  • Stephanie Clarkson

    They’re actually remarkable similar, and the fact that some people do not see them as such is part of the problem that women are having in the geek community (recreational and professional) with getting things to change. This isn’t about little game lawyering rules, this is about culture, and if every single situation is treated as completely separate, there’s no need to change. “Oh, it was just that one time/guy/situation.” It’s patently *not*.

  • Ian Osmond

    Then he got booted for being an utter failure.

    Seriously, he got booted for acting inappropriately, making people feel uncomfortable, and being an asshole. His reasons for doing so are irrelevant. Nobody gets to see the inside of your head; only your actions. Nobody ought to be judged on the inside of their heads; only on their actions. I’m sure he thought he had good reasons — EVERYONE thinks they have good reasons for EVERYTHING they do. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that, if we knew what those reasons were, we might think, “Oh, yeah, I guess those WERE good reasons.”

    But that’s completely irrelevant. What’s relevant is that he made congoers feel uncomfortable. He made the con worse for some people. People who make the con worse for other people are made to leave the con and never come back. That’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway.

  • Aviana Knochel

    People who don’t read the other branches of a comment conversation irk me a wee bit.

  • GroovyKitty

    Some of these women were as young as 15 years old. It should have been patently obvious to the reporter that questions about sex were inappropriate.

    When you say something inappropriate, guess what? You get to experience the consequences of being inappropriate which may include being reprimanded for it. If he truly made a mistake, then perhaps he could have apologized to the women he hurt, rather than stating that they “asked for it” by the way they were dressed. Perhaps he could have faced up to his mistake and tried to make amends rather than just walking away mumbling.

    Women are people, and when you do something hurtful to people, the appropriate response is to own up to it and apologize. When you don’t, then there are consequences, and all that’s happening to this guy is the social consequences of his boorish behavior. I know men aren’t used to having to face the consequences of their actions towards women, but maybe if they start, these “mistakes” won’t happen so often anymore.

  • Anonymous

    “How does it feel to be at a convention where none of the men could please you?”

    It feels violating and insulting to be viewed as a sexual object that isn’t worthy of common courtesy and respect. Men who ask that kind of question, especially at a con, have a chip on their shoulder because they perceive that women as a gender have denied them a sexual or romantic relationship that is owed to them. He probably thinks that women have shunned him because he’s not attractive or rich, or because he’s a nerd — never realizing that women have shunned him because he’s an a–hole.

    That interviewer has the heart of a bully, but probably lacks the boldness, social standing, and power to exercise his desire to dominate and humiliate others in his every day life. He thought he could get away with dehumanizing and insulting this group of women because he was in a ‘nerdy’ environment — a typically male dominated space. There’s this weird nexus of resentment, rejection, and entitlement that fuels the misogyny in gamer/nerd culture. Men like this ‘journalist’ view women as outsiders instead of as comrades. It’s like they can’t empathize with you if you have a pair of breasts. Luckily, the vast majority of men don’t have that problem. But man, the troublemakers stand out so much.

  • Ian Osmond

    And he made people uncomfortable by doing so. Therefore, he got booted from the con, for making an attempt at “comedy” which was at other people’s expense.

  • Ian Osmond

    None of what you want to know is relevant. Intentions don’t matter; only actions do.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    We-ell, since these women were accosted and sexually harassed and Adria Richards became incensed because someone made an offensive joke within earshot, and THESE dudes were dealt with by the convention, whereas Richards was fired along with one of the dudes because she didn’t go through the proper channels, the situations seem different enough that I wouldn’t lump them together. They were in two completely different environments, in completely different circumstances, facing different threats. Whatever you’d like, though. I’m sure CNN would lump them together.

  • Ian Osmond

    “However, does it really justify blowing into a story about how one person got victimized without examining both sides of the story?”

    Yes, it does.

  • Zaewen

    If you want to be one of the ‘good ones’ it helps to not start calling women oversensitive and looking for something to take offense at.

    While the line ‘not all men are creeps’ is obviously meant to be reassuring here, as a woman who has heard it every single time one of these harassment stories pops up, it does come across as condescending and apologetic on behalf of men. Judging by the rest of his comment, I doubt those intentions were ever meant by the OP so I, personally, would give him the benefit of the doubt. For others, however, that jump at attacking women as soon as the conversation takes an uncomfortable turn for them, I doubt I’d go for the benign interpretations.

  • Selkiechick

    I am no prude, but family friendly or no, I think “R rated conversations” are best kept private, or in the exclusive company of close friends, and not on the convention floor, in someone’s workspace.

  • John Reid Adams

    Oh, this clown. I’ve seen this schuck on You Tube and he is indeed a disgrace not just to journalism but to humanity at large. I know one day karma is gonna bite him on a “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” style magnitude, and leave him with a Tattoo that says “He asked for it.”

  • Eric

    No jury with a woman on it would ever convict her LOL, thanks for the advice.

  • Anonymous

    “Trying to be funny” isn’t a defense. You can’t just do and say whatever you want without suffering any social repercussions in the pursuit of humor. This is doubly true if you’re not actually funny.

    “Dude, I was just trying to be funny.”
    “You told a Holocaust joke at a seder!”

    Somethings are just out of bounds. Good day.

  • Anonymous

    Whether you’re trying to be condescending or not is meaningless. The statement is condescending and imo derailing. Focus on the harrassment and not on covering your backside.

  • Erin Carr

    He gave consent for the picture, and she didn’t lie about what he was doing to her.

  • Anonymous

    Pointing out a possible misreading or misinterpretation is not the same as calling someone oversensitive and it’s certainly not an “attack” (interesting choice of words), and how doing so might easily lead to becoming offended by something that we probably know wasn’t meant to be offensive in the first place. I was referring to how anyone (male or female) can do this, especially anyone taking part in an online discussion where anything can easily be misunderstood. And yes, it can be somewhat uncomfortable when an admonishment about not being condescending to women is itself positively dripping with condescension.

  • Anonymous

    It’s more that people have increasingly used the “comedy” defense to justify intentionally hurtful, mysogynist, racist, and homophobic language. If you want to say something racist, make it a joke! No one can say anything if it’s a joke! It’s an age old tactic, one that’s effective because insult humor is so popular.

    The “journalist” asked: “How does it feel to be at a convention where none of the men could please you?”

    But what if he’d asked: “How does it feel to come to a convention and taunt men you consider beneath you and would never have sex with?”

    The second question is a translation of the first. Asking women questions about their sex lives and implying that the women get off on putting down sexually inferior men, on camera no less, is a form of harassment. Harassment exists on a spectrum. If someone had done this to me, I would feel angry, frustrated, powerless, humiliated, and degraded. WHICH WAS HIS INTENTION. But, hey, he couched his insult in the form of a joke so clearly I need to ‘grow a sense of humor.’

  • Anonymous

    “I was one of those oversensitive feminists”

    That’s interesting. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard PA use the same defense for using rape jokes.

  • Anonymous

    “She was dressed like she was asking for it.” Sound familiar? People are STILL doing that? Well, I say that whenever anyone uses that line, the response should then be: “You’re dressed like you’re asking for an ass-kicking.” & then give it to that person.

  • Anonymous

    I know lots of guys use that line – same way too many people whine “But I’m/He’s a Nice Guy!” when they, or someone they know is called out on this behavior – but his entire tone was remorseful. He’s not going down that route. So we can take him at his word & let him know what he can do to help stop this crap.

  • Anonymous

    Then he’s doubly stupid for doing it to 15 year old girls. How’s that?

  • Anonymous

    Except that IS what happened: she was very reserved when she asked him to clarify & all he did was get worse. Did you not read the article, or were you just hoping none of us did?

  • Anonymous

    As opposed to those who don’t read an article they are completely mischaracterizing?

    ” “I couldn’t hear what he said over the hubbub of the show floor, but
    the confused and uncomfortable looks from the ladies indicated that it
    wasn’t what they expected, to say the least.”

    I moved in closer and inquired “Excuse me, what did you
    ask?” with a forced smile on my face, so to give him the benefit of the
    doubt. He laughed and didn’t respond, moving a few steps away as I
    repeated the question to the group of women. Turns out he’d probed what
    it felt like “knowing that none of the men in this room could please
    them in bed.” Yes, I’m aware it’s a poor adaptation of a gag told by a
    certain puppet dog with an affinity for insults. Lack of originally
    doesn’t excuse this behavior, however.

    My anger flared upon hearing this, and for a moment I almost let it
    get the best of me. I attempted to calm myself down before walking
    towards him and the cameraman, and expressing that it was rude and
    unprofessional to assume that these young women were comfortable
    discussing sexual matters on camera. I intended to leave the
    conversation at that, but his subsequent response escalated matters
    quickly and clearly illustrated that this ran much deeper than a poor
    attempt at humor. He proceeded to tell me that “I was one of those
    oversensitive feminists” and that “the girls were dressing sexy, so they
    were asking for it.” Yes, he pulled the “cosplay is consent” card.”

  • Travis Fischer

    Agreed. Glad this guy got banned from PAX, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to greater public shaming.

  • Travis Fischer

    I would imagine that if he was acting out of satire, he would have dropped character as soon as it became clear that the cosplayers weren’t playing along.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, if you refuse to change your view once its flaws have been pointed out, & insist on blaming the person who points out said flaws, you deserve everything you get thereafter. “Family friendliness” or not doesn’t enter it to it. Or are you saying that only children are entitled to politeness?

  • Anonymous

    So, IOW, you are saying that not only can men not control themselves at the sight of scantily clad women, but that it’s the fault of the scantily clad women being seen.

    Or did you NOT mean to derail this conversation from its track of “some jerk was degrading women” into “women ought not to dress revealingly in public”?

  • Anonymous

    Especiallysince there really is no other side to a story where a “reporter” asked a sex question of 15 year old girls.

  • Anonymous

    True. What you said was “Women should not wear clothing that some people consider revealing where lots of people can see them, because THAT is what causes men to treat them all like sluts, no matter how old they are.”

  • Rob Heath

    Seeing a lot of this topic lately. It’s sad that these type of incidents happen. What is even sader is that it is all talked about from the perspective of females being harassed. I’ve been to many a con and have had the same experiences.

    I am a male cosplayer whose costume are not sexually revealing (, and I still get harassed. The problem isn’t girls are being made victims because they are girls, the problem is assholes wander this earth and they don’t care if your a girl or a guy, they are gonna say & act offensively. I think that maybe it just gets more attention with girls because our society dwells on the objectification of women. I rarely ever see it talked about with men. And trust me, I’ve had my fair share of women harass me at con, so I am speaking from experience.

    I’ve had men and women talk sexually explicit about my costumes too me. I’ve been asked to take pictures with females, and as the picture was taken they would grab my bum. I’ve had guys make offensive gestures in front of me as the picture was taken. I remember being in my Left 4 Dead tank costume once and these group of girls asked for a photo. I said sure, and they took the photo. I didn’t see it when they were posing, due to my lack of vision in costume, but after asking to see the photo, I saw they were posing in sexually around my costume (one in doggy style pose in front of me), and I remember thinking “I pray that doesn’t pop up online and appear in some google search for my family to find with they google my costume”

    I’ve had “reporters” ask for an interview to talk to me about my costume, only to open the conversation with lude comments and suggestive questions. It sucks.

    Bottom line. It’s universal.

  • Sarah

    This “journalist” wouldn’t have been so rude if he knew he could get his ass whooped for it.
    I think we came to the conclusion last year that the change must begin with men. If you see any of your friends acting this way don’t let them get away with it. Tell them it’s not cool. Stop the glorification of it however you can.

  • John Harmon

    How exactly could she get in legal trouble? She didn’t say anything that didn’t happen, the guy deserved it. Or are you one those idiots who thinks that a guy’s “future shouldn’t be ruined” because of one “mistake”?

  • Anonymous

    This is why we have to work even harder to make sure these boys know their behavior is unacceptable, & therefore make the consequences of it mean something to them.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the sanity check – that’s EXACTLY what I saw!

  • Anonymous

    All of the activities you outlined should be grounds for being thrown out. If people refuse to accept that their behavior is offensive – especially if they insist that they are joking – then they will have to learn the hard way.

  • Sarah

    I think this is relevant for this topic and I urge everyone to read and understand it for the sake of Rape Culture awareness:

  • Anonymous

    Sure – as long as you don’t harass anyone, you can be as stupid, ill-bred and rude as you want.

  • Anonymous

    & you get the Kewpie doll! That’s what happened to Mandy Caruso: the jerk said “Hey, we’re all just having fun!” yeah, I bet THEY were!

  • Kate

    I absolutely agree. I twitched when I saw where this happened because of the dickwolves business, but this speaks volumes to me and I’m very impressed. I haven’t read Penny Arcade in years because even though I never had a problem with the joke, I hated how they handled the fall-out. This is an enormous improvement and I’m glad they took this issue seriously. I’m interested in attending now. (Especially since Bill Amend goes and he is boss as hell.)

  • Life Lessons

    You rock Marie!

  • Anonymous

    You wish. Too bad for you, but people are not only not going to continue to excuse this sort of behavior, we ARE going to call it out. Your attempt to frighten people out of fighting back fails; you just have to suffer.

  • Anonymous

    Not at all, I think this guy’s actions were inexcusable. I just wonder if there’s the added layer of “and not only should you not do that because of common decency, you were explicitly told what is and is not appropriate here” I don’t like providing any loopholes to a-holes.

  • T$

    Are you really trying to argue that sexual harassment is universal?

    “I think that maybe it just gets more attention with girls because our society dwells on the objectification of women.”

    I’m sorry that you’ve been harassed at conventions. That sucks, and you don’t deserve to be treated that way.

    That said, I’m pretty sure the sexual harassement of women gets more attention because women get sexually harassed a lot more often than men do.

  • Ana KH

    If I swing my arm and hit you in the face, it would be ludicrous to say that because it was not my intent to hit you, you were not in fact hit in the face.

    I, and a lot of other women, classify a demeaning, insulting, and inappropriate question as verbal harassment. If you accept that definition of verbal harassment, the journalist is guilty of it REGARDLESS of his intent. Again, if I swing my arm and break your nose, your nose doesn’t become magically unbroken just because I didn’t mean to do it. Harm done is harm done.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Of course it’s universal, I don’t believe with made this about them being women, just about them being harassed, and how these specific women responded.

  • John Keegan

    I was there, and wish I could have had the satisfaction of watching this POS tossed out by security. As a guy who knows and admires a lot of cosplayers for their dedication, craft, and fortitude, it drives me crazy that this jerk is going to be the guy everyone remembers. And I agree with what someone said earlier in the thread…it’s up to men who do take exception to this kind of behavior to step up and make it clear when they see or hear inappropriate things.

    I applaud Meagan for standing up for her friends and making a promise to herself to not let this happen to her anymore, but IMHO, it shouldn’t get to that point.

  • Rob Heath

    “That said, I’m pretty sure the sexual harassement of women gets more attention because women get sexually harassed a lot more often than men do.”

    So your saying that your believed ratio of harassment of women vs men makes that men get harassed less relevant and not worth mentioning?

    Take this in to account, it has be done to me, one person, in a sea of thousands, at every con I’ve been to where I cosplayed. That should say something about it being a problem.

    My argument is that all cosplayers, men and women allike are targets for harassment and it needs to stop, and I wish the problem as a whole would get more attention.

  • T$

    I understand that you’re coming at this from a personal perspective, and I am not saying that the harassment of male cosplayers at conventions is *irrelevant*…

    …but when you compare it to the sexual harassment and objectification of women, a culturally pervasive phenomenon that maintains structures of inequality between the sexes?

    It is definitely *less* relevant.

    Think of it this way – how many times have you been sexually harassed when you weren’t wearing a costume? Speaking for myself, as a man in his early thirties, I can think of one time in my *entire life* that I was objectified in a way that made me feel uncomfortable, and even then I didn’t feel like I was in physical danger of any kind.

    I agree with you that nobody should be harassed. But your fear of an embarrassing photo showing up on Google is not equivalent to the fears that women have to deal with when it comes to harassment. I don’t object to your raising the issue of men being harassed at conventions, but I disagree with your assertion that the two issues are equivalent.

    Also, while we’re on semantics, my “believed” ratio? According to the numbers provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which deals with officially logged and registered sexual harassment complaints in the workplace, the ratio is slightly over 5:1. It’s worth noting that that figure represents only cases that went far enough to draw formal complaints, and that those cases all took place in professional settings. My ratio is backed up by statistics, anecdotal data, and personal observation. Women get sexually harassed more than men, full stop. I apologize if that wasn’t clear.

  • cinemacrazed

    People like that give men who actually treat women with respect and consideration a bad name. There are men out there who treat women like people no matter what they’re wearing and this sickens me. I was raised to respect women no matter what, and I can’t stand these women are being chastised for self expression.

  • Jamie Jeans

    Asking… for it…

    Asking for it…


    Why, hello there rape culture! Let me beat you with this irate grizzly bear!

    I am so frigging livid right now… I know this happens with some frequency, but good lord, ASKING FOR IT?! That’s his god damned defense?!

    I can’t even think straight on this because my only reaction is to grab that jerkwad and beat his face in, and I’m a coward when it comes to physical confrontations.

    This is indicative of a larger problem running through society where women’s presence is cause for men’s sexual desires and needs no matter the environment, and if they say anything, then they’re an angry feminist.

    Complete and total BS.

  • Jamie Jeans

    I vote for beating in their faces, since it’s obvious that the jerkwads like that interviewer don’t care…

  • Anonymous

    Except this guy made the video himself with the intention of releasing it to a massive audience. He’s a JOURNALIST and in the process of being a journalist he made an ass out of himself. If he were in pretty much any other profession (with the exception of politics), I would agree with you 100%.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not really a parody if it has the same negative impact on the interview subjects as real harassment. His experience might be different, but the WOMENS’ experience is the same.

    “I punched you in the face, and I had every intention of having my fist connect with your face, but I did ironically,” is not a defense.

  • Stephanie Clarkson

    Because when a woman is trying to tell you that these things are the same, ‘whatever’ is of course the correct response.

    These were men who were at tech/nerd conventions in a professional capacity. They all said inappropriate things in public places; one pair did not care that they were talking inappropriately in the middle of a presentation loudly enough to be heard in the next row, the other directed the comments directly to the women in question. This is, in both cases, about men who did not *care* that they were making the spaces that they were in feel unsafe/unwelcoming to women. It was all about them and what they wanted to do at that second, and the presence of others was secondary.

  • Bill Toscano

    Any chance we can out the bozo and maybe get him fired?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Not “a woman,” just you. Because when you have an opinion, 50% of the species agrees, but when I have an opinion, I’m wrong because it’s impossible for me to empathize with other human beings.

  • Stanton Fink

    It continues to confuse and anger me that so many men still do not know, or care to learn how to treat women like human beings.

  • Shelley Barnard

    I wish I had stopped sooner. There are some seriously HORRIBLE people hanging out on that page. I don’t understand how people can get through life having such severe hatred for 50% of the human population.

  • Anonymous

    No. No, wrong.

  • Anonymous

    No. It’s because when you make a mistake, instead of owning it and trying to actually empathize with the person on why you might be wrong, you continue to defend yourself.

  • Rob Heath

    “Think of it this way – how many times have you been sexually harassed when you weren’t wearing a costume?”

    I have been harassed many times out of costume. At cons, when I was in school, when I worked at a bar, when I was a food server. When I was a bus boy. I’ve been harrassed when I started working in an office environment, but a female who was in a higher position than I.

    Yea. A lot now that I think of it. But I never raised a red flag other than walking away in that moment. Which is what a lot of guys do. We just walk away, let said offender know I did not care for the way he or she was acting, maybe tell a friend, who laughed or comments, and then we just forget about it. Which probably plays into that 5:1 ratio you reference. I agree, men objectify women more, but I also think there is a phantom ratio that is not being seen due to the nature of males generally not caring enough or fearing to report the harassment. An opinion, but I have personal experience on the matter to know it is happening enough it is happening enough to cause concern.

    I said believed ratio because if we are talking about common decency and professionalism at cons, I don’t think there is a good measure to the amount of harassment that goes on other then the people who have a voice in the industry. No one has ever handed me a clipboard when exiting a con asking me how many times that day someone groped my ass.

    “But your fear of an embarrassing photo showing up on Google is not equivalent to the fears that women have to deal with when it comes to harassment”

    I would like you to elaborate on this more, because this seems to be a lot of assumption as to what a male such as myself would and would not fear. I don’t think any of the blogs talking about this lately was in vein of “guys at cons are so offensive, I fear for my body”, but rather “how are men still thinking it is ok to talk to me this way, in this forward thinking industry of all places, it needs to stop”. So what do you think they fear?

    Again, to my point, it’s not just guys. It’s women and men alike guilty of harassing the opposite or same sex. And all the focus has been on the men harassing the women. I wish there was a more public voice about the universal harassment that is going on, as I believe it is a human issue, not a one sided male on female issue.

  • Travis Fischer

    This. Exactly.

    I sometimes like satireical interviews, but to just ambush people with them is way out-of-line. It’s not even any fun to watch them when it’s clear the interviewer and interviewee aren’t on the same page.

  • Laura Gale HaywoodCory

    Some of us in my part of the country (Southeastern US) are fighting back by going to conventions and doing educational panels. We’re a group of men and women, industry professionals, cosplayers, gamers (tabletop rpg, video, board, etc), fans. We call ourselves Nerdiquette 101 and this is our attempt to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

  • Damiana Swan

    Fortunately, it’s legal in this country to take photos of anyone in public. (I’m a photographer.)

    And also fortunately, our legal system requires accusations of either libel or slander to be proven in court… and if what is being said is factually true, that is generally considered to be an adequate legal defense.

    Also? If the guy grabbed her, that was actually sexual assault, not just harassment.

  • Anonymous

    Misinterpretation…on YOUR part, not their’s. Regardless, that is how that line comes off to women/ people who indentify as women. It does not help to say “But we’re the good guys!/ It’s ‘just a few’ bad apples!” It does nothing to help make the public space safer for us. Priviieged use that as a way to deal with their own discomfort at being lumped in with “those guys”.

  • Perpetual Geek

    To be perfectly honest it never really occurred to me that the “all men aren’t creeps” line would be condescending. But seeing the conversation here about it I totally understand that now. It’s why I posted here, because I want to hear from the people (in this case women) who have to directly deal with the issue.

    You’re correct that I never meant it that way, but I can see how it would be interpreted that way reading the replies.

    Advice taken and absorbed, it’s indeed stating the obvious and does nothing to fix the issue. As someone that wants nothing more than a big tent that welcomes all and makes no one feel inferior the last thing I want to do is contribute to that myself, even if inadvertently.

  • Anonymous

    Agree with this. While this is a great step forward, I still don’t feel welcome there due to those dudebros personally supporting (and adding to) the rape culture. No thank you.

  • Erica Friedman

    Take a young man under your wing and teach him how to be a good man.

  • Anonymous

    No. NO. You are not going to trot out the “if you would just react to misogyny nicer!” bullshit.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    It’s not a mistake. I DISAGREE. I’m frigging allowed.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree. As Shakesville says, “Intention is not magical”

  • Anonymous

    “I applaud you for trying to to play Devil’s advocate…”
    I don’t. When it comes to listening to minoirities, DON’T. DO. IT. Just…don’t.

  • Anonymous

    …it would behoove you, in the future, to use maybe “it wasn’t appropiate” or something, rather then the derogatory term of “slut”.

  • malkavian
  • Anonymous

    Indeed. Because there ISN’T another side.

  • Anonymous

    Intention isn’t magical. Intention does not matter. intention- man, I get tired of repeating myself.

  • Anonymous

    Nope. No. Just no. All of it.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not testosterone; it’s the insecure masculinity that society portrays. And no, blaming what they KNOW they’re doing on “social awkwardness” takes away the responsibility they have for their actions.

  • Anonymous

    Nope, it doesn’t. Your point is invalid. Congrats.

  • Anonymous

    Public shaming is not illegal.

  • Sergey Galyonkin

    She is very generous not to report his name – it would cost poor bastard a career.

    Might be worth it though.

  • Anonymous

    You disagree and continue to alienate. You will continue this dance of anger until you decide to empathize.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    For you, empathy seems to mean recant, but I don’t share your opinion, so I won’t.

  • Mina

    I just can’t even look at the page. It hurts my heart too much.

  • Stephen

    For all those who make statements like “I can’t stand it when this happens” and then go on to say “but I’m never sure what to do”, it is in fact very simple. You say something, you speak up, you don’t let it continue. If you aren’t sure, you can very easily ask “Excuse me Miss, is this guy bothering you?” It costs you nothing. If she says no, well no harm, no foul and everyone moves on. Otherwise, you can intervene, say something, do something and make a difference. Don’t feel safe? Go get security, or look to other people around you – if you ask, most likely people will do something once moved to action. Inertia is a powerful force.

    But if you don’t do something, you aren’t helping the victim, you’re helping the offender. Every time you choose to do nothing, you are enabling the harassment, allowing it to happen, and telling the harasser they can get away with it, that you accept and tolerate what they’re doing.

    One commenter said that out of 60,000 guys only one might be an offender. If only 1 person harasses someone, and 59,999 stand around and watch, do you really think they are any better? That’s 59,999 people who choose to do nothing, who choose to let it happen. Might as well be 60,000 offenders if you aren’t going to do anything to stop it.

  • Anonymous

    No. Though I admit personally to being of two minds on public shaming, regardless of legality.

    As someone who attends conventions and used to work in the games industry, there’s no question this kind of stuff *has* to stop. And public shaming probably does act as a deterrent in smaller cases.

    But on the other hand, the Internet mob mentality can be a really scary thing, and I sometimes think when public shaming turns into Scary Mob Action, that may end up crossing a line itself. So… I just don’t know. :/

  • lemon floor wax

    Namecheck PAX (who by accounts handled it as properly as possible) five times but not once for the offending media outlet or reporter? How can they be held accountable if nobody will call them out for this shameless behavior?

  • Anonymous

    Depressingly, I’m pretty sure that’s actually on the PAX Code of Conduct *anyway*. Let me go check (since the code of conduct is printed on the back of the badges).

    Okay, I’m not entirely right. Assuming PAX East’s Code of Conduct is the same as PAX Prime’s, the rules are:

    1. Drugs are bad.
    2. Don’t steal.
    3. Don’t punch or kick people.
    4. No cheating.
    5. Don’t harass anyone.
    6. Don’t vandalize anything.
    7. Don’t mess with things that are not yours.

    …though I’d say this would’ve been covered under point 5, it’s not *explicitly* called out.

  • Anonymous

    “Hey, she dressed sexy, so she was asking for it.”

    “…excuse me while I press this comically large red button labeled ‘EMERGENCY BEAR RELEASE’.”


    “You talked like a sexist jackass, so you were asking for it.”

    (Disclaimer: I tend to think violence is not a lasting or workable long-term solution to anything. *Cartoon* violence, however, can be therapeutic to envision.)

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    I’m getting flashbacks to people saying they’re being racist ‘ironically’.


    Well, we have enough real assholes without people ‘pretending’ to be assholes for the sake of…social experiments? Even if that were within the realm of possibility, I’d still be pissed off.

    The oppression of me and countless other women is not a playground for men. It’s our hell for their benefit and, if he actually wanted to make a parody, I’d still love to see his ass slammed for being utterly and completely useless to the cause.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Very easily. In fact, some of them run for office.

  • Anonymous

    “I think it started off as a playful jibe on the fact that Lara had become a strong woman”

    Lara was ALWAYS a strong woman, it’s just the character was constantly sexualised by marketing, journalism and even the developers to the point where the fact she is an independent, intelligent, resourceful, determined woman is buried under the inane comments about her cup size and choice of attire.

    This despicable garbage at PAX just shows you that even if you go to all the effort of presenting a more “realistic” version of Lara, she’s going to be sexualised – not because the character is inherently sexual, but because a certain subset of gaming media is still stuck in the Old Boy’s Club.

  • Rebekah M. Jones

    It’s because the rules of the game are changing and they are throwing a tantrum about it, because they had learned the system by heart and either fully believed in it or learned how to cheat it to get by.

    Now the rules are slowly, slowly becoming fairer to everyone and they no longer get “Get Out of Jail for Free” cards at the expense of others.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never seen this happen personally at any convention I’ve attended, which is a good thing, because this is one of my “berserk buttons,” as it were. Normally I’m a diplomatic kind of guy, who wants to diffuse tension and not cause a fuss, but my desire for getting along ends when something like this happens in my presence. I’ve “ruined” a lot of social gatherings in my time by daring to say it isn’t ok to feel someone up without their consent, or to make crude sexual comments that were clearly making someone uncomfortable, but there comes a point where some little switch in my brain clicks and I Become Mad As Hell And Ain’t Gonna Take It Any More.

    The fact that this happened with LARA CROFT cosplayers is even more infuriating. Lara Croft is badass: she goes out on adventures all by herself, funded by the money she makes from writing books, because she loves adventure and does it for the thrill. She’s independent, resourceful, intelligent, and courageous. But none of that matters, cause LOOK AT HER TITS, YO. It doesn’t even matter their size, because, as evidenced here, even the more normally-proportioned young Lara is going to be sexualised, because this is an insidious problem that needs to be DEALT WITH.

    ARGH. Getting angry again…

  • Anonymous

    See, there that “line” business again. Calling what someone said a “line” suggests that what they’re saying is bullshit. When someone is being a chauvinist asshole, then says “but not all men are like that”, then that’s a “line”. A false, bullshit justification/defense/apology/etc. i can see how it might always sound like one, but in the case of the OP it was more of an earnest statement, and a factual one at that (though some might be loathe to believe so), and undeserving, I think of that snarky reprimand.

  • Sarah Ellison

    you know what? don’t feel bad about ducking you head when you’re alone and confronted. you’re avoiding a confrontation that might not go your way. guys are bigger and stronger, and lets face it, not always predictable.

    but also don’t feel bad about defending other girls. in that moment, when there are younger, more vulnerable women, you are the alpha female, and you are drawing attention away from them so they can escape unharmed..its instinct. believe in the instinct.

  • Lynne Olson

    I am honestly a bit surprised how shocked these women were and that none of them had a snarky comeback ready. Has this never happened to them before? (maybe not to the 15 year olds, but the 31 year olds?). He obviously wanted to make them uncomfortable so he’d get a shocked reaction – don’t give him what he’s looking for. Always have a couple comments ready for creeps like him, because trying to explain your feelings rationally will not work. They think women are lower than them, therefore no matter what you say, they will simply respond that you are overreacting. Sometimes a swift kick to the nards, physically or verbally. It may be the only deterrent that works.

    Example: When I was 14 I was at a ski resort with my family and some (expletive)(probably late 30′s early 40′s) walked up to me and ranted about how all women were good for was making babies and cleaning house. I told him that men aren’t even good for that and suggested that he may as well kill himself since he served no purpose in life. He gave me a weird look, walked away and didn’t bother me the rest of the vacation. I don’t know if it was because I actually hurt his ego or if it was because he didn’t expect me to be aggressive, but you need to deal with them on their level sometimes.

  • Tiare Hess

    The thing of it is, those girls wouldn’t be at that event if the people at the event didn’t satisfy them.

  • Lynne Olson

    I understand what you are saying Sarah, and every situation needs to be sized up at the time, but generally I am not for the passive approach. If you have the wrong man harassing you, seeing you shrink from the situation may just encourage him to get even more aggressive. If you don’t know how to fight, learn. You don’t have to be golden gloves level to fight. Also remember, all men have a throat and a groin. Go for either spot if they come after you. I don’t know why it is such a prevalent attitude that women should be helpless and not able to defend themselves. Thank God I’ve had people in my life to teach me to fend for myself.

  • Tiare Hess

    The fact that the “reporter” had a friend to tag along at all is pretty surprising.

  • Lynne Olson

    That’s a good point, actually. Was this guy actually a legit reporter? I don’t know how easy it is to get a press pass to events like these.

  • Anonymous

    I am sorry for anyone who has ever been the target of harassment. I know that isn’t much of a comment but my heart really does ache when I hear stories like this.

    I encourage everyone to ostracize anyone who would act in such a way. The best way to tell people that we will not put up with harassment is to show them.

  • Rockman X

    dress like a sex object doesn’t mean they are. These are women that should be respected. They just dress like a woman who shouldn’t be respected.

  • Emppu Nurminen

    We can both have our own views about Richards’ reaction, yet what it caused is the problem here. If people would know how to deal with tricky situations, it might have been another case of “call it yourself”. Yet idiots without few seconds to think about it made her life living hell because she spoke her mind out about it.
    Again, we can agree to disagree was it the best way for Richards’ to deal with what she faced, but it doesn’t justify the inappropriate, vile reactions it caused for Richards or the company she was in. If speaking your mind out from your own stance creates that sort of shitstorm, yeah, no wonder why ladies have zero interest to call anyone out.

  • Derek Pryor

    And if that wasn’t enough, this pathetic fool just made a page on Facebook dedicated to bashing her.

  • Miri

    I’m agreeing with you that the OP was genuine, especially because their reply to being told how that statement comes across to women was to thank them honestly for telling him. You, on the other hand, by pressing the issue like you are, are derailing the conversation. I’m sure you honestly don’t realise you’re doing it, nor are you doing it intentionally, but when you focus on one statement about men in a discussion about endemic sexism like this, you derail the entire discussion into a meaningless ‘but what about THE MEN’ debate. Take a leaf out of the OP’s book and listen to the women in this discussion about sexism affecting women, and accept that you are a person with privilege dealing with a situation where male privilege – like you have, whether you like it or not – is literally the thing oppressing people.

  • Miri

    All women should be respected, no matter how they dress. Slutshaming via clothing is an aspect of rape culture, because it leads to the “she was wearing a short skirt, she was asking for it” defence. These women could have been in nothing but a thong and two band-aids and this question would still have been inappropriate.

  • Miri

    “I also think there is a phantom ratio that is not being seen due to the nature of males generally not caring enough”

    I’d just like to cherry-pick that statement, because it sums up exactly why your experience of sexual harrassment – while a terrible thing that should not have happened! – is not the same as mine, as a woman.

    You can walk away. You can not care. All this is, to you, is a moment of gross feelings. You might be worried about your family seeing a sexual photo you didn’t agree to, but that’s about the extent of your fear of repercussions, in this scenario.

    I don’t have that luxury. That is my life, in every aspect of it from walking down the street to media that I enjoy. I am constantly made aware that I am a sexual object for men. I am /lucky/ if they don’t physically or verbally harass me, and I am also very aware that if they do I am potentially in physical danger. That if the worst result of that objectification takes place, /I/ might be the one blamed. Nobody might believe me. People might decide to hate me – look at Steubenville.

    I agree, the fact that men are harassed and raped is a problem. But it is not an inherent danger of the oppressive rape culture and patriarchy like it is for women, and when you draw that comparison you are derailing the topic to being about the group with the privilege. Harassment might be a human issue, but it’s one faced overwhelmingly more and to a greater extent by women than men. Let’s deal with that first, and /then/ we can wipe out the gender-neutral ‘human issue’ for good, please?

  • Kristofer Wetherbe

    Yup, reported the page too.

  • Cy

    As a male that has had this sort of thing happen to him (not at a con, at a workplace) I can understand the sense of not being able to react immediately. Honestly you aren’t sure what is happening. Are they joking? Are they serious? They didn’t just say that in polite company did they? The best way to describe is to call it “shocking”. I’m not usually at a loss for words but she managed to flabbergast me to the point I just had to leave the area and avoid her for the remainder of her short employment. I was young and not experienced. I realize now that it was sexual harassment and I should have done something about it. Thankfully she commented on someone else the same way within earshot of the CEO a month later and was booted quite quickly.

    I like to think I’d step in if I heard something like that happen around me. I’ve got social anxiety but I’ve also done some very out of character things when defending other people. However, not calling them out when these things happen to you means that person has more confidence to victimize the next person. Calling them out now will save the next person who may not be able to handle themselves…like the young guy I was way back when.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Where can I buy the Emergency Bear Release button?

  • Ryan Psc
  • Ashe P. Samuels

    So do I, Thae86. So do I.

    It’s amazing how often you can use ‘intent is not magic’ in pretty much any conversation that has thought dissonance.

  • Anonymous


    Unfortunately, it’s out of stock until February 31st, 2037.

  • Rob Heath

    Fair points, but there are issues on both sides, and I am not trying to belittle the points of this post, so why is there an issue with me stating that it happens to both sexes and that it should be addressed as a larger issue. There is something to the point that we don’t get any attention on the issue, because our media just doesn’t believe men are susceptible to sexual harassment, and if we do, well then who gives a shit, we are men. We just need to nut up and carry on.

    “but it’s one faced overwhelmingly more and to a greater extent by women than men. Let’s deal with that first, and /then/ we can wipe out the gender-neutral ‘human issue’ for good, please?”

    So…. you gotta take care of your side first before we are taken care of mine? And I am not even saying JUST mine. I am saying ALL OF IT.

    I didn’t know basic human decency had a priority list. No, let’s NOT address just your problems first. And let’s not address mine first. Let’s address all of it together. Because it’s not our fear, but the fact that it is happening which is a problem.

    So while we deal with it differently, but we are still dealing with it. And no matter how we deal with it, it’s just as much your problem as it is mine.

    Anyway, bottom line. Stop thinking I am trying to discount the female’s side. I am just trying to say, I’d like to see someone out there with a voice address this as a larger issue across both genders.

  • Ashe P. Samuels


    Looks like it’s the old-fashioned Pocket Mongoose for me until then.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Someone else is finally starting to get the rights I’ve always enjoyed as a normal part of my every day life! This means my rights are being TAKEN AWAY!

  • Anonymous

    Fair enough, and you’re right. I did not intend for this limb of the discussion to grow so long. I’m honestly not trying to pull focus from the topic at hand, and I’m definitely not trying to start a “but, think of the MEN” sort of thing. I didn’t mean to press the issue, but I’m certainly going to respond to individual responses to me when I feel it’s warranted. I am aware of the privileges that come from being a male, but I’m also acutely aware of the disadvantages of being a gay Latino and all the racist and homophobic b/s that come along with that. Now, I’m NOT comparing that to sexism and the bundle of crap that comes with that. I will never truly know what it feels like to be a woman in this world, but I do understand what it feels like for people to use a variety of words and phrases to insult and deride me. Occasionally I’ll come across some who honestly don’t realize they’re doing it, and I pray that at the best of times, I’ll know the difference and react accordingly. In any case, I do enjoy hearing (or reading in this case) other peoples viewpoints and partaking in some lively debates! I can assure you that I will always try to be as civil and open-minded as possible, and I guess this is about all I can say about this topic for right now. Good night.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    The X chromosome, the Y chromosome, and the video game chromosome!

    It’s just SCIENCE.

  • Shelley Barnard

    If you can wade through hundreds of comments filled with misogyny, the bozo outs himself on this FB page He makes an obnoxious non-apology and then complains that people are being mean to him. Honestly, he comes across as being so petty that I instantly forgot his name. He’s not worth it. The discussion and soul-searching that have resulted from his actions are far more interesting than this bozo can ever hope to be.

  • Jerry Chandler


    If that’s what he wanted to do he should have discussed it with them before hand and not done it as an ambush style gag. But the simple truth is that he likely was not doing this given his reported parting grumbling and declaring, after the camera was shut if if I’m reading this correctly, that they were basically asking for such treatment because of how they were dressed.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Semantics. Okay, sure, they’re similar in that way.

    I see this as more of a clear cut situation than that one due to the backlash she faced (losing her job) whereas this is obviously some inappropriate shitheel that I’m very surprised still has his job. So far.

  • Lux Draconis

    We just talked to a cos-player on our Podcast Geek Feast. We talked more about the “Love of the Character player” and the “Pro I.E. selling their costumes” . But we know a few cos-players and at least the ones we know see most of the harassment from the bigger gaming or “geek” sites. Not that it’s OK to use a cos player to boost hits to your site , but that seems to be the growing trend. I won’t pretend to say we don’t look or post pictures of female cos players, BUT, we also have male cos players. The difference is we do it because we love the creative and crafty love for our characters put into our real world by these people. As far as ” well, she dressed like that to a nerd event, so she must 1) want me to ask her these questions. 2) She shouldn’t dress like that if she doesn’t want the EXTRA attention. Now there aare some that have no business Cosplaying, you know the ones, You ask them what they like about the story of their character and they look you dead in the eye and say ” I like that she is cute”…. DOH!GRRRR!

  • Laura Truxillo

    So much this.

    One of my sibs accompanied our little brother to his video game club recently and told me it was rife with sexist/homophobic comments. I can’t say that’s really surprising, but it does mean it’s time to sit down with baby bro and remind him that we raised him to be a gentleman and a decent human being, and darn it, that means not tolerating that kind of crap.

    The only way to make it really stop is to make is socially unacceptable. Not unacceptable to “polite society,” but to one’s peers.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I think for a lot of people, but men especially–we’re just conditioned as a society to think these kind of things are okay. To barely hear it, really. So it takes someone saying, “Wait, are you really just asking strangers about their sex lives on camera because of their clothes?” to make other people think, “Oh. Yeah, that is kind of creepy.”

    Some guys might also not want to white knight, it’s true. But I think a lot of them just kind of don’t want to rock the boat because of some kind of lame bro code. “Oh, that’s Bob, he’s an alright guy, doesn’t really mean anything by it.”

  • Laura Truxillo

    Y’know, this is gonna sound like playing to a stereotype and maybe be one of those sets-women-back statements (I hope not), but the part of me that likes to troll dickholes wonders what would happen if one of those younger girls had responded to the question by letting her face crumple, looking scared and sad, and maybe even crying a bit.

    Because you want someone to earn the vehement ire of every single person in their vicinity, have them be a grown man who just made a teenage girl cry by asking her a sexually loaded question.

    And also because I respond to being furious by crying, so I probably would’ve anyway.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Y’know, I don’t really think they were the same. For one, the comments that I read didn’t seem that sexist. A bit sexually charged, but that isn’t the same as being sexist. More of “nudge nudge wink wink, say no more, ifyaknowhatImean.” Inappropriate for a professional convention? A bit, even if it did seem more like two guys muttering snark to each other.
    For another, they weren’t addressing anyone but the two of them. They weren’t approaching an actual human being and treating her like a sexual object.
    For another, while professionals, they weren’t journalists. Which is apparently what this guy was setting himself up as. Journalists at cons go around and ask people questions–I darned well think that con-going folks would like to know who this creeper is and what he looks like to avoid him at a con.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Everyone knows rights and respect are a zero-sum game.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Why SDCC?

  • Laura Truxillo

    “Maybe my problem is I think harassment is a “level ten” word, meant to
    refer to very serious, blatant and overt actions, and not necessarily
    just physical ones.”

    You’re right. That is a problem.

    That’s a problem because now whether or not you mean to, you’re belittling what these women–in fact, most women–experience. You have no idea exactly how upsetting that situation is. Someone, usually someone bigger and stronger and much more Male than you, Broke The Social Code in regards to Sex. At this point, you have literally no idea what they will do or say to you–all you do know is that they see you less as a fellow human being and more as a sexual thing.

    That is scary.

    Sometimes it’s a little scary and sometimes it’s a “Here’s Your Rape!” scary.

    You don’t get to define “harassment” because hearing it applied to something that you see as just a joke gone wrong makes you uncomfortable. Our good friends at Miriam-Webster define it thus: “to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct.”

    That is what this man did. That is what most people who make a “joke” in similar nature and context do. It’s harassment.

    Is it a level ten word? Perhaps. But it’s a level ten situation–it is a Bad Thing that contributes to making conventions unsafe for women and it NEEDS. TO. STOP.

    Your Syndrome quote is in charmingly poor taste. “Special.” It sounds remarkably like, whether or not you mean it, that you’re saying people call out something as harassment to feel “special.” They call it out because it IS harassment, it is WRONG, and it makes the world a worse place. So take your concern-trolling “I just don’t want to see something serious like REAL harassment trivialized by something that *I*-in-my-wisdom don’t deem to be REAL harassment called by that term,” and go educate yourself.

  • Anonymous

    It’s true, it’s something to think about. I do feel it’s the best deterrent though.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Not everyone has the same reaction to crap like that. I always think of myself as a tough, often angry lady. But the few times that I’ve been blindsided by inappropriate sexual comments, well…it’s just that–I was blindsided. I didn’t have some kind of childish vehement “kill yourself” rant ready (and at least two of those occasions were at work, so…). I didn’t have any kind of response because it took my brain a moment to even realize that someone would say something like that to me.

    Women are socialized from a very young age not to make waves or get angry. It’s hard programming for some people to break through,

    I’m sure you don’t mean anything by it, but it sounds kinda…judgey? I guess, or implying that these women should’ve been smarter with their words, or that women in general should always be prepared with a comeback. Why?

    And anyway, one of them DID call him out for it, so there’s that.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not my intention, but that’s the way it’s coming off, so I will back off.

  • Laura Truxillo

    ‘He proceeded to tell me that “I was one of those oversensitive
    feminists” and that “the girls were dressing sexy, so they were asking
    for it’

    Shoot. I got freaking chills reading that. What the hell, world? What the hell, person? How can you be a thinking person at a nerdcon and think those things? I mean, just…what.

    So freaking creepy.

  • Anonymous

    No, no hon, I am not the “word police”, or the “thought police”, or the whatthefuckever police. I am telling you, as many have before you, that it IS condesending to say such a thing. It. Does. Not. Help. Us. It only helps you. No, I’m not going to coddle your privilege. Good day.

  • BruceKent

    (Sigh) I hate to be the person with the bad news but it’s not going to stop for awhile. The problem is that in ANY form there is always some idiot who, for whatever reason, just simply cannot see that behaving that way is wrong. They just feel that its acceptable to do it. And until behavior like this is called out and the person who does it is so mortified and (justly) taken to serious task for all to see, there will always be some ignorant person who thinks they can get away with it because it’s funny to them or they think there is nothing wrong. It is a true crime that one or two bad apples spoil so many people’s fun and turn Lara (and other cosplays) of strong women into nothing more than some kind of sex symbol. So I hope this doesn’t continue. BUt if it does it needs to be exposed and harshly dealt with. Ignorant people do things like that because they think there will be no consequences. I hope this doesn’t discourage other cosplayers because a few ignorant men shouldn’t ruin the fun of ANY of the women why just want to show skills and have the same fun everyone else wants to.

  • Miri

    I’m not saying it’s not a problem, and I’m not saying we have to deal with “my side” before we can deal with yours – I’m saying you deal with the gaping wound in your side before you start bandaging up the smaller cuts.

    Female sexual harassment is a symptom of woman-objectifying rape culture and presents a danger that male sexual harassment 99.9% of the time does not. When we complain about it, we’re reacting to a wider issue. It’s the gaping wound.

    Male sexual harassment is some people being assholes or having no sense of boundaries. They’re being dicks. Those are the smaller cuts and bruises. Yeah, they suck, but you’re not going to bleed out from them while we try and fix the life-threatening injury first.

    You’re not trying to belittle the points on both sides, but you’re taking a discussion about female sexual harassment and saying “but what about the MEN!?” – it’s derailment. You’re the oppressive gender, whether you mean to be or not, and you need to be aware of how you’re wielding your privilege. What you’re doing right now is taking female fear and degradation and saying ‘my male feelings of being uncomfortable sometimes are exactly as important as this! why aren’t we talking about men?’ when with all due respect, that’s not the issue at hand.

  • Rockman X

    “Slutshaming”, “Rape Culture”, “asking for it”. Come on, I need 2 more and I get a Bingo for rhetoric bingo.

  • Vian Lawson

    I agree with this, and wanted to add: If it helps, think of it this way: if you are silent, if you say nothing, the guy making the sexist remarks thinks you are on his side. Or he assumes that you don’t mind that he’s being an asshat, either on his own behalf, or on behalf of your gender.

  • Rob Heath

    I don’t think you get to speak for males, as much as I don’t get to speak for females. So don’t rate my problems through a metaphor. I am one guy who has encounter enough harassment at cons enough for me to think there is a problem, but my experiences are limited to me, one guy out of many. You don’t get to tell me my experiences and the experiences of other men aren’t worth the time of day to expose until your sex’s harassment is taken care of. What kind of bullshit is that.

    And here is kicker. I AM NOT EVEN SAYING we need to be just as vocal about harassment against men as we are about women. I am saying ANY one with a voice could at least say something about this as a human condition on the larger scale. Because it seems extremely limited in scope at this time. Sooooo much attention is directed towards it as only a one way issue when it’s not.

    I will say this, when ever someone touched me inappropriately at a con, which I am not cool with. It was always a woman. Except when I walk away from it, I don’t look at it as “Oh wow, as a I man I feel so objectified”. I think “wow people need to stop this shit as a whole”. Stop thinking about just your own and look at the bigger picture.

    PS. IT’S THE FREAKIN INTERNET. We have plenty of people, websites, and time, for anyone with a voice to talk a little about what I am conveying. Don’t worry, no one will take away the focus from you.

  • Aeryl

    You are obviously unaware of PAX’s response to the Dickwolves fiasco. PAX was uninterested in covering their ass and more invested in doubling down. The fact that they handled this instance better is good, but they have not been so responsive to such concerns in the past.

  • Anonymous

    I’m in my mid-30s, and last summer I was walking down the street when a car pulled up with four men inside, one of them saying, “Excuse me?” as if to ask for directions. When I turned towards them, the one in the passenger seat asked, “Can I hump your leg?”

    I thought of all of the good comebacks about five minutes later, like, “Did you get tired of rubbing off on each other?” or “Is your dog not available?” But at the time, I was simply floored. It was so unrelated to the question I had been expecting, not to mention a wildly inappropriate thing to say in public, that I could only snap, “No, thanks,” and quickly walk away. It also later occurred to me that there was one of me and four of them, and no one else in sight on the street, and that snarking off to them might not have been the best idea anyway.

    So I’m glad that you were able to make a snappy reply, Lynne, but please don’t put the burden on all other women to respond in a way that might well make them even less safe.

  • Jedimom1138

    There are those who think that dressing sexy is an open invitation to bring out their basest instincts. Some go to cons just to watch the girls. It is a sick mindset.

  • Jedimom1138

    But also some of the problem goes out to video game developers who cannot seem to make a female character without a sexy costume, spandex or having their breasts hang out. We need some normal female characters

  • Nikki Garcia

    I think we should

  • Stephanie Clarkson

    Kate: I actually really liked the original comic – I thought it really assessed the way we use inhumane, violent things in video games as ‘quest items’, and the gamer response of ‘nope, sorry, only had to rescue 5 of you’ was a big clue about rape culture and why gamer society embraces it so casually in words. The fallout was wrong, and Mike behaved well when he realized what had gone down, even if the fans were asses. PAX is actually an incredibly great event to go; I would not miss it.

  • Julia Adams Bauer

    I think he was “asking for it” as in a good punch to the face and a beatdown.

  • Brian

    By “make jokes like this”, do you mean you, in a professional capacity as a journalist, say these things to strangers, some of whom are 14 or 15 years old? Well, then you’re an ass.

  • Brian

    If someone’s doing something in public they should be ashamed of, they can’t complain about “public shaming”.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. I’m reminded of the “Ryan Lanza” debacle. There’s no failsafe in an internet mob if you get the wrong guy. Hardly likely in the case described above, but when you get into internet background searches, it can get pretty sketchy. :/

  • Anonymous

    I would say that if it fits the legal definition of harassment, then it’s covered under point 5. Depressingly, the guy probably didn’t think of it that way.

    Bit of a Catch-22: those who would consider the rules in that detail are not the people who go around harassing others.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Just. Stop it.

  • Miri

    …This isn’t ‘rhetoric bingo’, this is me trying to explain to you that what you said is problematic and offensive. I assumed that, since you appeared to be on the side of the women in the video despite what you said, you would be open to rational discourse.

  • Anonymous

    Truth, unfortunately.

  • Rockman X

    You were offended that I said their attire does not reflect their intentions? You were offended I said they should be respected? You were offended I said lara croft and other sex symbols shouldn’t be respected? You also seemed to agree with me, yet you’re calling it “discourse”? Also, just because we have the same position on the subject, doesn’t mean I can’t mock you for using rhetoric.

  • Kim Kouski

    What a pathetic man!!! I hope someone fires him. Folks, believe it or not, we don’t go to the cosplays b/c we are looking for sex, we go b/c we want to have fun. Leave us alone!! And yes, sexual harassment can happen to men too. So let’s just all be respectful of each other.

  • Kim Kouski

    Drops mouth open!! Someone asked you how big your beasts were??? Oh, you poor thing. They used to do this stuff in the ’70′s, I thought this was over. So sorry you have to endure this junk. Keep playing and just ignore them.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Did you really just compare the rotation of the earth to social conditioning?

  • Penny Sautereau-Fife

    “Cosplay is Consent” Really? Well by that logic, I can see the bulge of your genitals through those tight pants you’re wearing Mister “Journalist”. Does that mean I have your consent to kick them so hard you cough them up?

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s partly due to the “queen bee” syndrome. Once they get power, they start to look down on others to retain their status.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    I agree that we need more diversity in female character designs, but I don’t agree with your usage of the word ‘normal’.

    Normal is a pretty loaded word to begin with, even without shaming women for revealing skin.

  • Anonymous

    Let me reply to your original message:

    “No, no hon, I am not the “word police”, or the “thought police”, or the whatthefuckever police. I am telling you, as many have before you, that it IS condesending to say such a thing. It. Does. Not. Help. Us. It only helps you. No, I’m not going to coddle your privilege. Good day.”

    You know what doesn’t help anybody? Telling people they are being condescending by being condescending yourself. Neither does conflating general statements as personal insults so as to lace your reply’s with not so subtle hostility. You disagree with me, I GET IT and good for you! No need for repeated attempts to scold me like a child, OK “hon”?

    Also, please stop assuming you know what my “privileges” are in this world. You don’t know me any more than I know you – Officer “Listen to Minorities”. Being that I am a gay Latino with a deaf fiance, I’m sure there isn’t much about being a minority that I don’t already know, and I certainly don’t need any “schooling” from you.

  • The Gaf

    I think most men actually are creeps. Sometimes they outgrow it.

  • Anonymous

    So, no one can cosplay unless they do it on your terms? Wow, I never thought I’d meet the person who OWNS cosplaying1 Wow – you must be so rich!

  • Anonymous

    & it’s gone! :-D

  • Anonymous

    You already lost when you made the first post; quit while you are behind.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, why not tell all women to pack heat & come out shooting?? (Are you really listening to yourself, here?)

  • Anonymous

    Well, if you think that jerky guys are all intrinsically incapable any social growth or learning at all, than I guess you are right. However, it is this view that is part of the problem: “Men are unable to control themselves in any way, shape or form when confronted with short skirts/cleavage/navels, because they are just stupid animals, so it is the woman’s fault if she is raped.”

  • Anonymous

    I had (very past tense) female friend who was always particularly nasty about the way other women dressed, acted, spoke, wore their make-up, etc…but never had anything bad to say about men and the way the dressed and acted, even if they were acting like sexist jerks! If one woman wore a low cut top, then that woman was “slutty”. But if she wore one herself, she was “proud of her body” or she was “owning her sexuality”. She also thought that standing up to sexism was a “waste of time. Men are men and they won’t change.” She would probably say that the women mentioned in this article were “asking for it by dressing like that” Yeah, she confused the hell out of me sometimes.

  • Anonymous

    Page is gone.

  • Anonymous

    It’s gone.

  • Anonymous

    That’s right; because we can all think of a man or two who’s been harassed, it’s all equal & not actually overwhelmingly done by males to females. Nope, not at all. (Or, IOW, “WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ???”)

  • Anonymous

    IOW, you are just proving her point. How about if you DON’T derail a discussion specifically about the overwhelmingly more serious problem of the objectification of women by introducing something that is actually a different dynamic, & then whining that no one is giving you equal attention? Because then we’d know that you actually get it.

  • Rob Heath

    Lol, good thing you read before you write. wait.. you didn’t.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure there are many reason for some women to behave like this, but in this womans case I think a lot of it had to do with our VERY traditional latino upbringing which dictates that a woman’s only true success is landing a husband or at least just “getting a man”. That’s the end game. And they’re pretty much taught by example that if you’re a “difficult” woman -non passive, independent, headstrong- some other woman is going to get that ring on her finger because she knows how to “treat a man right” and it will be all YOUR fault! I can only imagine how this must breed absolute mistrust and hatred among women, hence the name calling and the putdowns. Sadly, I’ve known more than one woman who thinks along these lines, but it makes me happy to know that there are a lot of women out there (like my sister) who’ve completely rejected this notion and forge ahead by relying solely on themselves. My sister has fostered this into my nieces upbringing and it’s nice to see her enjoying the genuine love and support from her friends rather than the back stabbing bullshit you get from a “frenemy”.

  • Rockman X

    You think this is some sort of contest? We should only do things if it’s advantageous? Sounds a lot like something a rapist would say.

  • Alex March

    Harassment in any form at conventions is unacceptable. I have been in costume and SHOT at with an AIRSOFT gun. The pellets left a welt on my ass. I was dressed in a mascot costume at the time. Fear or discomfort is not a good reason to suck it up and take it so that no scene is made and then talking about it to the proper authorities later. I know I felt that way myself. I implore other girls, women, men, anyone that is a victim of a for of harassment to SPEAK up. If you see harassment happening SPEAK UP. Don’t watch, don’t ignore.


    I don’t think Zaewen did misunderstand you. You said, “it helps when the rest of us aren’t looking for something to personally take offense to”–that isn’t saying, “online conversations are hard”, it is actually suggesting that the other poster only is offended because she looks for it.

    I don’t think you know that or can prove it in any meaningful way, so I’m not sure why you said it, except as a snarky and nasty aside. Not cool.

  • Bambi Blue

    This. Yes.

  • Spide R Man

    I have been called fat Spider Man before. It’s funny because its not like the person saying this was in costume, just some guy who asked “Hey fat Spider Man, can you come take pictures with my kids?” It’s not much different but because I felt like if i said anything I would be tarnishing my name said No problem. I think it’s pathetic that these poor girls are being harassed, so much for growing up, and teaching kid’s that bullying and harassing people is wrong.

  • Bluetooth

    How is this harassment Let’s break down the interviewer’s actions. He asked a sexual oriented question, the group did not respond. When pressed on it, he laughed. He said his questioner was an “oversensitive feminist”. He said “the girls dressed sexy so they were asking for it”.

    So his question, was that harrassment? He asked a question, the girls were confused, uncomfortable. Sexually suggestive, of course. Harrassment??? Only if he had persisted.

    “Oversensitive feminist” “Asking for it”. No doubt a misogynist. But were those comment sexual harrassment?

  • Bluetooth

    What is the overriding message in this though? Is it to simply stop sexual harassment or to stop people seeing cosplayer characters as sexually attractive in the first place?

    The former suggests a line to be drawn. And a very thin one at that – is the above sexual harrassment, because the guy asked a sexually oriented question due to them being dressed in a sexual manner (more below on that)? Surely it is only harrassment if he persisted AFTER the recipient asked them to stop, or was uncomfortable with such a question?

    If it is the latter, then that is a far more broader statement. You’re basically trying to change the way humans think, to deny our natural emotions by blocking out us feeling sexually attracted to sexually attractive people. Yes, people dressing up is fun. It is also attractive. Are the men (and women) here honestly saying they do not find the Lara Croft cosplayers above beautiful, sexy? And as a consequence, FEEL sexually attracted to them?

    The latter also brings up the question of double standards. This debate has mostly focused on apparently sexist men who only see sexually attractive women as sex objects (which in itself is questionable – there is a huge difference between seeing them as exclusively sexual playthings to be used; and a human being who is sexually attractive)… but there are just as many cases of this “sexual harrassment” regarding men.

    e.g. recent Oscars, red carpet events – women presenters and fans who constantly swoon over male actors. Why is that? Because of their wonderful acting skills? If so, why is it then when they are brought to interview, sexual innuendo results? Or does that not qualify because it is more subtlety presented? Office banter – I work in a room full of women…. I constantly hear things like “If I could get my hands on him…” “the things I would do…” etc… you get the picture. Is this any more acceptable?

    If a woman approaches a male cosplayer and asks something of a physical nature – no matter how subtle – would I be right in presuming she would be banned from subsequent events?

  • Aviana Knochel

    Dude, did you actually read the comment thread? Because it was pointing to the facebook page of the guy’s friends, who say that he was working on a parody video. The entire article is null and void if that’s the case.

  • Aviana Knochel

    Yes I am. And, I’m going to take it a step further and say, after reacting nicely and seeing what his actual intent was, you should take it a step beyond just being mean and actually go call security, or better yet, PUNCH HIM IN THE DICK.

  • Aviana Knochel

    I did read the article, and from how it sounds from both this article and other sources, she didn’t actually act reserved initially.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    It’s not null and void if they women weren’t in on it, which, from the accounts given, they weren’t.

  • Michael Rice

    Yeah NOT cool especially when some of the ladies taking part in the cosplay were WELL under 18!

    I’m going on the assumption though that this might NOT have been an actual journalist but just a douche with a professional looking camera as those things aren’t as ridiculously priced as they once were, so now every DICK or PETER with a camera can be a journalist who only thinks with his DICK or PETER.

  • Sam Bottoms

    As someone who works security for several conventions, we’ve been getting increasingly vocal reports about this kind of harassment, I want to make it clear that many conventions are beginning to see this as a huge problem and are responding in kind; people who verbally or physically harass people will not be tolerated, they will be ejected from the convention and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as the situation warrants. States like Georgia have very strict standards with regard to harassment and we will not hesitate to bring that to bear. At least at the conventions I work at there are going to be joint information/security booths so an incident can be reported and dealt with immediately. It needs to be made abundantly clear that conventions of all genera and sizes must unite and work to eliminate such behavior

  • Grahame Turner

    I don’t really know about PAX, as I’ve never been to it. Most of the events I cover are too small to really warrant it.
    I think it mostly bothers me because I live in Boston, and this kind of stuff doesn’t fly in my town. (at least, I don’t think it should.)

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I saw that in one of your other posts. You have male privilege; that is worlds over me. I have the privilege of being a white person (VERY pale, actually). I have no experience whatsoever, personally, of racism. That is something I could learn from you. Aside from the fact that you are a minority as well, and so are people who are close to you in your life, does not let you off the hook of being condescending. I’m not going to ask nicely, nor police my tone. People who are true allies come to spaces to listen and learn, and listen. Lots and lots and lots of listening. There are times they are going to be uncomfortable. It’s not my job to make things more comfortable for you.
    So yeah, frustrated. And so are you. And I’m NOT going to sit here and tell you “Boo, be nicer to me!” You are angry with me and that is a VALID REACTION. I can empathize with that. But yes, I will school you and yes, I will continue to point out when you are bliinded by your own privilege.

  • Anonymous

    Where to start? Again, NO. You do not get to police others’ (especially minorities) behavior towards oppression. However they handle that oppression is RIGHT for THEM. It is not up to those who are oppressed to respond “a certain way” for all of the oppression to magically go away. So again, stop.

    We all know what this asshole’s intent was; to put these women down. The only ones who are having trouble understanding that this was the intention are the privileged ones who have a hard time understanding how the Patriarchy and Kyriarchy work.

    Last but certainly not least, violence begets violence. People who have truly come to understand the cycle of abuse and violence in our culture know this. Violence does not solve your problem; all you have done is use the same dirty fighting that the oppressive class does. Violence is NEVER okay. Just as rape is NEVER okay (not even against the dude who’s in jail for being a rapist-just NO). Just as oppression is NEVER okay, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Again, and for the last time I’m going to ask you nicely to please stop making assumptions as to what “privileges” I may or may not posses in this life, based on the ONE thing you know abut me, and that is that I have a penis. I certainly wouldn’t argue that being a male has it’s privileges, but there are degrees of privilege -even within the male population, and just owning a penis isn’t going to get you all of them. Other than that, you know NOTHING about me or my life. You only have your assumptions and your assumptions are blinding you yo the fact that I have not now or never asked, nor even suggested that you:

    1. Let me off the hook for anything. I continue to stand by my position whether people agree with me or not.

    2. Police yourself or your tone, but you can be sure as hell that I would expect the same common respect and courtesy you expect from me instead of the thinly veiled hostility and yes condescension you don’t seem to be aware (or do you?) you’re guilty of yourself.

    3. Make me comfortable. I doubt you ever could.

    Finally, I’m not even the slightest bit angry at you or anyone on this thread for that matter. I come to this site because I love the content. I find it highly interesting, probably because I’ve always been partial to t.v. shows, books, comics, movies, etc. that prominently feature strong female characters. What I love just as much is reading about how other people feel about these subjects and then throwing my two cents in, AND I also love to hear about why someone might not feel the same as I do – even if their position is in stark contrast to mine. I’m certainly open to listening and possibly having my mind changed and I fully expect to be called out if I ever overstep myself, like I seemingly did with my original ORIGINAL reply and it’s poorly chosen words. But ONLY for that reason, not because someone has decided they know all they need to know about me and my likely place in this world based on a few scant pieces of information. I will certainly do my best to do the same for you and everyone else.

  • Liz Baker

    Ah, yes, Schrodinger’s Douchebag: make offensive statement, then decide whether or not you were joking based on the reactions of people around you.

  • Anonymous

    You are correct, and I am blinded by my own assumptions about you. I do see my own condescension, and I apologize. I’m not the only one who knows everything (obviously I don’t), and I need to listen to others just as much as I speak (preferably less talking, more listening). As much as I like to accuss others of projection, I do it very often, so I was projecting my anger onto you. There are a lot of things I still need to process, but no one deserves the result of my insecurity directed at them. So Natamaxxx, as Roland would say, I cry your pardon.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    I am going to have to borrow that term, because that is brilliant.

    It’s amazing how quickly people become comedians when, strangely enough, they’re told, “That’s NOT funny.”

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. And I’m sorry if I said anything offensive as well. Your frustrations on the subject of male vs. female treatment in the world are 100% valid and certainly worth hearing about, so PLEASE don’t ever feel like you need to hold anything back (for anyone). Just remember, that a little bit of courtesy and respect goes a long way in helping you make a point. Believe me, I learned the hard way!

    I’m looking forward to MANY more lively discussions with you!

  • Mark Wintle

    Yes they were being harassed, they were dressed as a strong female video game character, not porn stars, not prostitutes do you think it was a legit question in relation to video game character cos players? Was it really a question or was he getting his rocks off hoping for replies he could salivate over? If you’re happy that girls/women 15yrs and older should expect that attitude from men you obviously don’t want things to move on beyond women dressing up being seen as sexual no matter what they wear, you do know women dress up for fun not just for sex?

  • Vina

    The sad part is this happens with or without costumes. It’s why Slut walks were formed. It shouldn’t matter what a woman wears, be it a costume or a pair of shorts, NO ONE should say “Well she dressed for it so she got it.” Seeing this in the community is not that surprising to me, but seeing that it can become a wonderful support group to help women both in and out of costume gives me hope. I don’t cosplay yet, but I will when I have the money to afford the yards of fabric (lol) And to see that there will be support for me if something were to go wrong makes me excited. Not only is it positive that women stand up for it dressed as their favorite Femme fetale, but think of what this gives younger girls: And that’s a network of people who care and are willing to help them. If we can do it in costume, then I don’t see how this can help teach the younger girls who cosplay how to handle it out of costume. Three cheers for standing up!

  • Anonymous

    I would like to ask a question, and I’m being serious here. Have ladies found this to be much less of an issue in Canada? The reason I ask is I once (2002ish) modeled at a convention for a friend who does special effects make up and I was wearing boots, a thong, prosthetic horns and paint.

    I walked around and handed out business cards for my friend and quite a few people (mostly guys) asked for pictures of or with me. I never caught anyone taking my pic without permission and anyone I took a pic with either didn’t touch me at all or only in a platonic way.

    The ONLY distasteful comment I received was one guy who asked “if he licked me would his tongue turn red” and I told him “his eye would turn black”. He laughed and said “Sorry that was kinda rude.” So I just wonder when I read this stuff are Canadians better behaved or has this just gotten worse in the past few years?

  • Anonymous

    Their names and the names of their companies should be posted. I would want to know so I don’t do business with them. In my 20′s I was a locksmith (1978-1989) and got harassed too and I never backed down. You never should back down.

  • kupkakeqt Kupkakeqt

    I have a question with the whole cosplay “consent” issue

    Harassment is wrong, and I’m not questioning that, but isn’t the costume made to demean and objectify women? I’m pulling back and looking at the bigger picture here of the sexual nature of many of the costumes created for female comic book and video game characters. I’m not questioning why women wear provocative costumes; I get the whole sex is empowerment feminist argument. That’s all fine and dandy. Yet, what I don’t understand is that these costumes were created by men for the enjoyment of men. The women are not real women. They are an idealized and fantasized view of the perfect woman in the minds of many men.

    Can we agree the costumes like Black Sable, Star Sapphire, etc are extremely sexual costumes? Can we agree the lines of propriety for male comic book characters and female characters are skewed in favor of men? I mean women in comics are drawn in such a way there is emphasis on their boobs and ass. Painstakingly so, that it breaks the laws of physics and boundaries of the human body. Did we have any say in the creation of the female image in comic books or video games? Did we choose to wear skirts and sexy boob window costumes because they enhanced the strength and intelligence of our costume?

    I don’t think we did. This was an image that was created for us, we donned this costume because I feel we are told it’s empowering, sexy, and alluring. I’m confused by the fact that these costumes were created with the Male Gaze in mind in order to degrade women into sex object. The women in almost all comic book have the cookie cutter physical proportions: Large Chest, small waist, big hips, flawless skin, hair, and mostly white. Where is the diversity of real women? There is none, because comic books are fiction and the women are fantasies of the idealized image for men. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe we as women, if we were given the opportunity to create our own comic book heroines back in the day, would we have chosen heels, short skirts, open costumes that showed our cleavage all the way down to our navel, and tight spandex booty shorts. Maybe we would, but then again we weren’t given the opportunity to create our own image.

    Ok. I’m not advocating for the harassment of any woman, or that they deserve being treated like sex objects. It’s wrong whether she is wearing a burka or a bikini (or nothing at all). I’m also not slut-bashing or condemning women for wearing cosplay. I am a woman and geek, who has a legitimate question about the costumes that were created that women wear. I would really like an honest opinion because I’m very confused and would like to hear what other people have to say about the nature of the costumes themselves.

  • Rob Heath

    What are you even talking about? Oh my god.

    1. It is actually impossible for me to derail this discussion unless somehow I had admin rights over the blog and was able to re-write this article to my “agenda”. Don’t blow my comment out of proportion. I saw an article, commented from my POV about something else I am seeing. I am not calling for this post topic to be change or stating it is incorrect. It’s fucking correct. And so is what I am saying, I just want to see someone, anywhere, who has a voice in the cosplay community like this to examine the bigger picture. And now they are:

    2. Different dynamic? I fail to see how sexual harassment on either sex from the opposite or same sex in the same setting, under the same circumstances is a different dynamic. It’s harassment, end of story.

    3. Whining for equal attention? Right… Again, did you read what I commented? I don’t want equal attention. I won’t argue there is an imbalance. But unlike everyone who has replied to me, apparently I am crazy to believe the small % actually is worth mentioning and points to a bigger picture.

    I want to see someone say that it is happening to males as well and identify that it’s a not a gender based issue, because it’s just been SOOOO one sided at this point, and that isn’t the whole truth.

    And now I am seeing males come out in facebook cosplay groups and talk about it, and that is all that I was asking for. I am satisfied. So bugger off, keep viewing what I say through your one way filter. I got what I wanted.

  • Ryan Psc

    I can’t believe Google let him on the official Youtube Rewind video. There are a ton of offensive a**holes on Youtube that get views, and Google just turns a blind eye while the cash rolls in. But inviting him to shoot that big promo was like the chamber of commerce stopping by the corner to thank some hustler for his entrepreneurship.

  • pk@fire

    Yeah (I hope!). A lot of the time I’m so shocked by what just happened that I find myself grasping at straws for hours after the fact. I can only imagine what it must be like to be a guy and have this happen – I don’t think guys are *nearly* as exposed to this as girls are.

  • Anonymous

    Why aren’t the names of the so-called reporters and their sites posted? So we know who we are dealing with?

  • Mike

    Oh for fucks sake, it was a tasteless joke used on Conan’s show during a star wars convention. This guy probably thought he was some kind of comedic genius.

  • isaned .

    Umm, you’re doing a panel about having common sense? That’s like having a panel about looking both ways before you cross the street or a panel on why you don’t play with downed power lines. These creepers KNOW what they are doing is wrong and why. The simple fact is, They don’t care. They probably do the same thing with every girl they meet. Do you think the offenders are going to be the ones attending this panel? Nope, they will be out there offending while you talk about what is offensive to people who already know what is offensive. You can light candles all you want, they will just blow them out.

  • isaned .

    Some people have a tendency to be gregarious and get into situations they have no place being in, simply because they perceive something is wrong, they go all macho and get into something that is clearly not their business, or they don’t have all the information.

    In the incident at PAX mentioned in the article, what would have been “appropriate” action for a male/female bystander to do? Beat the interviewer up? Nope. That’s assault and battery, and no matter how pure his motives are, HE/SHE ends up going to jail and the offending interviewer gets rich and slap on the wrist. Are they supposed to yell out “Hey! That’s sexist! Security?” Nope, because they won’t come running to the rescue nor will they really have any other course of action except (maybe) throwing him out, which is too late since the damage is done. If you’re a fellow cosplayer who sees this happen, are you gonna run up in your $1400 costume and shopping bags of anime toys to try and tell this douche he’s in the wrong? Nope, because you’ll likely be laughed out of the room and you’ll have accomplished nothing.

  • isaned .

    WRONG! If this were the case, fights would be happening at every convention multiple times a day. Everyone gets offended at something or someone, so if you just think fighting them is the answer, you’re worse then they are. And let’s just hope the offending person doesn’t wipe the floor with you while you’re dressed as Picachu and go on their way. You;ll hind most of these creepers are pretty full of themselves for a reason, and it’s not because they have money. It’s because they think they can take whatever they want, and sometimes they can through violence.

  • isaned .

    LOL, what’s sad is that my girlfriend makes more sexist and cringe-worthy comments to female cosplayers than this guy ever did. She might or might not do it within earshot of them. I’ve seen her stop and stare at a hot cosplaying girl and say things like “Holy Cheez-its! Wow, you’ve got the body to fill that costume out!” “Oh sh*t, that’s HAWT!” or “Damn, I wish I could pull that off!” And most are flattered and don’t give it a second thought. Some double-standard y’all got there, girls.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, you “fail to see”. Thank you for admitting it. You didn’t need the rest of the obfuscatory, self-serving rant; we already knew that you “fail to see.”

  • Anonymous

    LOL, lame try. Both times.

  • Lisa Still Smouldering

    While I applaud the actions taken by all the authority figures in this situation, I would have tripped him, then asked him how it feels to be under foot. Until the harassers are called on it immediately by the harassed, this will continue. Nothing stops this shitty behavior faster than embarrassment. Unless, of course, you end up getting fired for it by your tech company employers…

    The answer is too long and difficult to be answered without time, work, and…maybe a few castrations. Seriously-I doubt any nice guys want these predators in their sex either.

  • Lisa Still Smouldering

    My BF and I were talking to another woman the other day at his work, and she mentioned being leered at by older men because she was wearing a sheriff’s badge to work as a gag-’Oh, you’re the new sheriff in town!’ My boyfriend was almost completely clueless to how this behavior from those men was NOT OK, but he’s never been leered at like that.

    A lot of guys just don’t understand how the leering even is repulsive, so I think a lot of women forget that and get angry with guys who are speaking up to say ‘most of us aren’t creepers.’ I’d rather hear that from one guy than have 20 men who won’t post for fear of feminism attacks. Not all of us are like that, Perpetual Geek. :)

  • Lisa Still Smouldering

    The problem with talking about privilege is that once you open that Pandora’s Box, you AUTOMATICALLY assign yourself and your ‘opposition’ places in what turns a well-meaning conversation into a battleground where suddenly ‘them’ are on the defensive. How many conversations/debates/arguments has anyone had where putting someone on the defensive ends with that person actually LEARNING anything?

    I am not an apologist, but I am also firmly against making members of ‘them’ feel uncomfortable because they had the balls to speak up. The OP even says ‘I want to know how I can help better handle this.’ Saying ‘this phrase you used is bad’ doesn’t answer his question OR make the conversation any more productive-it just derails things and makes it all about impersonal ’causes’.

  • David Aneja

    Honestly, when I read the PAX comment I was more offended on behalf of all men than for women. I mean, think about what was said:

    “knowing that none of the men in this room could please them in bed.”

    That is simultaneously:
    pedastalizing those cosplayers (no man is good enough for them)
    degrading those cosplayers (suggestion of frigidity)
    Denegrating those men who attend PAX (none of them has sexual skill)
    Debasing those men (none of the men present are good enough for the women)

    In a way, his words are an immature, offensive attempt at a compliment. You can read what he said as either flattering or insulting (or both) to women. But they’re JUST insulting to men, no matter how you interpret them.

    That was my first impression as an MHRM. Something to think about.

  • Alexander Dinamarca

    Thing is, the costume in question wasn’t revelaing or sexualized. It’s was Lara’s getup from the reboot game, a tank top and khakis, fairly casual clothes that would be normal for any young woman to wear. The harrasser in question probably would have made the same stupid comment if the woman was wearing a long dress or a thong bikini.

  • Jesse

    I just heard from the banned creep (due to new issues from another convention they’re show deals with) that he’s been allowed back after threatening to sue for defamation of character. Does anyone know if this is the case?

    If so. Ew PAX East. Ew.

  • Maryann Voisinet

    Because it is likely one of the biggest (if not the biggest) cons in the country – it is highly publicized by different arenas of the entertainment industry.

  • Anonymous

    How do tough and/or embarrassing questions constitute “harassment?” Harassment is a quite specific legal term that assumes one party persists in a manner of offensive behavior over time towards another party and refuses to desist despite being asked. It almost always involves a trespass of some sort.

    But harassment sure isn’t simply “I don’t like your question.”

  • Vermillion

    these girls totally ask for it! if you don’t want to have sexually orientated questions pointed at you dress less slutty! girls’ main incentive to come to those conventions is male attention. Many guys only come to these conventions to see hot girls. Do you really think they care about comics/art that much? A friend of mine was once lucky enough to motorboat a slutty princess peach! come on don’t be offended by what people say. I think everyone should be free to make innuendos.

  • Vermillion

    why is everyone agreeing with this? its not like this guy touched the girl. he only said something! freedom of speech right? it’s not sexual harrasment if its just flirting. he probably felt declined and moved on after being refused by the girl.

  • Anonymous

    What a complete tool you are.

    Yes, because women are all such delicate little flowers that couldn’t possibly handle the mentioning of the existence of sex. WTF? Seriously, what explains this retarded puritan impulse that seems to be resurgent in the geek community? Mentioning the mere existence of sex in the presence of a woman (the dainty, childlike creatures) is a capital offense. Why are you such a stupid fucking tool? Please explain.