Cosplaying: How Should I Feel?

As a person who’s actually tentatively planning a cosplay this year for LFCC – and as a person in the atheist community who’s been honestly fucking apalled by how stupid the whole “sex discrimination regulation” things have been at TAM! and such – then I feel like this has to be said:

“Cosplay is NOT Consent aims to educate the community by using the experiences of cosplayers, and convention staff to help put an end to unwanted harassment of convention attendees. We will work with convention owners to help bring comfort and safety back to fan events all around the world. “

All of this should also go without saying. So thank you for there actually being someone (well, a tumblr) saying so.

Hat tip to Jo, who wrote an article about Lolita culture. Go read it!


Posted on May 1, 2013, in Feminism, Stuff I found somwhere on an Internet. and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’ve sworn off conventions of any kind. There is already so much being done to bring comfort and safety to select privileged groups, that they have become uncomfortable and unsafe for people not in the explicitly protected privileged groups. That dude getting fired over a G rated “Dongle” joke at Pycon really was just the last straw. Getting more attention than you want really is very secondary to loosing the ability to feed your family.

    • While I do agree that the pycon business was a travesty, and that no-one should’ve been fired for it, complaints of “reverse sexism” when a mechanism overreacts shouldn’t be an argument against conventions. Or regulations protecting convention goers.

      Also, the idea that women are privileged in fields where they are in the minority – a mostly silent minority at that – seems bizarre.

      And none of this is related to the *actual* post, frankly.

      • Conventions are so unsafe and uncomfortable for me, that I refuse to go. Are conventions so uncomfortable for Cosplay that people are refusing to go, even not in costumes? People that intentionally do stuff to draw attention to themselves are getting more attention than they want is a very minor problem. Making the con’s more friendly to women in costumes makes them less friendly to men (This does not need to be the case, but it IS the case). What you are in effect asking for is to make con’s less safe for men, many of whom are already avoid the cons as unsafe places. This is how it ties in the the actual post.

        It is sexism, not reverse sexism, it’s sexism. The saying “reverse sexism” minimizes and trivializes the victims of this sexism while at the same time implying a definitional direction to sexism that shouldn’t be there. This definitional direction is the biggest problem I have with modern “Feminism” and Women’s Rights. It irks me every time I see it.

        That women are privileged in any setting under any circumstances would seem bizarre. “Privilege” has become short hand for “White male privilege” and women are not men, and not necessarily white. Actually applying the concept of “Privilege” to women is a bit hard to wrap your mind around in any circumstance. I’m glad that you are at least trying in a constructive way.

      • I don’t see how making a convention less threatening to women makes it any more threatening to men. In fact, such regulations work exactly as well for the harassment of male cosplayers: the link actually has a video detailing one male cosplayer’s experience of harassment, and why it was not OK. And I also don’t see how the harassment of convention goers at conventions is a minor problem, unless you think that by dressing that way, they deserve unwanted attentions.

        I absolutely agree with your point about “reverse sexism” being sexism: hence the inverted commas. I only used the term because I thought you were suggesting such. I disagree with the suggestion that modern feminism is misandrist or only interested in women, though: that’s never been my understanding or perception of fellow feminists, most of whom have to battle against the “man-hater” image.

        All of that said, I’m very sorry you feel so unsafe and uncomfortable at conventions. That sucks 😦

      • As I said, Making cons more comfortable for one group does not need to make it less comfortable for others. The problem is that this is how it’s actually being implemented and enforced. The harassment policies are becoming more and more about feelings, not actions. I’m not a mind reader. When the policy is “made to feel”, not prohibited actions, I need to know how my actions will make you feel before hand. I’m not a mind reader. The policy revisions and actions have been to make “made to feel” more inclusive and fuzzy. Now that the possible penalties for not being a good enough mind reader have progressed past “ejected from con” to loosing the ability to put food on the table. This is a very hostile environment. Policy revisions that would help both Cosplay and other attendees would be better worded, more clear, definitions of what is and more importantly what is not harassment.

        So, this leads me to a very real question for you. What is the greatest level of “Harassment” to which the proper reply is “Suck it up buttercup”. What level of harassment complaints is just being whiny?

        No one “Deserves” unwanted attention. This is reality though. Unwanted attention is a reality that must be dealt with. People that intentionally bring attention to themselves raise the bar for when unwanted attention actually becomes problematic. To say the girl in the string bikini with pink hair and talking really loud wants the same amount of attention that the girl in the hoodie is seeking is just silly. The girl putting herself on display wants more attention, and this will include more unwanted attention. This is not ideal, but it is reality.

      • it isn’t difficult, you are allowed to talk to them as a person, you can compliment their costume all you want. Just don’t make comments about their body, touch them, invade their space or take a photo without permission.

        There is also the problem of creators designing costumes for their female characters and then shaming women for actually dressing up as those characters, which makes no sense. Cosplay is fun and attention is not the same as unwanted attention. It is fun to look at all the cool costumes. It’s not fun to have your body critiqued or groped by strangers even if the critic thinks what they say is a compliment.

        So rather than “you look hot in that costume” go for “that costume is amazing”. Easy.

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