Hello, readers old and new. My name is pronounced “hee-nuh dad-uh-boy” (yes, like “attaboy”). My first and last name roughly translate to “plant-based dye” and “great-uncle” (or, more literally, “father’s father’s brother“), respectively. You might know me from Skepchick, Kickstarter (working on it, I promise), the New York Times, Conservapedia, or any of the cons, podcasts, and many other venues at which you can read or hear me. What can I say? I don’t say no to many opportunities.
In the weeks leading up to my being added to the FreeThought Blogs network, along with someone whose descriptors are quite similar to mine and a feminist writer I’ve long admired from afar, I contemplated the whys of blogging and speaking quite a bit. After all, despite what some naive types might think, it doesn’t really pay.
The answer hit me when I happened upon a blatantly misogynistic post criticizing cosplayers whose outfits were dubbed by the OP to be “too revealing” (I’m unable to find the OP on Facebook, as I believe it has been deleted). He declared that revealing costumes were not true reflections of fandom and were, instead, “just for the attention”. It sparked a thought in me.
Isn’t wearing a costume to a con, whether it’s revealing or not, for the attention? Whether I’m in my side-boob-revealing Roxy Richter or my full-coverage Carmen Sandiego, I want people to see me, recognize my character, and enjoy the spectacle — attention.
If people didn’t want attention, they would either (1) cosplay but never leave their house or (b) go to con but not cosplay.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting attention.
Cosplay aside, I write and speak and maintain as high visibility as can be managed for the attention. The attention helps me to feel fulfilled (something I rarely achieve at my day job), enables me to do things that I enjoy (more writing! more speaking! more meeting awesome people!), and furthers the causes about which I care.
After all, when it comes to promoting a community currently as small and as besieged as the ex-Muslim community, or viewpoints as oddly controversial as being in favor of social justice, every little bit of attention counts. I’m proud to join a blog network doing more than most others in ensuring representation.