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Oct 14 2012

Two badass women

Check out these stories.

  • A cosplayer in a sexy outfit refuses to be abused in an interview.

    It’s because many people at these cons expect women cosplaying as vixens (or even just wearing particularly flattering costumes) to be open/ welcoming to crude male commentary and lecherous ogling, like our presence comes with subtitles that say “I represent your fantasy thus you may treat me like a fantasy and not a human in a costume”. And maybe that will always be how the majority of people see us. But that does not mean we have to put up with shit that crosses the line, it does not mean we owe them a fantasy, it does not mean we dress up to have guys drooling over us and letting us know that we turn them on. It is not all about your dicks, gentlemen. So I encourage cosplaying women everywhere to be blunt and vocal with their rights, their personal boundaries, and their comfort level at conventions. I actually encourage girls to be brashly shameless about these things, to not be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable and to let the person doing it know that they are crossing the line. Don’t keep quiet because you’re scared of what they might say or think- because if you say nothing they will continue to see what they’re doing as OK.

  • A Greek atheist stands up against Christian fascists.

    I wish I could tell them: I am not a lesbian, but even if I were, what would it matter? I have a husband and a child, but even if I didn’t, what would it matter? I’m not Albanian, but even if I was, what would it matter? I’m not a communist, but even if I was, what would it matter? I don’t believe in God, but what does it matter? Some people have a different opinion about God and Christ and the Virgin Mary — what does it matter? You demand respect for your right to believe in God as you like, why don’t you respect others’ rights to believe in a different way, or not to believe at all?

    (via Ophelia)

Both are inspiring!

40 comments

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  1. 1
    ewanmacdonald

    Love that first post in particular. I’ve been to some cons and I’ve never personally witnessed sleazy behavior towards the scantily-clad cosplayers – only politeness – but I can imagine that this kind of thing shown by the “interview” is all too common. It’s basic decency: if you want to take a photo, ASK. If you want to post for a photo, ASK. If you are receiving negative vibes, rethink what you’re doing and adjust accordingly. And if you’re plainly not welcome in someone’s company, walk the fuck away. That these basic norms that people will live by 364 days of the year totally go out of the window in the presence of an attractive woman is infuriating.

  2. 2
    Sastra

    From the 2nd link:

    “ Leave, let it go. Leave. Let it go.”

    They took me by the hand and softly tried to pull me away. They offered friendly, protective smiles.

    No, I won’t leave, I won’t let it go. I have a right to be here. I have a right to a different opinion. I have the right to see a play of my choosing. I have the right to do all this, even if some people feel offended, even if some are annoyed, even if they try to push me away by force, having exhausted all legal means, since the charges against the producers were deemed baseless and the restraining order illegal. And I will exercise my right and will not allow violence and bullying discourage me.

    Brilliant. Quite brilliant.

  3. 3
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Good for these courageous women.

  4. 4
    sharkjack

    I was at gamescom this year, where you stand in line quite a bit (go figure, a convention where you stand in line) and cosplayers were a great boredom reliever. That alone should be enough for people to let cosplayers be comfortable, but irrespective of that people deserve to be treated as actual human beings regardless of how they dress.

    Another shocker, asking people if they want to take a picture with you (or their picture taken at all) doesn’t result in them saying no when they’re cool with getting their picture taken in the first place. It appears enthousiastic consent isn’t destroyed by asking for that consent without applying pressure. Who knew.

  5. 5
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I want a world where you don’t have to be a badass.

  6. 6
    maddog1129

    What does “cosplay” mean?

  7. 7
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I want a world where you don’t have to be a badass.

    Amen Sister…

  8. 8
    irisvanderpluym

    @SC:

    I want a world where you don’t have to be a badass.

    Yeah. But until that happy day arrives, I’ll take as many badass women as I can get.

  9. 9
    pramod

    Not that I know a lot more than you but from what I’ve gathered, cosplay is short for costume play and basically it’s people dressing up as comic characters, movie characters, fictional characters and whatnot.

  10. 10
    maddog1129

    @ #9. Pramod … Thank you ;)

  11. 11
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Yeah. But until that happy day arrives, I’ll take as many badass women as I can get.

    [Assuming an acknowledgment that my statement was not all-or-nothing...] What does that mean?

  12. 12
    sharkjack

    what Pramod said pretty much yeah. Also I agree with #5 SC, but I’m also all for supporting people that are getting us there.

  13. 13
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I’m not trying to be cryptic.

    I think we – people in oppressed groups and our/their supporters – should work for equality and justice for which no one should have to prove herself worthy. Whatever the criteria for “badass,” they shouldn’t be the basis for this treatment. A focus on “badass” women, in my view, promotes the idea that women are worthy of rights insofar as we approach this ideal. I think the focus should be on changing the system for everyone regardless of how badass they are by any definition. (This doesn’t mean not aiding women who are in physical danger because of their actions or activism.)

    Courage takes many forms, and in any event you shouldn’t have to be a hero (or the opposite, a pure victim) to deserve justice.

  14. 14
    Mobius

    … what would it matter?

    Bravo.

    Unfortunately, most Christian fascists will never get the point, and will never respect the right of others to have a different opinion. In their minds, I believe, the only way their own tenets can be justified is for everyone else to hold them as well.

  15. 15
    microraptor

    Another shocker, asking people if they want to take a picture with you (or their picture taken at all) doesn’t result in them saying no when they’re cool with getting their picture taken in the first place. It appears enthousiastic consent isn’t destroyed by asking for that consent without applying pressure. Who knew.

    Yeah, as someone who’s gone to a few conventions and taken pictures of some of the costumed convention-goers, I have to say that it’s amazing how effective simply asking “Excuse me (gender appropriate pronoun), may I take your picture?” is. Especially if you make sure you’re not interrupting them when they’re doing something else, like talking to someone, trying to eat, or, you know, otherwise trying to enjoy themselves.

  16. 16
    No One

    Diagoras had to flee Athens because of religious fanatics. Sad state of affairs for the Hellenes.

  17. 17
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yeah. But until that happy day arrives, I’ll take as many badass women as I can get.

    Women who demand their due as full human beings. AMEN! Shouldn’t have to happen, but until that day, bring it on…

  18. 18
    whheydt

    Re: Sharkjack (@#4)

    I run ConReg at DunDraCon. If people are waiting in line to register, *I’m* not happy. If people are waiting in line long enough to get bored…then *I’m* doing something wrong.

    No one should have to wait in line to register at a con any longer than it takes to fill out the form (so we can enter the data and get you a badge).

    The world isn’t perfect…but that’s what I strive for at DDC ConReg.

  19. 19
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Women who demand their due as full human beings.

    My existence demands that.

  20. 20
    Paul K

    SC

    My existence demands that.

    Damn straight!

  21. 21
    anthonyrosa

    I’ve gone to conventions before. I’ve even taken some excellent pictures of the men and women who put so much time and effort into their excellent costumes.

    I always asked first, of course. And if someone had said no, I would have respected that. But, you know what, most people seemed just fine with it! Imagine that. All you need to do is ask.

    …oh, and not be like the asshats here who were harassing this woman. What pieces of shit.

  22. 22
    Bjarni

    Well, reading that first one makes me wish I was there just to give her a ‘high five’ as she walked away. That sort of ‘badassery’ is pretty damn cool (though I too wish it wasn’t necessary).

    I do agree 100% though, if nobody speaks out about a problem, it stays a problem. Hopefully that incident makes some of those guys start to think about what they’re doing.

  23. 23
    Gregory in Seattle

    Norwescon is putting together a formal policy regarding harassment for next year. Mainly because of the women who cosplay Klingon warriors, who have been tracking down the offenders and having a little “chat” with them. The hope is to get things settled BEFORE the peacebonding on the bat’leth is removed.

  24. 24
    sadunlap

    Here’s another example. A young woman and tech geek using the screen name “Nixie Pixel” did a YouTube video about the men she encountered who devalued her work because of her cosplay twitter picture and her choice of a dress she wore in one of her videos. I wish I were making this up. She thought being a geek meant anyone could join.

    Nixie Pixel’s “I’d rather vlog naked”

  25. 25
    Kristjan Wager

    Another story which is relevant.

    An employee at a vendor at conference was told by an employee at another vendor that she was only there because she was pretty – she choose to speak up about it.

    She also wrote a follow-up post about the mostly positive feedback she got from speaking up.

  26. 26
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Everyone should just assume that even the meekest, most unassuming and quiet woman or girl, even if not costumed up for the con, is quite badass. It would induce a permanent state of politeness. Mandy Caruso as Black Cat may not have received the applause she deserved after she walked away, but if I passed her in the hall later I would have offered a ‘Good for you!’ as encouragement. I wish I could have been there with my daughter so she could have a con propriety ‘Eureka!’ moment.

    In addition to wanting a world where one doesn’t have to be badass, it would be nice if the world was such that displaying the line of a pair of boobs squeezed together for costume authenticity (or any other occasion) wouldn’t be equated with an invitation to lecherous and leering drunken frat boy behaviour. And grabass is right out. Remember the con attendee mantra: Badass, not grabass!

  27. 27
    Gregory in Seattle

    McC2lhu –

    Remember the con attendee mantra: Badass, not grabass!

    I like that. Another line worth remembering is, “Cosplay is not consent.”

  28. 28
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    I can’t help but contrast the experience at the Con to participating in the Seattle Slutwalk.

    Since the entire CONCEPT of the slutwalk is about enthusiastic consent, anyone who wished to take my picture, or a picture of my dog, (she was my official Slut Bitch), or even just of the sign I carried, made sure to clearly ask. Heck, even people handing out flyers for Socialist candidates, action groups, etc asked politely if I had a moment or if I would care to have a flyer. I didn’t mind photos in the least, (though I have to wonder about the sanity of anyone wanting a picture of me), but it was such a reminder about what the whole event was about. EVERYTHING is about consent.

  29. 29
    nohellbelowus

    …it does not mean we dress up to have guys drooling over us and letting us know that we turn them on.

    And all the girls walk by
    Dressed up for each other
    And the boys do the droolie-droolie
    On the corner of the street…

    (Apologies to Van the man)

  30. 30
    gregranzoni

    Ahhh, so that’s what Thunderfoot say didn’t happen, (never been to a con and there aren’t much cosplayers in my area)

  31. 31
    RFW

    I am reminded of a micro-drama along somewhat the same lines, published in a popular gay magazine abt 25 years ago. A gay porn star of the day took the magazine and its readers to task for objectifying him, saying (I paraphrase very loosely) “Look, I’m a human being behind the mask of erotic photos I pose for to earn my bread. That I am photographed buck naked with a come hither look for your titillation does not mean, if you cross paths with me in real life, that I’m a thing to be groped, fondled, or crudely propositioned.”

    People, particularly you socially inept, sex starved, basement bound geeks: get a grip. Learn to distinguish the fictional personae projected at cons from the authentic personae underneath. You’re as bad as the xtians who don’t get that the bibble, whatever its original nature and intent, is these days no more than a vague, highly generalized guide to behaving decently toward your fellow man.

  32. 32
    slowdjinn

    @RFW #31

    You’re as bad as the xtians who don’t get that the bibble[..]is these days no more than a vague, highly generalized guide to behaving decently toward your fellow man.

    No. Really it isn’t. You could cherry-pick passages to make it look that way, but you would have to ignore all of the god-sanctioned obscene brutality; and if you’re doing that, you’re imposing your idea of decency on the bible, not vice versa

  33. 33
    double

    The interviewer in the first story is one strange fellow. If I see a pretty cosplayer, my first questions would be: why did you choose that particular character, what are your thoughts about modern comic books, do you cosplay often etc. Banal, but to the point. How on earth can any reasonable grown man ask a cosplayer about her cupsize? Does he go around asking male cosplayers about the lenght of their dicks? Seems like a pervert to me.

    Tremendous respect for the woman in the second story, unfortunately I would not have the courage to act like that in a similar situation.

  34. 34
    kantalope

    re: nixie pixel vid @24

    she starts out with “I’m not a feminist” –maybe I am out of touch but what does that mean? “I don’t think women should be treated equally?” Misogyny does not bother me? I get all my word definitions from Rush Limbaugh? What does that mean?

    puzzled

  35. 35
    shockna

    As a major convention goer, I’ll be sure to share the first story with all of my lovely female cosplaying friends (especially the few of whom haven’t found the will to be appropriately harsh to assholes like the “interviewer”, and similar ogling morons). I wish I had the privilege to witness that beautiful moment.

    kantalope @ 34:

    The anti-feminist undercurrent (which is much, much bigger than just Limbaugh) in western culture has essentially tarred modern feminism as “female supremacy” (hence, “feminazi”) rather than “gender equality”. She likely has no idea what modern feminism actually is; I know I didn’t, before stumbling onto these particular parts of the internet.

  36. 36
    sharkjack

    #31 RFW, I understand your sentiment, but someone who pressures a congoer into doing an interview, then without a second thought asks about cup size and manipulates the person into staying by playing it all of as a joke doesn’t sound socially inept to me at all. Quite the opposite, it sounds very socially adept. These people have honed their people skills quite well, they’re just using them in a harmful way because they don’t care about the harm they do. This isn’t someone who is confusing the person for the character in any way. If they did they might have asked something about the character, but they didn’t at all. You’re mischaracterising the problem, giving the people who are really causing the problem a shield to hide behind in the proces.

  37. 37
    Armored Scrum Object

    This isn’t someone who is confusing the person for the character in any way. If they did they might have asked something about the character

    That would at least have been acknowledging her interest in the character. The interviewers apparently never even mentioned the character, even though she led with it quite pointedly (“Him: I’m here with… \ Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat”). In response to that, a little in-character questioning would have been downright respectful by comparison, even if it were somehow sexually charged (perhaps something like “Say, gotten lucky with Spidey lately? I hear he’s single these days”).

  38. 38
    sadunlap

    @ Kantalogp #34 and Shockna #35

    she starts out with “I’m not a feminist” –maybe I am out of touch but what does that mean? “I don’t think women should be treated equally?” Misogyny does not bother me? I get all my word definitions from Rush Limbaugh? What does that mean?

    and Shockna #35

    The anti-feminist undercurrent (which is much, much bigger than just Limbaugh) in western culture has essentially tarred modern feminism as “female supremacy” (hence, “feminazi”) rather than “gender equality”. She likely has no idea what modern feminism actually is; I know I didn’t, before stumbling onto these particular parts of the internet.

    In a similar manner to the way that Darwin described how the eye evolved by describing modern organisms with precursor forms of the eye at different stages of evolutionary development, you can think of Nixie Pixel as at the early stage of evolution as shockna (or Rebecca Watson, for that matter) was a few years ago.

    Also, the words “feminist” and “feminism” get used with such varied meanings by so many different people that I am not surprised by anyone feeling a bit confused.

  39. 39
    Jason

    Damn right! Cleavage is not consent!

  40. 40
    julielada

    I wrote about this topic on the GenCon forums a few years ago. If you want to read about some of the things I’ve encountered, as well as a few other women who piped up on the thread, and the subsequent victim-blaming that ensued, have yourself a read: http://community.gencon.com/forums/t/24645.aspx?PageIndex=1

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