My personal opinion on sexism and cosplay:

I believe that sexism is prevalent in cosplay, and that because the cosplay community is growing larger and more mainstream, the incidents of harassment and misogyny are becoming more common and known to the public.

I believe that most media outlets, especially comic books, objectify and sexualize females without giving them real depth of character or exploring their stories further. I believe that the comic book industry mainly caters to male fantasy without much thought for their female audience.

However, I believe that the world has doomed women to criticism no matter what they look like or what they’re wearing. If a woman is considered unattractive, she is insulted for not being “hot” enough to fill the role. If she is considered attractive, she is called out as a faker and not considered a “true fan”.

I believe that a woman should be able to dress in whatever she wants to dress in, assuming it’s appropriate for the occasion. At a comic convention – why not? She should be proud of the costume and look she worked on, and at least respected in terms of personal boundaries and feedback. She should not have to bear criticism simply because she didn’t buy the best costume or because she’s 150 pounds instead of 110 pounds, too short, too tall, too something or other. She should be able to cosplay as the character she wants, because isn’t that what it’s all about?

Cosplay Ain’t Comics – But Neither is Misogyny

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Cosplay Ain’t Comics – But Neither is Misogyny →

See, that’s kind of the root of it all, isn’t it? The belief that as a geek guy, you’re entitled to the affections of an attractive woman in cosplay. The belief that you will be rewarded with the geek-girl of your dreams, that she’s just going to drop into your lap even if you don’t really make an effort to treat her like a human being. No matter how rude you are to a woman, or no matter how much you can’t move past thinking of her as an object in a costume that you can have sex with, that you are entitled and deserve her attention and affections.

And when she doesn’t give it to you because you’re not her type, or she already has a boyfriend, or she’s not interested, or because you just plain old don’t deserve it because you are rude and horrible? Then she’s obviously not really a geek girl, because geek girl’s are designed by god to have sex with and cater to you. All based on one mutual interest.

Cosplayers aren’t comics, no, but neither is misogyny. Cosplay breaths life into already brilliant work, lifting it off the pages and letting everyone have just a tiny slice of reality to go with their fiction. Misogyny closes ranks, excludes community members makes you look like an asshole. It does nothing.

Cosplay is appreciation and celebration. Misogyny and judging women like produce based on their ‘geek cred’ or legitimacy is hatred. Learn the difference.

Commander. "Cosplay Ain’t Comics — But Neither is Misogyny." Cosplaynaut. Cosplaynaut, 14 Nov. 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://www.cosplaynaut.com/2012/11/cosplay-aint-comics-but-neither-is-misogyny/>.

Sexualized Comic Book Heroines

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s super hero sexism →

In an effort to reverse slumping sales figures and attract the attention of a new generation of readers to their brands, DC Comics re-launched all of its comic book series earlier this year – some 52 separate titles in total. The “New 52” features Catwoman having sex with Batman on the roof of a building and a super heroine named Starfire (appearing in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1) “drawn like a centerfold from the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated [who] has become a promiscuous amnesiac.” The research appears in an article by Casey Brienza, a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Cambridge and one of the most well-known manga experts in the U.S. (Her ongoing project is a sociological account of the rise of manga in the United States and its implications for the globalization of culture.)

DC Comics produces comics featuring many well-known characters, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Green Lantern. Brienza says most superhero comics talk about women, not to them, and asks why U.S. superhero comics are so masculine. After all, Brienza points out, “other comic book-loving countries such as Japan and France do not manifest the same trends, and the self-same superhero characters, when presented in another medium-such as Hollywood film- have truly mass appeal.”

She finds that “American superhero comics, and the sexual objectification of their heroines, reflect the conditions of their production and consumption: they are made almost exclusively by and for men.” By way of example, Brienza cites research that the number of men versus women credited in the production of the new DC (and competitor Marvel) superhero comics is extremely unbalanced; on average women account for less than 10 percent of the production staff and are concentrated in less prestigious roles.

Comic book heroines are being objectified and sexualized, reflected perhaps best in their costumes. Maybe we’d have less incidents of attractive cosplayers being harassed if their character’s costumes were less revealing? Or should a woman be able to wear whatever she wants without backlash?

I personally believe two things – firstly, that woman *are* written about inappropriately in comics and other media, and secondly, that regardless, women should be able to wear what they like without fear of inappropriate behavior or other negative attention.

"It's a bird, it's a plane, it's super hero sexism." NewsRx Health 8 Jan. 2012: 7. Nursing and Allied Health Collection. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.

Tony Harris Rant

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Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, You Are More Pathetic Than The REAL Nerds →

Comic book artist Tony Harris’s misogynist rant on the women of the cosplay world:

I cant remember if Ive said this before, but Im gonna say it anyway. I dont give a crap.I appreciate a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff ( keeping the comments PG for my Ladies sake) but dammit, dammit, dammit I am so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Chiks. I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule. Heres the statement I wanna make, based on THE RULE: “Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC. But we are onto you. Some of us are aware that you are ever so average on an everyday basis. But you have a couple of things going your way. You are willing to become almost completely Naked in public, and yer either skinny( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are ) or you have Big Boobies. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies? You are what I refer to as “CON-HOT”. Well not by my estimation, but according to a LOT of average Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to girls, and the ONE thing they all have in common? The are being preyed on by YOU. You have this really awful need for attention, for people to tell you your pretty, or Hot, and the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of you hanging on them with your glossy open lips, promising them the Moon and the Stars of pleasure, just makes your head vibrate. After many years of watching this shit go down every 3 seconds around or in front of my booth or table at ANY given Con in the country, I put this together. Well not just me. We are LEGION. And here it is, THE REASON WHY ALL THAT, sickens us: BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER. And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the fucking time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics. Your just the thing that all the Comic Book, AND mainstream press flock to at Cons. And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in? That would be Comic Book Artists, and Comic Book Writers who make all that shit up.

A follow up to this blog post commenting on his Facebook rant:

So heres my follow up commentary. Tried to “engage” my detractors on Twitter. Big mistake. Not gonna backpeddle. Not one step. I tried to be clear at the beginning by saying I know there are legit Cosplayers who know the material and love it. So if you wanna gloss over that and accuse my statements as being all inclusive of Cosplay, then blow me. See, this is why I posted this HERE, on MY page. You dont like it? Leave. Dont threaten to stop buying my work, because Im sure most of you who threw that gauntlet down, never did to begin with. Good riddance. Hey all you self righteous fuck-faces out there who are spewing even MORE hatred at me, than you accused me of spewing. pfffft. Really, thats how you come at me? Once you have moved on to hate on someone else….Good Riddance. But the one thing I HAVE to address is the use of the word MISOGYNY. So I am a Misogynist? Why? Because I frown upon Posers who are sad, needy fakers who use up all my air at Cons? Sorry, while you Cos”Play” Im actually at work. Thats my office. Fuck you. I actually dont hate women, I dont fear them either. Nor do I mistrust them. I do not portray or Objectify half naked women in my work. I never have. I have always been VERY vocal about my dislike of that practice, and that my view is and has been that T&A in comics is a Pox. If you wanna come at me with accusations of Misogyny and sexism, youll be wrong. I think there are several Hundred “PRos” I could rattle off that are doing a fine job of perpetuating that crap without ANY help from me. Its not helping to further our industry. Hey haters, Im not sad, lonely, stupid, uneducated, gay, nor do I wear Assess for a Hat. Im not a Sexist, and have been very vocal about the fact that its a GOOD thing to see so many female fans at shows, and I treat them with the same kindness and respect as I do ANY male fan I meet. I guess the one mistake I made in my original post was that I excluded Men. Let me rectify that…… SOME of you MEN, are as bad as SOME of the Women Cosplayers, I talked about earlier. There. Oh and to all of you guys who are my friends, and pros who I work with, dont go and try and defend me or anything I wrote. Youll just get shit on. Thanks though. And lastly, Bleeding Cool, and Rich Johnston are Shithead, scumbags, and this isnt the first time his camp has come after me. Fuck you Rich.

Johnston, Rich. "“Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, You Are More Pathetic Than The REAL Nerds” –
     Tony Harris (UPDATE)." Bleeding Cool. Bleeding Cool, 13 Nov. 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
     <http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/11/13/
     hey-quasi-pretty-not-hot-girl-you-are-more-pathetic-than-the-real-nerds-tony-harris/>.