Interviews

I was having some difficulties uploading these videos to iMovie, so I’ve uploaded the raw videos instead. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the edited videos out this coming week!

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/>.

Verbally degrading interview with Mandy Caruso

Comic Con Experience →

Professional fashion designer and artist Mandy Caruso underwent verbal harassment when she cosplayed at New York Comic Con as Black Cat from Marvel Comics.

Him: I’m here with…
Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat
Him: ..And she is HOT. Do you think I’m hot enough to pull that off?
Me: Uh, I’m not sure, I’ve never seen you in drag.
Him: I’ve got a great ass. Go on, spank me.
Me: (look at his large ass, popped up mere inches away from me then look into the camera like are you kidding me . No thanks. I may hurt you, I’m a lot stronger than I look.
Him: Aw come on!
Me: No, seriously. Stop.
Him: Damn, alright! Well let me ask you an important question then…what is your cup size?
Me: (big talk show smile) That is actually none of your fucking business.
Him: Oh! I think that means to say she’s a C.
Me: I actually have no breasts at all, what you see is just all of the fat from my midsection pulled up to my chest and carefully held in place with this corset. It’s really uncomfortable, I don’t know why I do it.
 Him: (to the male crowd) Aw, come on what do you guys think? C cup?
—a few males start to shout out cup sizes as I stand there looking at this guy like this has to be a fucking joke, then look at the crowd and see that no amount of witty banter or fiestiness will stop making this whole thing fucking dumb. It was clearly a ploy to single out cosplaying women to get them to talk sexual innuendos and flirt with this asshole and let him talk down to them simply because they were in costume and were attractive. Whether I’m in a skintight catsuit or not, I’m a fucking professional in everything I do and I don’t need to play nice for this idiot.
Me: This is not an interview, this is degrading. I’m done. (I walk away)
Him: (clearly dumbfounded and surprised) ..Come on, it’s all in good fun!
Me: Being degraded is fun? That was unprofessional and I hope that isn’t your day job because you can’t interview for shit, my man.

For the original post with additional comments, please read the post on her personal Tumblr.

Is she right to be offended or is she asking for the unwanted attention by dressing in a provocative manner?

Her version of Black Cat:

An image of the comic book character:

Caruso, Mandy. "Weblog post." The Grind Haus. N.p., 13 Oct. 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
     <http://beautilation.tumblr.com/post/33538802648>.

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/>.