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?

Voiceover

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Assignment: Write and record a voiceover capturing the core concept of your project. Post your voiceover script to your blog. You can use your “About This Blog” or a favorite post for material. Add music and/or sound design as needed.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/80122556″ params=”color=d24836&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

Cosplaying, or “costume playing”, is the art of dressing up and imitating a character from a comic book, manga, anime, movie, or other media. A cosplayer will typically buy or create a costume to wear for photoshoots, comic and anime conventions, and various other events.

Sexism in cosplay is a relatively unknown topic to the general public. While many males are forgiven for relative unattractiveness and/or poor costume design, females are thrown into the spotlight whether they like it or not. When a female is considered unattractive, she is ridiculed and shamed both in person and on the Internet. When a female is considered attractive and fits her costume well, she is told she is “fake”, not a true fan, and is cosplaying simply for the attention it brings her from male admirers. She is often verbally harassed. Shouldn’t women be able to dress up as the character without the backlash?

I plan to document various incidents, opinions, and photos related to the topic of sexism in cosplay. I will interview amateur and professional cosplayers for their views on this. I also plan to interview people who are unfamiliar with the community in order to find out more mainstream views.

Interview with Touhou Cosplayers

My Vimeo account is back up and running! Here’s the next interview with two Touhou cosplayers (Yuuka and Yukari) I met at Animation on Display.

I’m still not sure who the blonde cosplayer is cosplaying, so if you know, please enlighten me in the comments!

Found out the correct name and have updated the post.

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.

Sexual Harassment at Conventions

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Ker-pow! Women kick back against comic-book sexism →

A group of female comic book fans in the US are currently preparing to launch a movement against harassment at comic conventions in conjunction with social campaigns website Change.org.

“Physical and verbal harassment are widespread at comic conventions and other geek-oriented cons – not just of attendees, but guests and staff as well,” says Jessica Plummer, one of the organisers of the petition calling for the adoption of anti-harassment polices.

“I’ve seen reports of everything from inappropriate comments to rape. I’ve seen women groped by strangers because they were in costume,” she says.

"Art: Ker-pow! Women kick back against comic-book sexism: Women are sidelined at big comic publishers and sexually harassed at conventions, but a British-made, female-driven anthology heralds a cultural shift that may change all that."Guardian [London, England] 29 Dec. 2011: 10. Popular Magazines. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.