It’s like there’s a sudden rash of sexist fuckboys in my little corner of the cosplay community. Over the past week or so, I’ve been met with some sexist bullshit over my own cosplay (and in one case, someone else’s) more than usual. I usually just brush them off with a callout, a meme, or a block, but this time those morons are getting their own special post. Aren’t they lucky?
1. I was super proud of my first attempt at making EVA foam armor, and so I show one of the guys from a cosplay group I’m in. The armor in question are these weird knee pad things; he knows that’s what they are meant to be. His reply upon seeing them is “Those cover your boobs? Lol jk”
But it’s not fucking funny; no “lol,” no “jk.” It’s just rude, sad, and very telling of the fact that he, and guys like him, don’t take lady cosplayers seriously. Sandwiching your bullshit between insincere compliments doesn’t really make it any less shitty.
I worked hard on them, yet my efforts are reduced to some stupid fucking tit joke. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good dirty joke, but goddammit if nearly everything I do as a woman who cosplays isn’t turned into some bullshit about my looks or anatomy by a fuckboy who can’t control himself or his words long enough to make the decision not to be a fucking dick. I love being cute. I love being sexy. I do not love every thing I do being sexualized and trivialized just because I’m a woman. Nothing about my craftsmanship. Nothing about how long it took or any technical aspects. Nope. Just titties and sex, all the fucking time. This isn’t the first time he’s done this either. I tried to give dude the benefit of the doubt, but that was the final straw. A similar situation happened before, when I showed him my Mary Jane cosplay.
Again, he focuses on “anatomy” (read: breasts), and then tries to clean it up with a half-assed compliment. I’m not here for it. At one point, I considered this guy a friend, but he’s proven himself to be hopeless. Don’t get me started on the time I spent trying to educate him own his own messy sexist views. I thought he’d made progress, but progress is actually learning, not putting icing on a turd and hoping nobody will notice that it’s still just shit. The act of throwing in a “compliment” when I don’t respond shows that he knows he said was wrong, yet instead of owning up to it, he thinks saying something “nice” will somehow distract me or make it better. It doesn’t. That brings me to…
2. These assholes, who have probably never painted or stitched or contoured a day in their lives, and also had something to say about my Mary Jane cosplay.
First there’s this guy:
And then this guy:
The cosplay in question involved a lot more than meets the eye, but because I had the audacity to show any amount of skin, although it is faithful to the source material, my efforts are once again trivialized and overlooked.Guy number 1 epitomizes the odd tendency of some men within the cosplay community to simultaneously lust after and rebuke female cosplayers. Guy number 2 went the same route of trying to hide his shitty behavior and attitude with a compliment, but he couldn’t hold it together. He set out to bash me and wanted to pick my cosplay apart because to him, I’m just some dumb whore looking for attention. Nevermind the fact that that’s probably one of the most easily recognizable and iconic pictures of Mary Jane, and any other effort to cosplay her would probably just be mistaken for regular street clothes. Double nevermind the fact that the sole purpose of me cosplaying her had to do with fighting back against the racist backlash from people who mistakenly thought thatthe latest Spider-Man reboot would be featuring a black Mary Jane.
The lack of basic respect a lot of men (no, not “all” men
, so please don’t send me angry, hearltfelt emails about how you’re the exception) in cosplay show to women cosplayers stems from them viewing any girl who dares to visibly take part in cosplay (or any other “nerdy” activity) as attention whoring fake fans, talent-less sex toys, and pretty much everything else but fellow fans. It’s nothing new; thousands of others have written about this issue before me, but that doesn’t make it any less fucking maddening. Cosplay is not a hobby for the faint of heart. No matter how you slice it, it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of money, it takes a lot of effort. For some random crusty dude to imply or outright state that a woman is pouring valuable resources into recreating a character just to impress or excite him and his legion of moronic horny douchebags? It’s laughable. Female cosplayers aren’t cosplaying for your pleasure or your consumption. It’s as though these guys never got the “cosplay is not consent” memo and assume that all women who cosplay are automatically sexually accessible and exist for entertainment. And that’s where incident number 4 comes into play.
4. This guy found out that I’m a cosplayer, and decided it’d be appropriate to ask me to pose for pics for his “personal collection.” He’s not a photographer. This was our first (and last) encounter. It doesn’t take a super sleuth to figure out what kinds of pictures he wanted, and when I declined, he oh-so-generously left the offer on the table, making sure I knew that I could easily get “$500” out of it (insert eyeroll to the heavens here). I have nothing against sex work or sex workers, but I have a major problem with the fact that, upon realizing that I’m a cosplayer, he felt it would be ok to proposition me in such a manner.
Honestly, if a legitimate photographer with an impressive portfolio and a good reputation asked me if I were interested in doing a paid risque cosplay shoot, there’s a good chance I’d be into it. I love pictures and it sounds like it’d fun in an appropriate setting with a professional. But some random creep on the internet, with absolutely no credentials, who I had “known” for all of 15 minutes, assuming that I’d be down with catering to whatever his fantasies were based solely on the fact that I’m a cosplayer just doesn’t sit well with me. It creeped me out, particularly the “this would be just for me” bit. I highly doubt he’d have asked me about doing some sketchy personal shoot had I never disclosed the fact that I’m a cosplayer. The implication is that there’s something inherently submissive and sexual about women who cosplay, and that’s just not true. Even if I’m wearing a sexy cosplay, I’m not doing it for anyone but myself. Women cosplayers are not walking fan service. They are not fuckdolls designed to sexually entertain you. They are skilled fellow fans who work hard to create the characters they love, whether they’re covered from head-to-toe or doing a bikini cosplay, I am here to tell every single idiot guy who feels its his duty to disrespect female cosplayers: We are not doing this for you. At all. You are not important. You don’t matter to us. If we’re showing skin, it is because that’s what we wanted to do; we aren’t doing it for your validation or your pleasure. Nobody gives a fuck about your boners, man. If we’re in layers of fabric and armor, it is not for you to pat us on the back for whatver your stupid fucking idea of “real cosplay” and ‘moedsty” may be. It’s still just for us. We cosplay for us. Not you. Here’s a guy who didn’t get that memo:
5.This woman recreated the controversial “Harley Quinn’s bathtub suicide dream” scene. The cosplayer is clearly recognizable as Harley. The concept is well-executed.Somehow, though, because of implied nuditity, it’s not “real” cosplay according to one infected dildo of a man, who describes himself as a “real cosplayer.”
The irony in the fact that a lot of the guys “complaining” about “sexy” cosplays aren’t complaining about the character designs these cosplays are made of is not lost on me. But I digress, because even when I’m doing something pertaining to cosplay that wouldn’t normally be considered sexy, somehow, somewhere, some fucking loser with blue balls wants to make sure I’m aware of the fact that he’s got titty tunnel vision, and will never see my work, or another cosplay girl’s work, for its craftsmanship. And that can be annoying, disheartening, infuriating, and any other unpleasant feeling for a lot of us.
So, when you look at a female cosplayer and the first things that come to mind are
- Absolutely nothing about her craftsmanship or execution because you’re hung up on gender and anatomy
- She’s just doing this for attention!
- She’s not even a real fan because bippity boppity boobs!
You can at least keep your comments to yourself. I’m sick of hearing them, and I know everyone else is too. If you’re one of those shitty guys, and you find just can’t help yourself, please know that:
- I think you’re super fucking pathetic.
- Most decent people probably think you’re super fucking pathetic. That’s a lot of people.
- You aren’t going to keep me from doing what I want.
- I’ll continue to try my hardest to make sure you don’t stop anyone else with your sexist bullshit either.
- Half the time, y’all aren’t even cosplayers, and the other half, you aren’t even particularly good cosplayers, so you really should be quiet unless you’re looking for unwelcome, harsh criticism that will probably make you put down your glue gun forever and never step foot on a con floor again. I believe in keeping unkind, unsolicited criticism to myself, but if you all are going to keep fucking with me and other women in the cosplay community, I will not hesitate to give my honest opinion on what I really think of your janky looking Mario or half-assed Deadpool.
To other women cosplayers currently dealing with similar frustrations, please know that
- I think you’re great
- You should keep doing whatever you’re doing
- Stupid comments from fuckboys should never discourage you, but motivate you to keep doing. Call them out, block them, laugh at them. They’re nothing. <3