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Author Topic: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay  (Read 8193 times)

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Offline StarcryTopic starter

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Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« on: October 20, 2012, 12:27:18 PM »
For those here who do not know what cosplay is, well... in a nutshell; you play dress up as your favorite comic, film, video game, anime or manga character/s. It's for fun and a life long passion. Here are some examples:

Batman, Bane and Commissioner Gordon
Duke Nukem
Naruto
Mass Effect 2 - Jack
Okami - Amaterasu
Fullmetal Alchemist - Lust

Now; more and more I am seeing stories like this pop up:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220586/Comic-Con-Mandy-Caruso-dressed-racy-costume-recalls-sexual-harassment-fans.html

Sadly, as you see from the comments, people are arguing "She dressed like that so she deserves to be sexually harassed!" or "How else does she expect to be treated, dressed like that?!?" To me this is insulting and an outright idiotic way of behaving. It's also really just mind boggling how people can justify this sort of attitude.

Now as much as I reaaaally hate making this compassion. To me it is true: They are pretty much using the same argument/logic as lawyers and perpetrators do in real life rape court cases. "She dressed in a provocative outfit, so how else did she expect to be treated?" or "Dressed like that? She was asking for it!" It is this one of the very reason victims have a hard time coming forward.

It may seem over dramatic making that comparison but when you take a step back, it is true. Sure some girls cosplay that way for the attention, because attention is good and makes one feel good about the amount of work they put into their costume. Not to mention all the time they spent dieting to fit into it. But what isn't acceptable is when male geeks proceed to take it as an invite to sexually harass them and just make them feel uncomfortable. As I say - the defense being "She dressed in a revealing outfit so how can she not expect such things to happen?" I am sorry but that is no excuse.

To me, I don't think there would be such a problem if there were more tact. Instead of making it obvious that they like what they see, they should just keep it to themselves. Not every female cosplayer wants a guy to whisper their deepest sexual fantasy while they are having a picture taken. Or to have a random person walk up to them and comment on what a nice ass or rack they have. It is humiliating and disgusting behavior.

But this is just my personal opinion on the matter. It might be that my "inner feminist" is rearing it's head and that I could just be over reacting and all that jazz. Or I could be right, since if this happened in a 'normal' situation there would be law suits everywhere. However, a lot of female cosplayers suffer in silence and some get a little put off at cosplaying again. To me that just isn't right.

So your thoughts?
Are female cosplayers just begging to be sexually harassed?
Do the rules on sexual harassment suddenly change when a girl gets into a revealing outfit?
Do you think it's acceptable for this to happen?
Am I just an idiot for even bringing this up? :P
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 12:34:03 PM by Starcry »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 06:34:56 PM »
It's been known for a long time now that geek culture contains vast, undrained swamps of unreconstructed misogyny (along with bigotry, ignorance, racism and various other unpleasant things). Stories like this are just another example of the widespread ignorance and lack of self-reflection that feeds those phenomena in much of the male geek community. It's exactly why many girls prefer to avoid cons where there are booth girls: the spectacle the fanboisie tend to make of themselves, and the resultant atmosphere for women generally, is horrific.

Of course it's very obviously unacceptable, on account of sexual harassment being criminal. But until a much larger share of the geek community faces up to the need for some self-criticism -- which many socially-isolated members tend to hide from behind an ironclad sense of their own victimhood -- and some basic social ground rules, it's not going to change.

(As a side note: some of those cosplays you've linked are incredible. The Duke Nukem one in particular... now that's not something you see every day...)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 06:37:01 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 11:33:41 PM »
I don't think that it is overly-dramatic or even stretching things to make the link to the type of character attacks you sometimes still see in rape cases. There is really no set of circumstances that makes uncouth, unwanted, sexual advancement okay. None. Period.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 12:18:36 AM »
I've told a few tools to give the ladies space when I come across them giving them grief, typically though I try to send the Con Staff to do it if I see it (and they aren't already doing it)

Offline Trieste

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 01:01:03 AM »
I don't think I can think of a single instance wherein it is acceptable to go up to a strange woman and ask her cup size. Not one.

In addition, these aren't just random things women are wearing. They are costumes emanating the heroes of the comic world, at a comic-inspired convention. At no point does clothing give free license for harassment, but especially not when they are actually wearing thematically appropriate clothing.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 01:04:45 AM »
I don't think I can think of a single instance wherein it is acceptable to go up to a strange woman and ask her cup size. Not one.

In addition, these aren't just random things women are wearing. They are costumes emanating the heroes of the comic world, at a comic-inspired convention. At no point does clothing give free license for harassment, but especially not when they are actually wearing thematically appropriate clothing.

I agree Trieste.. but that doesn't mean you won't have some ignorant Yutz DO IT. And I've seen it happen. Or assume because they are dressed up as Black Cat, Cat Woman, Scarlett Witch, Mantra, (the list goes ON) that it's OKAY. That is usually why the Con folks watch the female cosplayers closer so they can lend a hand if needed.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 01:07:25 AM »
I know it's widely assumed among geek culture that it's okay to ignore social mores.

The people who make that assumption should be repeatedly kicked in the gonads until they understand that it is not okay. I hear that electrical aversion therapy can also be quite effective.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 01:08:28 AM »
Sadly, as you see from the comments, people are arguing "She dressed like that so she deserves to be sexually harassed!" or "How else does she expect to be treated, dressed like that?!?" To me this is insulting and an outright idiotic way of behaving. It's also really just mind boggling how people can justify this sort of attitude.

Now as much as I reaaaally hate making this compassion. To me it is true: They are pretty much using the same argument/logic as lawyers and perpetrators do in real life rape court cases. "She dressed in a provocative outfit, so how else did she expect to be treated?" or "Dressed like that? She was asking for it!" It is this one of the very reason victims have a hard time coming forward.

It's fine as a comparison, in my opinion. The fundamental lack of respect is the same. She made a clear acknowledgement of the difference between pure social ineptitude like inability to divert attention from her breasts, and this incident. She's not complaining about guys staring at her breasts, she's complaining about a pretend-alpha and his posse who were downright predatory.

Demanding that she spank him and discussing her cup size in front of her and debating over it gives me a vibe somewhat like discussing the qualities of a piece of meat. Sure, it didn't end in gang rape. It's the same sort of dehumanization that leads to it, and there's no reason to tolerate it.

It's been known for a long time now that geek culture contains vast, undrained swamps of unreconstructed misogyny (along with bigotry, ignorance, racism and various other unpleasant things). Stories like this are just another example of the widespread ignorance and lack of self-reflection that feeds those phenomena in much of the male geek community. It's exactly why many girls prefer to avoid cons where there are booth girls: the spectacle the fanboisie tend to make of themselves, and the resultant atmosphere for women generally, is horrific.

Of course it's very obviously unacceptable, on account of sexual harassment being criminal. But until a much larger share of the geek community faces up to the need for some self-criticism -- which many socially-isolated members tend to hide from behind an ironclad sense of their own victimhood -- and some basic social ground rules, it's not going to change.

Most people who engage in active harassment don't know what they're doing is unacceptable. They can't comprehend the concept. It's even worse when they've already made a number of friends - many bans led to harassment campaigns of their own. "Did you tell on me/him? Did you!?"

I think many social groups are wary about 'losing support' or membership, not really comprehending how many people quietly or publicly leave over getting harassed. There's also the issue of where to draw the line, or making sure accusations are legitimate.

Unfortunately, dealing with creeps is a two-step process.
1) The person being harassed has to make the issue known to the authority figures in the given community, and
2) Said authority figures need to be willing to do something about it.

Those can both be a hurdle. Often the first is "It must just be me." or "I can take care of myself." ...what about those who can't?

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 01:44:17 AM »
Well, they offended her, what do they expect?

If your first words to a woman who you don't know(or more specifically, to one who doesn't know YOU) are, "You have nice tits" or "My dick is hard", you're gonna get ignored if not slapped. I think that's one of those unwritten rules that you learn somewhere around puberty. Perhaps that should be taught in high school as its not obvious to everyone.

What makes this tricky for guys, is if a woman approached a guy and said, "You are making my cunt wet" or "I like the bulge in your pants(for those who don't understand the wet comment)", the guy would take that as a cue that he's gonna get lucky. He would not take offense.(generalizing, obviously). So when an inexperienced guy uses reverse logic and tells a woman something that he sincerely things is flattering only to get slapped or dissed, it causes a little initial confusion. If he is social enough to have more experienced friends, they will likely clue him in at this point, otherwise he may be bound to repeat his mistakes.



Offline StarcryTopic starter

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 05:53:01 AM »
It's been known for a long time now that geek culture contains vast, undrained swamps of unreconstructed misogyny (along with bigotry, ignorance, racism and various other unpleasant things). Stories like this are just another example of the widespread ignorance and lack of self-reflection that feeds those phenomena in much of the male geek community. It's exactly why many girls prefer to avoid cons where there are booth girls: the spectacle the fanboisie tend to make of themselves, and the resultant atmosphere for women generally, is horrific.

Of course it's very obviously unacceptable, on account of sexual harassment being criminal. But until a much larger share of the geek community faces up to the need for some self-criticism -- which many socially-isolated members tend to hide from behind an ironclad sense of their own victimhood -- and some basic social ground rules, it's not going to change.

(As a side note: some of those cosplays you've linked are incredible. The Duke Nukem one in particular... now that's not something you see every day...)
Sadly, what you have said is true. But because of the attitude of "She dressed like that so what do you expect." a lot of them suffer in silence and don't bother reporting it to the organisers. So unless they speak up this will continue.

That being said; I noticed in the anime community the problem isn't so bad for girls and if anything guys are a worse target. Fangirls can be dangerous things as a friend of mine found out when he jokingly asked Johnny Botch (Famous anime and video game voice actor, and was a power ranger.) for a sparing match. (Johnny is a black belt in karate and my friend at that point was a a green belt.) Johnny agreed and said he needed to get changed. When he walked away my friend was confronted by some fangirls, who had over heard the request. After a small few exchanges they proceeded to gang up on him and literally kicked the crap out of him. It took for Johnny to intervene for them to stop. My friend ended up with a broken rib or two, and it has left him weary of fangirls. Can't say I blame him really.

Some people have pointed out to me that unfortunately what doesn't help matters is the small minatory of girls who love the attention and encourage it. So this throws another spanner into the works. Crossed messages.

And yeah I made a point to look for some good examples of cosplay, since people who generally aren't aware of what it is tend to prejudge and see such people and the community as a joke. To me I don't care if it is well done or not. If a person has put a lot of thought into it that is all that matters.

Like this version of a moogle (Final Fantasy series)
Moogle

I love the outfit and you could tell she put a lot of thought into it.

And Bato from Ghost in The Shell:
Bato
Once again, the thought was there but this one isn't so good.

When I saw the Duke one I instantly thought "I totally have to use that!" it is the most awesome cosplay of him that I have seen.

I don't think that it is overly-dramatic or even stretching things to make the link to the type of character attacks you sometimes still see in rape cases. There is really no set of circumstances that makes uncouth, unwanted, sexual advancement okay. None. Period.
Thanks for the assurance. I was worried I was going over the top, since some idiots like to throw around the rape card these days. Penn and Teller's Bullshit has shown that. The episode on "War on Porn" or "Abstinence" shows as much.

I've told a few tools to give the ladies space when I come across them giving them grief, typically though I try to send the Con Staff to do it if I see it (and they aren't already doing it)
My other half does that as well. Although he has come across one case where a girl was actually enjoying it. Made him confused as hell.

I don't think I can think of a single instance wherein it is acceptable to go up to a strange woman and ask her cup size. Not one.

In addition, these aren't just random things women are wearing. They are costumes emanating the heroes of the comic world, at a comic-inspired convention. At no point does clothing give free license for harassment, but especially not when they are actually wearing thematically appropriate clothing.
I totally agree. Unfortunately some women give the geek community a little too much credit and don't think such things would happen, and when they do they don't know how to handle it. Although this woman did. XD

I agree Trieste.. but that doesn't mean you won't have some ignorant Yutz DO IT. And I've seen it happen. Or assume because they are dressed up as Black Cat, Cat Woman, Scarlett Witch, Mantra, (the list goes ON) that it's OKAY. That is usually why the Con folks watch the female cosplayers closer so they can lend a hand if needed.
It really is sad that that has to be the case. Also makes you wonder where the hell security was to not catch some of these people in the act.

I know it's widely assumed among geek culture that it's okay to ignore social mores.

The people who make that assumption should be repeatedly kicked in the gonads until they understand that it is not okay. I hear that electrical aversion therapy can also be quite effective.
I have noticed at the anime cons, that I go to, that social morals seem to fly out the window. However, some still keep some and know self control while others totally let loose. Yet for some reasons anime cons, despite all the perversity that goes on, are more civilised and know that when someone says to leave them alone they do, compared to scfi/comic cons. Also you don't get randoms asking about boobs. Then again people also seem more comfortable with their sexuality and let that be known at anime cons. (We have a guy who does Steampunk talks and is proudly gay. He crossplays and even sells t-shirts that show your gay pride.)

At gaming cons I see males feeling either happy they aren't alone or are slightly awkward, and hostile towards females if anything. Only reason I can think that this happens is because of two reasons:

1) For a long time video games have been seen as something for boys. Now the internet, online gaming and voice chat, girl gamers have emerged from the shadows. So while the once lonely ones are happy for us some are in the mindset that we are invading their terrory.

2) Now the media has caught onto the girl gamer "phenomenon" and their appeal to males they are exploited, and we are known as idiots who talk the talk but don't walk the walk. All because "OMG I PLAY CoD AND GoW SO I AM A TOTALLY AWESOME GIRL GAMER LOL!!!" While some guys lap this up and fap soon as they find out the voice isn't a 12 year old boy they are talking to on XBL/PSN, others see most girl gamers as attention whores until we beat their asses into the ground. Even then they get more angry because "HE GOT BEATEN BY A GIRL! LOLOLOL!!!"

So it's a lose, lose situation. Although I have met a few who are nice. Some are shocked when I shake their hand after me beating them or the other way around. (Blazblue is so insane...) But that being said, you do get the odd one who are actually happy to have girl gamers coming into their pack and are very welcoming. (On ME3 a few guys stood up for me when I kept being told to get in the kitchen and make them a sammich or to stop playing with boys toys and being told I am shit.) I have had endless conversations with guys over different games and all without being hit on.

But while that happens it is quite rare for stories of sexual harassment to happen in either communities. Which is quite interesting when you think about it. It makes you wonder why there is such a big difference in behavior among the different communities. Why are anime fans more accepting than your average person? Why are gamers so testosterone filled yet welcoming? Why are Scifi/Comic fans so uncivilised? 

I am not meaning to paint all with the same brush. But I think you get what I mean. There is a dramatic difference in behavior and it is confusing.

It's fine as a comparison, in my opinion. The fundamental lack of respect is the same. She made a clear acknowledgement of the difference between pure social ineptitude like inability to divert attention from her breasts, and this incident. She's not complaining about guys staring at her breasts, she's complaining about a pretend-alpha and his posse who were downright predatory.

Demanding that she spank him and discussing her cup size in front of her and debating over it gives me a vibe somewhat like discussing the qualities of a piece of meat. Sure, it didn't end in gang rape. It's the same sort of dehumanization that leads to it, and there's no reason to tolerate it.
I am glad you see where I am coming from.

I have heard horror stories in which some do end up being date raped.

Most people who engage in active harassment don't know what they're doing is unacceptable. They can't comprehend the concept. It's even worse when they've already made a number of friends - many bans led to harassment campaigns of their own. "Did you tell on me/him? Did you!?"

I think many social groups are wary about 'losing support' or membership, not really comprehending how many people quietly or publicly leave over getting harassed. There's also the issue of where to draw the line, or making sure accusations are legitimate.

Unfortunately, dealing with creeps is a two-step process.
1) The person being harassed has to make the issue known to the authority figures in the given community, and
2) Said authority figures need to be willing to do something about it.

Those can both be a hurdle. Often the first is "It must just be me." or "I can take care of myself." ...what about those who can't?
I have seen poor guys who didn't do anything or there was a big misunderstanding. This lead to a massive hate campaign against him lead by a community she was part of. They pretty much ruined his life and as a result he almost killed himself over it. It was only when it reached that point did the girl bother talking to him about it and realised she made a big mistake. Sadly, at this point the damage was done. So this wasn't something a simple "Sorry" could fix.

The whole situation is a big mess. It is a damned if you do, damned if you don't mess.

The community I am part of have a zero tolerance policy on such behavior and stress before the con in emails about what to do if something happens, and even print it in the con book. (Long with general ground rules and phone numbers of the orginisers.) They also have strict rules on the cosplay blind date and the charity auctions since there have been problems of sexual harassment in the past. The rules have been put in place to protect both parties. Although these funny demotivators and peoples' comments are what made them put the rules in place:

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide





Sadly, not all cons do this, so I think that might also be one of the problems. It happens and no one knows what to do about it. what doesn't help is attitude they see. That alone makes afraid they will be painted the same way. "Dressed as FFX-2 Rikku? They won't listen to me because I look like a slut/attention whore..."
Well, they offended her, what do they expect?

If your first words to a woman who you don't know(or more specifically, to one who doesn't know YOU) are, "You have nice tits" or "My dick is hard", you're gonna get ignored if not slapped. I think that's one of those unwritten rules that you learn somewhere around puberty. Perhaps that should be taught in high school as its not obvious to everyone.

What makes this tricky for guys, is if a woman approached a guy and said, "You are making my cunt wet" or "I like the bulge in your pants(for those who don't understand the wet comment)", the guy would take that as a cue that he's gonna get lucky. He would not take offense.(generalizing, obviously). So when an inexperienced guy uses reverse logic and tells a woman something that he sincerely things is flattering only to get slapped or dissed, it causes a little initial confusion. If he is social enough to have more experienced friends, they will likely clue him in at this point, otherwise he may be bound to repeat his mistakes.
Maybe a "morally" acceptable thing should be taught in schools. Seems some parents can't really be arsed to do so these days. _

Sadly it is those women that lead guys on that don't help the situation, nor does their attitude of "Well I do dress like it for the attention! Why else would you?" and "It's a general rule of thumb for guys to do this so don't cry over it when we all know it happens!" I find that just amazing. 

That is another odd thing. At anime cons girls tend to laugh at guys that hit on them because of the terrible chat up lines they come up with. I have a friend who told me that this line was used on her when she cosplayed a Gundam character. "Hey, did you want to check out my cockpit?" She said it made her laugh so hard. Another one of my friends told me one he uses on girl gamers is "I'm not one of Lucifer's men, but I have been told I that even devils may cry with what I can do in the bedroom~" That made me laugh harder than I should have. He also admitted that he just shows off his Pikachu tattoo just to get girls to "Awww that's cute!" XD

Such a messy subject area indeed. =/

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 08:58:28 AM »
EDIT/Disclaimer: I feel it's important to note, that I'm not pointing fingers at anyone here. I'm not calling anyone out. If you're offended, then you've made an assumption that you are (or are defending) the kind of person I'm talking about. I'm discussing an issue which exacerbates the described problem, I'm not specifically targeting, rebutting, or discussing any individual. You can disagree with my position, fine, but don't treat this like I'm attacking some victims or something. This is a general statement being made about the whole social issue at hand.

"I'm always in the middle on these topics, because I think both sides are usually pretty asinine. I am always disappointed at the way people act in regards to sexuality. I find very few people who aren't borderline sexual predators or completely uptight and repressed, and I think the latter only pisses me off slightly less than the former."

"I've seen plenty of girls who spit bile at guys who would deign to think they can talk to an attractive girl, much less be attracted to her. It's usually less like that in the geek community, but there's often still a strong hint of passive-aggressive snubbing. That kind of behavior is just as degrading as treating a person like a sex object."

"Then there are those who would essentially cry rape at every little advance. If you instantly treat someone like a criminal, you shouldn't expect them to behave better. Should they be the bigger person? Yes, of course, but so should everyone. Eventually, it becomes this 'war' where one side is being totally disgusting and the other treats everyone like trash because a few people are disgusting, and treating people like trash is a good way to encourage them to act like trash."

"I'm not saying it's okay to be a total creep, but if a guy hits on a girl or shows a reasonable sign of attraction, it's equally not okay to assume they are a total creep. It's also okay to be sexually attracted to someone, but our society makes it out to be so criminal that eventually, there is no outlet that doesn't make them a criminal or a creep."

"Of course, I'm always the creep or the asshole, because usually my position (on almost everything) is 'pretty much everyone sucks at this, all of you stop being dicks'. In the end, I'm proud to slap the shit out of someone who grabs a stranger's ass, and someone who makes every interested party feel like a stalker/rapist."
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 09:05:04 AM by Ryuka Tana »

Offline Silk

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 09:26:30 AM »
I would like to mention that the Daily mail is a sensationis newspaper that is well known for lieing and misocmmunicating news to serve its own ends, upto and including have maintanence on a swimming pool, to be a outcry by muslim women to either shut down the swimming pool unless it was changed to suit the way they desired.

Take everything in the article with a pinch of salt.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 09:31:42 AM »
You can find Mandy's blog post straight from the article.

Offline Silk

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 09:33:49 AM »
Pretty detailed reccolection of a convosation and is likely in no way biased. :)

Offline Vekseid

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 09:47:59 AM »
Regardless of what you think of it being true or false, it's not a Daily Mail story, it's her claim directly. They probably found it on Reddit.

Offline Moraline

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2012, 09:49:45 AM »
I'm going to say something against the grain here.

When I dress in slutty or provocative costumes/clothing. I do expect to be ogled and most likely receive sexually charged comments. I also like it. I wear those things because they are what they are. Those types of clothing are definitely not worn because of their comfort - although there are some exceptions to that.

There is however a BIG difference between having people check me out and enjoy the look of something that I'm wearing and getting creepy about it or trying to touch.

You can look, I even don't mind a comment or two.

... but when they start going on and on it's getting creepy.

... or if they try to touch then all bets are off - I'm going to hurt you. Uninvited touching is always against the rules.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2012, 10:50:40 AM »
The thing is that just because someone hasn't advanced to the point of trying to paw at you, doesn't mean that they haven't crossed a line already.

Presenting your butt to someone and asking them to spank you is over a line, unless you know that person. I might make an exception for something like a play party or a BDSM demo, where the atmosphere is already sensual and somewhat sexually charged. Maybe. Probably not, though; doing that to a stranger is discouraged at the play parties and demos near here.

It's about respect. You can appreciate someone's form and you can even make comments without crossing a line. *shrug*

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2012, 11:14:41 AM »
I don't think I can think of a single instance wherein it is acceptable to go up to a strange woman and ask her cup size. Not one.

In addition, these aren't just random things women are wearing. They are costumes emanating the heroes of the comic world, at a comic-inspired convention. At no point does clothing give free license for harassment, but especially not when they are actually wearing thematically appropriate clothing.

Agree.


By the way, at a lingerie shop near here, the sales staff, all female, had it as part of their job description to have their personal cup sizes listed in bold lettering on the "staff card" pinned on their shirts, tops or whatever. The card would be strategically close to their tits, of course...The shop explained their move with a wish to "help new customers gauge what kind of bra size they should be looking for". :-X
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 11:25:12 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline RedEve

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2012, 12:01:48 PM »
I would expect a certain level of gawking if I went to a con dressed as the black cat.
That interview was totally out of line though, provided it went remotely as she claims it did.

But I would also say she was a bit naive to agree to do the interview if she already had serious doubts about their character and professionalism prior to it.
If I see a group of dudes with a camera looking for a girl in a sexy costume to interview, I would get out of there ASAP. I certainly wouldn't agree to any interview.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2012, 01:04:26 PM »
Most people who engage in active harassment don't know what they're doing is unacceptable. They can't comprehend the concept. It's even worse when they've already made a number of friends - many bans led to harassment campaigns of their own. "Did you tell on me/him? Did you!?"

I think many social groups are wary about 'losing support' or membership, not really comprehending how many people quietly or publicly leave over getting harassed. There's also the issue of where to draw the line, or making sure accusations are legitimate.

Exactly this. And when you further combine these issues with the type of community whose members have an -- often misplaced -- sense of solidarity with the socially-maladjusted, and pride themselves on being more anarchic than the social norm, and feel like it would be piling-on to expect their already supposedly-oppressed membership to develop some basic social skills, then... well, we see what all too often happens.

Quote from: Starcry
Some people have pointed out to me that unfortunately what doesn't help matters is the small minatory of girls who love the attention and encourage it. So this throws another spanner into the works. Crossed messages.

In the vast majority of cases where girls will seem to "love" or "encourage" the kind of attention that most girls would not tolerate, what's happening is that they are getting paid to be there and make nice with the punters*. Sometimes the punters don't realize this, but that isn't the girls' fault; recognizing when someone is being paid to put up with you is a pretty basic life skill, too. And even in those circumstances some guys will find a way to push it too far.

(*EDIT: Notice for instance in Mandy's blog post the atmosphere of general shock she describes around her when she actually stood up for herself? It's most likely because the interviewers, and most people in the crowd, were expecting her to behave like a professional booth girl... many of whom would have plastered on a smile and soldiered through that interview no matter how moronic it got. They didn't realize that she wasn't being paid to put up with that kind of treatment.)

Quote from: Ryuka Tana
I'm not saying it's okay to be a total creep, but if a guy hits on a girl or shows a reasonable sign of attraction, it's equally not okay to assume they are a total creep. It's also okay to be sexually attracted to someone, but our society makes it out to be so criminal that eventually, there is no outlet that doesn't make them a criminal or a creep.

I disagree. Key word in your first sentence is "reasonable." It's perfectly possible to hit on people without being, or being assumed by most reasonable people to be, a creep. It's just creepy to be unreasonable about it, to have no sense of boundaries or respect. The girl who "cries rape" at "any little advance" is for the most part a figure of myth, invented by the minds of inept and clueless dudes who weren't willing to face up to the possibility that they might actually be the problem. The notion that "our society" makes it out to be "criminal" to be attracted to someone is risible. It's criminal to harass someone; someone who genuinely cannot tell the difference needs help, and a serious reality check.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 01:39:44 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2012, 06:05:39 PM »
I'm going to say something against the grain here.

When I dress in slutty or provocative costumes/clothing. I do expect to be ogled and most likely receive sexually charged comments. I also like it. I wear those things because they are what they are. Those types of clothing are definitely not worn because of their comfort - although there are some exceptions to that.

There is however a BIG difference between having people check me out and enjoy the look of something that I'm wearing and getting creepy about it or trying to touch.

You can look, I even don't mind a comment or two.

... but when they start going on and on it's getting creepy.

... or if they try to touch then all bets are off - I'm going to hurt you. Uninvited touching is always against the rules.

"Agreed, at least for the most part."

I disagree. Key word in your first sentence is "reasonable." It's perfectly possible to hit on people without being, or being assumed by most reasonable people to be, a creep. It's just creepy to be unreasonable about it, to have no sense of boundaries or respect. The girl who "cries rape" at "any little advance" is for the most part a figure of myth, invented by the minds of inept and clueless dudes who weren't willing to face up to the possibility that they might actually be the problem. The notion that "our society" makes it out to be "criminal" to be attracted to someone is risible. It's criminal to harass someone; someone who genuinely cannot tell the difference needs help, and a serious reality check.

"No... That girl is not a 'figure of myth', it might not literally be crying rape, but that's hyperbole to make a point. That's why I put it in quotes, that's why YOU put it in quotes. There are absolutely girls out there who will shoot down (aggressively and insultingly) any guy who shows interest. There are girls out there who look to make men out to be sexual predators, who will do everything they can to encourage harassment so that they can then call foul. The problem is, we don't call them out or criminalize them, because they are the 'victims'."

"The problem here, is you read what you want, because men usually are the offenders. However, treating someone like a criminal is a fast way to make someone a criminal. We don't deal with it by degrees a lot of the time, lots of girls will treat every guy like he's a creep. If just talking to a girl gets you treated like crap, may as well act on your worst instincts, because you'll get treated like crap either way. Again, this isn't an excuse, but there's no excuse to treat reasonable human beings like crap (which girls do, even with the reasonable ones). It's learned behavior, on both sides."

"Anyway, as usual, I'm done because I can't say exactly what I feel should be said without people being insulted. Note, though, that I am not at all arguing for creeps, or against any point here (except the one I specifically argued against above). In a lot of the cases mentioned, I'd beat the tar out of some asshole treating a girl that way. My point is, this isn't a one-sided issue."

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2012, 06:29:38 PM »
"No... That girl is not a 'figure of myth' . . . There are absolutely girls out there who will shoot down (aggressively and insultingly) any guy who shows interest. There are girls out there who look to make men out to be sexual predators, who will do everything they can to encourage harassment so that they can then call foul.

I said this is for the most part myth and I stand by that. There are, to be sure, girls who will overreact to any approach, or girls who will deliberately encourage advances so as to provoke conflict. They're out there and there are occasions when they're able to manipulate others into acting on their behalf.

However, they're just not out there in anything like the numbers that inept creeps imagine them to be out there. That's where "for the most part" comes in. To the inept creep (the kinds of guys seen in Mandy's blog post would qualify), every other girl looks like this, because they can't process or accept that the girl may not be shooting down "any" guy that shows interest, she may just happen to be shooting them down -- because (another idea the creep typically cannot process) she actually has the right to prefer someone else's company to theirs. And she isn't "encouraging harassment," she just is actually out of their league, and is calling foul because the inept creep is in fact foul. It's all a matter of perspective, and male creeps are notoriously susceptible to warped and self-serving perspectives.

Of course, I'm sure Mandy's embarrassed interviewers recited rhetoric aplenty about her being a tease and provocateur to themselves in the wake of her confrontation with them -- it's a lot easier to believe you were being "unjustly treated like a criminal" than that you actually did something wrong -- but of course she wasn't "treating them like criminals," she was treating them the creeps they were, and they deserved it. I personally think a great way to create criminals is to place people in settings with no standards and no accountability for lowlife behaviours, and then subsequently making them out to be the wronged party when somebody calls them out.

It all boils down to a question of emphasis. You think our society over-emphasizes male harassment and under-emphasizes female agency. I don't think it's anywhere close to doing so. You're entitled to your perspective but I don't think it's remotely in accord with the larger part of actual reality.

(EDIT: To stave off any possible misunderstanding here, let me cite from your earlier disclaimer: "I feel it's important to note, that I'm not pointing fingers at anyone here. I'm not calling anyone out. If you're offended, then you've made an assumption that you are (or are defending) the kind of person I'm talking about.")
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 06:33:40 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2012, 07:00:14 PM »
You think our society over-emphasizes male harassment and under-emphasizes female agency.

"Did I say that? This part alone insists that my quote that you cited, is definitively not true. Not only are you pointing fingers, you're putting words in my mouth."

"I keep insisting I'm not defending creeps, yet you think I am... I'm not... That's not what's happening. I'm adding another group of idiots to the pile, not saying that one group of idiots doesn't exist and its someone else's fault. I'm note even trying to balance it out."

"Again, that's where I stop, and effectively stop discussing the point. I just hate having people tell me what I think. You can believe what you want, but don't tell me what I believe."

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2012, 07:44:13 PM »
Did I say that?

It's the basic implication of what you've said so far in the thread, yes: when you say, "There are girls out there who look to make men out to be sexual predators, who will do everything they can to encourage harassment so that they can then call foul. The problem is, we don't call them out or criminalize them, because they are the 'victims'" and then say "there's no excuse to treat reasonable human beings like crap (which girls do, even with the reasonable ones). It's learned behavior, on both sides." What this boils down to is an implication that society over-emphasizes male harassment and under-emphasizes female agency. That's actually the more neutral way to put what you're saying; I was careful to paraphrase it to try to head off a resort to defensiveness, which obviously didn't work but hey, I tried.

And though the rhetoric is similar, I don't think it amounts to defending the creeps per se -- that you insist on reading me this way means you need to go back and re-read your own disclaimer, I cited it for a reason -- I just think that you're just wrong, as in descriptively wrong about most of what happens in "our society."
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 07:45:55 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: Sexual Harassment in Cosplay
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2012, 08:19:43 PM »
"The problem is you used the words 'You think' which is not your place to say. You can say that my words imply something, you can say that my words can be misconstrued, or that my intention seems to be, but you don't know what I think. Doesn't matter what I said, language is flawed, and without body language and intonation, it's even more flawed."

"'You think...' automatically bypasses my disclaimer, because it insists upon things you have no business insisting upon."

"As for the rest of it, I also made it clear my argument was about the social implications of this issue, not any individuals point or the article linked."

However, they're just not out there in anything like the numbers that inept creeps imagine them to be out there. That's where "for the most part" comes in. To the inept creep (the kinds of guys seen in Mandy's blog post would qualify), every other girl looks like this, because they can't process or accept that the girl may not be shooting down "any" guy that shows interest, she may just happen to be shooting them down -- because (another idea the creep typically cannot process) she actually has the right to prefer someone else's company to theirs. And she isn't "encouraging harassment," she just is actually out of their league, and is calling foul because the inept creep is in fact foul. It's all a matter of perspective, and male creeps are notoriously susceptible to warped and self-serving perspectives.

"Using this to argue my point, implies that I'm defending the creeps in her article, or people like them. Either that, or it implies I'm placing this attack on the victim in that blog, which is also not happening. I'm not talking about that circumstance, the topic is 'Sexual Harassment in Cosplay'. I'm discussing the broader topic, I don't honestly care about one isolated incident. It sucks she had to go through that, but I'm saying that the real issue is that people on all sides of it are idiots."

"If you're arguing against my point, then this anecdote doesn't apply, because I'm not at all discussing that. If you'd prefer, I can simply deem this part your argument irrelevant, rather than insistent; but it doesn't change the fact that telling me what I think is bad form."

"In the end, I'm now just debating about the method of debate, which is not the point. I don't honestly care to continue the actual debate. If you seriously want to continue, PM me, but I'm willing to accept the basic premise that you didn't intend to make any sort of implication, and agree to disagree on the rest; and then leave it at that."