Username Post: When Professionals Aren’t: The PAX East Tomb Raider Harassment Story        (Topic#2868)
PatrickD 
Executive Producer
PatrickD
Loc: California
Reg: 12-07-06

03-28-13 04:43 PM - Post#12211    

http://www.themarysue.com/pax-tomb-raider-cospl ay/

Here's an excerpt...
  • The Mary Sue Said:
Wizemann had been interviewed in the past and said everything seemed normal. That is, until the interviewer asked his first question, “How does it feel to be at a convention where none of the men could please you?”

In a post on her Tumblr, Marie wrote, “I couldn’t hear what he said over the hubbub of the show floor, but the confused and uncomfortable looks from the ladies indicated that it wasn’t what they expected, to say the least.”



People being inappropriate like that are what gives our hobby a bad reputation. It's infuriating!
-PatrickD
AnimeCons.com Executive Producer
Co-Founder: Anime Boston and Providence Anime Conference
Host of The Chibi Project & Anime Unscripted™


 
Nigoki 
Obsessed with robots
Nigoki
Reg: 02-25-09

03-28-13 07:40 PM - Post#12214    
    In response to PatrickD

It sucks to see people behaving this way, but I'm glad to see more attention being drawn to it so people know it is NOT ok.
-Doug Wilder
Resident Mecha fanboy of AnimeCons TV!


 
Shiva 
Cosplay Addict
Shiva
Loc: New England
Reg: 04-01-09

03-28-13 10:59 PM - Post#12215    
    In response to Nigoki

It's good to hear it was taken care of so swiftly and effectively by the con, but I give a lot of credit to the outside woman who stepped in and defended the girls.

As the girls mentioned in the post, in the moment they were so shocked and caught off guard they couldn't react on their own behalf. That has happened to me on NUMEROUS occasions, and I consider myself an assertive person. However, in the moment the shock of what some people think is ok to say or do is so great that it overwhelms your ability to react.

I think we have to look out for each other on things like this; its only when people step in to confront these people and real consequences occur regularly that it will lessen.
Facebook Page *~ Cosplay Website *~ Music Videos ~*


 
vrmlbasic 
Con Regular

Reg: 02-23-12

04-02-13 12:38 AM - Post#12236    
    In response to Shiva

I'm a tad confused here: the man told the woman that he himself was inadequate for her, and projected his inadequacy upon every man in the whole building and the woman was insulted? It's a stupid comment but if anyone should have been upset shouldn't it be the other males at the event who had their, ah, prowess impinged upon?

The later comments that could qualify as "sexual harassment" only came after the woman pushed the issue; I don't see why she did as the man already massively insulted himself. As I read it, since she was offended at someone else's self-deprecating remarks it sounds like his rebuttal to her assault wasn't completely baseless.

She could have focused the man's self-deprecating insult, which he applied to himself and every man there, entirely onto him, ie:something along the lines of "I wouldn't say every man couldn't...just you", which would have been apropos and hilarious instead of, and unlike, what she did do. Are wit and temper dead?

From the buzz about this and the woman's remarks I expected to hear that the guy who started all of this treated the cosplayer as would a classic unctuous playboy, say Quagmire from Family Guy, would treat a woman. That didn't happen.

Edited by vrmlbasic on 04-02-13 01:04 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Gale 
Sacrificial White Mage
Gale
Loc: New England
Reg: 03-08-09

04-02-13 08:35 AM - Post#12240    
    In response to vrmlbasic

My understanding is the comment was along the lines of "how does it make you feel that none of the men here could please you [implied: in bed]?"

This is insulting because in the context of an interview it puts an individual on the spot having to answer a question on a sexual topic. Would you ask a woman you just met, with no prior interaction, "what do you think about sleeping with me?" What about a 15-year-old girl? The question implies its ok to force women to talk about sex if they're dressed in cosplay or at all revealingly. It's NOT ok to put someone on the spot to talk about sex no matter how they are dressed. THAT is what is wrong and insulting with this interaction.

Furthermore, the girls he was interviewing seemed to be insulted that he thought they were comfortable answering such a question. They were so shocked they couldn't even respond. I know that feeling all too well. You're in a kind of skimpy costume, surrounded by people watching you. Someone does something or says something sexually provocative. You're both stunned and in front of an audience. You don't want to start a scene in front of all the other people and your mind is struggling to comprehend, "did that really just happen?" I have been there and I have so much praise for the booth worker who intervened.

Finally (and I'm sorry it's taken me this long to find my point), yes the comment does inherently insult any men at the event, but it does so by classifying the women being interviewd as sex objects. COSPLAYERS ARE NOT SEX OBJECTS. No matter how scantily clad a woman (or a man, for that matter) dresses it does not give free reign for others to classify them as a sex object, and to do so is incredibly insulting.
AnimeCons.com contributor

ConnectiCon Director of Guest Relations


Edited by Gale on 04-02-13 09:29 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
vrmlbasic 
Con Regular

Reg: 02-23-12

04-02-13 03:35 PM - Post#12242    
    In response to Gale

  • In reply to:
The question implies its ok to force women to talk about sex if they're dressed in cosplay or at all revealingly.

I don't see how this is so. The question didn't force anyone to talk about anything: the confronter decided to respond by her own volition. When did simply ignoring one-off quips from idiots cease to be an option?

In the article it says that the cosplayers agreed to be asked unsanctioned questions from the idiot because his photographer had a more professional looking camera. They invited the idiot to ask his asinine question, and again, they weren't forced to answer it.

Unless these women were asexual I don't see how this stupid question, a question based on an assumed (and bogus) premise, makes them into sex objects; aren't we all "sex objects" from a biological standpoint anyhow? Would it have been OK for a woman to ask a bunch of male cosplayers in a similar scenario a similar question?

I have to admit that this is making me somewhat leery of asking female cosplayers if I can photograph them or complimenting them on their costume.

IMO the worst thing about this is that the cosplayers acted in a way that is antithetical to the character that they were cosplaying: Lara Croft is far from demure and wouldn't have been cowed by & shied away from such an asinine question, left quivering and cowering and requiring a White Knight to defend her, as these cosplayers did. If a confrontation needed to be done, she'd have been the one doing the confronting, not the one cowering behind the confronter. Treating someone as naught but a "sex object" is supposed to dis-empower them, assuming that the guy did that for argument, but it doesn't sound like these cosplayers were empowered to begin with, and that is a tragedy.

 
Shiva 
Cosplay Addict
Shiva
Loc: New England
Reg: 04-01-09

04-02-13 09:41 PM - Post#12243    
    In response to vrmlbasic

  • In reply to:
IMO the worst thing about this is that the cosplayers acted in a way that is antithetical to the character that they were cosplaying: Lara Croft is far from demure and wouldn't have been cowed by & shied away from such an asinine question



Cosplayers are just fans of a character or show, they aren't the character themselves, nor do usually roleplay while in costume nor do their real personalities necessarily reflect that of the character they are dressed as. Being disappointed that these women did not respond like Croft would implies that you are not looking at them as regular people with feelings and insecurities, but as an incarnation of a fantasy character, which is problematic.

  • In reply to:
The question implies its ok to force women to talk about sex if they're dressed in cosplay or at all revealingly. I don't see how this is so. The question didn't force anyone to talk about anything: the confronter decided to respond by her own volition. When did simply ignoring one-off quips from idiots cease to be an option?



Was the question in and of itself harassment? Probably not, although asking a stranger, female OR MALE questions of a sexual nature is usually unwelcome, even if the intent is humor. What ultimately pushes this over the line into harassment is the interviewer did not IMPLY it was ok to ask these questions because of the costume, HE OUTRIGHT SAID the girls should EXPECT and PUT UP WITH this behavior because they were "dressed sexy."

  • In reply to:
I don't see how this stupid question, a question based on an assumed (and bogus) premise, makes them into sex objects; aren't we all "sex objects" from a biological standpoint anyhow?



Thinking it is OK to treat people with disrespect for your own fun and not caring that he upset their feelings IS objectifying them. Thinking you can ask sexual questions or treat someone differently because they are dressed in a revealing way IS harassment and therefore these assumptions turned the cosplayers in question into sexual objects. A "sexual object" is something which exists purely for your pleasure whose personal feelings are irrelevant, which is not "all of us."

The interviewer should have respected that the question made the girls uncomfortable and apologized, saying he made a stupid joke and moved on, and there would not be the outrage. Instead, he choose to rant and holler about "feminism" and argue it was his right to ask them such things. THIS is the issue, and happens too often in cosplay.

He's also "blaming the victim" by basically saying that it's the cosplayers fault, since them dressing sexy caused him to ask the question rather than take responsibility for a lapse in judgement. This is a similar excuse made by rapists that their victims should expect to be raped because of how they dressed or acted, when in reality the only one to blame is the rapist.

  • In reply to:
I have to admit that this is making me somewhat leery of asking female cosplayers if I can photograph them or complimenting them on their costume.



There is nothing objectifying about asking a cosplayer for a photo, female or otherwise, nor is complementing their costume, which they likely worked hard on, so please don't be leery. Unless you're asking cosplayers to pose in some kind of sexual way or taking panty shots or something, cosplayers are not offended by photography. Similarly, complementing the outfit is complementing their hard work. This is not offensive. Saying "Hey! your boobies look amazing!" well that is just not cool. I would hope the difference is clear.
Facebook Page *~ Cosplay Website *~ Music Videos ~*


Edited by Shiva on 04-02-13 10:32 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Scarlet 
Attendee
Scarlet
Reg: 01-30-13

04-11-13 03:47 PM - Post#12292    
    In response to Shiva

I've added my thoughts on how conventions can get involved in the cosplay =/= consent call to action:

http://scarlet-rhapsody.com/?p=2883
Scarlet Rhapsody
www.scarlet-rhapsody.com


 
Gale 
Sacrificial White Mage
Gale
Loc: New England
Reg: 03-08-09

04-11-13 04:08 PM - Post#12296    
    In response to Scarlet

  • Scarlet Said:
I've added my thoughts on how conventions can get involved in the cosplay =/= consent call to action:

http://scarlet-rhapsody.com/?p=2883



Awesome

I'd also like to mention that we will be running a panel discussion on this topic at PortConMaine this June. Hopefully some of you all can check it out and maybe even join in the discussion there!
AnimeCons.com contributor

ConnectiCon Director of Guest Relations


 
Scarlet 
Attendee
Scarlet
Reg: 01-30-13

04-12-13 10:39 AM - Post#12300    
    In response to Gale

Thanks, Gale! (awesome name too...it's part of my middle name, Erica-Gail)

I probably won't be at PortCon Maine because I'm prepping up for AX that month and visiting my family out in SoCal, but I do appreciate the invite. I hope it goes well! <3
Scarlet Rhapsody
www.scarlet-rhapsody.com


 
meauho 
Con Addict
meauho
Loc: Houston(ish), Tx
Reg: 04-24-08

04-15-13 02:54 PM - Post#12308    
    In response to Scarlet

What gets me is that this kind of activity seems to be spreading not just among attendees, but among supposed 'journalists'.

Last year I was at a con when somebody dressed as Batman ran up on stage with a shake weight and interrupted a panel for an obscene display while standing on a table. When con staff caught the guy, he had a press badge that he had gotten using his Washington Post credentials.

Joshua Andrade

Bad Wolf Trading




 
Shiva 
Cosplay Addict
Shiva
Loc: New England
Reg: 04-01-09

04-23-13 10:00 PM - Post#12324    
    In response to meauho

  • meauho Said:
Last year I was at a con when somebody dressed as Batman ran up on stage with a shake weight and interrupted a panel for an obscene display while standing on a table. When con staff caught the guy, he had a press badge that he had gotten using his Washington Post credentials.



UGH! That's terrible. I hope he got kicked out.

Unfortunately, I think what we are seeing is just a microcosm of what happens in the greater world at large; although I have been harassed a handful of times in cosplay, I have been sexually harassed exponentially more often in regular life wearing regular clothes - even wearing a winter coat and scarf.

I think the main difference is that in cosplay, there is more of this weird fantasy-disasscociation thing going on, where people, like the poster above, confuse regular human beings for characters that don't exist, and feel they can treat them differently as a result. Zero tolerance for people who act this way, by both cons and witnesses to acts of harassment is key, along with some PSA type social education.
Facebook Page *~ Cosplay Website *~ Music Videos ~*


Edited by Shiva on 04-23-13 10:18 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
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