OK, here we go again. A very talented fan put together a great costume and went to Comic Con as Black Cat. Those of you who know the character would know that any such costume would have some cleavage showing…and frankly that would be true about a lot of costumes made for female characters today (that may be a topic for another day, but let’s get back to the subject at hand).
This very talented costume designer was met with a group of disrespectful misogynists masquerading as a camera crew, who proceeded to turn what was to be an interview into a junior-high level “discussion” about her cup size. Judging from her blog, her reaction was spot-on…and I’m proud to see how she handled it. Frankly, I don’t think I would have handled the situation as well had I been her. Here’s her original post:
Maybe it’s because I’m an older fan…maybe it’s because I’m a dad with a daughter that I think about how that cosplayer must have felt. But, the behavior of these alleged “men” is not acceptable, no way, no how. No one cosplays with the express purpose of being insulted, demeaned, or degraded. They put a lot of effort into their costumes, and whether they look exactly like the comic/anime/film character or not, they deserve much more than the terrible behavior some (thankfully not all) people exhibit. I’m really tired of seeing the fans of a medium I love so much treating other comics fans this way.
No one goes up to “Superman” or “Hulk” and asks him to lift a car. No one goes up to “Batman” or “Iron Man” and asks for millions from their estate. More to the point, no one goes up to these male cosplayers and starts up a conversation about the size of their codpieces. We are able to separate the fantasy of the character from the reality of the cosplayer, and we tend to act with greater respect for male cosplayers. Why can’t we do the same when the cosplayer is female?
This kind of behavior gives a black eye to all comics fans, and we should realize that. If we did realize it, maybe we wouldn’t be so accommodating to the sleazy, completely inappropriate behavior described in that post (and in so many other incidents).
It really is time to call out this behavior for what it is, and to stand up whenever we see it. I think the person who made the original post handled the situation very well…I just wish there had been others there to stand with her when this happened. Next time, I hope there will be.