RANT: Cosplay Girls Don’t Know Sh*t About Comics


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By Meredith Placko
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

If you haven’t checked your daily nerd news, you may have missed a bit of controversy going around that involves cosplay. SHOCKER. Comic artist Tony Harris recently went off on female fans over on his Facebook, calling them out as not being real nerds, who prey on men in the fandom; all while slamming the male fan-base as a bunch of virgins with no social skills. It’s caused quite a stir on Twitter, even prompting comic writer Gail Simone to declare Tuesday as Cosplay Appreciation Day.

While cosplayers and creators alike have banded together to share their love for the fellow fans who recreate and dress up as their favorite characters, the point Harris tried to make is a sentiment still held by many. This isn’t the first time we’ve had women called out as being disingenuous and only into comics, video games, anime and the like to garner the attraction of unsuspecting men.

Harris claims that most women who cosplay do it for the attention and have no real knowledge of the medium behind it. As he so articulately states, they rely on Google to find the most mainstream characters to which they can play up to the male fans.

BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW SH*T ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. Google is really helpful when finding reference photos. Honestly though? I prefer Tumblr. I mean, I can’t be bothered to BUY comics and actually look for references there, or read about these characters I dress up as. I don’t even know how to read. I’m a girl.

The thing is, and Harris knows this, the only reason we dress up is because we want the attention of the thousands of lonely, horny, desperate men we meet at conventions. But he is here to let you guys know the truth about us despicable vixens who prey upon the unsuspecting men at these events.

β€œThe are being preyed on by YOU. You have this really awful need for attention, for people to tell you your pretty, or Hot, and the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of you hanging on them with your glossy open lips, promising them the Moon and the Stars of pleasure, just makes your head vibrate.
And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the f**king time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics.”

You guys got that? The only reason I slut it up in my slutty costumes at slut cons is because I need men to PLEASURE THEMSELVES TO MY MEMORY. It’s like an addiction. I don’t know how to start my day if I’m not thinking about all the things guys do in private with my photos. It validates my entire existence.

It’s nonsense.

Sure, there are girls in the fandom who do things exclusively for the attention of men. It’s part society’s fault for having raised us to need that validation to feel good about ourselves. It’s also some people’s business model if they are doing it for money / selling prints / having guys buy things on their wish list. The many, however, should not be judged by those few.

The idea of what it means to be a nerd is evolving. We’re no longer seen as a bunch of basement dwellers who are made up of fat, lonely guys who live with their mothers. We are a diverse group of men and women who show our love for our fandom by not just collecting every issue of Spiderman out there, but finding creative ways to showcase what this world means to us. For some of us, that means dressing up as our favorite super heroes.

I think, because of cosplay, women have found a way to be more comfortable within the male dominated world of conventions. It empowers us, it gives us the ability to feel strong and confident about ourselves, while still hiding behind a mask of someone who is a lot more respected, or at least accepted, by the men around us.

 

Update: Tony Harris has updated his Facebook profile with this message:

So I guess I broke the Internet in half today . Lots of interesting commentary, to say the very least. Didn’t realize that many people would care about one guys opinion. Also extremely savaged and humbled by the vicious response that went so far beyond any reason whatsoever, with personal attacks on my family, my sexual history, and accusations of advances being rebuffed cosplayers, which has never ever happened. My candor and my delivery of most things can be and usually is quite blunt. Can’t help who I am, but what I’m not, and never have been is a misogynist or sexist or any number of things I was called. I have the utmost respect for all the women in my life from my mother, my sister, motherinlaw, my wife and wonderful 2 daughters. This is my final word on the subject so move on. I won’t address it again.

Meredith Placko is a freelance journalist, pop culture expert, and cosplayer who also goes by the name Ana Aesthetic.

[Picture Source: Geeks are Sexy @ SDCC 2012]





71 Responses to RANT: Cosplay Girls Don’t Know Sh*t About Comics

  1. Thank you for this.

    I’m really tired of the “you’re not a real nerd/geek/fan because you xyz.” I am a “hot” girl who was raised on comics (X-Men were my bedtime stories). And any time it came up in mixed company, I was not deemed “okay” until I could pass some arbitrary quiz. I no longer have the extra space on my care-o-meter , and so I just avoid “nerd” topics except around my people. It’s not worth it. People like Mr. Harris are jerks and are the reason I closet my geekdom.

    How’s about this, if you can’t say something nice, keep the words in your head where they belong.

    Honestly, why do we care? Mind your own business.

    Listen to your mother- “If you can’t say anything nice, keep your mouth shut, asshat.” If she never said that to you, consider me your surrogate.

  2. Isn't there a slight slither of truth to Harris' rant though?

    I love the Cosplay pictures on this site and I'm always amazed by the effort made to get perfect costume and in many cases (Meredith's included), the quality of the picture itself.

    Contrasting that with someone wearing a Slave Leia costume or worse still, those dreadful ladies Stormtrooper costumes with those plastic boobies. Wouldn't it be fair to say that there are those who devote a lot of effort to the cosplay scene and comic book culture and those who are there for different reasons?

    • Maybe that would be fair. That's likely why Ms. Placko brought up that such people do exist.

      Not that we should actually read the article before commenting on it, of course. She's just a girl, after all.</sarcasm>

    • I would have to agree that there is a sliver of truth. There are attractive women cosplayers that are there solely for the attention and no nothing of the medium. I do think that they are in the minority, but to say they do not exist is putting your head in the sand.
      Now will I go around a con calling every scantly clad cosplayer a fake? No freaking way. However my initial level of geek cred goes to the attractive girl wearing a screen accurate X-Wing pilot suit vs the one in a blue corset with police across the top claiming to be a Tardis.

      • No, there's no slither of truth in what Harris is saying. As a female cosplayer, though mainly cosplaying Homestuck, I do it for fun and to make friends. I don't cosplay characters I don't know about, I cosplay characters I absolutely love and know much about. I'm pretty sure that's the same with other women.

  3. Whoa….well it never ends eh? Girls and Guys can dress as any character they like, revealing clothes or not, it's all about invoking the character, and even if there person doesn't know the character much they should always have fun! This Tony guy is a bit of a fool, It does suck that girls aren't seen as "nerd" as guys (such as, I was buying Halo Reach but the staff passed the bag to my bf, I took the bag from him and said "oh no, THIS is for me") but that is changing, thank Jeeves, Very funny article, well written! COSPLAY FOR ALL!!!

  4. AHHHH THIS MAKES ME SO MAD.

    (1) I'm not allowed to cosplay because I'm a girl and I want attention?! Say WHAT?! Yeah, that's totally why I picked the modestly dressed characters to cosplay as. And it's not my fault my Renaissance faire garb has a tight bodice, it was the fashion of the time.

    (2) Why does he have to assume that you have to be a gamer or comic geek to cosplay? I'm primarily a sci-fi geek. You name a sci-fi show, I've watched it. I haven't done a lot of cosplaying but I've been a Browncoat, SG team member, and Starfleet captain. I'm working to put together outfits to be Jo from "Eureka," Chell from "Portal", and a gender-twisted Eleventh Doctor.

    If I found out that a guy was "pleasuring himself to the memory of [me]," well, let me tell you what – his one player game is going to be short a joystick.

    I'm so irritated I don't even know what else to type….stupid, stupid, ignorant man!

    • Oooh, so thats what he means when he writes "I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule." Guess you're not the exception, huh?

    • Don't let that intellectual sinkhole get to you. He only wrote all that stuff because he was having a tantrum and didn't stop to think before making those sweeping statements. It was a very poorly worded rant with the basis being mainly in his own head.

      That being said, I have never come across one of the women he described. The only female nerds/geeks I have met have all been individuals who chose their own path and walked it into their own world of nerd/geek enjoyment. Are some people actually right to believe there should be a minimal standard of geekiness or nerdiness? I say thee nay! We're all into whatever interests us, and that's how it is.

      The first person who says there should be standards in order to claim nerdiness/geekiness is the first person who should be gutted with their own bat'leth. 'Nuff said.

  5. I respect the women that come and cosplay, whether they really know what medium behind it. They are out to support us nerds and geeks. It's much better then whoring it out with some bros just to get some attention and loose all their respect. Plus you give all us nerds a little hope that there are women out there that like nerdy things like Star Wars (the good ones), comic books, and video games. One more thing, all you women that cosplay give us a little more confidence, just knowing that your willing to be butt to butt with as we scavenge cons looking a variant covers and trying to get prints of our favorite artist.

    So power to all you women who cosplay and if you ever need some one to show you a good comic

    I'll Be There!

    • Why does it have to be specifically about comics…?
      There are many types of nerds… and not all of them read comic books… (and no, comic book heroes are NOT the only thing possible to cosplay)

      • As a male, I'm not into comics. Definitely into sci-fi, fantasy and other types of movies and tv shows.

      • Thank you for this! I'm a sci-fi geek who gets bitched out ALL. THE. TIME. for being a 'fraud'. No I can't name an X-Men outside of those that appeared in the movie but (general) you don't know who Brian Aldiss is so STFU.

  6. Part of the problem is that nerd culture doesn’t do a great job of providing women with role models that aren’t dressed provocatively. You -really- have to do some hunting.

  7. What a lot of bull, I think they are confusing booth girls with attendees. I will admit, a lot of booth girls know nada, it pisses me off. However, my team of gorgeous geek girls will take on anyone, we LARP, we game, I rant about comics on a daily basis, we cosplay and look damn good.

    Also to the gentleman who cosplay in Drogo, Browncoat, Deadpool, Gambit, Bane and any steampunk suited gorgeousness. Thankyou, you are all committed to my memory. ;)

  8. Seriously, who cares? It's one guy's opinion, and the entire internet is all of a sudden sending a lynch mob at him? Let the guy have his opinion, which, in all honesty, is a valid one, but for the most part is (probably) untrue.

    • He can have his opinion, and the rest of the world can have theirs. There is expressing your opinion in an intelligent, well-thought out manner, then there is being an belligerent asshat attacking a core group of an industry that he works in.

  9. Did he just close with the "I can't be someone who hates__ because I have friends/family who are__" argument?

  10. I went to London mcm expo a few weeks ago. I didnt see a single princess Leia (my boyfriend refused to let me go as one) the whole culture of gaming and comics, anime, manga is something I’m new to. But I went all out on making a costume myself from scratch and decided to be ichigo kurosaki from bleach coz I’ve read most of the manga and loved it.
    so I went with my boyfriend (it was his bday present) and dressed up as a guy for my costume.
    which part of that is looking to trap innocent geeks?
    the fact is all my friends are total geeks. And I love them for it they’re so much more fun. I talk to them all the time coz why else would they be my friends…
    some idiot wants to generalise. Fine. But he’s wrong.
    I guess as long as we all know it thats alright.

  11. The only problem with your argument is that he IS talking about "girls in the fandom who do things exclusively for the attention of men" in particular people who are going to cons for that purpose only. So your feigned outrage, IF he was talking about all women at cons or even all cosplayers would be correct, however in this context it is not.

    It's a faulty argument because you reacted emotionally (understandably so) to the language in his post, which certainly has a misogynistic tone. The problem is you are writing an article on a site that explores pop culture, therefor you, like Tony because he's a comic professional, are held to a higher standard.

    • Are you sure you want to bust out the tone argument here, dudebro?

      Are you really sure about that?

  12. Oh, and Tony is a bit of blowhard, again, not to excuse again the tone of his language, but it's kind of best to ignore some of the stuff he says i.e. a lot of it. However, I do understand the need to take on his comments as it is not cool to go diss female comic fans and this kind of attitude can be a real problem for women in comics, both as fans and professionals. However, really take his argument apart and attack it is all I'm saying.

  13. We shouldn't be dicks about it, but as someone who was a geek before it was cool to be a geek, I think we have the right to be a little annoyed by all these johnny-come-latelys, stealing our flavor, even stealing the word that they used to use to oppress us! Why should we have to automatically welcome with open arms the very people who used to beat us up and persecute us in high-school?

    • Sure, let's lament being a marginalized sub-culture and then instead of celebrating when it gets popular, we'll attempt to marginalize those that are finally accepting of us and taking an interest in the stuff we like.

      Seems a little silly to me.

    • "as someone who was a geek before it was cool to be a geek"……sounds like ur more of a hipster than anything lol

  14. Minority women, short women, thin women, fat women, religious women, gay women, disabled women and now geek women. When you put all of us together the prejudice against our gender probably outnumbers all others prejudices.

    …and the attack on women continues.

    • This is not an attack on 'women' but on 'certain women'.

      I guess there are enough short women, thin women, fat women, religious women and disabled women in the geek community that love cosplay but are unhappy that they can't compete with 'hot' women in sexy costumes that draw all the attention without eventually beeing into the culture at all.

      • The problem is at what point did he climb inside the minds of cosplay women to decide what motivated them? At exactly what point did he become an expert in female cosplayers?

    • By the way, that is exactly what Tony said in his rant, but what wasn't quoted here:

      "Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC."

  15. Aren't people on the comic book industry the ones who are "preying" on geeky guys in the first place? After all, sex sells. Why else would you draw all those impossibly proportioned girls in skimpy outfits if it's not an attempt to separate the male fans from their money? But I guess that's okay.

    Here's an idea. If you don't want half naked girls at cons, stop drawing all the female heroines as if they're only there for fan service. Maybe then the female geeks can have something to dress up as without being accused of being a "slut." But that will never happen. (Of course, people shouldn't even be slut shaming in the first place.)

  16. I do have suspicions about comic convention attendees that wear skimpy costumes. As mentioned, it is definitely not all. I personally think it is pandering too much for attention if someone goes to con dressed as Vampirella, but if she's a fan then she's a fan. We can't really tell.

    I will be pleased to tell you that I, in fact, know very little about comics. My desire to dress up as comic characters (Storm, Power Girl) was inspired by the notion that Storm was my favorite of the X-men when a kid told me about them. And Jubilee. Whether he was describing them accurately or not, well, who knows. When I decided to cosplay these characters, I did wiki them up to get a better idea of why I would want to, if at all. I don't know how easily I will get a hold of the X-men comic of Storm when she went through her female-power 80's look, or a variety around that.

    I don't play much of video games anymore, either. I did at one point, which was pretty much my first foray into cosplay before I even knew it was a thing (or even about conventions). Now, though, if I dress up as a video game character, it is probably an homage to what I loved to play.

    What bugs me most about cosplay nowadays is that people can get costumes readily pre-made in China and such. On the cheap. We lose the ability to truly recognize the craftsmanship of those who make their own costumes. I am not saying that if you can't sew you can't cosplay, but I do remember a time when cosplayers gained notice and respect for their own hard work, not just looking hot.

    I have wanted to make costumes of games I haven't played, movies I haven't seen, etc. As a craftsperson, I am most of all appreciating the design. I don't really feel like a fraud because there is an appeal. I take great pride in my construction process and quality of work. Sadly I do not get a lot of recognition because I am not really in shape. I do wish for a degree of attention. I do not wish to pander too hard, though.

    I digress. I am bummed that there are people who dress up to conventions without any sort of appreciation for the character/design, especially if it is a revealing outfit that is catering to sexual desires over everything else. Comics, video games, and other forms of media are so sadly misogynistic that there ends up being too many characters for women to dress up as that were created by men, for men, and often for fap-fantasies. Because of this limitation, there will end up being a lot of female fans who dress as these characters, whether they are simply using their sexuality to garner attention or are dressing up as a character that they like who happens to be wearing very little.

  17. Don’t get me wrong some of these chicks are awesome and you can see the love and devotion that went into making their customs. Some of the chicks I can’t help but feel they are just there for a little attention. What are the percentages? Don’t know and I guess that is what is killing everyone.

    • Where do you live where juvenile chickens attend comic conventions in costume?

      Or do you perhaps mean "women?"

  18. ever wonder if the reason these "fake cosplay" girls go to these conventions and dont know anything about comics might be due plain lack of knowledge? as far as i know no one was born with all this knowledge, everyone has to learn at some stage. great to know people are actually willing to help and not chastise someone in the early stages and put them off from ever wanting to try again. when did being a "geek" or "nerd" come with such high standards? an elitist group who lashes out at outsiders. … stop counting all those nerd points and quit the epeen flexing. lets just go back to where comicons were a place of fun where people enjoyed there hobbies. after all, who wants it to be a total sausage fest anyways..

    • hipster "nerds" ARE annoying… when i tried to get into Magic/MTG, i was discouraged because i was a newbie and didn't know anything about it. i did want to learn, but due to being "pushed away" from "their" hobbies/fun, i decided not to bother anymore.

      i started listening to EDM like 4 yrs ago and some of my friends called the music gay(as in dumb., stupid, retarded, distasteful, and homosexual by 1 of them as he laughed it off), well turns out a couple of them got into it and whenever they go to raves, they are annoyed by "newfags ruining" the scene…

      idk, i wasn't aware anything was made for just 1 person in mind, thought the reason it was shared was so that more people could get into it and everyone have fun…

      about cosplaying, i think its cool, i know a bit about some of the comics/manga/video games, but not everything there is to know. some people just think its cool to dress up as something badass from a film or game. i think it'd b cool/fun to dress up as cloud from FF, yet i've only played a bit of one(i believe it was oo nintendo) and ended up not getting into it.

  19. I don't get why everybody here is just thinking in black and white. He's neither entirely right nor entirely wrong.

    Sure there are geek girls who really dress like their favourite characters, be it from a comic, movie, book or mostly manga. But the attention is not drawn to the good costumes, it's mostly drawn to the sexy ones. And I would agree that the sexy costumes really often aren't made for expressing ones fandom but to get the attention and that is a topic one really might adress. It's a shame that 'Sex sells' draws away the attention from the true fans who put much energy in a good costume and then get ignored because a sexy girl walks by that's eventually not dressed like her favourite character (if she has one) but the one with the most revealing costume.

    I don't think the rant is about cosplaying girls in general. It's about the major part of girls that are shown here in this blog and other media. And if you read the comments you will see that the 'hot girls' get most of the love. And the hot girls are so often models who are paid to wear a costum and not interested in the geek culture. I even know of more than one model that wears cosplay costumes, models for gaming companies and in her freetime belittles the geeks.

    Quoting the article: "it gives us the ability to feel strong and confident about ourselves" – I really, really hope women don't need to show their tits like seen in so many costumes, starting with powergirl, etc… to feel confident about themselves… that would be pretty sad.

    And by the way again, this is not about the geek girls that put so much love into the details of their costumes and work hard on looking sexy, if it's the character they want to display. That's so much work and some of these girls really transform into an entirely different person. That's good cosplay.

    But I would agree that there are girls existing, who just google the sexiest costumes to get attention without knowing anything about the character. And that's a kind of cosplay I don't like.

    There's truth to both sides.

    • I want you to know this isn't REALLY a response. It's more a "your post got me thinking about this other thing" kind of reply. I'm replying because to you because you "inspired" me.

      Part of the problem–at least with comic fandom–is that they sexualize their female characters to the point of silliness*. In a culture that respects a women's "boobs and butt"* more than her strength of character, why is it surprising/distressing that male fans pass up good costumes for the sexy ones? Or that women who want to show off–whether paid or otherwise–choose the outfits they know will get the most attention? Or even that women tend to dress up in sexy outfits, since most of the female characters in comics dress/act sexy? (At least mainstream DC/Marvel stuff.)

      My main problem with this guy is he's bashing the wrong people. It's not the girls that are the problem, it's the fandom/companies that encourages an often sexists and overly sexualized view of women. The kinds of problem he–and you–are describing only became a problem because the environment encouraged it.

      Also, comic dudes, who cares why a hot chick is cosplaying? It makes me a laugh, thinking about these complaints. The entire comic fandom spends lots of time reading about hot chicks cosplaying (for justice OR evil). There's no practical or logical reason for even half of the outfits hot chicks wear in comics, so why should there be in real life?

      * http://eschergirls.tumblr.com/

  20. Who cares why they do it?. It's all for fun anyway, what's wrong with liking to play dress up and not liking the actual comics, people get offended by such weird stuff.

    • Agreed. This is a really REALLY stupid thing to get bent out of shape about (The original rant that is, not the rebuttal).

      Last time I looked you didn't have to pass a litmus test to enjoy a Con.

  21. Do people ACTUALLY care about what cosplay girls know about and dont know about? And if any of you do… WHY? They are cosplay girls. The entire point of them is to be seen in a costume. What a complete waste of webspace this "Column" was.

    Concerning yourself with the things that cosplay girls know about… lol.

  22. Cosplay is all about fun when people bring drama into it they need to stop and think about how daft they are being

  23. I like the attention I get when I'm cosplaying. There, I said it! But not the kind of attention this guy is talking about. I love when I'm walking down the hallway and a fan (male or female) runs up to me and says "oh my god, I love (character name here!)" or "I saw your costume and I really liked it!" or "I love that show!" It makes me feel good, especially when the character I'm dressed as an obscure character.

    On the flip side, I love having that experience of seeing people dressed as my favorite characters too! This is what makes cosplaying fun.

    I admit in the past I've dressed in a sexy costume, not because i wanted guys to drool over me but because I genuinely love the character and wanted to dress up as her. I've dressed up as male characters that I love too.

  24. I was right there with you Meredith, until you wrote “Spiderman”, and not “Spider-Man”, and my first thought was, “oh, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
    Haha, just kidding. That unimportant detail has bugged me since I was a kid, but literally EVERYBODY makes that mistake, even supposed hardcore male “fanboys”.
    Keep doing what you’re doing, keep being a fan, we need as many geeks as we can get. = )

  25. Let me get this straight.
    1) Male artists like Tony Harris draw comics that almost always feature women in skimpy outfits and/ or with giant boobs.
    2) Women want to cosplay their favorite characters in accurate costume.
    3) Once again, the vast majority of female characters run around almost naked.

    So, if Tony and his fellows really objects to half-clad women, they can go fricking draw some wearing something other then a bikini. (see: cover of Ex-Machina: Vol. 8 and Vampirella #15 for example)

  26. Those poor, poor guys. Being PREYED on by hot, sexy women. Damn them!

    But on a serious note. I'm sick to death of people like this guy. I've maxed out credit cards buying comics, I sit around with my friends discussing the impacts of certain comics and character histories. And some guy like this keeps coming along saying that because i have boobs, that isn't true.

    Enjoying a type of medium isn't based on whats growing between your legs.

  27. Either way, Tony said some offensive comments but in all honesty… this rant on his rant was absolutely cherry picking quotes. What I got from reading most of Tony's original rant is that he is fed up with this sudden wave of people who bashed on nerds and geeks before only to indulge in the varying fandoms once it became popular.

    Now girls definitely aren't the only guilty ones for doing it but, with this sudden increase in popularity it's no wonder a lot of us are skeptical and the ultra scantily clad ladies are an easy target for suspicion.

    For those of you that wonder why it's so hard to accept the recent rise to popularity: many of us have been extremely harassed. Now that being geeky is a thing, it leaves some of us wondering how many people are participating because they actually like it vs following and attempting to be cool.

    I can understand the frustration, but I can also understand how the rant was quickly exploded and taken the wrong way. In the end there is no excuse for sexist remarks to any woman be them geek or otherwise, but I also think as a writer it is horrible to cherry pick quotes and twist them into some emotional monstrosity. It's a rough time for nerdy and geeky girls as we have to deal with a lot of slander, but I think we all need to back off berserk mode and stop blowing every little thing out of proportion.

  28. its not only women. I see guys at CONS and you know they are only there to show off their amazing bodies in some skin tight super hero outfit……….they could care less about comics or fandom…..

  29. I love the rant! Living in Baltimore and being a slight geek, I can tell you I have met a lot of geeky girls that are geeky girls. They love fairies, playing D&D or Magic, they like comics, or they are into the Japanese culture. I room with one and am good friends with another. We have the Otakon here (Which there were no photos from this year on your site, DISAPPOINTED!) and I can tell you I see hundreds of women that are WAY INTO THE CULTURE in line and walking about the town. I talk to them and ask them about it. I don't know much about that culture so I find it very interesting, and these women are very knowledgeable. Aside from the obvious "hot girl" that's being paid to be there (probably because she couldn't get a beer girl job) almost all the women I have talked to are very much into it!

  30. i don't condone the manner in which he put women down, but you're not being honest with your readers or yourself if yer gonna sit here & say the evolution of 'nerd' has drop dead gorgeous women reading comics and playing video games now.

    come on. serious and honest for thirty fucking seconds here. im actually laughing at the idea that you really wanna perpetuate that idea to the masses.

    • Believe it or not, "drop dead gorgeous" women are humans! With their own interests! I don't see what being beautiful has to do with someone being interested in comics, honestly. Growing up I knew plenty of beautiful girls who were interested in video games or comics.

  31. Problem is with the men writing the comic books. I can't even think of any comic characters where the female has been created ''Average''. For the most part they all have a simular hight, *mostly* the same race, body type, age…. where as the men come in all 'Normal' veriaties, fat, thin, old, bald etc.

    Don't blame the women because comics completely fail any sort of realistic protrail of a female.

    • You are right. Jessica Jones is the only "superhero" I can think of atm who is mostly drawn as Average looking.The standard body shape for women in comics is either super model or porn star. :/

  32. "I have the utmost respect for all the women in my life from my mother, my sister, motherinlaw, my wife and wonderful 2 daughters."
    Hear that? Some of his best friends are women!

    • I loved that part. Also the "Can’t help who I am, but what I’m not, and never have been is a misogynist or sexist or any number of things I was called."

      Words have meanings, Tony! There are plenty of racists who will vehemently deny the fact that they're racist, too, and they'll believe it from the bottom of their creepy little shrunken racist hearts even as they snicker racial slurs and complain about the fact that a black guy is president.

  33. I have been a "geek girl" since I was 9 (29 years). I read science fiction, fantasy, vampires/werewolves (before they were "sparkly" and cool), watch science fiction & fantasy, (okay speculative fiction anyone). Played D&D, AD&D, Elfquest, Magic, L5R, Vampire Masquerade, including LARP, used to steal the controller for the game console from my husband and not give it back until I completed all the levels, Have been a Ren Faire chick, member of the SCA, painted miniatures, and showed up at my comic book store every Wednesday without fail. In my 20s I LOVED cosplay, yes part of the thrill was the attention, but it was also just fun to dress up.

    So what? Why should the women who go to cons and dress up be judged. Who cares if they can quote the entire canon backstory for the character they are dressed as? They are making an effort, and they are having fun. Just shut up and enjoy the view. You might be surprised though. Try talking to them, bet they know more than you'd give them credit for.

    • I love that you just threw down L5R. +5000 exp for being extra g33k.

      And I guess this guy hasn't been to any small conventions, my local geek convention is packed with women that cosplay and know their role in fandom. Granted, I have seen a lot of brainless booth bimbos but never have I met an actual cosplayer that was lost to their geek.

      This guy sounds more pissed off then MC Chris.

  34. This discussion invoked an impressive amount of discussion and I find that heartening. As a female gamer (PC, console, LARP, and tabletop), sci-fi nerd, Star Wars and Star trek fan, anime fan, comic fan, and seamstress/cosplayer (etc, etc), I have been battling for years against the misplaced notion that all female fans are automatically after attention….and that's a decent amount of years since I am the mother of two teenage female geeks now.

    I have had countless experiences similar to the girl that mentioned the gaming store staff automatically handing Halo Reach to her bf instead of her (awesome game, btw!). I have also had the experience of mechanics and PC salesmen talking to my husband instead of me when I know more about the product we are buying or fixing than he does! The fact of the manner is, even though some girls do exist who want a bit of attention (so what, they aren't hurting anyone!), there are a hell of a lot of geek and gamer girls out there who enjoy the genres as much as the guys do.

    My theory (and it's only my theory …based on my observations) is that for some reason it seems that a handful of guys in the culture and industry are actually upset or offended by our presence in it, as if women gamers and geeks are invading their private space. I don't know if its due to intimidation or if it is because we sweat, swear, and smell like real people and not buxom, latex clad beauties form comic book-land, or if it's because it's a secret club we aren't supposed to be in…I don't know. But I will say this, for ever guy I have met in my 20+ years of being part of the geek and gamer world who has this kind of attitude (and I'm afraid Tony might be one of these), I meet 10 more who are excited to cosplay, hang, or game with me and my gals.

    The only way we are going to change this kind of attitude is by talking about it…not yelling, accusing, or getting defensive… just keeping a dialogue open. There is a reason we (male and female geeks) are all into the type of things we are, it's because we are more interesting, imaginative, and smarter than the average Jane and Joe, and that makes us mighty. :)

    That's my two cents. Love and peace! (as Vash would say)

  35. We all get angry and post something stupid from time to time. However, as weird as I found this rant, the part I could not get over was trying to figure out what definition of misogynist he is using.

  36. Contradictory article is contradictory.

    "It’s nonsense.

    Sure, there are girls in the fandom who do things exclusively for the attention of men."

    Which is it… nonsense… or circumstantially truthful?

  37. Did anyone actually read Harris' rant?? Meredith I guess you must have read it but you are are taking bits and pieces of it to make him look like such a bad guy. He was not going "off on female fans over on his Facebook, calling them out as not being real nerds". He's been in the industry, he's been to Cons to see the change of nerd/geek culture before his eyes AND it's true, many girls who have little to no knowledge regarding the characters they cosplay go to cons to hang around fanboys for attention. It's a little disgusting.

    Harris had a right to his opinion of observation and I'm sure he isn't the only one feeling that way. Btw I'm a 30 yr old female, married, have a daughter, I've been reading comics since I was 10 and I don't cosplay. People need to just stop this whole "fake geek girl" BS. I'm sure there's plenty of fangirls that can put Harris' comic knowledge to shame but there's no reason to flaunt it to prove anything. It's not a race.

    • "many girls who have little to no knowledge regarding the characters they cosplay go to cons to hang around fanboys for attention"

      Seriously?? Does he spend 20 minutes talking with every single woman cosplayer in a "sexy" costume, grilling her on her comic knowledge? How many Robins or Green Lanterns does a girl need to know before she reachers legit geek status? How much about Star Wars does she need to memorize before she can cosplay slave Leia?

      And even when a girl just comes to a Con in a sexy costume, maybe dragged there by a friend or a boyfriend, why aren't we opening our arms to these people?! Share with them these geeky things we are so passonate about! This is a potential NEW fan of something we love! Shunning them for not being knowledgable enough is rude and elitist.

  38. I’m more bothered by someone playing the victim and acting offended than someone complaining about the extremely murky area of culture appropriation.