“Cosplay is Not Consent”…the Comic!

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Karine Makes Comics and Stuff.

Cosplay Does Not Equal Consent is Important to Karine and Many Cosplayers.

Karine Made This Comic to Illustrate That Point.

cosplay is not consent

[Source: Kanthara]





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39 Responses to “Cosplay is Not Consent”…the Comic!

  1. Cosplay is not consent for either gender! The comic portrays skeevy men as the problem but my buddy and I have seen male cosplayers have the same problems at cons as well. Women grabbing their junk, hanging all over them, touching them suggestively, etc.

    It happens to both genders and is not ok for either gender.

    • it portrays skeevy dudes as “a” problem, matt, not as “the” problem. its just an example, and probably an example that captures 80% of the issue – but if you have the artistic skills to redraw the main character as a hermaphrodite, in an attempt to be inclusive of “all” problems, knock yourself out! : )

  2. I couldn’t agree more, and would also like to add the non-sexual component, too!
    The Twi’Lek costume I usually wear is in no way revealing or anything, but I get my head jerked around on a regular basis by people (of either gender!) who think they have to pull my lekku. Same happens to friends of mine who wear nothing associated to sexiness at all, let’s say something with long robes and a lot of detail, and people just keep “looking with their hands” at the fabulous costume. And then won’t even understand when you ask them not to do that.
    What makes people think they can just touch you just because you’re wearing something extraordinary?

  3. cons are waaaaaay too much about scantily clad men and women and what shit comic movie of the month than comic books and their creators….ugghhh.

    • If you ever get a chance, hit up the Baltimore Comic-con (early September I believe). It’s not huge like the big San Diego or Chicago cons but it still is a pretty decent size. It’s still large enough to get people like Stan Lee, Steve Dicko, John Ramita jr, Jim Lee, Lou Ferrigno and lot of others.

      It hasn’t been polluted by movie or game or really any non comic companies, though they have tried. Also while there are cosplayers, there tends to not be a lot of them. It’s still all about comics, the creators, self published books, and artists.

  4. I have been to a few conventions and I can say that my experience is that it is all over the place with this topic. What do I mean?

    My very first convention (many many moons ago) I went to, when I was having lunch, a lady came up to me in a Star Trek TNG uniform. She just sat down. Didn’t ask although we probably would have said yes. She then proceeded to tell us how she thought Star Trek (with open sex environment) was the way of the future and invited any and all (there were four of us) to join her in her “quarters” for sex. She was brash open and quite assertive. All of us were happily married and declined and she moved to the next table.

    Flash forward to about six years ago. I was in line at a convention for an autograph. There was a cosplayer in front of me. She was doing a Princess Leia Slave girl and was really rocking it. Something happened behind me and I, along with a lot of people, got shoved. Unfortunately, I wound up being shoved into the woman who was in the slave costume. She thought I was trying to feel her up on purpose even though I was and am still very happily married and not interested in someone else. She then went on to curse not only me but my parents and any offspring I would ever have. She didn’t listen to any of the people around us who were trying to explain (lots came to my defense which was cool).

    Flash forward to today. I have an acquaintance who cosplays to get laid. And this is a woman. She wears the minimum she can get away with on the top with her breasts just about falling out (and she has enough to have them all over the place) and then great costume from below the breasts down. She open states she is looking for hook ups and like my first example is quite assertive about that.

    So, I have seen and experienced some of the issues around this topic. I totally agree that Cosplay does not equal Consent. The problem is that some of the cosplayers are totally fine with that kind of stuff any muddy the waters for the rest. I am a Christian and see the same thing there. There are a lot of really good Christian people. But they find the back water yahoos who claim to be Christians to put on the news. So I understand. But not sure you are ever going to completely get what you want.

    Again, I am completely in support of this.

  5. I gotta add that the cosplayer themselves can always say something. The comic depicts this poor defenseless woman who has to get rescued, but we’re all capable of standing up for ourselves and telling people to back off.

    • In general, I agree. But not all people are that strong of character to say something.

      But I do have a friend who is very very shy. She had an incident at a con when she went dressed as some SciFi character. A guy essentially grabbed her breasts and almost ruined the costume. I was not there but my friend’s husband was and he just about rearranged the guys face. They ejected my friends (cosplayer and husband) and the guy who grabbed her. Now they had been in line for over an hour to get an autograph of someone (I think it was George Takei but not sure) and they had to lose their place and was ejected. Eventually, and well after the convention, they finally got the convention people to apologize. But damage was done.

      I say all of that to say that she was too shy to really do anything. It was her husband who had to really step in and do something and then they got punished as well. Not all people are strong enough or outspoken enough to say or do something.

      • Of course they were ejected. The husband “rearranged the guys face”? In what universe is that acceptable behaviour?
        “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent”.

        Yes, the guy was wrong and most probably a douche. But that does not mean that violence is necessary. A stern talking to would’ve done the job just fine and reporting the guy to the con officials would’ve most likely got him thrown out.

        • Violence is the last resort of the incompetent? I’ve seen it at the first step more often that not. In no place does violence stand as an acceptable solution to a problem though.

          Also at ‘A’ who says this depicts a poor defenseless woman who is unable to stand up for herself, that amount of times that a woman who does try and stand up for herself in then blamed for being the causation of the incident because of the way she is dressed and when she retaliates people trying to play it off as ‘having fun’ or just apologising without meaning it and then making the girl out to be over reacting or illogical or etc.

          There are times when it is necessary for any person of either gender to step in for a person of the same or other gender to be able to relay the message that what they’re doing is actually wrong and to get the offenders to listen. Especially when it’s one person who has been sexually assaulted (even touching classes as this) and they have to stand up to multiple people or a group who as soon as they have something said to them make it out to be that they are the ones hard done by and draw attention to the situation making it all the more difficult for the person assaulted to be able to state their case in front of a lot of people who don’t really know what’s going on and are more likely to be thinking in the same capacity as the offenders and may jump to conclusions and once again blame the assaulted.

          It’s not wrong for someone to stand in and help, that’s why it’s called helping, they’re not doing the entire job for the person and trying to claim all the glory, they’re spreading the weight of the force against them more evenly

        • Uh, yeah, when other measures fail, force is often a fine way to solve a problem. It’s level of appropriateness depends on the situation, but I think cold-cocking a guy who takes liberties with a lady is one of those situations.

    • Sexual Assault, which is essentially what this is, leads to feelings of shame and fear for the victim. Many victims never speak up about what happened to them because they are afraid of how people will react, even those that are brave and strong. Think about your most personal secret, something you would never EVER tell anyone. If you were forced to walk around wearing that secret written out in a font big enough for people to read and constantly having to tell and re-tell it to total strangers just because you told one person in an attempt to get them to not do something, would you tell that one person? That’s the kind of thing that survivors of sexual assault have to go through whenever they make a scene about what happens to them.

    • That is generally true and I always speak up for myself when I get handled. Sad truth is though, most people don’t understand and start arguing with me about it as if I had no right to deny them to squeeze my costume parts.
      Most of them would not be actually dangerous to me, but still it sure helps to argue in company. And yes, preferrably tall male company, because the sad fact is, that works way better.

  6. Dorks and geeks everywhere, myself included, should be eternally grateful that we live in a world where incredibly attractive women (and yes, I guess men too) like to dress up as fantasy characters and parade around at conventions in elaborate costumes. Respect that. Keep your damn hands to yourself, or you’ll ruin it for everyone. Look but don’t touch. Cosplay rules.

  7. I’m sorry, no one else will agree with me here, but cover yourself. Learn the meaning of modesty. If you don’t want your intimates ogled or touched, keep them intimate.

      • So what are they showing JorEl10262009, too much skin for you? Please….it’s just a hobby. If you’re making a big deal out of it then you are the one with the problem. Don’t like Cosplay – then don’t go to the shows, make comments or even acknowledge it exists….go find your own hobby and leave others alone.

      • It’s not the fault of the person dressing up if they get touched; people should have self control. I mean, seriously. Why not allow cosplay? I guess no one should dress up during Halloween either.
        People can show what they want, within reason. Don’t blame the victim for the crime.

    • Soooo… what? If I do decide not to keep my “intimates” intimate, it’s okay for someone to (try and) touch them? And I can’t object to that because they “should be kept intimate” in the first place? And ultimately it’s my fault? Nice thinking there.

    • ‘Showing off’ your ‘intimate’ parts should be a person’s right, especially when it comes to cosplaying. Just because a woman shows cleavage doesn’t mean you get to grope or make lewd comments about her breasts. The same applies for every body part, whether it’s exposed or otherwise.

      Your mentality is that if I can see it, I’m allowed to touch it. Grow up.

      And JorEl, I hope for your sake that you’re either joking or trolling, because that was a comment even more ignorant than the one it was replying to.

      • And who gets to decide what is covered enough. My opinion may be very different from yours. And then by your standards, if I covered myself to my understanding. That means that you can touch me because according to your ethics I was not covered enough. This is ridiculous. People need to respect others no matter how they may dress or what is or is not covered.

    • What you have written is not advice, it’s an attitude you have regarding the choices others make to wear or not wear outfits, costumes, or clothing that YOU find immodest. Not everyone will agree on your definition of modesty or whether or not it is a necessity. Having body parts exposed does NOT give you or anyone else the right to touch, molest or in any other way violate another person’s personal space and their body. It’s this kind of attitude that perpetuates a culture of rape and abuse.

    • You’re one of those “It’s her fault she got raped” types, aren’t you?

      A person’s body is theirs to do with as they want as long as no one else is getting hurt. No matter how immodest someone’s clothes are, NO ONE has the right to touch or harass them for it.

    • That’s understandable but people should have the self control to not touch. People can ogle whether or not one is covered up. While modesty IS a good thing, you’re kind of blaming the victim.

    • These threads always have one of you people. The kind that would tell a rape victim they asked for it because of what they wore.

      A person can be stark naked, it still means zip all about consent. Actually, if you think seeing skin means you can touch a person, you probably are banned from conventions anyways.

  8. Sheesh, people. How hard is it to keep your grabby hands and your skeevy comments to yourself? Doesn’t matter if a cosplayer is naked (except that he/she might get arrested, but that’s a different matter)–it doesn’t give you the right to touch them.

  9. Yeah I’m definitely gunna go with, “if you don’t want to be treated like it, don’t dress like it”

  10. My wife just brought up a good point. If you go to Hooters you are not allowed or expected to be able to touch. I remember years ago being taken as a young lad to the Playboy Mansion and eating there. The waitresses were dressed as bunnies and if you touched then you were immediately removed from the building. It was not allowed and shouldn’t be allowed or expected at cons either.

    The other thing is that thirty years ago if you dressed as Princess Leia and went to a convention people thought you were weird. But today. Cosplay is huge. And it is really cool. So, the idea that you can touch because people dress up is not only wrong it is way outdated.

  11. It’s so sad to see so many people promoting rape culture in these comments. By saying people get what they deserve if they dress in provocative outfits, you’re blaming the victim and saying people are not expected to have any self-control or personal responsibility for their actions. It’s attitudes like that which promote rape culture and reduce the integrity of the species.

    Come into the 21st Century, people. Drop the uptight, “old fart” ways of thinking.

  12. While I feel that people should be able to dress however they like, people really need to understand how the world works: human beings are pretty impulsive, especially the guys. This means they will do unexpected/weird/stupid things and these things usually happen when there’s “nudity” involved (using the term in a very broad manner here). Nudity causes retardness in human beings, sad but true.
    My point: if you’re cosplaying, I feel you should either:
    1) be able to tell people when they’re crossing your boundaries/be able to defend yourself against the retarded people who think they can do anything just because you’re cosplayed.
    2) show less

    Is this how I WANT this world to work? no. But it works this way and we have to deal with it. Expecting people to be douchebags is of paramount importance if you want to keep your sanity on this planet nowadays.

  13. I’m just saying if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck it must be a duck right?

    • no, it could be a person cosplaying a duck, and that doesn’t therefore give you the right to shoot and eat them.

  14. The touching is out of line; there are strip clubs that don’t allow touching, but comments? If you’ve got the brass to put on three bras and shade in your cleavage for an as-close-to-comic-accurate as possible Black Cat E cup look, I’d think you could take a “what is your bra size?!” in stride. Hell, if you put in the kind of work these girls put in, building a costume to show off (and enhance) everything you’ve got, and you DIDN’T get at least a couple comments and a thorough eye-grope or two, I’d think you’d be dissappointed… or is it that they want to be appreciated for their ability to recreate the look of a fanservice sexbot, but not be seen as one? Because that kind of thinking lacks logic. The majority of these characters exist to be oggled at as fantasy fuel… Uninvited touching is way over the top, but you can’t regulate looks or even comments as long as they stay within certain parameters.

    I’ve seen female cosplayers post pics of each other with sexually explicit comments or just a “Hrnnggg! :D”; how is that unacceptable from a fan at a con?

  15. First of all, it’s called tact and common sense.
    Lewd comments may or may not fit in the category of harassment for a few reasons. Just because a woman or man is depicting a character, does not mean that they appreciate your sense of “comedy” or appreciate sexual comments from a perfect stranger. You’re saying that even though I don’t accept inappropriately intimate or sexual comments from even friends, that I should accept it from strange men or anyone in general?
    I expect respect from my own friends. I know their sense of humor or when they’re joking around, but I don’t know that of perfect strangers.
    I understand people genuinely appreciating a costume or attractiveness and staring or giving compliments. I wouldn’t answer the “what bra size are you” to one of my friends, neither would I to some stranger. What are we, in high school? You don’t need to know my bra size, or anything intimate about me at all, especially when that has nothing to do with my costume, regardless of the undergarments I’m wearing or not wearing to pull it off.

    Women also don’t cosplay just for the attention. THAT is another wrong assumption.
    Some of us actually do it for OUR OWN interests, and completing a costume is an accomplishment, no matter how scantily clad it is.
    For example, my last cosplay was Storm from X-men. While I planned and worked on the costume, I never in a million years would have expected the response I got when I wearing it. I couldn’t even hold a conversation for two minutes because people were constantly asking to take pictures. I know that people like to take pictures of great costumes, but that does not mean I did it ONLY for that. I did it for my own personal interest in the character, interest in cosplay, and my own artistic accomplishments. I’m proud of the costume because it’s so well done that people saw me as the character.

    Anyway, let’s get back to the harassment issue.
    I went to art school, and in art school, certain classes require nude models. Because these models are nude, does it give us the right to walk up to them and grope them? “Well I just need to feel your breasts so I can figure out how to draw them,” said no one ever. That person would probably be kicked out of class/school.
    I don’t care if someone walked in nude to a convention, it gives us no right to invade their personal space. They would get a lot of stares, sure, but staring =/= touching.

    Don’t say anything if you have nothing nice to say, don’t put your hands on others, and respect others’ beliefs, privacy and space are things we should have learned way back in kindergarten:

    It should be common sense.