Women who cosplay, a performance art in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea, are often subject to harassment and sexist remarks. This isn’t news to any woman who has dressed up previously at a cosplay event. Thankfully, this is getting more attention outside of the cosplay community. Recently at a New York ComicCon, BuzzFeed asked female cosplayers to share the creepiest thing that’s ever been said to them while they were in costume. Some if it is actually really awful. Women shouldn’t have to endure these kinds of remarks.Cosplay harassment has become such an important issue that Cosplayer Elizabeth Schweizer launched a project called “CONsent: The Importance of Treating Cosplayers with Respect”. Elizabeth had long been planning a project exploring cosplay and sexism, and decided that now was a better time than ever, after a member of the media harassed Lara Croft cosplayers earlier this year. Elizabeth explains what she’s learned in her experience with cosplay and by hearing others’ stories:
I was not surprised to hear many horrible stories from women and men alike. These can be as seemingly harmless and annoying as not asking for permission before taking a picture or bothering them for a picture or interview while they were taking a water or food break. But the majority of the stories were more serious and ranged from threats of violence to inappropriate touching, and from lewd facebook messages to stalking… The consensus is that it isn’t safe to be a woman in cosplay.
Hopefully with more cosplayers speaking out, we can communicate that it is not okay to treat people like this. No matter what someone is wearing (or not wearing), it is not right to disrespect them and make them feel uncomfortable. Sources: Buzzfeed, Daily Dot