Cosplay is more popular than ever. With so many comic book conventions, certain cons for specific shows or genres (Heroes & Villains Fest, Walker Stalker Con, AnimeCon, etc.), and any event held at a comic book store is now open to people showing up dressed in costume. Be it a favorite character, film, tv show, really anything and it has become more and more acceptable. This is a good thing. It’s a great time to be a fan of all things pop/nerd/geek culture.
The only downside that raises its ugly head regarding cosplay is when it comes to consent. PopCultHQ has written on the topic before regarding How Not To Be A Cosplay Creeper and on Cosplay Harassment. How, in this day and age, can there be people out there who thinks it is appropriate or acceptable to get all touchy-feely with someone because they cosplay? Regardless of how a cosplayer is dressed, whether the outfit is very revealing or is your favorite character but perhaps with a little sex appeal added, who in their right mind can honestly believe that means an open invitation to grope another human being? In public. Someone you don’t know. Get what I’m trying to say? If you’ve noticed, I haven’t played the ‘pronoun game’ or the ‘gender game.’ I haven’t been saying, “Guys need to stop this…” or “Just because she‘s wearing a …” I imagine that the majority, or almost all, of the time it is guys making advances on female cosplayers. But, I would think there has to have been at least one incident, perhaps more, where the roles were reversed. Regardless, I’m not saying this to come across like I’m trying to be gender-neutral, rather my point is NO MEANS NO. If you are a guy, a girl, married, gay, lesbian, transsexual, handicapped, believe in ANY religion, atheist, Republican, Democrat, if you put the roll of toilet paper so it rolls over or if you’re completely mental and you have it roll from underneath, IT DOESN’T MATTER. There are no exceptions to the rule. You would never have gone up to a celebrity, childhood crush, or just someone you find attractive and just instantly think that it is okay to become physical with that person. Why would wearing an outfit dressed as your favorite superhero, who was perhaps their idol or who got them through some tough things in life, then make it okay for you to freely discard morals and self-decency?
I’m rambling, forgive me. The following video is thanks to our superstar writer, and our cosplay connoisseur, April Widrick. Both the above links were written by her and are brilliant. Enjoy this incredibly accurate analogy regarding consent.