The other day, Courtney Stoker, who writes quite a lot on cosplay, called out Simon Pegg on Twitter for his obnoxious behavior regarding women who dressed as Leia-in-metal-bikini at Comic-Con. And what happened to Courtney was everything that always happens: "geek celeb" mocks critic, then sics horde of fans on critic, then horde inundates critic with abuse.
Yesterday someone tweeted at me (when I had made a general remark about incident):
If the Leia cosplayers want to be taken srsly, why do so many go 4 the metal bikini outfit? Leia wore much more in most of SW.Which I rolled my eyes at and ignored. However, today I thought I'd address the general concept that tweet was getting at: women who dress "like that" are "asking for it". The following is a series of tweets I made on that topic:
* Dude tweeted at me "if they wanted to be taken seriously, why did they dress like that"? RE: Pegg & Leias. (1)To which the person who had originally tweeted at me responded with:
* (2) So much wrong in that, it's hard to know where to start. Let's count the ways, shall we?
* (3) What women are wearing should not be the gauge for which they are "taken seriously", going with a general concept here.
* (4) What women are wearing should not be the gauge for which they are treated as public property for someone else's pleasure. #rapeculture
* (5) What a woman wears does not make her responsible for someone else's bullshit, sexist, and/or violent & criminal behavior.
Unless she wears it for that exact purpose. You don't think any women EVER dress like that to attract male attention?This person goes on to be insistent on if a woman chose to dress in the metal bikini costume and not any other Leia costume choice, she was obviously looking to be objectified. And that "male attention", like Pegg's commentary that reduced the women to objects for his consumption, is the normal default of what a woman is "asking for". This person rather obviously does not seem to get that "male attention" does not have to be sexist, gross, or violent behavior. Attention in the form of appreciation and respect can be flattering. But, anyway, I'd rather not get into questioning the motives of any woman who chooses the famous bikini costume, as as Wm. Caylee Hogg pointed out on Twitter:
so the thing that fascinates me is that allowing the "but she *wanted* the attention" excuse even *if* true in one case...The whole motive discussion is just a victim-blaming tactic and a wholesale distraction from the actual issue in the same vein of how Tosh's incitement of rape has become about how feminists are humorless hacks.
acts as a kind of back door to putting the burden on women for their motives, what was going on in their head at that moment
which, of course, is exactly the mechanism we see in place during prosecution of rape cases
I also noted:
* (6) "Slave Leia" being taken less seriously as "fully clothed Leia" (as suggested by dude) shows a failure of culture, not of the women.Which is part of the heart of this issue, one that Courtney was also getting at when she said:
* (7) Phenomenon of "Leia in gold bikini = sex fantasy for dudes" doesn't mean wmn shld be looked down on. Says more abt the dudes than wmn.
* (8) Re: #7. Says more abt the dudes who look down on/"not take seriously" women who are their sexual fantasies (culturally or in reality).
This kind of attitude [of Pegg's] is really common and really destructive. It reduces cosplayers down to objects, and suggests that they are NOT fellow geeks, but actually decoration. They are only there to serve as fantasy fodder for male geeks.Exactly.
Have you seen the Comic Con documentary? At the end (during credits, I think...I saw it months ago), Kevin Smith talks about the chances of dudes getting laid at Comic Con and that the fourteen year old cosplayers? Well, "in five years they'll be sluts".
Geekdom, we have a problem and it's not the women cosplayers in metal bikini costumes.