Escapist Podcast - Comics and Cosplay: 008: Creeper Behavior At Cons, Ms. Marvel, GOTG Hype

008: Creeper Behavior At Cons, Ms. Marvel, GOTG Hype

This podcast is audio-only. Note: tech problems prevented video, but next week will see the debut of our video podcast. Rolf Harris was convicted of multiple counts of horrible crimes, and we use this news as an opportunity to discuss creeper behavior in the geek community (and the progress made pushing it back). We also talk at length about the new Ms. Marvel series, and finally, we spend a couple of minutes talking about the latest Guardians of the Galaxy hype. It's both depressing and fun this week!

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i'm going to go on a bit of a rant here so excuse me if it goes on too long. As a nerd there are 2 things i dislike about the nerd community; 1) nerds who exclude others for not being nerdy enough and 2) social justice nerds who get off on shaming other nerds who they see as sexist. listen, i know it's not easy being a girl in any part of society let alone nerd culture, but that doesn't mean nerd culture is sexist or even that the majority of male nerds are sexist because they're not. and i get so sick and tired of these high and mighty nerds who same others for maybe wearing a joke shirt about girls or like to look at cosplayers. now don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean they can touch anyone or say any nasty thing. i'm just saying don't make everything a federal case, if someone isn't being a obvious dick, don't be an social justice warrior.

I don't really agree with the don't be SJW crowd and I like to think that I'm on the right side in regards to feminism, though I don't agree with everything. I think the nerd culture is doing a lot better compared to other industries because people readily speak their mind. But you spent 30 minutes talking about next to nothing to do with comics or cosplay. I was glad you started talking about ms. Marvel cause I'm very curious about that comic. But can you guys organize these a bit better?

Oh yes, cons are the most dangerous place for women... started being that way some years ago, right about the same time when the tumblr activists turned their hate on nerds.

Thank the hero who invented:

Nurb:
Oh yes, cons are the most dangerous place for women... started being that way some years ago, right about the same time when the tumblr activists turned their hate on nerds.

Thank the hero who invented:

I think what you mean to say is that it started being talked about some years ago, because not being talked about is not the same thing as not existing. I feel like the better conclusion than the one you're likely wanting everyone to reach is that people are actually talking about it now, so we know about more cases of it.

jaibryan:
listen, i know it's not easy being a girl in any part of society let alone nerd culture,

Being a girl is fairly easy, actually. Or at least, not much harder than it is being a man, I imagine. We could debate the difficulty of "being" back and forth until the sun goes down, but in this society, being female isn't much of an added challenge. Not sure where you're getting that idea from, really.

Technical:

Stop saying "We'll have video next week" and then not having it. Do it when you figure it out. Do it when you can do it well. Stop making promises you can't keep. Try just getting the audio quality to be consistent. Consider using real microphones and putting a pop filter in front of them. It's not that hard to make a little effort.

Fade in the outro music and keep it at a level that makes sense for the speaking volume you've established. You make it nearly impossible to actually hear the last words you're saying. Is the music really more important than the podcast?

Material:

Men will sometimes answer a woman's questions by looking at the man standing with her for two reasons. First, they tend to assume that the woman is asking the question _for_ the man, who is embarrassed to ask questions. In this way, they're acknowledging the frailty of the man's ego and trying not to make it worse for him. Second, they make the reasonable assumption that the pair are a couple, and they are avoiding staring at the woman. Both of these are unfortunate and inappropriate behaviors. But they're both rooted in trying to show respect to the man, the woman and the couple. Ideally, the response would be directed to both people -- the presumption is that they are "together" in some sense after all -- or just to the person who asked the question, depending on the circumstances. But it would be nice if you didn't assume the worst about people.

Cosplay is complex. You have a large number of people with various degrees of social issues brought into contact with various people, including younger women, who are dressing in ways that are not, in the large, socially acceptable. The costumes are often evocative of characters who are sexually suggestive. The people wearing them are often attempting to explore their personal boundaries. This is not a recipe for stability and harmony. Of course people should behave decently. But it's not entirely absurd to say, "what do you expect?"

When people see something socially inappropriate happening, their general reaction is to allow the people involved to deal with it. There are some special exceptions to this, such as when children are involved. (When someone is beating their kids in public, we don't expect the kids to "solve" that situation on their own.) But _women_ are not _children_. Regardless of what a woman is wearing, she should be able to deal with interacting with the people who might come up to talk to her. When someone dresses in a costume some degree of attention is presumed to be desired. The woman (or man) should be perfectly capable of saying, "Stop, you're bothering me" when needed.

The idea that women in costumes need to be rescued by "noble" men in the vicinity when they are dealing with someone who is being inappropriate is extremely offensive. You are turning womanhood into victimhood. If an actual crime is being committed and physical restraint is required, then that's another story. But a small, frail, costumed women should be able to talk to a large, offensive man and tell him to get lost.

Yes, a number of these men are socially inept and might not take a subtle hint. Some of them will have neurological defects that make it difficult for them to understand that "I'm just waiting for a friend" means "Get the hell away from me you damn creep!". Especially when the woman is wearing a costume that the man associates with his own sexual fantasies and isn't familiar with seeing real people wearing. But none of that makes the woman incapable of handling it. Indeed, she needs to be able to do that and should be expected to do that.

Finally, it was pure tokenism of you to once again have your women panelist speaking at length only about a female-oriented comic book character. Particularly when the male panelists apparently had not read the comic book, thus emphasizing the "for women" messaging.

JustMakingAComment:
Technical:

Stop saying "We'll have video next week" and then not having it. Do it when you figure it out. Do it when you can do it well. Stop making promises you can't keep. Try just getting the audio quality to be consistent. Consider using real microphones and putting a pop filter in front of them. It's not that hard to make a little effort.

Fade in the outro music and keep it at a level that makes sense for the speaking volume you've established. You make it nearly impossible to actually hear the last words you're saying. Is the music really more important than the podcast?

Material:

Men will sometimes answer a woman's questions by looking at the man standing with her for two reasons. First, they tend to assume that the woman is asking the question _for_ the man, who is embarrassed to ask questions. In this way, they're acknowledging the frailty of the man's ego and trying not to make it worse for him. Second, they make the reasonable assumption that the pair are a couple, and they are avoiding staring at the woman. Both of these are unfortunate and inappropriate behaviors. But they're both rooted in trying to show respect to the man, the woman and the couple. Ideally, the response would be directed to both people -- the presumption is that they are "together" in some sense after all -- or just to the person who asked the question, depending on the circumstances. But it would be nice if you didn't assume the worst about people.

Cosplay is complex. You have a large number of people with various degrees of social issues brought into contact with various people, including younger women, who are dressing in ways that are not, in the large, socially acceptable. The costumes are often evocative of characters who are sexually suggestive. The people wearing them are often attempting to explore their personal boundaries. This is not a recipe for stability and harmony. Of course people should behave decently. But it's not entirely absurd to say, "what do you expect?"

When people see something socially inappropriate happening, their general reaction is to allow the people involved to deal with it. There are some special exceptions to this, such as when children are involved. (When someone is beating their kids in public, we don't expect the kids to "solve" that situation on their own.) But _women_ are not _children_. Regardless of what a woman is wearing, she should be able to deal with interacting with the people who might come up to talk to her. When someone dresses in a costume some degree of attention is presumed to be desired. The woman (or man) should be perfectly capable of saying, "Stop, you're bothering me" when needed.

The idea that women in costumes need to be rescued by "noble" men in the vicinity when they are dealing with someone who is being inappropriate is extremely offensive. You are turning womanhood into victimhood. If an actual crime is being committed and physical restraint is required, then that's another story. But a small, frail, costumed women should be able to talk to a large, offensive man and tell him to get lost.

Yes, a number of these men are socially inept and might not take a subtle hint. Some of them will have neurological defects that make it difficult for them to understand that "I'm just waiting for a friend" means "Get the hell away from me you damn creep!". Especially when the woman is wearing a costume that the man associates with his own sexual fantasies and isn't familiar with seeing real people wearing. But none of that makes the woman incapable of handling it. Indeed, she needs to be able to do that and should be expected to do that.

Finally, it was pure tokenism of you to once again have your women panelist speaking at length only about a female-oriented comic book character. Particularly when the male panelists apparently had not read the comic book, thus emphasizing the "for women" messaging.

Well written response. As a father of a daughter about to reach dating age I am all about teaching her to stand up for herself in uncomfortable situations. The root of feminism is that you don't need anyone to come to your rescue, you're a strong independent woman first, not an automatic victim. There are all kinds of situations that are uncomfortable to deal with; telling a creepy dude at a convention that he should move on, in public view, is probably not the most uncomfortable one that you'll have to deal with in your life. It's not a bad way to work on your self-confidence and being comfortable with your own body without feeling as if you're automatically a target because you chose to do something that you enjoy and breaks out of the mold a bit.
As a man, I'm more afraid now than I ever have been of accidentally being creepy or crossing boundaries that I was unsure of. Sometimes I want to tell a female cosplayer that she has a great costume, or that she looks especially good dressed that way, because I feel that a compliment earned is a compliment that should be paid. I would feel a lot more comfortable doing so if I knew that it was the social norm for the woman to then tell me straight up if that made her feel uncomfortable, no beating around the bush, and I'd have zero hurt feelings over it because she just told me how it was. So yes, women, stand up for yourselves. You don't need us white-knighting you. It's good for you, and it's good for us, just speak your mind.

 

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