There is a saying about biting the hand that feeds you. Tony Harris, two-time Eisner Award winner and veteran comic book illustrator, obviously hasn’t heard of it. In a rant post to his Facebook page on Monday, November 12 (below), Harris launches into a tirade against women cosplayers.
While it should be shocking that a person in the industry would go out of their way to alienate and slut-shame half the human population, it isn’t. So let’s break down Mr. Harris’ argument and figure out what he’s trying to say.
“I appreciate a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff ( keeping the comments PG for my Ladies sake) but dammit, dammit, dammit I am so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Chiks. I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule. Heres the statement I wanna make, based on THE RULE: “Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC.”
Women at cons, especially women in costume, are there for the pleasure of men. From the completely covered gender-bent Doctor Who to the “racy” stuff like Powergirl, ladies exist only as eye candy and potential wank material for the men. The hotter you are, the less likely we are to believe that you read comics or even know anything beyond how to giggle and twirl your hair. Regardless of level of “hotness” assigned to you by the men, you will never be pretty enough to respect. Our own confidence issues tell us you secretly hate us, so we will preemptively hate you back, cutting you down to size and making sure you know your place.
You are willing to become almost completely Naked in public, and yer either skinny( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are ) or you have Big Boobies. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies? You are what I refer to as “CON-HOT”. Well not by my estimation, but according to a LOT of average Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to girls, and the ONE thing they all have in common? The are being preyed on by YOU. You have this really awful need for attention, for people to tell you your pretty, or Hot, and the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of you hanging on them with your glossy open lips, promising them the Moon and the Stars of pleasure, just makes your head vibrate.
Ladies, you are clearly here only for our amusement but we loathe you for it, you whores. How dare you expose your skin to portray a character? We know you’re all secretly sirens and not human at all, living for the moment when you can force men to objectify you and use your memory later that night back in a lonely hotel room. How are men supposed to resist your allure? Self-control? The onus is on you to make us behave; we are not responsible for how we view you. What other reason would you have for cosplaying, if not to cock tease? Not love of character, not the fun of being able to dress up, and certainly not because you WANT to. No, you’re attention seekers reveling in the role we have given you while we hate you for making us do it.
[…]YOU DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER. And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the fucking time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics. Your just the thing that all the Comic Book, AND mainstream press flock to at Cons. And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in? That would be Comic Book Artists, and Comic Book Writers who make all that shit up.
Women, you are not welcome here. If you don’t have encyclopedic knowledge of the character you are playing, it doesn’t matter if you spent four months putting it together, it doesn’t matter if you’re just having fun and learning more about the culture, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been a fan for two minutes or two decades, YOU ARE NOT A REAL NERD. If you wouldn’t engage in conversation with a man who is giving off thinly veiled hostility outside of a con, it is because you are a tease. You owe us your time. If you are going to dress like a whore, you OWE US. You are not a person, you are a thing, and by God, you will speak to us or we will slut-shame you right out of our world.