Jul 25 2014

Female Fans Deserve an Epic Campaign

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It seems to me that with all the female fans trying to reeducate the male fans about proper behavior at conventions and shows, it is necessary to have some compelling educational materials.

Part of the problem is that the message that female fans are people and not objects of desire. Or that female fans dress in sexy outfits because they want to be fondled is being subtly reinforced by the sausage party that is most fandom. Chauvinistic attitudes are like a bad virus, even if you are usually an understanding, respectful, and polite human if you are in a group of jerks you'll act like a jerk.

But if there's a counter-message that is ubiquitous. A subtle reminder to down down the macho bullshit then perhaps the habit of being respectful in the presence of "hot babes" (note my use of irony here) will prevail.

I am envisioning a series of posters. They'd be up all over the con with positive reminders that female fans are people too. And lest we get the eventual backlash of "what about us men!" the message is simple: Respect, maintain polite hand positioning, don't assume you have a right to photograph. That is all gender-free. But the problem is predominantly how male fans treat female fans. So that's the target.

Here's my pitches for posters. Feel free to add your own:

  • If when you see this: <pretty cosplayer> all you can think is <targeting marks> then When he <cop> sees you all he'll think is <wanted poster>.
  • This <female cosplayer> is your fellow fan: Not a target and not a trophy.
  • If you tell these fans <plus-sized girls> you like their costume...they'll say they like yours <plus-sized guy>. That's how respect works.
  • CAPTION: Appreciate fellow fans with your acceptance and respect not your lust or judgement.
  • If you can't see past this <female cosplayer with targets on tits and ass> then people won't see past this <dick pic on male jerk's face>
  • This <female cosplayer> is a person in a costume not an invitation for your hands or penis.
  • CAPTION on gender-bent character: If your idea of this character does not fit this expression of it, that's okay. Just don't feel obligated to tell them they are wrong.
  • They're not here in costume for you. They're here for themselves. ASK BEFORE PHOTOS!
  • CAPTION: Female Fans are not Limited Edition Collectibles. Don't treat them like possessions or something to be grabbed.
  • CAPTION: The sexy costume isn't the problem. Your bad reaction is the problem.
  • CAPTION: Fly in the face of a considerate and respectful fan.