Tobold's Blog
Thursday, November 07, 2013
 
Imposing your values on others

There is rarely a week in the blogosphere that goes by without some sort of feminist protest against the way video-game characters or real people dress. So it would have been wise of me to completely ignore this post on cosplay and the articles linked there. After all, we all agree that female armor depicted in video games is not very practical if you consider the function it is supposed to have: Prevent damage. But then I had male characters in games like World of Warcraft with all sorts of wings, horns, or gigantic shoulder pads serving no practical purpose whatsoever. And somewhere I think there is a fundamental difference between talking about video-game characters and real people.

Overly sexualized video-game characters are a problem. World of Warcraft offers some ways around skimpy armor, like transmogrification. But not every game does. And when you can't wear certain pieces of armor because they make your character look a certain way you don't want him to look, that can be a problem. If female characters are visibly designed to be played (and watched) by male teenagers and don't appeal to female players, those female players do have a right to demand at least a choice. And game companies which want a wider audience would be wise to listen.

But what about real people going to a game convention dressed up as a character? I feel deeply uncomfortable with the concept of telling any of them that they "shouldn't dress like that". How is a feminist telling a girl that she shouldn't dress in the famous Princess Leia slave costume any different from a muslim cleric telling a girl that she should wear a burqa? How is it different from any other social conservative telling other people how to live? Sure, you can have personal values which would make you not want to dress like that, but how can you impose those values on others?

I feel it is somewhat insulting to assume that the girl in the skimpy outfit at the games convention doesn't know what she is doing. Obviously she is in no danger of being attacked with a sharp instrument, so why should she worry about whether her "armor" has any protective properties? The guy in the full-plate armor made out of rubber foam wouldn't do well in a real sword fight either. I do believe that people choose their cosplay costume with a lot of thought on how they are going to look. And if they look sexy in it, it is because they WANT to look sexy. Even a "booth babe" who didn't choose her own costume at some point made a conscious decision that she would be willing to look like that if the money was right. And the girls who actually made their own costumes with a lot of effort are very well aware that it isn't much use for either keeping them warm or keeping looks away. As long as a costume is within a country's decency laws, how could anybody have the right to tell them to not dress like that?

I support everybody's right to not go to conventions where people are dressed in a way that he doesn't want to see. But if you go to those conventions you need to respect the right of people to dress like they want. Different people have different personal values, and you can't impose your values on others.

Comments:
Hehe, I love the discussion about the how actually effective would be the armors and then we get a screenshot of her character wearing a nice hat which completely obscures vision.... good luck fighting with that on your head.

BTW I agree, it would have been wise to ignore it since it more or less boils down to "I would not do it, so I can't understand why people would do it." At least there are some links I'll be reading :)
 
It becomes a complex question when people cosplay video game characters. Regardless of the practical problems that video game characters' armor has, the cosplayer (as opposed to the booth babe) made that choice to wear what she wants to. From the article you provided, it sounds like the main complaint isn't the costume itself, although there was some distress there, but the lecherous reaction of men to said costumes.

If anything, it's those guys who need a kick in the pants. If a woman wants to wear a Starfire outfit, that's her decision. But at least treat her decently.
 
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@ Helistar: I also love the fact that you pretty much failed to grasp the entire point of the article, as indeed did Tobold. No matter. I knew what I was talking about, and I don't want this to devolve into *exactly* the kind of argument I was attempting to avoid by writing the article to begin with.

Twas ever thus.

PS: Context is everything, of course it is. So is grasping *why* someone chooses to write what they do. I'm attempting to educate myself. I'd suggest everyone does the same.
 
Well, enlighten us about the context then. Right now I only see that you think it is okay for you to question the decisions of cosplayers, but not okay for us to question your decisions.
 
While I agree that the post boils down to "I would not do it, so I can't understand why people would do it" at no point does it say that people shouldn't dress like that. It actually states that people can dress however they like.

There is however something to be said about a reduced volume of sexualised armours on video games. I'm surprised that there isn't a WoW mod available that replaces some textures on the more daring items with something more conservative.
 
@Tobold: You've been doing this far longer than I have, that I am well aware of, and I've read your blog for some time. I am also aware of how many people you've inspired.

You can question my decisions as much as you wish, but the basic fact remains you singularly failed to grasp my point. I want to know WHY this happens, and I linked a series of articles to support my exploration of the subject. I also stated a couple of basic principles I believe should be common decency as a result.

At NO point did I attempt to impose these on anyone else, or tell people they are wrong for not believing a contrary viewpoint.

I'll happily apologise if you believe this isn't the case, but I can assure you the point of the article was to do ANYTHING BUT what You're suggesting I have.

Clearly I need to work on my ability to make a clear and concise point, something I could look to you for guidance, I know.
 
Please note that I am NOT ONLY referring to the article linked to, but also to the articles linked there. The degree of criticism is different in the different sources.

Nevertheless I would say that the apparently simple question of "why" already implies some negativity. If a relative comes to you says "I can't understand why you spend so much time with these computer games", would you consider that as a simple request for enlightenment? Or would you think that the person asking the question already has an opinion of the subject and is just relatively mild in expressing his criticism?
 
@Tobold: You honestly think that asking 'why' is negative? Am I to tell my 13 year old son that asking why something happens is bad because he simply wishes more knowledge on a subject?

I think that more people should be asking these questions not simply of themselves, but of the environments they inhabit. The articles that I cite are simply the ones I had recommended to me by other people when I asked the question in a wider context.

If anyone can provide me with contra-arguments, or articles that give a different viewpoint, I'd be grateful... the fact remains people could simply dress up because they want to, but there is compelling evidence that suggests this is not simply the case.

I write seeking understanding, enlightenment and understanding. Asking 'why' as a result has become a fundamental tenet of what I do.

The upshot of this is dialogue and discussion, often with people I have previously not communicated with, on the matters that arise from such subjects. As a result, this article has done its job :D
 
The main problem with sexy costumes and photoshopped sexy advertisements and Megan Fox checking out the engine of Bumblebee is that some of the viewers are minors (neither of the mentioned media is 18+) who have not completed forming their own values.

They can be indoctrinated that being a sexual object is fine and even expected. Anorexia is spreading among underage girls for this reason.

I have no problem even if the "cosplayer" wears nothing but a vibrator. There are places where the stage performer is doing exactly that. But a gaming convention of a 12+ game is probably not that place.
 
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@Tobold: Oh, and to the question "I can't understand why you spend so much time with these computer games", yes I would ABSOLUTELY take it upon myself to explain my reasoning, because there are so many stigmas associated with people who game, as there is about sexism and objectivism, that I would consider it worthwhile.

I'd know why I was being asked it, and I'm sure it could be a measure of criticism from the person concerned. I'd then ask them why they spent so much time watching TV or supporting a sports team, or perhaps reading. However, I'd do my best to NOT make it appear it was a criticism to begin with.
 
A paraphrase of the articles would be - Godmother tries to assess the reasons for cosplayers to choose to dress what he believes to be crossing some line.

Tobold adresses this by stating, that 'the line' is drawn differently for everyone of us, and ends with pointing a finger at those who dare judge other people's lines.

Gevlon refers from judging, but at the same time point out, that there are in fact general lines drawn already by the western culture for all those under certain age and whatever are the personal lines of the cosplayers, there artificial general lines come first.

Redbeard then mentions also, that there is a more vocal issue of outrageous reactions to said costumes by men, who argue, that a sexy cosplay is consent to misbehavior. That being absurd, one wearing a sexualized suit of armor would be a fool not to aticipate being objectified by people who don't feel remorse over some forms of rude behavior - it's easy to be notty and hard to be nice.

My own opinion - there will always be bigots. Men are pigs. If you put on a sexy costume and do not know these two things, you're in for an unpleasant surprise. I wish you a better world someday, where bad things do not happen, but for now they do. You can fight and probably change the hearts of many, but you will never change the hearts of all.
 
Oh yeah, and then Godmother and Tobold bicker if asking 'Why?' is already an insult or not.

My opinion - if it's a question about another person's decision it is an insult. It automatically makes the person being asked take a defensive stance, which outright makes the one asking an attacker, and in disagreement with that particular decision.

Sorry Godmother, nice article, but it's kinda passive agressive.
 
I agree with Tobold - a woman wearing a skimpy costume knows what sort of attention she will attract and fully intends to attract it.

Also, Gevlon's argument: "They can be indoctrinated that being a sexual object is fine and even expected. Anorexia is spreading among underage girls for this reason." makes no sense, unless you think that anorexic girls are trying to be sexual objects. I don't like to make simplistic psychological analyses, but if anything the obvious interpretation of anorexia is that they are trying to avoid being sexual objects.
 
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Funnily enough if the young woman in question wore her Princess Leia costume to go out clubbing in a seedy part of town and had to wander the streets drunk, high and lost at 3 in the morning after the club closed no one would see it as anything other than her choice and one that we should defend on her behalf.
 
On the other hand I think the argument can be made that the dress and behaviour of women who want to cosplay sexily (or booth babes who are paid to cosplay sexily) impacts all women who cosplay whether or not they want to send out a sexual signal.

There's a certain amount of sexual abuse that happens at these conventions. There seem to be some guys who assume that because booth babes are paid to dress and act sexily they are therefore some kind of paid sex worker and things like patting their bum or touching their breasts are licenced. And that anyone who cosplays is also implicitly giving permission for physical sexual overtures.

I'd have an amount of sympathy for a woman who wants to dress like Captain Janeway but can't do so without getting her bottom pinched because all the Princess Leia clones have convinced male nerds that cosplayer = tart.
 
@ Blogger Andrzej Zielinski: I'm a she, not a he. I'm attempting to ask questions I've never asked before in public.

Yeah, I can see why you'd consider this passive aggressive ^^
 
This debate is ridiculous. But so are most debates.

They exist to generate clicks. They get blown up to generate clicks. And as a bonus, everyone who's capacity for argument and emotions is bound by 'female video game character's costumes' won't make a lot of fuzz about real problems... it's a win-win for advertisers, bloggers and the power-that-be.

"How is a feminist telling a girl that she shouldn't dress in the famous Princess Leia slave costume any different from a muslim cleric telling a girl that she should wear a burqa?"

This one is easy to answer. Ad the answer is true for all questions in all societies: Some people want something, and they have right, because they take the right, because they feel they *are* right. And so, logically, the others are wrong. It might look the same, but the fundamental different is, some are right and some are wrong.

Whoever has the power to decide what's right, is right.

Everything else, freedom pf speech and such, is just the shadow of a few decades of measured liberalism.

Stop thinking about this question Tobold. It will lead you along a long, lonely dark road and at its end the 'red pill'. You *do not* want the truth. It is ugly. You want the steak to be steak and the wine to be wine...
 
If anyone can provide me with contra-arguments, or articles that give a different viewpoint, I'd be grateful.

I was trying exactly that, provide contra-arguments and a different viewpoint to what usually is said about this issue. And excuse me if I have the feeling that your reaction is anything but grateful.
 
if asking 'Why?' is already an insult or not

I never said insult. And it very much depends on the formulation. "Why is the sky blue?" is probably a real question. "Why do people have to talk loudly on their mobile phone on public transport?" probably isn't. It is an implied criticism.
 
@ Tobold: 'I was trying exactly that, provide contra-arguments and a different viewpoint to what usually is said about this issue. And excuse me if I have the feeling that your reaction is anything but grateful.'

I think you'll find what you've provided here is in fact the normal reaction from a lot of people when others start testing boundaries and start asking difficult questions of the World around them.

Excuse me, but I had the feeling you'd be a lot more tolerant and not nearly so rude. I didn't realise your 'position' in the community and a number of people have been good enough to enlighten me as to that particular situation.

Needless to say, there are many, many people whom I can happily attest share your point of view. Your contra-opinion therefore is noted in their contribution.

Whether you believe me to be genuine or not when I say I am grateful... that's your decision, and not mine.
 
I think you'll find what you've provided here is in fact the normal reaction from a lot of people when others start testing boundaries and start asking difficult questions of the World around them.

Where did you ask a difficult question? As far as I can make out, the question you asked is "Why are some girls dressing in skimpy outfits?". I do not consider that a difficult question. The answer is that either they got paid to do so, or they WANTED to look sexy.

Now if you start asking whether dressing sexy is a good thing or not, we are getting into difficult territory. But you said that yours was just a simple question of "why?", which I believe I answered.

And to be perfectly clear, I did not intend my answer to be rude. But apparently we are both implying things in the what the other is saying which weren't intended.
 
Reasons that female cosplayers wear often-skimpy clothing, some more nuanced than others:

1) Because they don't have a lot of fully-clothed female gaming role models to dress up as, and the ones that exist aren't terribly iconic and recognizable.

2) They spend weeks and months on their costumes, but if they don't reveal some skin they're unlikely to have the pictures posted on the internet to show off their skills.

3) As a culture, we're accustomed to public costumes showing more skin than your normal clothing. See: Halloween.

4) Because they like the costume and want to wear it. And this is the one that matters.

I haven't really seen a whole lot of educated feminists saying things like "girl, you shouldn't wear that costume." Most feminists like me believe in women having the agency to choose. That doesn't mean, however, that every woman's choice is a feminist choice. Women every day contribute to systemic sexism, in-fighting, misogyny and rape culture for reasons ranging from ignorance to "just not caring", or sometimes a forced hand. It's true that there is a culture around the male gaze staring at female cosplayers and even harassing/abusing them.

@Gerry Quinn:

"I agree with Tobold - a woman wearing a skimpy costume knows what sort of attention she will attract and fully intends to attract it."

Statements like that are downright awful. This is as bad as saying that a woman wearing a short skirt on a bus deserves to have upskirt photos taken of her, or a woman in a low-cut top deserves to be stared at, cat-called, and harassed. Believe it or not, there are reasons that women might wear whatever they want that don't have anything to do with intending to attract men or their harassment. In this particular context (cosplay), perhaps the reason is TO MIMIC AS CLOSELY AS POSSIBLE THE ACTUAL LOOK OF THE CHARACTER THEY'RE DRESSING AS? I absolutely hate this idea that if a woman dresses up as their favorite game/anime/movie character that they must be doing it because they want attention from men. That's reductive and horrible to perpetuate.
 
Reasons that female cosplayers wear often-skimpy clothing, some more nuanced than others:

1) Because they don't have a lot of fully-clothed female gaming role models to dress up as, and the ones that exist aren't terribly iconic and recognizable.

2) They spend weeks and months on their costumes, but if they don't reveal some skin they're unlikely to have the pictures posted on the internet to show off their skills.

3) As a culture, we're accustomed to public costumes showing more skin than your normal clothing. See: Halloween.

4) Because they like the costume and want to wear it. And this is the one that matters.

I haven't really seen a whole lot of educated feminists saying things like "girl, you shouldn't wear that costume." Most feminists like me believe in women having the agency to choose. That doesn't mean, however, that every woman's choice is a feminist choice. Women every day contribute to systemic sexism, in-fighting, misogyny and rape culture for reasons ranging from ignorance to "just not caring", or sometimes a forced hand. It's true that there is a culture around the male gaze staring at female cosplayers and even harassing/abusing them.

@Gerry Quinn:

"I agree with Tobold - a woman wearing a skimpy costume knows what sort of attention she will attract and fully intends to attract it."

Statements like that are downright awful. This is as bad as saying that a woman wearing a short skirt on a bus deserves to have upskirt photos taken of her, or a woman in a low-cut top deserves to be stared at, cat-called, and harassed. Believe it or not, there are reasons that women might wear whatever they want that don't have anything to do with intending to attract men or their harassment. In this particular context (cosplay), perhaps the reason is TO MIMIC AS CLOSELY AS POSSIBLE THE ACTUAL LOOK OF THE CHARACTER THEY'RE DRESSING AS? I absolutely hate this idea that if a woman dresses up as their favorite game/anime/movie character that they must be doing it because they want attention from men. That's reductive and horrible to perpetuate.
 
I absolutely hate this idea that if a woman dresses up as their favorite game/anime/movie character that they must be doing it because they want attention from men.

I wouldn't say "want". But wouldn't you say that a woman dressing up as their favorite character, who happens to be skimpily dressed, is AWARE of the effect that is likely to have on the attention of men, especially the type of men at a game convention?
 
Let me try to make my position more clear with an analogy (knowing well that no analogy is ever perfect):

I personally would not want to go parachuting for fun. And I could list you a lot of reasons why I consider that to be a bad idea, from the small but lethal risk of the parachute not opening at all, to the more common hurting yourself with a bad landing.

But I do consider that the people who DO parachute are aware of all those risks and consequences. And I would not want to try to talk them out of their hobby, because that frankly is none of my business.

Thus I would not write a blog post with the title "The problem with parachuting", nor one in which I ask "Why do people feel the need to parachute in public places?". Because ultimately it is the person performing the risky act in full knowledge of the possible consequences who is responsible for his or her action. I might personally consider that risky action unwise, but I would feel uncomfortable with trying to suppress the other persons freedom to do something risky.
 
P.S. Calling somebody a troll on Twitter just because you don't agree with his opinion isn't exactly the most mature form of discussion.
 
I'd give this troll by "The Godmother" a 7/10. Taking a subject where one naturally expects conflict and trollish behavior, she has successfully convinced everyone that she's not trolling, and gotten the thread to 29 replies before finally giving up and bringing up the troll issue herself, as a charitable hint to all the participants here. Well done, TG. I especially loved the small touches, such as instantly replying to the accusation that you were being passive -aggressive by making a passive-aggressive comeback; and instantly jumping on the "excuse me" comment by Tobold by escalating your language to accuse him of being "rude". All of this in a post started by Tobold with the words " So it would have been wise of me to completely ignore this post..."; and with him being someone who tends to attract controversy and is famous for shutting it off early.

I've changed my mind, 8.5/10.

 
I'm gonna side step the cosplay thing and dive straight into the imposing my values on others.

I know it's a bit out of context, but in a broader scope if I see young punks abusing other people in public I always impose my "values" on them.

As that warhammer 40k line goes: Heresy spawns from idleness.
 
Poe's law might be coming into effect, sure @Mike Andrade. It could be a good troll, but I doubt it.

I know folks in the meatspace who argue in a pretty similar way. Feels pretty genuine to me.

Me, I figure Tobold's used the article - and especially the linked articles (be careful what you link to, it colours the perceptions of what you're trying to say) - as a springboard for thoughts on the greater conversation (if you can call it that) that we see happening more and more on at least the gaming blogs that I personally read regularly.

TG's gone and taken being used as a springboard personally, of course, which I can understand, but arguing about it revealed a lot more of her feelings on the subject than the article which was filled with criticism-deflecting humility to the point of abject prostration.

(Which, y'know. If you're going to publicly test the waters with an idea, and you're aware that it's the Internet and thus waters full of sharks, I get wanting to have some sort of defence mechanism. Even if it does then mean that people think you're putting on a false face over deeply-felt opinions because they might stand up to examination.)
 
@Gevlon--

I have no problem even if the "cosplayer" wears nothing but a vibrator.

Oh great. I now can't unsee in my mind's eye a goblin wearing a vibrator. I think I need alcohol...

 
I have no frame of reference for this line of conversation anymore. I went to the mall with my wife and son for Halloween last week, and over the course of about two hours of mall-trick-or-treating I saw what felt like an infinite parade of scantily clad women in overly revealing costumes, from prepubescent to geriatric ages...and I would harbor a guess that 99.5% of these Halloween-goers were anything less than typical of mainstream America, not at all the sorts to attend a Comic or Game convention in cosplay (outside of my wife and her two friends in their startlingly modest and unrevealing steam punk and sith lord costumes). It was...a reminder that these discussions on the internet are rarely grounded in the broader reality of our culture(s).
 
Your response to the Alternative article is strange to say the least because the conclusions you claim here are not the conclusions at the actual article. It seems like either you didn't read it or you misunderstood it. Happens to the best of us. But I came away from your article thinking you must have read something else.

Ultimately the article raises some interesting questions which you don't really mention here. Those questions were (paraphrase):

Why female cosplay objectified/sexualized characters given the cultural context in which it occurs? The author then lets us know that she went to research this question and came across some informative articles which helped her understand what's really going on with cosplay.

Next, she asks whether objectification is ever OK and the author provides her thoughts on that. You don't provide your thoughts on it, but I think we'd all be interested in knowing them.

Finally, the Alternative article leaves us with the question of whether functionality/consequence trumps all. In other words, shouldn't the things we do be based on the *actual* consequences achieved over anything else? It's a very complicated question to answer and I find it interesting because theres so many problems intersecting there (consumerism, commodification of cosplay, commodification of the bodies that cosplay (marketing), monetization of the culture, etc).

Not once does the article imply that if the author doesn't understand cosplay, then girls shouldn't do it. I don't know where any of you drew that conclusion especially after the author repeatedly expresses her doubts about her own feelings about cosplay and praises cosplayers for their dedication, faithfulness (to their cosplay), and creativity along with their right to do so. I can see how a cursory skim of the article could yield that conclusion, but if you just read it in it's entirety its very clear that's not what it says.

FYI guys, the whole "why ask why" thing is completely silly. The idea that people shouldn't ask it or shouldn't question things just because someone likes it is probably what spawned the term "counter-intelligence". Just think it over and I'm sure you'll slowly start to see why.

Also, those of you who didn't read the references, they're actually very good articles. Some are old, but still relevant. It'd be nice if you followed up with some reflections on those questions in the Alternative article. I don't think it's a matter of people having definitive answers on them, but rather recognizing the non-binary nature of the issues involved.

 
@Doone Woodtac

If Godmother doesn't undestand that people do thing because they feel like it, then here: People do things because they like it. The like sewing, casting in plastic, they love to make a perfect copy and like to wolk proud dressed in what they have created.

Just like scooba divers will boast where they took a dive and how deep they went, and stamp collectors will go on for hours on how they acquired the upside down German airplane stamp from 1932. It's called passion.

Some people are passionate farmers, other passionate programmers, there are people who can recite every word Tolkien ever wrote, or quote every written line of Morrowind (I actually know that one). You can wonder why as long as you want why the they do these things. They just do. It's what spin their wheels. As long as your passion is not against the law, it's just the thing you do.

So, Doone Woodtac, Godmother either is unaware that people have hobbies, passions and in a general matter tend to be geeks, or simply Godmother picks on cosplayers (what Tobold mildly assumed in his post). Either way the Godmother post is either redundant or aggressive.

Asking 'why' in regards to another person's decision is always an attack, even if only by a slight. But yes, arguing about that is also unnecessary.
 
Doone, just look at her question: "Why do woman feel the need to do this in public places?". Does that strike you as a simple question of why? With your writing experience you should know better than to assume that anything with a question mark behind it is actually a question. It is very much possible to make a strong statement of opinion disguised as a question.

In short, I would never attack anybody for asking "why?". But I don't think that this is the case here. The tone of the questions asked very strongly implies criticism of the girls choosing a certain style of cosplay costumes.
 
I wouldn't say "want". But wouldn't you say that a woman dressing up as their favorite character, who happens to be skimpily dressed, is AWARE of the effect that is likely to have on the attention of men, especially the type of men at a game convention?

Being aware that it might evoke such attention does not mean that they must accept it. A cosplayer must accept that people will look at them because they are strangely/differently attired and that makes them a focal point in the crowd but it doesn't mean that they encourage or must endure the excessively intrusive reactions of other people.
 
Sorry. Poorly worded and didn't say what I wanted it to say. Please ignore the above comment (since I can't figure out if I can delete it)

Basically what I wanted to say is that there can be various motivations for wanting to do something, and while a posible outcome is known that does not mean that it must be accepted or defined as something that cannot be changed, especially if considered unacceptable.

If I want to go parachuting jumping, I not accept that I will hurt myself but there is a risk. I then act to mitigate that risk to an acceptable level via identification, education and teamwork. Once I consider the risk low enough for me to jump I will do so, but that doesn't mean I encourage all outcomes and that I won't look to bring risks down yet further
 
@Tobold Yes, it is a question loaded with criticism in the self-conversation she shows. But what you seem to be missing is that she recognises that, checks herself and begins to ask the question in earnest. She wants to try to understand, because understanding is the best way to shed those reflexive negative opinions and become more open-minded. The links she provided are part of her attempts to achieve that understanding.

She didn't indicate whether she has reached the understanding that she was after, but the article was not imposing anything on others. It was an exploration of why she felt the way she did, if anything.

I can see how the beginning of the article would give the impression that she is criticising, but I find it difficult to see how you can keep that impression if you read the whole thing carefully.
 
@Dahakha: What people fail to understand, in spite of me already having said it explicitly in the post and the comments, is that my thoughts on the subject are NOT a direct response to The Godmother. Rather I read her post, plus the posts she linked to, plus some other posts from feminists on the matter, and posted my personal opinion on that matter.

And I have to say everybody got so hung up over the form of things, that nobody responded to my point of that female cosplayers should have the right to decide for themselves what to wear, being fully aware of possible negative consequences. I don't want to discuss how strongly or well disguised The Godmother is expressing her opinion or how much she is questioning herself. I don't find that an interesting subject.

For me the subject of interest is the question in how far it is justified to use the banner of feminism for some WOMEN to tell other WOMEN how to dress or act. Note that the sexist behavior of men is considered as a given and doesn't really figure in the discussion. Nobody in this discussion assumes that men, especially gamers, are perfect gentlemen, so that it would be unproblematic to go to a gaming convention in a gold bikini. The discussion is about whether given the certainty of at least lewd stares a girl should be allowed to dress like that anyway. Even if you could interpret The Godmother's position on the question as balanced, certainly some of her sources aren't. And thus I formulated a counterpoint to the arguments given.
 
Admin said: "This is as bad as saying that a woman wearing a short skirt on a bus deserves to have upskirt photos taken of her, or a woman in a low-cut top deserves to be stared at, cat-called, and harassed."

I would never take photographs or harass, but it would physically hurt my eyes to avoid admiring a nice cleavage, and while I try to do so discreetly, I am pretty sure that women are well aware of the effect of female breasts on male eyeballs.

Sure, it's part cultural. If I lived in Zululand all my life I might be less affected by breasts, and if I lived in Victorian London I might get off on ankles. But, heh, everything is culturally constructed in some sense, I never dispute that.

It is disingenuous for people to think that women can freely send out signals which mean something in our society without that meaning being received. And meanings received are sometimes acted on. The very same people are often quick to take offence at far more subtle suggestions by others that they don't approve of.
 
Looks like I came to this discussion late. Just as well since this is a really difficult situation. Yes, people should have the right wear whatever costume they want. I think the blog you referenced is not making a good point.

However, one could take the point of view that every time women dress up like the video game characters that were obviously designed for teenage boys they're encouraging the culture of objectification and discourage more women from joining the video game community. That premise is debatable, but I think a lot of people would be convinced by it. And while I wouldn't use it to tell someone what to wear, I would use it to suggest to someone that they should consider carefully what to wear based on what they care about in the video community.
 
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