[x-posted from our facebook page- with some additions!]
I wanted to take this time to remind EVERYONE, male or female… COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT FOR YOU TO BE TOUCHED, MISTREATED, OR SEXUALLY HARASSED.
WEARING A COSTUME DOES NOT OPEN A MAGICAL PORTAL THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO COMMENT ON YOUR BODY, INTERVIEW YOU ABOUT WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO IN BED, OR GIVE SOMEONE PERMISSION TO MAKE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE AND HARASSED.
There’s been some big debate recently about how cosplayers are treated by other con-goers, including (but not limited to) making inappropriate and lewd jokes, jestures, and putting their hands on cosplayers without permission.
If you’re uncomfortable with someone’s behavior around you, in costume or not, SPEAK UP. BE HEARD. You can tell them…
Politely: “Excuse me, please move your hand. ^-^” or “Excuse me, that’s actually very offensive to me. Can you please not make jokes like that?”
Bluntly: “Get your hands off me. Now.” or “You need to knock off the demeaning jokes.”
You can tell them in character, with a sign, or have another person do it for you if you want, but as long as the message is heard: "You have touched me when I did not asked to be touched. You have behaved in an inappropriate and offensive way. I am uncomfortable with this. Stop."
And then afterwards? Be prepared to stand your ground. Some people who you’ve told to stop will not accept that they’ve done anything wrong. Some people will say “Its just a joke, lighten up.” Some people will use what you’re wearing as an excuse for the way that they’ve acted.
If you’re up for it, you can get into a feisty debate with them about how their joke wasn’t funny, it was demeaning and rude and that you’re a person in a costume, not a fictional character who doesn’t have feelings.
If you’re not up for going that route, you can say “I’m sorry, but you just violated my personal bubble and I found what you did to be very inappropriate. We can certainly (take a photo together/continue interview/etc) if you’d like, just please be aware of my personal space/boundaries. ^-^”
If they don’t get it even after that, ask them to leave or walk away. Flat out. Don’t waste time arguing with them. If they haven’t understood and felt bad that they’re being a creeper after being blatantly called out, they probably won’t after arguing with you. Find convention security if it was something that you feel strongly about. Let them know what happened.
Never feel bad about making your boundaries clear. Never feel bad about what you’re wearing. Never feel bad for making someone else feel bad about their inability to respect your space. Never feel like you’re alone in this, because it happens to so many costumers over the course of a con. Speaking up is the only way to make yourself clear.