Nerd Caliber
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November 14, 2012

An Open Letter to Tony “Effing” Harris: Cosplay Misconceptions and Misogyny

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Mr. Harris,

I will come right out and say it. I have an “effing” problem with what you have to say. You don’t know me and I only have a cursory knowledge of your work but much like you, I don’t give a crap and I’m gonna say it anyway. You might not be a misogynist  a sexist, or a bad person on any fundamental level. Your statement about “Cosplay Chicks,” however is. For that matter, you are not the first to make such bold and brash statements about women who you deem to be “Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl.” Not that you feel they are in fact hot because well, according to your post, you have a much more refined taste in women.

Honestly, in my experience as an attendee, performer, organizer, and interviewer at conventions nationwide, I see it occasionally. The idea of the “sexy costume” is permeating into cosplay, but then I actually have a conversation with them (Heaven forbid!), and ask them questions about why they chose the costume and in-depth questions about their characters, and I have never been disappointed. In fact the only people I have ever come in contact with who had NO idea about the character they were portraying and wearing skimpy little sexy outfits were professional models hired by corporations, as well as indie companies, to try and drive traffic to their sites and booths, and at least they are very up front about this. Much like you when you say “Sorry, while you Cos”Play” I’m actually at work. Thats my office,” well, so are they.

Speaking of that quote, it comes from a response you gave to another commentor:

“But the one thing I HAVE to address is the use of the word MISOGYNY. So I am a Misogynist? Why? Because I frown upon Posers who are sad, needy fakers who use up all my air at Cons? Sorry, while you Cos”Play” I’m actually at work. That’s my office. Fuck you. I actually don’t hate women, I don’t fear them either. Nor do I mistrust them. I do not portray or Objectify half naked women in my work.”

Again, as I stated earlier, maybe you’re not a misogynist. Your statement is. That does not make you a misogynist – HOWEVER your inability to own that statement as misogynist is what perpetuates it. It is not that you frown upon posers which makes you a misogynist, it’s the fact that you don’t own your stupid statements and instead try to inflate your own ego by saying that you get paid in the middle of your own defense (Why even bother saying that?!).

That being said, let’s address the cries of misogyny which come from ALL OVER your diatribe. Never mind the perpetuation of the idea that a man can tell a woman what to wear and that a woman who is trying to show off their body is inherently trying to prey upon men, because those are very present themes in your anger. Let’s focus on something a little more basic though. Are you going to make up a quiz for women to take before they can buy a ticket to a convention? If not you, who is? If women have to prove their knowledge of comics before they cosplay, should men have to take this quiz as well? Therein lies the misogyny. It is not the fact that you draw comics where women wear clothing, it’s because you feel that only certain women should be able to dress a certain way and it’s only if they know a certain amount about the outfit they’re wearing.

First off, leave it to Cisgendered, heterosexual, white men to believe that women are “preying” upon them, or people who are less than you, ya know the Nerds at a convention, or as I like to call them your customers. Furthermore I also have to say I love the use of “you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds” because what this says is not only insulting to women it’s insulting to your male audience… Unless you are so cocky as to believe that your audience are the obsessive comic book type, but you know, only the cool ones.

Yeah, Mr. Harris, it is your Facebook page, and it is just a statement you made (a misogynistic statement), and we have the power to leave and never hear from you again on Facebook. Saying stupid, misogynistic things on your Facebook (whether you own it or not) is still screaming stupid misogynistic things in public. And I’m sure if you even deem me at all worthy of the iota of your time to read this you’ll claim that I’m a nerd, I don’t understand your message, and that I’m probably an out of-work virgin. Go right ahead and try to dodge your perpetuation of a stupid statement that you could have easily owned, and apologized for. Maybe in the future you should stick to illustrating and getting paid, and leave writing and talking to someone else.

Sincerely,

Lucretia Dearfour



About the Author

Ashley Rogers
Ashley Lauren Rogers earned a Bachelor’s of English Literature and Theatre at Fitchburg State College, was invited to the two week summer playwriting intensive at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, had shows produced in New York City as part of Stage Left Studio and the New York Nineteenth Century Society, Theatre To Go in Melrose MA, and as part of the Fresh Fruit Festival in NYC. Recently her work has been displayed as part of Stage Left Studio’s sold out Gender: A Performance Project, and her show Bite Curious,was a part of White Rabbit Production’s Scream Queens and Crazed Fiends, short play event. Her one person show PASS/FAIL will receive its premiere at Dixon Place Lounge NYC in February and will be performed for The Midtown International Theatre Festival: Spring Edition in March. Ashley is a recipient of the ACM Award for Comedy Video for writing the pilot of Marisa and Rocco, is the creator of Ashley Rogers Does Something Awesome, Monthly Tea with Madeline Foxtrot, all through Dogtoon Media. She has been featured in the Frenchy and The Punk Music video for “House of Cards,” Sundance Channel’s “Young Broke and Beautiful,” and TLC’s “Bling It On.” Ashley has written articles for Beyond Victoriana and Steampunk Magazine Online, has been a vlogger and a blogger for NerdCaliber.com. Ashley has developed a workshop for writers to learn how write for trans and non-binary narratives.




 
 

 
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8 Comments


  1. this! also, I think anyone who pays to get into a co or does something to warrant free admission (presents a panel, models at a booth, etc.) deserves to be there. no one drops $50 on a badge and $100+ more on a costume "just for attention." and if they are "posers," they won't be here long anyway, so it's useless to try to chase them away. either introduce them to cool stuff and convert them to "legitimate" nerds or leave them the hell alone.


  2. Jay Gischer

    I don’t endorse his remarks, not at all. However, I do think he experiences hurt and pain, along with other men.

    I think women, and men, like to feel attractive, and like attention from members of the gender of their persuasion. Women have traditionally been barred from open demonstrations of desire, however. This has created a lot of problems, and a lot of hurt.

    However, I don’t feel the way forward is to ban all expressions of hurt from white, cisgendered, hetero males. The system we are caught up in hurts everyone, male and female, dark and pale, and we are going to have to find our way out of it together.


  3. Guys like Harris are an excellent example at just how clueless and pathetic many men (er excuse me) whiney BOYS are in the whole nerd industry. These "Harris" type of nerd guys don't realize that just because more people find nerd interests and lifestyle cool doesn't make them cool. No, it makes them prove how oblivious they are to social dynamics, public relations, and overal human interaction. The classic case of the 43 yr old virgin, the angry douche bag artist who thinks he is among the ranks of Jim Lee and Picasso in status. No, you're just in douche-bag status that shoved away in the nerd closet, even worse.


  4. Brian Fountaine

    That link keeps redirecting my phone to a sex site. lol


  5. LOL uh oh I think WeAre NerdCaliber got hacked again!!!


  6. @Brian My apologies. It was just hacked one minute before you posted that Dave. And I got rid of the malicious code


  7. Do you have a link to his original rant? I love Starman and Ex Machina, I'm curious as to what harris was going on about. Was this just another "Sure, celebrate all the violence, gore, and death you want at a Com, but cover up those lady parts!" rant or something else?



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