Is There Gender Discrimination Against Male Cosplayers?

Is There Gender Discrimination Against Male Cosplayers?

Is there an increased stigma against all male cosplayers - limits on what they can wear, more heckling and body shaming, and more general disrespect? Think "male nurse" or "girl gamer."

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I've done some cosplay m'self, but I hadn't ever tried any sort of cross-play.

I have seen several guys do it, however(at various level of success) and I don't, off-hand remember anyone being overly reactive to it. But my gut says that, like the article nods to, there's a lot of one-way social stigmas involved that even if no one's overtly a jerk about it, there's no doubt plenty of people silently repulsed.

I suppose that, as long as they're quiet about it though, it doesn't really matter in the end?

Hey, maybe I could design a game about a male cosplayer! That would tackle both sets of stigma with one product!

So a male-group version of FFX-2? Change your costume to influence your power and moveset? Sounds pretty interesting, though who knows, FF15 in all it's boy-band glory may beat you to the punch if we can customize their outfits!

Areloch:
I've done some cosplay m'self, but I hadn't ever tried any sort of cross-play.

I have seen several guys do it, however(at various level of success) and I don't, off-hand remember anyone being overly reactive to it. But my gut says that, like the article nods to, there's a lot of one-way social stigmas involved that even if no one's overtly a jerk about it, there's no doubt plenty of people silently repulsed.

I suppose that, as long as they're quiet about it though, it doesn't really matter in the end?

Let me just preface by saying all of the following is based off my own experiences, this evidence is purely anecdotal.

That's kinda what I was thinkin'. I've seen enough Sailor Moon crossplayers to give the show another season reverse-style and the worst reaction I can think of is "you guys are hilarious".

Maybe it's just the environment I'm in, I live close to Seattle and haven't traveled out of state for a Con yet so my only experiences have been a few Emerald City Comic-Cons, PAX Primes, and a couple-a Sakura-Cons, but the general mentality I get is "do what you want, guy or girl or anything in between.

I've crossplayed myself, didn't get any guff. But take that statement with a grain of salt because I was crossplaying Faith Connors from Mirror's Edge, as far as crossplay's go, that's a pretty safe one due to her outfit really just being more general sporty than it is femenine. Still did the eyeliner, though as a guy who's never worn eyeliner I didn't wing it as much as Faith does.

Like I said, all personal experience, I make no claim to the general experience.

Now that I'm done talkin' about myself, I should probably address something in the article that perked my ears.

While I personally don't picture any specific sex when the word "cosplayer" comes up (purely my own opinion) I can't deny that most people do probably picture women for exactly the reason that was mentioned: In general, there are more famous female cosplayers than male. I don't have much to add on that that isn't covered in the article already, but I did find it interesting, I've never thought about that.

Of course there is, don't be stupid. But no one should care, especially not the cosplayers. I'm sorry, gender bending is going to make some people uncomfortable. There is no reason why it would be any less prevalent in cosplay than other areas. But people who are uncomfortable have to come to terms with it, and people who do it have to come to terms with not everyone is going to pat you on the back for the decisions you make.

Also: "Othering" is common as soon as someone is not like someone else, and I'm not referencing gender, race, age, ethnic backgroud, etc. I'll tell you how that concept actually works. I'll use my job as an example. I work in IT in the Pharmaceutical industry. Sometimes we are forced to refer issues to a companies own IT department. Well, they almost universally suck (which is a thing they probably say about us). Because we have this concept that people who do the exact same thing as us, but not as good, we always see them as lesser or other. Human, almost always perceive what they do in a given roll is better than what other people do in that same roll. We see it in all areas and it happens completely independent of the hot button issues I see popping up constantly these days.

Every time I see an article like this, all I can think is that it's being looked at the wrong way. So long as someone else's negative feelings don't lead to action (ie. what could be perceived as the difference free speech and hate speech, if we were talking about speech), they are not wrong for feeling what they feel. And nothing is going to alienate them more from a given topic than when someone goes out of their way to tell them they are bigots of some variety. I'll tell you, most people don't care. Most people don't care if you are a guy who wants to dress up as a hot furry girl. It doesn't even enter our minds and of course we notice it when it's right there. An onlooker doesn't have to like it, they should not be compelled to step in line so long as it does not result in some sort of action against the person (ie physical violence, purposeful social outcasting, etc).

I have seen cosplay referred to as "art" or an "art form". I'm down, sometimes people put together ridiculous fun amazing costumes, they spend a substantial amount of their own resources and time on them. But you can't argue that it's art and then say that no one should have negative feelings about it. Art is divisive, that is one of the things that makes it art. It elicits feelings in people, and those feelings are not always positive, that comes with the actual territory of art.

I'm not surprised people are surprised by crossplay though. For the simple purpose most pictures involved, as the article states makes it look like a modern form of pinup girl. The most popular are scantily clad pretty ladies, people like Jessica Nigri.

After reading the article and scanning the thread, well I've noticed that two important factors have been ignored.

The first is male privilege: In this case the reason women are more tolerated as cosplayers is because there is a tendency, mostly unintentional, to see women as sexual objects first. So the reason "male gaze" gets played to here is because cosplay is seen as something that's done for the entertainment and enjoyment of men. This isn't all that uncommon, a lot of lesbians I know have really screwed up images of the relationships they're supposed to have, because their initial exposure to their sexuality was through pornography designed to cater to men. The same thing goes for almost all of the trans women I know too, same thing, first exposure to their identity was via pornography designed to play to male sex fantasies. That in particular has done a lot of damage to some trans folk I know, several can't even wear skirts and dresses on a regular basis because of how they've come to associate it with arousal.

The second is toxic masculinity: Cosplay has become associated with women, which when paired with the necessity of sewing in cosplay, it basically restricts the hobby to women. Because femininity is treated as a toxic trait, especially when expressed by a man. In this way any open expression of the feminine, or femininity done by a man automatically destroys his masculinity in the eyes of others, he starts being called; "gay", "fag", "faggot", "queer", "sissy", "wuss", "wimp", "pussy", and the like. Basically it's using masculinity as a toxic weight held over the heads of men, used to police all potential gender expression and invalidate a man as a man as soon as he does anything perceived as feminine.

There is a third factor which might be the most important of all. The article talked about homophobia, but it's not just abject homophobia that's causing the exclusion of men from cosplay as a hobby and form of personal expression. A lot of people like to point out the homophobia because crossplay is seen often as being akin to drag... Still I've found that you don't get homophobia by itself, it always includes a rather obvious level of transphobia, which is what I believe to be the biggest factor here. As trans folk are becoming more and more accepted transphobia in some ways seems to be on the rise. That is as us trans folk find more mainstream acceptance, gender expression that differs from the assigned birth sex of a cisgender person becomes less acceptable. You pair that with a societal support of transphobia in general, which is slowly diminishing, but it's still really prevalent, you get a cocktail that really starts being more exclusionary, rather than more inclusive.

So the gender bias in cosplay is really coming from a place of policing gender, that's not just homophobia at play, it's sexism, toxic masculinity, and especially transphobia guiding attitudes here.

Areloch:
snip

Hey, maybe I could design a game about a male cosplayer! That would tackle both sets of stigma with one product!

So a male-group version of FFX-2? Change your costume to influence your power and moveset? Sounds pretty interesting, though who knows, FF15 in all it's boy-band glory may beat you to the punch if we can customize their outfits!

Your comment made me think of this.

image

I would pay good money to see this cosplayed properly. If I knew two other dudes willing to do it, I'd do it myself.

The technically-correct term, "seamster", doesn't get popular usage. "Seamstress" is far more widely understood.

I'm not into cosplay but some of my friends are, and I have enough skills to help them out a little. They sometimes mention me online simple as 'a friend' or something similarly neutral. I've seen several commentors refer to me as '[her] seamster'. I wonder why, did they assume my gender was male because that's what we assume in most circumstances? Did they call me a seamster because with men being the minority within the community, assuming a man is female is a greater faux pas than assuming a woman is male?

NPC009:

The technically-correct term, "seamster", doesn't get popular usage. "Seamstress" is far more widely understood.

I'm not into cosplay but some of my friends are, and I have enough skills to help them out a little. They sometimes mention me online simple as 'a friend' or something similarly neutral. I've seen several commentors refer to me as '[her] seamster'. I wonder why, did they assume my gender was male because that's what we assume in most circumstances? Did they call me a seamster because with men being the minority within the community, assuming a man is female is a greater faux pas than assuming a woman is male?

Considering that femininity and femaleness are seen as being lesser, a woman being mistaken for a man is universally less demeaning than a man being mistaken for a woman. That is unless the mistake is intentional. Kinda clocks back to the traditional view that men are the superior and women are the inferior in most cultures. Also because you were referred to with a neutral term, people are going to default to who they'd picture as the default. It just happens that a lot of followers of cosplay are males who don't actively participate, so they're likely to default to thinking someone referred to in a neutral way is male. Along with that, it's usually taken that a female who contributes would be listed with female pronouns, or by a female name or pseudonym, rather than a in a neutral fashion like "a friend".

Edit: I forgot to mention this but it applies too. Once someone openly makes the assumption that someone referred to in a neutral fashion is one gender, or the other, then others who comment will likely follow the assumption. Because people are weird and when we get a specific, even an incorrect one posed by a third party, we'll tend to follow the first person's lead.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
snipperoony

Isn't it a female privilege to given more leniency to express yourself?
I go to a lot more fantasy themes events but cosplay and dress-up are still very much present there, and most people you talk to dress up like that for themselves, either out of love for a character or their own design.
It can not be denied, however, that it is women who are given the most attention for their costumes, a cursory glance at the collective photo albums from these events would tell you as much, and they come in many varieties, ranging from tomboy-ish post-apocalyptic survivors to armour-clad valkry's, and even conventional princesses, yet, there is hardly a man among them unless they stand out like some wicked chaos creature or some extravagant rendition of a movie/comic character, it's usually a 1 to 9 ratio.
This is not a problem, however, as it does not interfere with the enjoyment people take in donning these costumes, they're not professional models, after all.

Also, I don't know exactly where you live, but lambasting guys with any homophobic slur is basically social suicide in those circles, masculinity is a personality trait that anyone can or can not possess, same goes with femininity, these words are mostly used in jest or to provoke a mock-fight.
Which, granted, is kinda part of our masculine atmosphere.

Personally, I think a large part of the backlash against transgenderism is because of a level of confusion on the matter, a lot of people can not find consensus over a variety of definitions and gender politics sometimes do not translate well cross-culturally.
For example, the sense of masculinity I was brought up with can be summarized as such: "Be a man, no matter what kind of man is, whether you're gay, feminine, straight or macho is absolutely not important, decide what kind of man you wish to be, and BE that man as best you can."
There is not a dutch word for "gender" specifically, the word "trans" only translates to "transsexual" specifically because masculine and feminine behaviour are not tied to one's sex per se.

No one perception on the matter is "the correct one", however, and I think that is important to remember as people discuss such matters, just my two cents.

Combustion Kevin:

Isn't it a female privilege to given more leniency to express yourself?
I go to a lot more fantasy themes events but cosplay and dress-up are still very much present there, and most people you talk to dress up like that for themselves, either out of love for a character or their own design.

The leniency to express one's self still comes from a rather fetishistic approach towards women, regardless of whether the individual choose it. Were it not for that approach, the leniency, and their choice would likely not exist. I mean, you can call that privilege if you want, but that's gaming the concept pretty heavily.

crimson5pheonix:

Areloch:
snip

Hey, maybe I could design a game about a male cosplayer! That would tackle both sets of stigma with one product!

So a male-group version of FFX-2? Change your costume to influence your power and moveset? Sounds pretty interesting, though who knows, FF15 in all it's boy-band glory may beat you to the punch if we can customize their outfits!

Your comment made me think of this.

image

I would pay good money to see this cosplayed properly. If I knew two other dudes willing to do it, I'd do it myself.

Wow, I haven't seen that picture before, and that would be amazing to see done properly.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
After reading the article and scanning the thread, well I've noticed that two important factors have been ignored.

The first is male privilege: In this case the reason women are more tolerated as cosplayers is because there is a tendency, mostly unintentional, to see women as sexual objects first. So the reason "male gaze" gets played to here is because cosplay is seen as something that's done for the entertainment and enjoyment of men. This isn't all that uncommon, a lot of lesbians I know have really screwed up images of the relationships they're supposed to have, because their initial exposure to their sexuality was through pornography designed to cater to men. The same thing goes for almost all of the trans women I know too, same thing, first exposure to their identity was via pornography designed to play to male sex fantasies. That in particular has done a lot of damage to some trans folk I know, several can't even wear skirts and dresses on a regular basis because of how they've come to associate it with arousal.

Obviously my cosplay/convention experience won't mirrior anyone's by a long way, but I'm not gunna lie here, I have a hard time believing that cosplay is a male privilege thing because some people think it exists to entertain men specifically. That's a really bizzare train of logic in my opinion. If some people think that, that's on them, but I've never gotten the impression during my time in those situations that it was even remotely true.

Also, I feel it's kinda different between cosplaying and doing porn. While cosplay CAN be designed to be sexually arousing, porn IS designed to be sexually arousing. So while there may be some overlap there, I don't think they're really directly comparable like that. Maybe I just missed the point of the latter part of this?

The second is toxic masculinity: Cosplay has become associated with women, which when paired with the necessity of sewing in cosplay, it basically restricts the hobby to women. Because femininity is treated as a toxic trait, especially when expressed by a man.

Maybe I've only really been exposed to super non-uptight people, but again, I don't think I've EVER encountered this sort of mentality in real life. No doubt, a man being able to sew, or cook or clean in popular media like TV shows is played as a punchline but I've never met anyone that actually thinks that in real life.

Have you ever personally met a guy that really thought that being able to sew, cook or clean is 'girly' and therefore shameful? Because if so, wow, what a toolbag.

Something Amyss:

Combustion Kevin:

Isn't it a female privilege to given more leniency to express yourself?
I go to a lot more fantasy themes events but cosplay and dress-up are still very much present there, and most people you talk to dress up like that for themselves, either out of love for a character or their own design.

The leniency to express one's self still comes from a rather fetishistic approach towards women, regardless of whether the individual choose it. Were it not for that approach, the leniency, and their choice would likely not exist. I mean, you can call that privilege if you want, but that's gaming the concept pretty heavily.

Well, consider the flip-side, what does it say about male privilege if it only serves to restrict them while emancipating women to do as they wish?
To interpret this interest as fetishistic is valid, I suppose, but I feel it would be equally valid to interpret this as a general reluctance to celebrate men as physically or sexually attractive on a human level, to dress provocatively is often considered a joke at best, and threatening at worst.

I don't really subscribe to the idea of "male privilege", there's a few kinks and inequalities in our supposedly emancipated society that go both ways and need to be worked out, but to ascribe everything wrong to masculine influence while discounting the MASSIVE social influence women have always had in society just seems misguided.

Combustion Kevin:
Isn't it a female privilege to given more leniency to express yourself?
I go to a lot more fantasy themes events but cosplay and dress-up are still very much present there, and most people you talk to dress up like that for themselves, either out of love for a character or their own design.

I think Amyss put it pretty good in this respect, that female expressions of masculinity are generally limited to things that can be considered "cute", or are overtly sexualized. Still women kind of do have some privilege in expressing themselves, as women can often get away with breaking gender norms, but at the same time they tend to get labeled things like "lesbian" and "dyke" for doing it. So the situation is sort of a yes there is some female privilege there, but for the most part it's still extremely limited.

Combustion Kevin:
It can not be denied, however, that it is women who are given the most attention for their costumes, a cursory glance at the collective photo albums from these events would tell you as much, and they come in many varieties, ranging from tomboy-ish post-apocalyptic survivors to armour-clad valkry's, and even conventional princesses, yet, there is hardly a man among them unless they stand out like some wicked chaos creature or some extravagant rendition of a movie/comic character, it's usually a 1 to 9 ratio.
This is not a problem, however, as it does not interfere with the enjoyment people take in donning these costumes, they're not professional models, after all.

While I mostly agree, especially with the part about it being a labor of love, not a career choice, there is still an issue. These articles are generated to play on "male gaze" where it's significantly more an atmosphere of "sex sells", so that's why you get more attention paid to females. This also contributes to a bias line of thought that says; "cosplay is something only women do", in the minds of the casual observer.

Combustion Kevin:
Also, I don't know exactly where you live, but lambasting guys with any homophobic slur is basically social suicide in those circles, masculinity is a personality trait that anyone can or can not possess, same goes with femininity, these words are mostly used in jest or to provoke a mock-fight.
Which, granted, is kinda part of our masculine atmosphere.

Weather or not it's used in jest as part of a mock battle of masculinity is still a fundamental challenge presented to one's masculinity for not conforming to societal gender norms. As an American I can tell you that, even in the most liberal places in America, it's depressingly easy for people to get a pass for casual homophobic, transphobic, racist, and sexist slurs in most social circles.

Combustion Kevin:
Personally, I think a large part of the backlash against transgenderism is because of a level of confusion on the matter, a lot of people can not find consensus over a variety of definitions and gender politics sometimes do not translate well cross-culturally.
For example, the sense of masculinity I was brought up with can be summarized as such: "Be a man, no matter what kind of man is, whether you're gay, feminine, straight or macho is absolutely not important, decide what kind of man you wish to be, and BE that man as best you can."
There is not a dutch word for "gender" specifically, the word "trans" only translates to "transsexual" specifically because masculine and feminine behaviour are not tied to one's sex per se.

I hear that fairly often and it seems that in that area of the world people more or less get a pass for breaking gender norms. So it's quite possible that there is an advantage the Dutch and neighboring places have when it comes to this sort of thing, but I don't live there so I don't know how much leeway there is. Having said that, in English speaking countries, like the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, gender and sex are heavily tied together. They're so heavily tied together that most people default to defining gender by a person's genitals, when that fails they try to back into other biological essentialist arguments like genetics, which also usually fail. As a result of these sorts of attitudes, breaking gender norms and showing cross-gender expression is extremely taboo, especially for people who were born male.

Combustion Kevin:
No one perception on the matter is "the correct one", however, and I think that is important to remember as people discuss such matters, just my two cents.

I'm sure that no one view point is the absolute correct one, but some hold more weight, especially when the question becomes contextual, like when it comes to cultural differences. This rings especially true when you're talking to trans folk from English speaking nations, where the fixation on gender and it's link to physical biological sex borders on the obsessive.

Areloch:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
After reading the article and scanning the thread, well I've noticed that two important factors have been ignored.

The first is male privilege: In this case the reason women are more tolerated as cosplayers is because there is a tendency, mostly unintentional, to see women as sexual objects first. So the reason "male gaze" gets played to here is because cosplay is seen as something that's done for the entertainment and enjoyment of men. This isn't all that uncommon, a lot of lesbians I know have really screwed up images of the relationships they're supposed to have, because their initial exposure to their sexuality was through pornography designed to cater to men. The same thing goes for almost all of the trans women I know too, same thing, first exposure to their identity was via pornography designed to play to male sex fantasies. That in particular has done a lot of damage to some trans folk I know, several can't even wear skirts and dresses on a regular basis because of how they've come to associate it with arousal.

Obviously my cosplay/convention experience won't mirrior anyone's by a long way, but I'm not gunna lie here, I have a hard time believing that cosplay is a male privilege thing because some people think it exists to entertain men specifically. That's a really bizzare train of logic in my opinion. If some people think that, that's on them, but I've never gotten the impression during my time in those situations that it was even remotely true.

Well that's not the point I was trying to make actually. My point is that cosplay is becoming associated with women as a feminine hobby in mainstream societal perceptions, which is why articles about cosplay focus on women. Basically that a mechanism of misunderstanding the sub-culture of cosplay in mainstream media. Sorry if that wasn't clear. Still as a result cosplay is becoming less inclusive to men, as it becomes more sexualized and plied to the "male gaze" idea.

Areloch:
Also, I feel it's kinda different between cosplaying and doing porn. While cosplay CAN be designed to be sexually arousing, porn IS designed to be sexually arousing. So while there may be some overlap there, I don't think they're really directly comparable like that. Maybe I just missed the point of the latter part of this?

Kind of, basically the point is that media, not cosplayers, but mainstream media is sort of turning cosplay in to a sexualized idea. So the point was that sexualization is a bad thing, that causes people to be excluded from the art form/hobby. In this case it's men who get the short end of the stick in terms of ability to participate, but who get media designed as sexual gratification on the other hand.

Areloch:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
The second is toxic masculinity: Cosplay has become associated with women, which when paired with the necessity of sewing in cosplay, it basically restricts the hobby to women. Because femininity is treated as a toxic trait, especially when expressed by a man.

Maybe I've only really been exposed to super non-uptight people, but again, I don't think I've EVER encountered this sort of mentality in real life. No doubt, a man being able to sew, or cook or clean in popular media like TV shows is played as a punchline but I've never met anyone that actually thinks that in real life.

Have you ever personally met a guy that really thought that being able to sew, cook or clean is 'girly' and therefore shameful? Because if so, wow, what a toolbag.

Unfortunately I've met a lot of guys who think being able to cook, clean, and sew are "girly", so thusly having such skills damages if not outright destroys their masculinity. The worse part is that I've met no short of women who hold these sort of attitudes too. They both tend to stick ideas that domestic skills like sewing, cooking, cleaning and child care are exclusively feminine skills, while skills like home repair, auto repair, money management, career/vocational skills, and sports prowess are exclusively masculine skills.

The worst part about that is that most of the people like that I know aren't toolbags, they're generally really nice people who happen to hold misguided opinions on the subject.

Combustion Kevin:

Something Amyss:

Combustion Kevin:

Isn't it a female privilege to given more leniency to express yourself?
I go to a lot more fantasy themes events but cosplay and dress-up are still very much present there, and most people you talk to dress up like that for themselves, either out of love for a character or their own design.

The leniency to express one's self still comes from a rather fetishistic approach towards women, regardless of whether the individual choose it. Were it not for that approach, the leniency, and their choice would likely not exist. I mean, you can call that privilege if you want, but that's gaming the concept pretty heavily.

Well, consider the flip-side, what does it say about male privilege if it only serves to restrict them while emancipating women to do as they wish?
To interpret this interest as fetishistic is valid, I suppose, but I feel it would be equally valid to interpret this as a general reluctance to celebrate men as physically or sexually attractive on a human level, to dress provocatively is often considered a joke at best, and threatening at worst.

Unfortunately that's not entirely how it works, a major mechanism in the fetishistic approach requires the objectification of women as sex objects. So instead of being emancipating, it shackles women to a role of existing purely for male sexual consumption. The flip side is that this assumes that men have more self control by default, thus depending on the context they're free to dress in a sexually attractive way, or a conservative way, and still attract female attention. Really it's a lose/lose situation, but men get the societal benefit of automatically being in the position of power in this regard.

Combustion Kevin:
I don't really subscribe to the idea of "male privilege", there's a few kinks and inequalities in our supposedly emancipated society that go both ways and need to be worked out, but to ascribe everything wrong to masculine influence while discounting the MASSIVE social influence women have always had in society just seems misguided.

Unfortunately women haven't always had massive social influence, generally it's been the men who make the decisions, but at the same time, women were allowed to influence their husbands and fathers with "feminine wiles". That's an inherently sexist position. Take the United States for example in the 18th and 19th century, where we ascribed to traditional European gender roles. As a result women couldn't personally own land, any land that belonged to a woman was either in the name of her husband, or father, and was generally passed on as a dowry when a daughter got married. As a result for a long time women couldn't vote because they couldn't own land, then when women were allowed to own land they still were denied the vote. The Utah territory gave women the vote. So do you know what they had to do to get statehood? They had to change their laws and take the vote away from women.

While things have gotten better, we still assume men are the ones in power, that men are the ones with technical competence, and that men are generally superior to women by default.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Areloch:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
After reading the article and scanning the thread, well I've noticed that two important factors have been ignored.

The first is male privilege: In this case the reason women are more tolerated as cosplayers is because there is a tendency, mostly unintentional, to see women as sexual objects first. So the reason "male gaze" gets played to here is because cosplay is seen as something that's done for the entertainment and enjoyment of men. This isn't all that uncommon, a lot of lesbians I know have really screwed up images of the relationships they're supposed to have, because their initial exposure to their sexuality was through pornography designed to cater to men. The same thing goes for almost all of the trans women I know too, same thing, first exposure to their identity was via pornography designed to play to male sex fantasies. That in particular has done a lot of damage to some trans folk I know, several can't even wear skirts and dresses on a regular basis because of how they've come to associate it with arousal.

Obviously my cosplay/convention experience won't mirrior anyone's by a long way, but I'm not gunna lie here, I have a hard time believing that cosplay is a male privilege thing because some people think it exists to entertain men specifically. That's a really bizzare train of logic in my opinion. If some people think that, that's on them, but I've never gotten the impression during my time in those situations that it was even remotely true.

Well that's not the point I was trying to make actually. My point is that cosplay is becoming associated with women as a feminine hobby in mainstream societal perceptions, which is why articles about cosplay focus on women. Basically that a mechanism of misunderstanding the sub-culture of cosplay in mainstream media. Sorry if that wasn't clear. Still as a result cosplay is becoming less inclusive to men, as it becomes more sexualized and plied to the "male gaze" idea.

Ah.
That said, *IS* cosplay becoming less inclusive to men? I mean, the actual act and community of cosplaying? I've been going to the local anime conventions for like, a decade now and usually do at least some simple cosplays m'self. Several of my other male friends often cosplay as well when we all go. One of them last year went as a touhou character as well, even, so hey, crossplay for funsies!

But in that time, I've never noted any increase or decrease in the male side of the cosplay community. There's a pretty even spread every con I went to.

In the popular media, sure, there's an extreme focus on the ladies of cosplay and the men tend to get shunted into the corner, but I don't think that's actually impacting the inclusivity of cosplay itself. It kinds reminds me of the whole 'no girl gamers' thing. Sure, that's the stereotype, and it's pushed like crazy by news and popular media. But then you actually get into the gamer space and there's girls all over the place who clearly aren't aware they're not supposed to be a part of it because it's obviously 'only for guys'.

I think the same thing is in play here, where what the popular media presents doesn't have any real, meaningful impact on the reality of the culture itself. Sure, they shouldn't pigeonhole it like that, but I don't think it really affects anything in any real way.

Areloch:
Also, I feel it's kinda different between cosplaying and doing porn. While cosplay CAN be designed to be sexually arousing, porn IS designed to be sexually arousing. So while there may be some overlap there, I don't think they're really directly comparable like that. Maybe I just missed the point of the latter part of this?

Kind of, basically the point is that media, not cosplayers, but mainstream media is sort of turning cosplay in to a sexualized idea. So the point was that sexualization is a bad thing, that causes people to be excluded from the art form/hobby. In this case it's men who get the short end of the stick in terms of ability to participate, but who get media designed as sexual gratification on the other hand.

Ah, I getcha. And while i do see what you mean, I'd point to above, where I'm unconvinced it's actually affecting the people inside the cosplay culture itself, much as decades of 'games are only for guys' or 'games are just kids toys' clearly has not constrained the demographics that games now touch.

Areloch:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
The second is toxic masculinity: Cosplay has become associated with women, which when paired with the necessity of sewing in cosplay, it basically restricts the hobby to women. Because femininity is treated as a toxic trait, especially when expressed by a man.

Maybe I've only really been exposed to super non-uptight people, but again, I don't think I've EVER encountered this sort of mentality in real life. No doubt, a man being able to sew, or cook or clean in popular media like TV shows is played as a punchline but I've never met anyone that actually thinks that in real life.

Have you ever personally met a guy that really thought that being able to sew, cook or clean is 'girly' and therefore shameful? Because if so, wow, what a toolbag.

Unfortunately I've met a lot of guys who think being able to cook, clean, and sew are "girly", so thusly having such skills damages if not outright destroys their masculinity. The worse part is that I've met no short of women who hold these sort of attitudes too. They both tend to stick ideas that domestic skills like sewing, cooking, cleaning and child care are exclusively feminine skills, while skills like home repair, auto repair, money management, career/vocational skills, and sports prowess are exclusively masculine skills.

The worst part about that is that most of the people like that I know aren't toolbags, they're generally really nice people who happen to hold misguided opinions on the subject.

That makes it a little sadder, even. I mean, realistically, one would think that the ability to be completely self-sufficient would be the manliest possible state of all, which would necessitate cooking, cleaning, repair and construction of clothing, etc. Just one of those weird things in society where 'iz for gurls/geiz' trumps the manly practicality of knowing those fields. Maybe it's the adult version of cooties?

I've been really fortunate to grow up with people that weren't really all that flustered over that kind of thing.

Areloch:
Ah.
That said, *IS* cosplay becoming less inclusive to men? I mean, the actual act and community of cosplaying? I've been going to the local anime conventions for like, a decade now and usually do at least some simple cosplays m'self. Several of my other male friends often cosplay as well when we all go. One of them last year went as a touhou character as well, even, so hey, crossplay for funsies!

But in that time, I've never noted any increase or decrease in the male side of the cosplay community. There's a pretty even spread every con I went to.

In the popular media, sure, there's an extreme focus on the ladies of cosplay and the men tend to get shunted into the corner, but I don't think that's actually impacting the inclusivity of cosplay itself. It kinds reminds me of the whole 'no girl gamers' thing. Sure, that's the stereotype, and it's pushed like crazy by news and popular media. But then you actually get into the gamer space and there's girls all over the place who clearly aren't aware they're not supposed to be a part of it because it's obviously 'only for guys'.

I think the same thing is in play here, where what the popular media presents doesn't have any real, meaningful impact on the reality of the culture itself. Sure, they shouldn't pigeonhole it like that, but I don't think it really affects anything in any real way.

I think you're a bit off base, partially because it depends less on local cosplayers, whom are the ones who most routinely show up to particular conventions. That's a factor that varies from place to place, people who do cosplay when they go to their regional conventions are pretty reliably assured to show up to the local cons, in costume. The thing is that this depends on how traditional, or liberal, a place tends to be, which effects the base of local cosplayers, along with the cosplayers who routinely travel long distances for cons. A place where a male cosplayer catches flack for cosplaying, is a place he's less likely to visit in the future, especially if he considers cosplay a key part of going to cons.

Public opinion can quite easily effect these sort of things, if it becomes socially unacceptable for males to cosplay, then male cosplayers will fade away. A few friends I have said they've noticed a drop in the number of male cosplayers they see, especially when they go to major conventions. I wouldn't personally be able to say, because I'm too poor to even attend the one local anime convention my town hosts a year. I'm saying here while anecdotes are fine they can also vary wildly, a statistic might be useful here, but I haven't really been able to find even a loose one.

It would be terribly sad if male inclusion was falling in the overall cosplay community, especially because cosplay is one of the few safe spaces where men can break traditional gender expression as hard as they want.

Also the gaming being a boy's club thing, meaning that there is serious exclusion of "girl gamers"... While it's true that there are female gamers, the gaming community isn't exactly quick to embrace them. I know quite a few gamer gals, most of them tell me that they refuse to play online anymore, or purchase games in a physical store, just because of the hostility they face. I have similar experiences being a trans woman, I catch essentially the same hostility and sexual harassment other female gamers tell me about. That is at least unless it comes out that I'm trans, then the hostility is magnified like a thousand fold, as people start shouting transphobic and homophobic slurs at me. I've been outed several times by male gamer friends who think people knowing that I'm trans would convince them to back off, because they wouldn't be interested in having sex with me. That's also all not to mention quite a few girls I know who have quit gaming because of the sexist crap they had to put up with.

Areloch:
Ah, I getcha. And while i do see what you mean, I'd point to above, where I'm unconvinced it's actually affecting the people inside the cosplay culture itself, much as decades of 'games are only for guys' or 'games are just kids toys' clearly has not constrained the demographics that games now touch.

Well as I pointed out above, I know quite a few females who have withdrawn from the culture of gaming, if not given up the hobby altogether because of the treatment they receive. Negative images of certain demographics can cause people to withdraw from a community, this applies as much to cosplay as it does to gaming. A guy who might be on the fringe could easily be dissuaded from participation because of a growing negative image of male cosplayers.

Areloch:
That makes it a little sadder, even. I mean, realistically, one would think that the ability to be completely self-sufficient would be the manliest possible state of all, which would necessitate cooking, cleaning, repair and construction of clothing, etc. Just one of those weird things in society where 'iz for gurls/geiz' trumps the manly practicality of knowing those fields. Maybe it's the adult version of cooties?

I've been really fortunate to grow up with people that weren't really all that flustered over that kind of thing.

Yeah some places are a lot less restrictive when it comes to perception of traditional gender role and gender expression than others. It is kind of sad especially because as I've seen a push for trans acceptance, I've seen a major back slide in both trans acceptance and acceptance of non-traditional gender expression. Such is life.

Combustion Kevin:

Well, consider the flip-side, what does it say about male privilege if it only serves to restrict them while emancipating women to do as they wish?

I was addressing the specific question of "female privilege." I'm not particularly sure "it's only privilege in the sense they have freedom as long as they are generally within the realm of acceptable behaviour" translates into the exact opposite. Admittedly, that may have been the thrust of Kyuubi's argument, but you snipped it out and I had no interest in checking the context. So I looked at what you were saying specifically about the idea of female privilege and addressed it.

To interpret this interest as fetishistic is valid, I suppose, but I feel it would be equally valid to interpret this as a general reluctance to celebrate men as physically or sexually attractive on a human level, to dress provocatively is often considered a joke at best, and threatening at worst.

I'd be more than happy to celebrate men as physically or sexually attractive. But male sexuality is celebrated with ubiquity. Well, long as it's straight. It's celebrated to the point that even failure to celebrate is sufficient to create controversy. Apparently, games can be ruined simply by not having enough cheesecake in them.

Though I think a better example would be some of Liana's own articles. It only took her promoting the idea of more body diversity in models for people to treat her like she must be some sort of land whale (disclaimer: I am not insulting the author. Rather, I am using responses to previous articles in an illustrative sense). I should probably also point out that I don't completely agree with the article in question, but that's not the point. I just watched Linkara cosplaying in public, and while I personally think he's cute, he's not exactly what people would find the pinnacle of the male form. You get a much different bar with women, to the point that someone like Liana is suddenly beyond the pale.

I suppose this level of disparity could be argued as a form of male privilege, but I wasn't making that argument. However, it does seem to make the case that acceptance of female cosplayers is specifically at the will of men.

I don't really subscribe to the idea of "male privilege", there's a few kinks and inequalities in our supposedly emancipated society that go both ways and need to be worked out, but to ascribe everything wrong to masculine influence while discounting the MASSIVE social influence women have always had in society just seems misguided.

I'd argue more that carefully framing things as minor inequities versus some sort of massive power structure ("influence") is more than a little disingenuous. I'm almost interested in seeing just how many points in such an argument I could tick off, but I have a feeling this is too off-topic for the purview of this article. However, the notion that women are not disadvantage in a community gamed for male sexuality is rather troubling.

Areloch:

Have you ever personally met a guy that really thought that being able to sew, cook or clean is 'girly' and therefore shameful? Because if so, wow, what a toolbag.

My brother got the shit kicked out of him by people who thought just that. Even nowadays, he's considered "girlier" for his interests than I am. He doesn't cosplay far as I know (though I'm trying to get him to dress up as slender man....), but his ability to cook and sew are considered feminine or girly traits. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law is an avid camper, and I play video games. She's rugged and outdoorsy, and I'm a geek, and both fit more within masculine presuppositions. Especially the way she camps.

But he can mend the tent if it tears....

So yeah, I've met quite a few in my life. I know this wasn't aimed at me, but I figured I'd add some examples.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm laughing so hard at the image of my poor brother camping that my sides hurt. I'm going to go ask my sister-in-law for some totally-not-blackmail-photos....

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Areloch:
Ah.
That said, *IS* cosplay becoming less inclusive to men? I mean, the actual act and community of cosplaying? I've been going to the local anime conventions for like, a decade now and usually do at least some simple cosplays m'self. Several of my other male friends often cosplay as well when we all go. One of them last year went as a touhou character as well, even, so hey, crossplay for funsies!

But in that time, I've never noted any increase or decrease in the male side of the cosplay community. There's a pretty even spread every con I went to.

In the popular media, sure, there's an extreme focus on the ladies of cosplay and the men tend to get shunted into the corner, but I don't think that's actually impacting the inclusivity of cosplay itself. It kinds reminds me of the whole 'no girl gamers' thing. Sure, that's the stereotype, and it's pushed like crazy by news and popular media. But then you actually get into the gamer space and there's girls all over the place who clearly aren't aware they're not supposed to be a part of it because it's obviously 'only for guys'.

I think the same thing is in play here, where what the popular media presents doesn't have any real, meaningful impact on the reality of the culture itself. Sure, they shouldn't pigeonhole it like that, but I don't think it really affects anything in any real way.

I think you're a bit off base, partially because it depends less on local cosplayers, whom are the ones who most routinely show up to particular conventions. That's a factor that varies from place to place, people who do cosplay when they go to their regional conventions are pretty reliably assured to show up to the local cons, in costume. The thing is that this depends on how traditional, or liberal, a place tends to be, which effects the base of local cosplayers, along with the cosplayers who routinely travel long distances for cons. A place where a male cosplayer catches flack for cosplaying, is a place he's less likely to visit in the future, especially if he considers cosplay a key part of going to cons.

Public opinion can quite easily effect these sort of things, if it becomes socially unacceptable for males to cosplay, then male cosplayers will fade away. A few friends I have said they've noticed a drop in the number of male cosplayers they see, especially when they go to major conventions. I wouldn't personally be able to say, because I'm too poor to even attend the one local anime convention my town hosts a year. I'm saying here while anecdotes are fine they can also vary wildly, a statistic might be useful here, but I haven't really been able to find even a loose one.

It would be terribly sad if male inclusion was falling in the overall cosplay community, especially because cosplay is one of the few safe spaces where men can break traditional gender expression as hard as they want.

Also the gaming being a boy's club thing, meaning that there is serious exclusion of "girl gamers"... While it's true that there are female gamers, the gaming community isn't exactly quick to embrace them. I know quite a few gamer gals, most of them tell me that they refuse to play online anymore, or purchase games in a physical store, just because of the hostility they face. I have similar experiences being a trans woman, I catch essentially the same hostility and sexual harassment other female gamers tell me about. That is at least unless it comes out that I'm trans, then the hostility is magnified like a thousand fold, as people start shouting transphobic and homophobic slurs at me. I've been outed several times by male gamer friends who think people knowing that I'm trans would convince them to back off, because they wouldn't be interested in having sex with me. That's also all not to mention quite a few girls I know who have quit gaming because of the sexist crap they had to put up with.

Areloch:
Ah, I getcha. And while i do see what you mean, I'd point to above, where I'm unconvinced it's actually affecting the people inside the cosplay culture itself, much as decades of 'games are only for guys' or 'games are just kids toys' clearly has not constrained the demographics that games now touch.

Well as I pointed out above, I know quite a few females who have withdrawn from the culture of gaming, if not given up the hobby altogether because of the treatment they receive. Negative images of certain demographics can cause people to withdraw from a community, this applies as much to cosplay as it does to gaming. A guy who might be on the fringe could easily be dissuaded from participation because of a growing negative image of male cosplayers.

Yeah, obviously anecdotes aren't facts, and I did acknowledge that. It's entirely possible that I just happen to live in a general area where people just can't be bothered to care what popular culture thinks or what, but I hadn't noticed any sort of real decline in that regard, as said. Without any kind of comprehensive study, it'd be impossible to say just off the cuff if it's impacting anything.

Popular media and news and stuff indeed CAN impact and sway subcultures like gaming or cosplay, but that also doesn't mean that they automatically do.
People who are considering possibly getting into cosplay could potentially be shied away from it, but it'd likely be more about their immediate connections' input rather than popular media not really showing as many guys in picture galleries cosplaying.
If someone's thinking about cosplaying and their friends already do it or agree to do it with them, then it doesn't really matter how shunned the general 'outside' media tries to make them.

I mean, new people get into fursuit conventions and stuff and there's not a cosplay group more derided than fursuits. If broad public derision doesn't put them off, I don't think it's likely to kill it off for 'safer' cosplays either.

As for girl gamers stuff, yes there are indeed some girls that quit gaming because of their treatment(of course, there's guy gamers that quit because of it to). But my main point was, the news, the popular media, etc all portray gaming as either a) a guys thing, b) a kids thing, or c) both a and b.

It's been portrayed like that since pretty much forever, and that hasn't at all stopped girls from getting into gaming en-force. Your examples of people quitting because of treatment have all come from the 'inside'. Other gamers in the space being dickbags and causing them to quit. The media going "but girls don't play games" wasn't an element of that, or at least, I have serious doubts it was.

Obviously, if people inside the cosplay community start becoming hostile to male cosplayers, then you could definitely see a sharp decline, but until pressure comes from 'the inside', I don't think any amount of 'hurr hurr look at these people dressing up as video game characters' from news networks or the like is going to stop them.

Something Amyss:

Areloch:

Have you ever personally met a guy that really thought that being able to sew, cook or clean is 'girly' and therefore shameful? Because if so, wow, what a toolbag.

My brother got the shit kicked out of him by people who thought just that. Even nowadays, he's considered "girlier" for his interests than I am. He doesn't cosplay far as I know (though I'm trying to get him to dress up as slender man....), but his ability to cook and sew are considered feminine or girly traits. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law is an avid camper, and I play video games. She's rugged and outdoorsy, and I'm a geek, and both fit more within masculine presuppositions. Especially the way she camps.

But he can mend the tent if it tears....

So yeah, I've met quite a few in my life. I know this wasn't aimed at me, but I figured I'd add some examples.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm laughing so hard at the image of my poor brother camping that my sides hurt. I'm going to go ask my sister-in-law for some totally-not-blackmail-photos....

Wow, that's pretty lousy. I know how to do cooking, I help clean, and I know how to sew(made my own costumes for the cosplaying stuff I've done for the most part), and while those could ostensibly be considered 'feminine', I don't think anyone that knows me would consider me that or look down on me for it. Again, obviously I lucked out in here I live, but still that's pretty lame to hear :/

Also, what you must do is first convince him to cosplay Slenderman. THEN take him camping. Inform no one of the cosplay.

Then sit back and watch magic happen.

Areloch:
Yeah, obviously anecdotes aren't facts, and I did acknowledge that. It's entirely possible that I just happen to live in a general area where people just can't be bothered to care what popular culture thinks or what, but I hadn't noticed any sort of real decline in that regard, as said. Without any kind of comprehensive study, it'd be impossible to say just off the cuff if it's impacting anything.

Popular media and news and stuff indeed CAN impact and sway subcultures like gaming or cosplay, but that also doesn't mean that they automatically do.
People who are considering possibly getting into cosplay could potentially be shied away from it, but it'd likely be more about their immediate connections' input rather than popular media not really showing as many guys in picture galleries cosplaying.
If someone's thinking about cosplaying and their friends already do it or agree to do it with them, then it doesn't really matter how shunned the general 'outside' media tries to make them.

I mean, new people get into fursuit conventions and stuff and there's not a cosplay group more derided than fursuits. If broad public derision doesn't put them off, I don't think it's likely to kill it off for 'safer' cosplays either.

As for girl gamers stuff, yes there are indeed some girls that quit gaming because of their treatment(of course, there's guy gamers that quit because of it to). But my main point was, the news, the popular media, etc all portray gaming as either a) a guys thing, b) a kids thing, or c) both a and b.

It's been portrayed like that since pretty much forever, and that hasn't at all stopped girls from getting into gaming en-force. Your examples of people quitting because of treatment have all come from the 'inside'. Other gamers in the space being dickbags and causing them to quit. The media going "but girls don't play games" wasn't an element of that, or at least, I have serious doubts it was.

Obviously, if people inside the cosplay community start becoming hostile to male cosplayers, then you could definitely see a sharp decline, but until pressure comes from 'the inside', I don't think any amount of 'hurr hurr look at these people dressing up as video game characters' from news networks or the like is going to stop them.

Exterior element can easily negatively impact any community. I'm not saying males will be totally excluded from cosplay, but I am seeing a trend of it becoming less accepted as cosplay gets more attention. You brought up fursuits, which I think is a good analogy, but not for the reason you stated. My point here would be that there always always going to be people who participate in such things, no matter how badly the act is perceived by the public at large, the problem is that these people are always in the minority.

I know plenty of ladies who gave up gaming because of exterior opinions, like female friends that would shun them for being gamers, so there's that too. These problems don't always come from within, they generally come from both sides. That probably a point I could have made better on the subject.

Areloch:
Also, what you must do is first convince him to cosplay Slenderman. THEN take him camping. Inform no one of the cosplay.

Then sit back and watch magic happen.

That is cruel, mean, and just plain evil... And funny as hell!

Although I'd shun using Slenderman as he's a rip of Cabadath from the Chzo Mythos series of adventure games made by Yahtzee. So when possible always go for the original, accept no weak ass substitutes!

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Exterior element can easily negatively impact any community. I'm not saying males will be totally excluded from cosplay, but I am seeing a trend of it becoming less accepted as cosplay gets more attention. You brought up fursuits, which I think is a good analogy, but not for the reason you stated. My point here would be that there always always going to be people who participate in such things, no matter how badly the act is perceived by the public at large, the problem is that these people are always in the minority.

I know plenty of ladies who gave up gaming because of exterior opinions, like female friends that would shun them for being gamers, so there's that too. These problems don't always come from within, they generally come from both sides. That probably a point I could have made better on the subject.

Yeah, fair enough I suppose. I guess my main point is, while these sorts of influences CAN happen, I'm not yet convinced it IS happening in a broad scope.

Areloch:
Also, what you must do is first convince him to cosplay Slenderman. THEN take him camping. Inform no one of the cosplay.

Then sit back and watch magic happen.

That is cruel, mean, and just plain evil... And funny as hell!

Although I'd shun using Slenderman as he's a rip of Cabadath from the Chzo Mythos series of adventure games made by Yahtzee. So when possible always go for the original, accept no weak ass substitutes!

Is he? Looks like there's some speculation, but I remember the original Something Awful thread that kicked it all off and I don't really remember any association being made there. Possible, I suppose.

The main connection I made there was that in the Slenderman mythos, he tends to make forests his primary haunts, so there'd be that extra touch of grounding there if any of the other campers are familiar with Slenderman at all.

Areloch:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Exterior element can easily negatively impact any community. I'm not saying males will be totally excluded from cosplay, but I am seeing a trend of it becoming less accepted as cosplay gets more attention. You brought up fursuits, which I think is a good analogy, but not for the reason you stated. My point here would be that there always always going to be people who participate in such things, no matter how badly the act is perceived by the public at large, the problem is that these people are always in the minority.

I know plenty of ladies who gave up gaming because of exterior opinions, like female friends that would shun them for being gamers, so there's that too. These problems don't always come from within, they generally come from both sides. That probably a point I could have made better on the subject.

Yeah, fair enough I suppose. I guess my main point is, while these sorts of influences CAN happen, I'm not yet convinced it IS happening in a broad scope.

Well actually neither am I, but I believe that there is the potential for it to starting to be moving in that direction. Still without proper statistics it's impossible to tell. At least with cosplay that's how it is.

For female gamers, they've really never been a driving force in the gamer community, you can easily tell this with how few games tended to be marketed to female gamers. That's changing, but it seems that the casual market is where people expect female gamers, which I think is woefully misguided. While there are plenty of female gamers I wouldn't say they've represented the community "en force". Though that's mostly because female gamers tend to be more, or less "invisible" to avoid harassment.

Areloch:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Areloch:
Also, what you must do is first convince him to cosplay Slenderman. THEN take him camping. Inform no one of the cosplay.

Then sit back and watch magic happen.

That is cruel, mean, and just plain evil... And funny as hell!

Although I'd shun using Slenderman as he's a rip of Cabadath from the Chzo Mythos series of adventure games made by Yahtzee. So when possible always go for the original, accept no weak ass substitutes!

Is he? Looks like there's some speculation, but I remember the original Something Awful thread that kicked it all off and I don't really remember any association being made there. Possible, I suppose.

The main connection I made there was that in the Slenderman mythos, he tends to make forests his primary haunts, so there'd be that extra touch of grounding there if any of the other campers are familiar with Slenderman at all.

Well considering that Yahtzee was pretty active in the Something Awful forums for a long time, it wouldn't be a surprise that it started there. Especially considering that's where a lot of his games got publicity early on, before the Zero Punctuation days.

Also yeah, with the Slenderman mythos that does make sense.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Areloch:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Exterior element can easily negatively impact any community. I'm not saying males will be totally excluded from cosplay, but I am seeing a trend of it becoming less accepted as cosplay gets more attention. You brought up fursuits, which I think is a good analogy, but not for the reason you stated. My point here would be that there always always going to be people who participate in such things, no matter how badly the act is perceived by the public at large, the problem is that these people are always in the minority.

I know plenty of ladies who gave up gaming because of exterior opinions, like female friends that would shun them for being gamers, so there's that too. These problems don't always come from within, they generally come from both sides. That probably a point I could have made better on the subject.

Yeah, fair enough I suppose. I guess my main point is, while these sorts of influences CAN happen, I'm not yet convinced it IS happening in a broad scope.

Well actually neither am I, but I believe that there is the potential for it to starting to be moving in that direction. Still without proper statistics it's impossible to tell. At least with cosplay that's how it is.

For female gamers, they've really never been a driving force in the gamer community, you can easily tell this with how few games tended to be marketed to female gamers. That's changing, but it seems that the casual market is where people expect female gamers, which I think is woefully misguided. While there are plenty of female gamers I wouldn't say they've represented the community "en force". Though that's mostly because female gamers tend to be more, or less "invisible" to avoid harassment.

Ok, so yeah, we're in agreement there then. It may not happen yet, but it's a possibility if people roll along with it.

Also, when I say 'in force' I mean that there are a LOT of girl gamers now. Because there are. Even in more "hardcore" circles, girl gamers are rapidly becoming a normal sight to see. And this has happened in the face of a whole lot of external negative stereotyping about it not being 'for' them.
Most of the girl gamers I know personally play Destiny, MMOs, hardcore pokemon, do D&D and other more 'hardcore' gaming, so it's not like the girls that do play hardcore games are still a freak outlier. They're definitely less than the girls playing in the casual market, but they're not really a rarity either. Again, maybe I just happen to live in "everything is pretty cool here" Valhalla land, but my gut says it's not as rare as people think it is.

Something Amyss:
The leniency to express one's self still comes from a rather fetishistic approach towards women, regardless of whether the individual choose it. Were it not for that approach, the leniency, and their choice would likely not exist.

If the leniency given to female cosplayers were solely due to fetishistic attitudes you would expect that leniency to extend only to cosplay that satiates that fetish. However based on this article it would suggest that is not the case.

Just remember gentlemen.

If you're going to go out and dress like a male stripper then you've at least got to keep up the barest pretense of the illusion that you've got a full time job apart from stripping professionally.

Areloch:

Wow, that's pretty lousy. I know how to do cooking, I help clean, and I know how to sew(made my own costumes for the cosplaying stuff I've done for the most part), and while those could ostensibly be considered 'feminine', I don't think anyone that knows me would consider me that or look down on me for it. Again, obviously I lucked out in here I live, but still that's pretty lame to hear :/

I don't really know how it plays out in cosplaying circles, because I'm mostly just sort of tangentially friends with people who do it (some have tried to get me into it, being freakishly tall means even making your own stuff is ridiculously expensive), but this seems to be a fairly common American perception of the way things work. And yeah, it absolutely sucks, part of that being that it's so common.

[quo9te]Also, what you must do is first convince him to cosplay Slenderman. THEN take him camping. Inform no one of the cosplay.

Then sit back and watch magic happen.[/quote]

I texted him earlier and told him he should dress up as Slender Man and just walk around where he lives, filming the results. He was like "I don't know what that means, but count me in!"

...I've not yet followed up because I got busy, but still. lulz for all.

I've cosplayed several times, maybe crossplayed once been to several conventions before the irrational fear of candid photographers set in and I can say there is a large split in liking it or hating it, I have often heard groups of male non cosplayers trying to "guess the guy" and several women that will do wide circles around anyone crossplaying, whether its more or less stigma than any guy in spandex gets I cant say for sure but its up there on the level of disdain you see for "fat sailor moon" though over all there is general distaste for male cosplayers unless they are topless, females definitely have ten fold more freedom when cosplaying but that comes with the privileges they hold

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

For female gamers, they've really never been a driving force in the gamer community, you can easily tell this with how few games tended to be marketed to female gamers. That's changing, but it seems that the casual market is where people expect female gamers, which I think is woefully misguided. While there are plenty of female gamers I wouldn't say they've represented the community "en force". Though that's mostly because female gamers tend to be more, or less "invisible" to avoid harassment.

My personal mindset on this changed on the day I saw this picture with the lead designer and the ceo of Colossal Order.

If you would've shown me this picture without any context and put a caption saying they were making a city simulation game I probably would've laughed. Now it's different and I think I can take a lot of typical grrl gamer bullcrap before cynicism would get the better of me again. Inb4 "doesn't mean anything", well, five out of eight emplyees at Colossal Order are men, and up until a year ago the "most hardcore" game any girl I know played was Skyrim... on a console. Then I heard one recommending The Binding of Isaac to her friend. That was pretty cool.

Just wanted to share that. After all it's something that should be shared if we want to diminish the "boy's club" mentality, shouldn't it?

OT: I'm a simple man... all of you memers can fill in the rest. I have bias, but preference is not discrimination. I'm also a bit on the "costumes are for kids" -side, but y'know, it's not too uncommon to want to be like a kid again for a little while. Then again one might ask if I tolerate more "childlike" behavior from hot girls than guys. The answer is simple, 'cause I'm a simple man...

This wasn't touched on in the article, but as a man that has worn shirtless and other more revealing cosplays, I can personally testify that the stigma on catcalling and the "cosplay is not consent" rule tend to get overlooked when the cosplayer in question is male.

McElroy:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

For female gamers, they've really never been a driving force in the gamer community, you can easily tell this with how few games tended to be marketed to female gamers. That's changing, but it seems that the casual market is where people expect female gamers, which I think is woefully misguided. While there are plenty of female gamers I wouldn't say they've represented the community "en force". Though that's mostly because female gamers tend to be more, or less "invisible" to avoid harassment.

My personal mindset on this changed on the day I saw this picture with the lead designer and the ceo of Colossal Order.

If you would've shown me this picture without any context and put a caption saying they were making a city simulation game I probably would've laughed. Now it's different and I think I can take a lot of typical grrl gamer bullcrap before cynicism would get the better of me again. Inb4 "doesn't mean anything", well, five out of eight emplyees at Colossal Order are men, and up until a year ago the "most hardcore" game any girl I know played was Skyrim... on a console. Then I heard one recommending The Binding of Isaac to her friend. That was pretty cool.

Just wanted to share that. After all it's something that should be shared if we want to diminish the "boy's club" mentality, shouldn't it?

OT: I'm a simple man... all of you memers can fill in the rest. I have bias, but preference is not discrimination. I'm also a bit on the "costumes are for kids" -side, but y'know, it's not too uncommon to want to be like a kid again for a little while. Then again one might ask if I tolerate more "childlike" behavior from hot girls than guys. The answer is simple, 'cause I'm a simple man...

Well for the off-topic part, that's pretty neat and a good indicator, that despite the "dude-bros" and exclusionary misogynists, that gaming is becoming more inclusive.

On-topic part: Does that mean men and less attractive women should be forbidden from indulging in childlike behavior and recapturing their childhoods?

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

On-topic part: Does that mean men and less attractive women should be forbidden from indulging in childlike behavior and recapturing their childhoods?

Pfft, well of course. That's just IMMATURE. Okay really, I don't go out of my way to judge people and I certainly won't scold people over their harmless hobbies. Childlike behavior and recapturing one's childhood can be anything depending on the person. However, I also don't think people should get away with everything without any reaction from others, and thus while I might admire a beautiful lady cosplaying as Ahri, upon seeing an overweight lady do the same I might laugh a bit (both of which I did when I browsed through the Pool Party cosplay gallery on LoL's website).

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

For female gamers, they've really never been a driving force in the gamer community, you can easily tell this with how few games tended to be marketed to female gamers.

Except that's not really true. Unless by never you mean 'recently' or if you're young enough "in my lifetime."

It's interesting hearing this sort of stuff coming from an age group where games weren't considered a "boys" product. And, I might add, when I was young women programmers and game designers were in an upswing until there was a specific and deliberate pushback against "feminism" in the tech sector. Women had to be made unwelcome for the current environment to exist. Which is kind of like gaming.

I sometimes forget this, because most of my gaming-related interactions come from this website, where I'm probably more than a decade upward of the average age range.

Point being, there was a time in my own lifetime where women were valued as both creator and consumer.

Rather, this whole "girls don't play games" thing is cultural pushback from men who felt they were losing their place in the world.

...my, how times have changed.

 

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