Something that’s been going around on some of the websites that I normally frequent over the last week that I kind of want to weigh in on is the whole subject of ‘fake geek girls’.
The whole thing started when comic artist Tony Harris posted the following statement on Facebook;
I cant remember if Ive said this before, but Im gonna say it anyway. I dont give a crap.I appreciate a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff ( keeping the comments PG for my Ladies sake) but dammit, dammit, dammit I am so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Chiks. I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule. Heres the statement I wanna make, based on THE RULE: “Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC. But we are onto you. Some of us are aware that you are ever so average on an everyday basis. But you have a couple of things going your way. You are willing to become almost completely Naked in public, and yer either skinny( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are ) or you have Big Boobies. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies? You are what I refer to as “CON-HOT”. Well not by my estimation, but according to a LOT of average Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to girls, and the ONE thing they all have in common? The are being preyed on by YOU. You have this really awful need for attention, for people to tell you your pretty, or Hot, and the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of you hanging on them with your glossy open lips, promising them the Moon and the Stars of pleasure, just makes your head vibrate. After many years of watching this shit go down every 3 seconds around or in front of my booth or table at ANY given Con in the country, I put this together. Well not just me. We are LEGION. And here it is, THE REASON WHY ALL THAT, sickens us: BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER. And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the fucking time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics. Your just the thing that all the Comic Book, AND mainstream press flock to at Cons. And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in? That would be Comic Book Artists, and Comic Book Writers who make all that shit up.
I think that anyone, male or female, who choose to attend a comic convention in costume are by nature extroverts and relish the opportunity to show off and be the centre of attention in their costumes. This isn’t a bad thing though, as I have found in my experience that cosplayers tend to be very friendly, chatty people who love meeting other likeminded people, and the costume can be a way of breaking the ice and starting a conversation. After all, if you’re a Superman fan and you see someone dressed up as Superman, chances are you’ll both have that in common.
As for if these people in the costumes are aware of who they’re dressed as and are fans is impossible to say, because unless you make them take some kind of crazy fan test you’re just going to have to take it on faith. Then again, how do you know that the people at conventions who aren’t in costume are actually fans too?
I think that yes, it is entirely possible that there are ‘fakes’ among those girls that do choose to dress up at conventions, but they are also likely among the girls that don’t dress up, the men that do and the men that don’t. Their will be people in the ‘geek community’ that are fakes, people who only take part because being a geek has become cool and hip, but their will be far more people who aren’t fakes, especially amongst those people who shell out money to go all the way to a convention.
Centring the ‘fake’community solely on those women who choose to celebrate their love of comics, games and movies by dressing up as their favourite characters is wholly unfair and extremely sexist.
From a number of experiences I’ve had at conventions I’ve found that the female fans are overall some of the most passionate and if given the chance will gladly jump into a conversation, more so than some men I’ve met at conventions. These female fans are so passionate and so vitally important to the industry that they should be celebrated rather than demonised.
The comics industry should be encouraged to better represent female characters, to create characters that are more than just eye candy in tiny tight costumes and are well developed and well rounded characters. One of my favourite examples of a great female comic character that can easily be ignored by their look is Power Girl. A Kryptonian from another universe she’s one of the most powerful super-heroes in the DC universe, a former member of the Justice League, chairwoman of the Justice Society, a brilliant scientist, business woman and philanthropist she’s unfortunately mainly remembered for having huge breasts.
I think that it’s unfortunate, but a number of women who attend cons probably do meet with sexism and men who become drooling idiots at seeing their fantasy women come to life before them. Their was a recent article I read about a young woman who attended a convention dressed as Blackcat and was subjected to some very sexist behaviour from some people who were ‘professionally’ interviewing her.
Incidents such as these are awful for many reasons, because it encourages men to act like that at conventions, to see women solely as their sexual fantasies come to life. It also makes those women who would once choose to attend a convention in costume question their decision to do so, or even attend the convention at all.
Unfortunately the only thing that I take away from Harris’ comments is the impression that he has, probably on more than one occasion, attempted to chat up women at comic cons, and failed. His irrational attack towards women in costume just seems to be coming from a place of wounded pride, he might be thinking ‘I’m a comic book artist, if these girls were real fans they’d be throwing themselves at me, but they turned me down, they’re fakes!’
The second thing I take away from his comments is that I don’t think he really like comic fans in general, for example he says; ‘Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds’. Now, the fact that he thinks these ‘fakers’ are ‘more pathetic’ than real nerds just jumps out at me because he’s saying that real nerds are already pathetic.
Someone in Harris’ position should be more greatful to comic fans, these are the people who are keeping him in work, who are making a demand for a product he plays a part in providing. He should be showing them gratitude, but instead he just seems to dislike comic fans as a whole and has thrown a hissy fit because he can’t pull a girl in a costume.
The whole argument about Fake Geek Girls is stupid, it’s something that whilst it may have a grain of truth to it isn’t the massive issue Harris made out to be. There are fakes everywhere in the geek community, not just in one small sector of girls who like to cosplay. Instead of thinking that girls at conventions are their to make fun or ‘real fans’ and to torment them sexually, go and talk to them, treat them as real human beings and get to know them. Yes, some of them may be very attractive women wearing tight and revealing outfits, but at the end of the day they’re still just people, and if you’re at a comic con too, then you’ve already got a lot in common with them.
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