Sexism, Gaming, Pax and Fear

shoptroll wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Is it possible that, given how much "hooking up" there is at cons, part of the problem might be in context misinterpretation?

I think you'd be surprised about how much "hooking up" actually goes on. Either that or I'm not paying close enough attention at the ones I've been to.

This isn't the 60's/70's and PAX certainly isn't the swingers scene.

I haven't been to a non-work related convention of any kind since the early 1980's, so I admit my context may be more than a little out of date.

I also must admit that I know less than nothing about the cosplay subculture and the social mores that defines their context. So my two cents are merely as an observer of the phenomenon.

I feel like all of this would be avoided if we just followed Wil Wheaton's rule, really. Don't be a dick and don't not treat people like people.

Paleocon wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Is it possible that, given how much "hooking up" there is at cons, part of the problem might be in context misinterpretation?

I think you'd be surprised about how much "hooking up" actually goes on. Either that or I'm not paying close enough attention at the ones I've been to.

This isn't the 60's/70's and PAX certainly isn't the swingers scene.

I haven't been to a non-work related convention of any kind since the early 1980's, so I admit my context may be more than a little out of date.

I also must admit that I know less than nothing about the cosplay subculture and the social mores that defines their context. So my two cents are merely as an observer of the phenomenon.

I thought there was a lot of hooking up at conventions I've been to (non-gaming). I've never been to comicon so I don't know and my context comes from TBBT.

Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

I hear all the guys in the middle school locker room were hooking up, too. Like five times a day! With hot chicks! From Canada!

Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

She said it was rude. In the video she said that's rude and I think that was an uncomfortable laugh not a "haha" laugh.

Jayhawker wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through Youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

I think Felecia should have been defended. I think think the guy asking the question should have been asked to leave, and it should not have been Felecia to have to do it. Not because women can't defend themselves, but their is a serious issue when a woman is in a situation that is 99% guys. And that is the crux of the issue, and why that video was such a good example of the problem. She looked mortified, She looked around to several other people, who happened to be guys, and figured out real quick that this was one of those times she was just going to have to take it. It was pretty much what the blog was about, and what she was hoping to inspire women to change.

So, no, expecting a woman to defend herself in that situation is not a prerequisite to step in and call bullsh*t on someone acting like that. It's just a type of bullying. The victim ends up in a situation where he or she gets judged by how they respond. Don't defend enough, and it's open season, push back too much, and suffer the wrath. But if the crowd steps in, they can relieve that pressure from the victim.

That's a good point, ok what about in situations where the woman clearly is ok with it? hmmm or a man in the same situation I guess or would that be different.

If you are looking for times when you get to be a dick, that's going to be the source of your problems.

I don't think this problem is exclusive to geeks at cons. Men, as a rule, can be huge dicks (pun intended) to women, especially women that they might think are attractive.

Side story - this past weekend I was out with friends and we decided to eat dinner out at a Hooters. Being all married, in our 40s, and really just excited to be away from the families, we weren't there to oogle the girls. We just wanted buffalo shrimp. As I generally have no fear (or shame) I asked our waittress if they get hit on the time. I had an interesting conversation with her in which she expressed frustration at having to deal with dudes giving them their numbers (or worse, asking for theirs), rudeness, and all while maintaining a positive attitude in a service industry. I ended up apologizing to her for men everywhere.

It almost seems to me that when some men see T&A, their brains go into "objectify" mode, overriding common sense and decency. I appreciate the fine female form as much as the next hetero guy, but these women are people. If you're going to appreciate, do it in a non-creepy manner. I wonder if it is a cultural thing that we can fix?

Paleocon wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Is it possible that, given how much "hooking up" there is at cons, part of the problem might be in context misinterpretation?

I think you'd be surprised about how much "hooking up" actually goes on. Either that or I'm not paying close enough attention at the ones I've been to.

This isn't the 60's/70's and PAX certainly isn't the swingers scene.

I haven't been to a non-work related convention of any kind since the early 1980's, so I admit my context may be more than a little out of date.

Sorry if I offended, I wasn't deliberately poking at age or saying you're out of touch.

Just, you hear about this stuff and I've yet to witness an amount of "hooking up" at meets where it becomes socially acceptable to go up to random strangers and aggressively hit on them. I admit I'm probably oblivious and maybe I've not been exposed to the Cons where this is a thing (I've only been to PAX East and several Kingdom of Loathing meets), but in my experience any "hooking up" is either non-existent or incredibly discrete.

LarryC wrote:

clover:

I think what Baron of Hell is saying is that there is a subculture of people to whom asking that question would be perfectly reasonable and even lauded. If there are such subcultures, then it becomes a question of whether it's impolite to extend cultural cues from one subculture to the mainstream.

Oh boy why is the one guy everyone hates in my head. Ahhhhh Kidding. That is pretty much exactly what I'm saying. All these guys seem to be mind readers or something and believes it is impossible for to felt it was just a bad joke.

Also note I do think it is perfectly ok for someone else besides Ms Day to have asked the guy to leave. Or at least ask someone from the staff to ask the guy to leave. In fact I think that is what should have happen even if it was obvious to everyone that Day ok with it. The main reason why is these are public events and you are asking your question in public, other people can be offended or made to feel unsafe even it the remark wasn't made to them.

I guess what I am saying is that the advice that one should not be a dick is good, but it is overly simplistic. Context matters and what may be entirely appropriate given one context would be completely rude in another. Obviously, there are the extreme examples already cited that represent clearly outrageous behavior (e.g.: drapes comment).

As a non con goer and one unfamiliar with the rules surrounding the context, I, honestly, would not see anything offensive in someone saying to an attractive woman "wow, you're really pretty" -- especially if the woman put a huge amount of effort to construct a costume. To me, it would not be that different from saying the same to a woman dressed in a fancy ball gown at a New Year's party. And yes, I see a world of difference between that and speculating about that woman's sex life. One is a compliment. The other is being a dick. It just seems like there is a blurring of that line in the context specific to cosplay in which making the former comment is a step over the line.

So this has already drifted quite a bit from the first post, but I wanted to say that I think it's really great that we've had such a profusion of threads and discussion about sexism lately. It's a big topic and one that is far past due to be rigorously confronted and dealt with within our niche.

Just saying, keep it up.

Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

Know what my automatic, instinctual response is when I'm in a group of guys and someone makes a sexist comment? To laugh. Or smile. Not because I think it's funny or acceptable or because it doesn't make me feel like sh*t (it does) but because it also makes me feel unsafe. And I, as a woman, have been socialized that the appropriate response to feeling unsafe is to try to placate the person who is making me feel that way.

By "unsafe" I don't mean to say that I think this dude who just made a comment about someone's tits is about to rape me. But there's a real possibility that if I call attention to the fact that he's making me uncomfortable, there's going to be a confrontation and he's going to direct that hostility and aggression my way, because he has already demonstrated that he doesn't really see me as a person. This has happened to me and it is horrible. And there are very few situations in which I have ever felt that the company I am in would be wholeheartedly supportive of me. And, guys, I'm not just talking about at a con, where one is surrounded by strangers. This has happened to me in family gatherings, at parties full of people that I know and like, in workplaces.

Every single time someone says something that actively hurts me as a woman, I do a risk evaluation of the situation, a calculation of "how sh*tty do I feel letting this go" v.s. "do I have the emotional fortitude to weather the sh*tstorm I may call up by saying something." Every time.

So don't assume that because a woman laughed at whatever microaggression happened to fly at her head in any given moment that it was okay, or that she found it funny or acceptable.

Ulairi wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

She said it was rude. In the video she said that's rude and I think that was an uncomfortable laugh not a "haha" laugh.

So you never said to someone that they were a jerk, a hole, bastard and then laughed at what they said? I admit she looked shocked to me but she also looked she honestly thought it was funny to me also. There no way of knowing for sure without asking her. I can clearly see why someone would see it your way, but is it really so hard to why I see it my way?

Why is it so hard to believe a woman when she says that someone has been rude to her?

Social situations are complex, and context does matter for sure. For cosplay events, I would think the safest thing to do is to be more respectful/reserved than usual.

For example: It's likely the girl with the cat ears and smaller-than-usual furry bikini is getting inappropriate comments. That makes it more likely that anything skirting the line will be misinterpreted, regardless of the intent.

Spoiler:

Heck, she made me uncomfortable. That's a different topic though.

Baron Of Hell wrote:
Ulairi wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

She said it was rude. In the video she said that's rude and I think that was an uncomfortable laugh not a "haha" laugh.

So you never said to someone that they were a jerk, a hole, bastard and then laughed at what they said? I admit she looked shocked to me but she also looked she honestly thought it was funny to me also. There no way of knowing for sure without asking her. I can clearly see why someone would see it your way, but is it really so hard to why I see it my way?

It's not hard. But when you see something that way it says something about you that you don't want to accept.

Brennil wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

Know what my automatic, instinctual response is when I'm in a group of guys and someone makes a sexist comment? To laugh. Or smile. Not because I think it's funny or acceptable or because it doesn't make me feel like sh*t (it does) but because it also makes me feel unsafe. And I, as a woman, have been socialized that the appropriate response to feeling unsafe is to try to placate the person who is making me feel that way.

By "unsafe" I don't mean to say that I think this dude who just made a comment about someone's tits is about to rape me. But there's a real possibility that if I call attention to the fact that he's making me uncomfortable, there's going to be a confrontation and he's going to direct that hostility and aggression my way, because he has already demonstrated that he doesn't really see me as a person. This has happened to me and it is horrible. And there are very few situations in which I have ever felt that the company I am in would be wholeheartedly supportive of me. And, guys, I'm not just talking about at a con, where one is surrounded by strangers. This has happened to me in family gatherings, at parties full of people that I know and like, in workplaces.

Every single time someone says something that actively hurts me as a woman, I do a risk evaluation of the situation, a calculation of "how sh*tty do I feel letting this go" v.s. "do I have the emotional fortitude to weather the sh*tstorm I may call up by saying something." Every time.

So don't assume that because a woman laughed at whatever microaggression happened to fly at her head in any given moment that it was okay, or that she found it funny or acceptable.

I think it is just as wrong to assume the opposite. The only way of knowing how anyone felt in this situation is to ask them.

Jayhawker wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Ulairi wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

She said it was rude. In the video she said that's rude and I think that was an uncomfortable laugh not a "haha" laugh.

So you never said to someone that they were a jerk, a hole, bastard and then laughed at what they said? I admit she looked shocked to me but she also looked she honestly thought it was funny to me also. There no way of knowing for sure without asking her. I can clearly see why someone would see it your way, but is it really so hard to why I see it my way?

It's not hard. But when you see something that way it says something about you that you don't want to accept.

Yeah that I surrounded by people that think they can read minds and that their way of thinking is the norm. I clearly don't want to accept that.

Regarding Felicia Day: Does it matter what "she thinks" if we can agree that it shouldn't have been said in the first place?

Baron Of Hell wrote:
Ulairi wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

She said it was rude. In the video she said that's rude and I think that was an uncomfortable laugh not a "haha" laugh.

So you never said to someone that they were a jerk, a hole, bastard and then laughed at what they said?

That doesn't necessarily mean you're ok with it. Laughter, especially nervous laughter, is a stress-relief mechanism.

Paleocon wrote:

As a non con goer and one unfamiliar with the rules surrounding the context, I, honestly, would not see anything offensive in someone saying to an attractive woman "wow, you're really pretty" -- especially if the woman put a huge amount of effort to construct a costume. To me, it would not be that different from saying the same to a woman dressed in a fancy ball gown at a New Year's party. And yes, I see a world of difference between that and speculating about that woman's sex life. One is a compliment. The other is being a dick. It just seems like there is a blurring of that line in the context specific to cosplay in which making the former comment is a step over the line.

A couple of thoughts:

* Context is still important. One compliment might be fine in isolation. But that can also be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back after a long day of constant compliments (or worse) from thousands of other people.
* Everyone is different and has their own thresholds for what's acceptable or not.
* Again, complimenting the person and not the craft first is probably not the right etiquette in general even if you're trying to be inoffensive.
* There's nothing inherently sexy in the current Lara Croft's getup. It's incredibly functional and isn't much different than the clothes people wear every day. I think that in the party example you provided the woman is dressing to impress and might be mentally prepared to receive compliments about her looks. I'd be surprised if most cosplayers (especially those who aren't dressing "sexy") are in that mindset when they hit the Con floor.

Jayhawker wrote:

And the hooking up fantasy is just a carry over from high school when we all thought everyone was getting laid but you. I drives a lot of kids to place an even higher priority on getting laid than even their hormones dictate. Most people grow up and stop viewing every gathering as a chance to get laid.

Paleocon wrote:

As a non con goer and one unfamiliar with the rules surrounding the context, I, honestly, would not see anything offensive in someone saying to an attractive woman "wow, you're really pretty" -- especially if the woman put a huge amount of effort to construct a costume.

In the case of saying "wow you're really pretty", you aren't commenting on the costume she worked so hard to make. You're commenting on her attractiveness, again making her hard work all about YOUR sexual interest in HER.

And what's offensive about you, unsolicited, informing an attractive woman that she is pretty? Everything -- starting with why the hell do you believe she ought to care what you think of her?

Complimenting a woman you don't know in a polite, respectful manner is not hard. In fact, it's as easy as not framing your compliment in terms of how much you do or do not want to f*ck her. When you do that, it's scary and rude and offensive, and that's the opposite effect of what you wanted to achieve, right?

Honestly, the amount of male entitlement in this thread is startling. Not everything in this world is about your dong.

shoptroll wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

As a non con goer and one unfamiliar with the rules surrounding the context, I, honestly, would not see anything offensive in someone saying to an attractive woman "wow, you're really pretty" -- especially if the woman put a huge amount of effort to construct a costume. To me, it would not be that different from saying the same to a woman dressed in a fancy ball gown at a New Year's party. And yes, I see a world of difference between that and speculating about that woman's sex life. One is a compliment. The other is being a dick. It just seems like there is a blurring of that line in the context specific to cosplay in which making the former comment is a step over the line.

A couple of thoughts:

* Context is still important. One compliment might be fine in isolation. But that can also be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back after a long day of constant compliments (or worse) from thousands of other people.
* Everyone is different and has their own thresholds for what's acceptable or not.
* Again, complimenting the person and not the craft first is probably not the right etiquette in general even if you're trying to be inoffensive.
* There's nothing inherently sexy in the current Lara Croft's getup. It's incredibly functional and isn't much different than the clothes people wear every day. I think that in the party example you provided the woman is dressing to impress and might be mentally prepared to receive compliments about her looks. I'd be surprised if most cosplayers (especially those who aren't dressing "sexy") are in that mindset when they hit the Con floor.

Jayhawker wrote:

And the hooking up fantasy is just a carry over from high school when we all thought everyone was getting laid but you. I drives a lot of kids to place an even higher priority on getting laid than even their hormones dictate. Most people grow up and stop viewing every gathering as a chance to get laid.

Before I broke my finger off (a year ago), I used to spend a lot of time in the gym. There, I got to meet a number of amateur and semi pro bodybuilders. When we weren't in the "don't fcuk with me" zone, we got to talking about the bb subculture and the cult of the body. It struck me then that, to a large extent, what they were living was a sort of "always on" cosplay.

I imagine that the social mores across the two subcommunities are not one-for-one, but a lot of what you folks are describing seems to translate pretty well into the bb subculture as well. You don't fcuk with a woman who is in the "don't fcuk with me" zone. If you want to talk with her, find an appropriate time when she isn't getting work done. The same, btw, applies equally to men except when they're doing d-bag crap like not putting weights away or doing curls in the squat rack.

In that subculture, it is entirely appropriate to compliment someone (male or female) on their legs or glutes or whatever, but expressing sexual interest is clearly a step over the line unless there is reason to believe you have that kind of relationship. After all, the body is the costume and a great deal of work goes into it.

Is this what we are looking at?

Brennil wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

My mind is boggled that the Felicia Day video is shown as an example of something good. If a journalist stands up and asks that question, he is fired.

If Felicia responds by asking for the guy to be removed, she risks the IHM's wrath.

That question is why my wife, while she enjoyed PAX with me, would never go alone. She told me that there are too many examples of guys not only being inappropriate, but absolutely no sense that she could trust the crowd to back her up.

I'm not sure if this was addressed at me. I did not bring up the Felicia Day question as something good. My question was should one defend the honor of a person that doesn't try to fight for themselves. I could go through youtube and find a hundred videos of girls being asked rude questions but obviously enjoying it. If one is going to fight for the honor of these cos players why not also talk to the women that do nothing or encourage the comments?

Don't mistake my question for a rejection or acceptance for what she did or a acceptance or rejection for the comments.

You used Felicia Day as an example of a woman who thought a crude comment was funny, and asked if since that was okay, why wasn't what the jerk from the blog said okay. I posted the video to show that Felicia Day was clearly not okay with the question and didn't think it was funny.

No I used felecia day comment as an example of a worst comment no one said anything about. And don't agree that Felecia found the comment all that rude because she laughed about it. Maybe she did though and also found it funny.

Know what my automatic, instinctual response is when I'm in a group of guys and someone makes a sexist comment? To laugh. Or smile. Not because I think it's funny or acceptable or because it doesn't make me feel like sh*t (it does) but because it also makes me feel unsafe. And I, as a woman, have been socialized that the appropriate response to feeling unsafe is to try to placate the person who is making me feel that way.

By "unsafe" I don't mean to say that I think this dude who just made a comment about someone's tits is about to rape me. But there's a real possibility that if I call attention to the fact that he's making me uncomfortable, there's going to be a confrontation and he's going to direct that hostility and aggression my way, because he has already demonstrated that he doesn't really see me as a person. This has happened to me and it is horrible. And there are very few situations in which I have ever felt that the company I am in would be wholeheartedly supportive of me. And, guys, I'm not just talking about at a con, where one is surrounded by strangers. This has happened to me in family gatherings, at parties full of people that I know and like, in workplaces.

Every single time someone says something that actively hurts me as a woman, I do a risk evaluation of the situation, a calculation of "how sh*tty do I feel letting this go" v.s. "do I have the emotional fortitude to weather the sh*tstorm I may call up by saying something." Every time.

So don't assume that because a woman laughed at whatever microaggression happened to fly at her head in any given moment that it was okay, or that she found it funny or acceptable.

This. so much. Multiple times a day where I work now. Of course generally it's not directed at me but that doesn't make it ok. It gets tiresome. And I would be the party-pooper to react the way I feel every time I hear it. I've resigned myself to ignore it whenever possible and when I'm forced to respond I do a quick analysis of how important it is to me and I either laugh it off (not a belly laugh, more a nervous low chuckle) or I react more how I really feel. Happened just this morning although it wasn't the usual female sexist remark. We just let a guy go this week and there were comments about him being in the closet. Verbatim "he once worked in a gay bar, you know he liked getting it in the butt once in a while". I was not part of the conversation and was trying to ignore them but then I was asked what I think about it. I told them I didn't have an opinion on the matter. I wanted to tell them I didn't think it was appropriate or funny and what he did or didn't do wasn't anyone's business, but I was not feeling brave. It's early in the day and I just want to get through the day and go home.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

As a non con goer and one unfamiliar with the rules surrounding the context, I, honestly, would not see anything offensive in someone saying to an attractive woman "wow, you're really pretty" -- especially if the woman put a huge amount of effort to construct a costume.

In the case of saying "wow you're really pretty", you aren't commenting on the costume she worked so hard to make. You're commenting on her attractiveness, again making her hard work all about YOUR sexual interest in HER.

And what's offensive about you, unsolicited, informing an attractive woman that she is pretty? Everything -- starting with why the hell do you believe she ought to care what you think of her?

Complimenting a woman you don't know in a polite, respectful manner is not hard. In fact, it's as easy as not framing your compliment in terms of how much you do or do not want to f*ck her. When you do that, it's scary and rude and offensive, and that's the opposite effect of what you wanted to achieve, right?

Honestly, the amount of male entitlement in this thread is startling. Not everything in this world is about your dong.

Whoa. Who said anything about expressing sexual interest? And no, this isn't about my dong or anyone elses for that matter.

Frankly, the idea that this is all about male entitlement is more than a little mystifying.

Paleocon wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

As a non con goer and one unfamiliar with the rules surrounding the context, I, honestly, would not see anything offensive in someone saying to an attractive woman "wow, you're really pretty" -- especially if the woman put a huge amount of effort to construct a costume.

In the case of saying "wow you're really pretty", you aren't commenting on the costume she worked so hard to make. You're commenting on her attractiveness, again making her hard work all about YOUR sexual interest in HER.

And what's offensive about you, unsolicited, informing an attractive woman that she is pretty? Everything -- starting with why the hell do you believe she ought to care what you think of her?

Complimenting a woman you don't know in a polite, respectful manner is not hard. In fact, it's as easy as not framing your compliment in terms of how much you do or do not want to f*ck her. When you do that, it's scary and rude and offensive, and that's the opposite effect of what you wanted to achieve, right?

Honestly, the amount of male entitlement in this thread is startling. Not everything in this world is about your dong.

Whoa. Who said anything about expressing sexual interest? And no, this isn't about my dong or anyone elses for that matter.

Frankly, the idea that this is all about male entitlement is more than a little mystifying.

I think there is a bit of a gray area around saying someone is pretty. Generally that has been a safe compliment in the past, and in most contexts assuming it was said in a non-threatening and non-expectation way I don't think it would bother me. But, it is just SO much better to give it some context. Like referring to the costume in cosplay, not the generic comment on being attractive. Or if you must be generic, "you look great!" rather than you look pretty. It can be uncomfortable getting "pretty" or other similar comments from complete strangers because you have no frame of reference to know what their end goal is. You don't know them, they don't know you, where is this going? I've responded to a random compliment by a small smile of acknowledgement, the bare minimum of acknowledgement, and had it followed up with an assumption that was an invitation to approach/harass/whatever. Or, ignored it and been called a bitch for it.

Paleocon wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

As a non con goer and one unfamiliar with the rules surrounding the context, I, honestly, would not see anything offensive in someone saying to an attractive woman "wow, you're really pretty" -- especially if the woman put a huge amount of effort to construct a costume.

In the case of saying "wow you're really pretty", you aren't commenting on the costume she worked so hard to make. You're commenting on her attractiveness, again making her hard work all about YOUR sexual interest in HER.

And what's offensive about you, unsolicited, informing an attractive woman that she is pretty? Everything -- starting with why the hell do you believe she ought to care what you think of her?

Complimenting a woman you don't know in a polite, respectful manner is not hard. In fact, it's as easy as not framing your compliment in terms of how much you do or do not want to f*ck her. When you do that, it's scary and rude and offensive, and that's the opposite effect of what you wanted to achieve, right?

Honestly, the amount of male entitlement in this thread is startling. Not everything in this world is about your dong.

Whoa. Who said anything about expressing sexual interest? And no, this isn't about my dong or anyone elses for that matter.

Frankly, the idea that this is all about male entitlement is more than a little mystifying.

Uh.... everyone else in this thread, pretty much. That's the entire discussion. A woman says she's not going to just sit there and take people making inappropriate advances and other expressions of a sexual nature to her anymore in a professional or public setting, and others here saying that they think it should be okay.

My wife attended this panel at PAX. Seemed relevant:
http://www.themarysue.com/pax-east-f...

Video's on Twitch, so it can't be embedded, but the relevant bit starts at about the 3 hour mark