The "Cosplay Is Not Consent" Movement Highlights Real-Life Heroes & Villains — VIDEO
Since Halloween has come and gone, I thought this would be as good a time as any to delve into a topic all we ghoulish holiday-loving peeps can understand: costumes. But this isn't about which pop culture costume was most witty or the best executed on that day. No, this is much more pointed and important. A Lifetime Fempire video called "Cosplay Is Not Consent" highlights the titular issue at New York Comic-Con, and it's something that literally everyone — regardless of gender or Comic-Con participation — needs to know about. Even though Halloween is only one day a year and Comic-Con is only one weekend a year, consent is something that's important always and forever.
What is the "Cosplay Is Not Consent" movement exactly? Well, the superheroes interviewed in this video give us a better understanding. As a Ghostbuster states, there are many "sexy superheroes" in comic lore, which, for some unknown reason, has some other cosplayers thinking that they have a license to then treat their fellow dressed up superheros as objects. You know, by way of inappropriate and unwanted touching, ogling, and all of the very disconcerting behavior that comes along with it.
This is detailed on a sign that expresses the consent campaign's "Anti-Harassment Policy" in big, bold letters:
The main sticking point in this video is that there is nothing wrong with being sexy or sensual or dressing in whatever way you want to express yourself. The fault lies only with those who see the costume as a degradation, which allows them to treat "sexy" cosplayers (and non-sexy cosplayers alike) as less than human. The fact of the matter is that these real-life superheroes refuse to let other people dictate how they live. They maintain that they'll dress how they want, but the "Cosplay Is Not Consent" campaign acts as their trusty sidekick, ensuring that their agency and respect isn't encroached upon by a villain disguised in a superhero's clothes.
As one self-aware and bad ass cosplayer proclaims of the movement, "I love seeing the signs everywhere and knowing that if someone makes me feel uncomfortable, I can say 'no' and people have my back." There's definite strength in numbers, and even the most heroic of costumed capers need a helping hand sometimes — especially when it comes to defeating archaic and misogynistic social norms.