That One Time I Missed Something On The Innerwebs
Hello, Bleeding Cool, how ya been? So guess what!?! The whole “Tony Harris has a meltdown about non-geeky girls cosplaying” thing completely passed me by this week.
It was my birthday this week, I was too busy eating cake, drinking whisky and making out with a hot British boy to pay attention to the Internet. What can I say?
It would seem that our fearless leader did an admirable job taking up the slack in writing the “official outraged response” from Bleeding Cool. Who knew Rich Johnston was a feminist?
As Gail Simone has officially declared an cease fire between camps Harris and Pantozzi (a treaty was signed at the first annual “Cosplay Appreciation Day” ball on Friday) I’m not going to bore you with my two cents about the remarkably stupid comments that Tony Harris made on Facebook.
Nor am I going to jump to the defense of my girl Jill’s disgusted response.
This is because I know that in a few days, a week or maybe as far out from now as a month from now that another situation exactly like this one will transpire and I can save my outrage and ire for then.
Think about it, in a little over two years that I’ve been writing for Bleeding Cool, I’ve written an outraged article about this exact topic one, two, three times… And, once over on GeekNation just for good measure.
And, to be frank – I’m a little exhausted by it.
Don’t be mistaken – I’m pretty disgusted by Tony Harris’ remarks. Further, I pretty much agree with everything that Jill and the other women on the Internets have said about his comments. The remarks were sexist and displayed an angry misogyny that is disturbing.
Regardless of the comic industry’s general outrage with Tony Harris, he doesn’t seem to be backing down or reconsidering the politic of what he’s said.
This makes it seem pointless to try to appeal to his reason; so I’m not going to. To do so would be like banging my head against a brick, noting it hurt, doing it again and then blaming the brick wall for my continued headache.
What this entire kerfuffle comes down to – what all kerfuffles of this type come down to, essentially – is that there is some serious “geek gate keeping” going on in the geek subculture. Fuck if I understand it, honestly, it is stupid and pointless. Who cares if girls who don’t know anything about comics want to dress up in slutty costumes and go to comic cons to get attention?
As John Scalzi points out in this blog post, “poser” cosplayers do not harm anyone, nor do they devalue the “legit” cosplayers or fans investments in comics culture.
In fact, the mainstreaming of comics and geek ephemera is a good thing. As my eloquent friend, Adam P. Knave said on his blog:
“If you like something, if you truly enjoy it and want it to live, you want it to grow bigger. And that means more people looking at it. I don’t care if you somehow feel special because it is this little unknown thing in a closet just for you and your friends. That’s the way this shit dies early, by being kept hidden away. So – choose – do you want it to thrive or want it to fail? And if the answer is thrive then grow up!”
Who the fuck cares if they don’t know that Zatanna was childhood friends with Batman and dated John Constantine and the Flash? Who cares if the only reason they want to dress up as her is because they think that their legs look awesome in fishnets? Who cares if they then use those legs to hook up with some unsuspecting fanboy (or pro – let’s not lie, I’ve seen a number of pro dudes in the elevator on their way up to their room with ditzy-non geek girls in costume that they met at Bar Con hanging off their arms)?
It’s kind of like when middle class white guys grow dreadlocks, smoke weed and talk about Jah… yeah, it’s pretty stupid and annoying, but as it doesn’t hurt me, WHO THE FUCK CARES?
These people -whether their fandom is deep and unending or merely part of a fad they’ll forget about in a year or two – are the consumers of our community. They spend thousands of thousands of dollars each year buying comics, DVDs, con passes, hotel rooms, t-shirts, toys, board games, fishnet tights and other geek ephemera. This essentially keeps the comic industry afloat and allow professionals such as Tony Harris to have work.
That’s right, poser-con-hot-faker-cosplaying non-geek girls keep you in a job, Tony Harris.
And, whereas I’m exhausted by idiot geek gate keepers (male or female) I am also exhausted by those who insist on taking ignorant remarks (such as those that Harris made) and turning them into week-upon-week of Internet drama.
You know the formula –
Geeky Dude Says Something Stupid and Sexist + Geeky Chick Gets Outraged and Fires Back = White Knights Take Up Both Sides and Internet War Ensues + Inevitable Career Threatening Boycott Threat Happens = Gail Simone Has to Write Another Geek Treaty = We End Up With Another Stupid Geek Holiday
And, really – Another Stupid Geek Holiday is just another reason for people to cosplay and it’s likely that at least one of them will be deemed “not geeky enough” and that will just start this whole argument all over again.
It’s the never ending story.
When it comes down to it – I feel like if you want to rock out with your cock out in a slutty costume at a comic con – male or female – it’s your absolute right to do that. And, unless you’re in some way causing substantial and tangible harm to another person, I have no right to judge you. And, if you want to claim yourself as a geek (yet are not as geeky as me) that’s cool, too – it’s just an opportunity for me to share my love of geek stuff with you and show you cool new things. I’m glad you’re here, keep buying comics, keep going to cons – Mama wants her paycheck, damn it!
Whether you are rabid can cite Zatanna’s origin back to 1964 fangirl, casual I own a few trades and think I look like Zatanna fangirl or I just want a geek sugar daddy and am not afraid to don some fishnet tights and a top hat to get one fangirl – you’re all welcome as far as I’m concerned.
I will end this rambling rant of a column with a passage of dialog from from the Book of Mean Girls, written by Our Geek Girl Lord and Savior, Tina Fey:
Crying Girl: I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school… I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy…
Damian: She doesn’t even go here!
Ms. Norbury: Do you even go to this school?
Crying Girl: No… I just have a lot of feelings.
*Stolen blatantly from Gail Simone’s Twitter feed on Saturday, November 17.
Photo of Marian Hawke, winner of Thought Bubble’s cosplay competition last weekend.