There's recently been quite a bit of discussion about comic artist Tony Harris, who went on a rant about women going to cons to prey on poor helpless geek men, by wearing skimpy costumes (said costumes being reproductions of costumes designed by men for use in comic books). A lot has been said on this already. Fozmeadows broke down why it's sexist. Nick Mamatas has a collection of similarly lovely anti-women comments (including my favourite: "We are literally afraid women only go to cons to make fun of us" as though women have no hobbies other than laughing at geeky men*, and would gladly use up all their wages to do so.)
Tony Harris's defence was he meant male fakers too, and just didn't say so. I decided to take him at his word, and switch the male/female references. So, to all you cosplaying con-hot boys out there, here's his message:
I cant remember if Ive said this before, but Im gonna say it anyway. I dont give a crap.I appreciate a pretty Boy as much as the next Hetero Female. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff ( keeping the comments PG for my Gentlemens sake) but dammit, dammit, dammit I am so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Roosters. 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-Boy, 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 boys. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to boys, 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 girls 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 girls 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.
So boys, let that be a lesson to you. Keep your breasts covered and prepare to have the REAL nerds (women) quiz you on your obscure comic knowledge**. If you can't recite your character's origin story from six different reboots, leave the costume at home.
You may also want to bring a measuring tape, so women can determine if your breasts are BIG or GREAT. If they're only big, you should fully expect women to stay away from you and move away in the restaurant like you have the plague. Your breasts just aren't as good as women's, so they don't want them too close.
Finally, what were you thinking, showing your appreciation of comics at a comics convention?! You just hate all the people who do the REAL work in the industry!!!
* Though if you hold these attitudes, women will be laughing at you, but not because you're a geek. And not because they're all-powerful stomping on you as a victim. At the end of the day, Tony still has a job that few women get to have, because it's an industry that discourages women. When women make jokes about this, it's laughing at the bully, because there's nothing else to really do about it.
** This cartoon by Meg / sailorswayze sums it up perfectly.
# The general point being, you can't write a highly genderised criticism and then claim it wasn't about women really.