Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fast Thoughts On "The Progressive Effort To Ban Booth Babes And Sexy Cosplay"

I'm not going to link to the article that inspired this. I refuse to give them any more traffic.  If your Google-Fu is strong, you should be able to find it easily enough.

Suffice it to say, there's a conspiracy theory going around about a progressive women's effort to ban booth babes from major conventions and how this is the opening salvo before banning sexy cosplay and professional cosplayers who sell pin-up style pictures of themselves at conventions.  The evidence that this is happening?  PAX's ban on booth babes!

Personally,  I find it hilarious that Penny Arcade Expo is being accused of "social justice warrioring" given that the con is run by the same people responsible for The Dick Wolves Fiasco. And I also find it hilarious that - based on the comments I've seen on this issue - most of the people in favor of the booth-babe ban are the same people who support Gamergate.  Not the dreaded feminists or comic book girls!

The honest truth is that every time the topic of banning booth babes or sexy cosplay from conventions has come up before, the movement was always driven by conservative elements. From Pat Broderick's claims that "cosplay are just selfies in costume" to Tony Harris' complaints about cosplaying women preying upon innocent young men, women are always blamed for tarting up the noble and innocent world of comic books.  Never mind that Wizard World sells booth space to strip-clubs...

The sad truth is that sex sells. This is true throughout Western culture and is not limited to the fandom arena. This is why we have cheerleaders at sporting events and why there is a whole sub-category of restaurants devoted toward the female wait-staff wearing very little clothing.

And while I take personal offense to the idea that I can be persuaded to buy anything just by flashing a little cleavage, I refuse to believe that the sudden push to remove booth babes and sexy women from conventions is being driven by angry feminists.  Not when feminist comic writers like Gail Simone and Kelly Sue DeConnick routinely repost cosplay pictures on their Twitter accounts and ask fans to send in pictures of themselves dressed like the characters from their books. Nor when there are companies like Charisma Plus Two, who procure genre-savvy models for those who need one.

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