Black Cat Cosplayers, Tea Partiers, Freedom Of Speech and Harassment
(Update 11.14.12: I've written a follow-up to this piece, as well as my other cosplay / geek girl pieces. Please check that out.)
IT'S THIS SIMPLE:
"Sexy" chick dressed as an overly-sexualized fetish-laden female superhero (complete with high levels of cleavage and booty-accencutaiton) drawn by socially-inept sexually-repressed men, going to a convention full of socially-inept sexually-repressed men, getting offended when those socially-inept sexually-repressed men act like socially-inept sexually-repressed men
IS THE SAME AS
Wearing a pro-Obama t-shirt to a public gathering of Tea Party supporters and getting offended when your politics are bashed and you are verbally harassed.
Do both people have a right to be there? Yep.
Do both people have a right to their opinion? Yep.
Do both people have legitimate complaints about the social fabric of the respective communities and their level of maturity and intelligence? Yep.
Do both situations suck? Yep.
Were both people fucking stupid to expect that this wouldn't happen? Yes, but only if they aren't mentally retarded.
It's that fucking simple. When you make a decision to make a statement in an environment where, before you even arrive, you know the reaction, and you make that statement anyway, you MUST accept the consequences. Freedom of speech is not freedom from concequence.
I'm not saying it's right, and I'm not saying it's fair. I'm saying it's reality. If you are strong enough to make a stand and take the abuse, wear a pro-Obama shirt into a Tea Party rally. If you aren't, let someone else do it. Same with being a beautiful women wearing an extremely form-fitting black leather/latex outfit accentuating and nearly showing her breasts into a convention full of men who LOVE breasts and are notorious for being socially awkward. There is a VAST difference between being harassed for being a female at a comic convention, and being sexualized and fetishized when you dress as a sexualized and fetishized character.
If you don't want to be eaten by lions, don't walk into a lion's den dressed in steak. You know better.
(And NO, this isn't the "she deserved to be raped" mentality. No one deserves that. See my points on the Tosh comments if you're not familiar with my prior writing, and if you are and you still try to make that connection, you're being willfully shitty just to make some stupid point I don't care about. So save it. You know the difference between "seen" and "touched" as well as I do.)