Im reading the Simon Pegg twitter disaster from last night. And I just…
Ok, wait a minute. He called a bunch of Leia Slave cosplay hot on on his twitter.
Then got a whole bunch of tweets for being a sexist asshole.
The slave Leia outfit. The SLAVE….
I think chosing a costume tells a lot about how you feel about yourself and how you want people to look at you. Sure, chosing to cosplay a villain doesn’t mean you want to be treated as such, but those girls didn’t just chose a character, they chose a specific outfit that actually doesn’t give the character justice. Leila is a badass and not a sexual object, but chosing to cosplay her in her slave outfit is maybe a sign that you kinda see yourself in a certain way. We as women are responsible too for beeing treated as things if we portray ourselves as just pretty objects. All those Leila cosplayers and Lady Loki and Power girl, they’re relying on their body and their sexuality, some (most) of them even have breast implants, and then we are what, shocked and disappointed because men comment about their appereance?
1) It’s Leia, not Leila.
2) LIKE. I. SAID. Maybe those girls in the picture have a thing for metallic bikinis. Maybe they did it because they’re trying to make some sort of statement (about women & misogyny, about objectification, about fashion, about slavery, about bravery, about what the fuck ever). Maybe they reeeeeeeeeally love Star Wars and it’s just a damn costume. Maybe it makes them feel sexy and screw how anyone else feels about it because they’re allowed to wear what makes them happy, despite the problematic back-story, without being made to feel less than human because of it. Maybe it’s none of the above. We can’t know because we haven’t asked them. TL;DR - you are not a mind reader and cannot declare/assign motives to any of the women who wore the costume, period.
3) If you think that we, as women, are burdened with the task of constantly proving to the world that we are human and should be treated as such when and only when we meet this burden of proof, rather than inherently deserving of respect as human beings no matter what we wear, then you have internalized misogyny, slut-shaming, and victim-blaming to the point that I don’t know how we can relate at all.
4) I’m not shocked & disappointed when someone finds someone else attractive. I’m shocked & disappointed when someone like Simon Pegg, a highly visible and privileged cis white het dude, thinks he can make comments which paint all female cosplayers as nothing more than pretty decorations, and thinks he can drool over them like someone would drool over food, and thinks there’s nothing inappropriate about referring to those hurt by his objectification of all female cosplayers as “crazy humorless militant animals,” and thinks he doesn’t have to apologize for his actions because he didn’t mean to be offensive (which ignores the fact that intent is not magic).
5) Because this bears repeating - you are not a mind reader. Saying “all these women must see themselves as objects and must want the world to see them in the same light” is an assumption, and a pretty disgusting one at that. The fact that your mind fails to conceive of any other explanations is extremely disturbing.
6) Here’s the bottom line. Claiming that women dressed in “sexy” costumes must want the world to treat them as inhuman is just another way of saying “they’re asking for it.” I am angered to the point of pain that so many people are unaware of the simple truth that victim-blaming is hateful, backwards bullshit. We are not responsible for other people’s actions, regardless of what we wear. We do not make others treat us like things just because they fancy themselves mind readers and assume our clothing is an open invitation to demean and dehumanize us. We don’t make them think, feel, or do anything. They are responsible for their own thoughts, feelings & actions. Clothing, no matter what it physically reveals and no matter what others may think it implies, is neither a solicitation nor blanket consent for others to shame, objectify, &/or disregard the humanity of the person wearing it.