So, I had an extremely fun and amazing time at this past weekend’s Wizard World Con… However something occurred to me that is actually quite upsetting if you think about it. Cosplay is an amazing avenue for fans to display their love for the different fandoms that exist, but the dark under current of sexism that is plagued by the nerd community really reared its ugly head these past few days. The abundant number of women who wear basically floss and a bikini and pass it off as a costume are really kind of dangerously toeing the line between actual fandom and a narcissistic need to show off their wares. It’s sad that women who wear very inventive and original pieces are sadly overshadowed by those who put no thought or creativity into what they wear.
The amount of scantily clad Harley Quinn costumes and various other anime girls was staggering to say the least. And I feel like this has become somewhat of an unfair benchmark for which you’re judged on. Just because you expose the maximum amount of skin in the most generic costumes possible doesn’t mean you’re a nerd. Dudes are at fault to, In fact probably more so than the harpies dressing this way.
Men so deeply entrenched in this culture sometimes fail to separate the fantasy from reality and ruin a good time for the rest of us. It’s okay to be deeply passionate for whatever your fandom is, but try to recognize that it’s all just fantasy. It’s all about fun and freedom of expression and being able to show your peers what matters to you. So why take that away from anyone just because they’re not the same gender as you? Female nerds have it really hard within this community because some men say they want a nerdy girlfriend or life partner but in actuality just want some fake plastic and processed women to dress just this side of naked. Somehow this has become a somewhat representation of what a nerd girl should be. And it’s very very wrong and unfair. In an age where nerd life has gone from being a devout subculture to mainstream, we need to be showing people that were above the hateful rhetoric that is present everywhere else in life. No one is any more or any less a nerd just because they’re female.
Take my wife for example. She is without a doubt not only the most beautiful woman I have ever met, but a bigger nerd than anyone I have ever met(myself included). She’s been to more conventions, has more nerdy apparel, and is into so much cool shit that I’ve never even heard of. Watching her get excited over all the stuff we saw this weekend really warmed my heart. She’s really taught me so much and opened my nerd world up in such a profound way I could never even begin to repay her.
She is the kindest and most accepting soul there has ever been, and yet she still has to fight an uphill battle of acceptance in a community that is founded on that very principle. Where did we go wrong? Nerd culture is supposed to be this welcoming with open arms community and yet within our own walls a surprising amount of segregation and body shaming and discrimination still takes place. She could probably school everyone on the convention floor with the amount of knowledge she has and yet people still look at her as someone of less stature. Some asshole even asked her if this was her first convention while I was standing right next to her without even asking me. While I get that it might’ve have been an innocent mistake, still.. just because I’m a dude doesn’t mean that I’m more of a veteran at this sort of thing than anyone else.
I love being a nerd to my core. It fills me with happiness on days I’m not so thrilled to be alive. But moments like I just described coupled with the attention seeking very sluttily dressed Harley’s that aren’t nerds but are just trying to grab attention from as many people possible are really embarrassing to be associated with. Wake up people! We should be propping each other up and endorsing that kind of passion in others as well. Whether it’s anime, gaming, comic books, TV shows, etc… Nerd used to be something to be proud of. We used to stand apart from the rest of the world as a group of people that didn’t care about the color of your skin or your gender. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, were all nerds… We all have passions… We are all ultimately in this together… So let’s just start acting like damn decent people for once