Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cosplay and Cons and Certain Bad Behavior

From MidSouthCon 32.

I'm giving you guys a break from steampunk ghostbuster pics this weekend. I'm still working on the rig, sure, but the changes have been subtle and the number one rule of blogging is 'Don't bore your audience.'

So I'll post pics when significant progress has been made.

Also from last year's Con.
I did mention that this year's MidSouthCon will mark my entry into the world of cosplay, as I'll be attending in full Victorian steampunk regalia. I'm looking forward to it, largely because I'm a big believer in never acting one's age, but also because the people I've seen engaging in cosplay always seemed to be having fun.

But as I started reading about cosplay at cons, another side of the experience was revealed to me, and it's not a pretty side, either.

Yes, I'm talking about the awful treatment some female cosplayers endure at Cons.

I must be pretty naive. I always thought of SF/fantasy cons as safe places, where intelligent, imaginative people gather to celebrate the art and literature for which they share a love. That's what I've seen, in the four or five years I've been attending MidSouthCon.

But sadly, that's not everyone's experience. I read a lot of accounts by cosplayers (female, almost exclusively) who were groped, insulted, stalked, mocked, or even assaulted because of their costumes. No, not at MidSouthCon, let me make that clear. I haven't read of anyone being troubled there.

Let me just say this to my male counterparts who will be attending the Con. I know most of you are upright gentlemen, who wouldn't dream of grabbing a woman simply because she's in costume.

So it's up to us -- all of us -- to keep an eye out for the few among us who might stoop to such bestial behavior.

We men can all help. Don't laugh at crude remarks. Don't encourage lewd conversations. Make it known that you neither condone nor tolerate such things. If we, the menfolk, can establish an air of civility, we've eliminated at least one aspect of the environment that fosters bad behavior.

Yeah, okay, I sound like I'm preaching. Maybe I am, a little bit. But I believe I'll find a lot of support among men, especially if enough of us come forward and say out loud 'We don't want this behavior in our ranks, and we won't tolerate it, either.'

I know this attitude is shared by all the men I've met at MidSouthCon. And I'm proud of that.

So, fellow gentlemen of cons and cosplay, let be vigilant. As my cosplay character Artemis Watson would say, "There should be no room among gentlemen for crudity against ladies, and no tolerance for those who would practice it."

Good day.


  1. Thanks for this post--much appreciated!

  2. I'm proud to be a fan of yours, Frank. Not only do you write excellent books; you are a first class person as well.

  3. What a guy, Frank. That was a lovely post.