Here's what happened, summarized (You can get a full version here).
- And it basically goes on like that until, of course, Pegg is beaten into a shapeless lump crying out for mercy and forgiveness.
Okay. So. A couple weeks ago, I was invited to appear on a Star Wars-themed Epic Meal Time. It was shooting in less than a week, and I had a very limited amount of time to get a costume together. They requested Leia, and the only cosplay I had fast access to was Slave Leia… But I wanted to be Chewbacca. I took the risk and ordered a Chewbacca outfit several days before the shoot. Luckily it arrived on time. This is what I looked like:
- Why did I go with Chewbacca? Firstly, because I think Slave Leia is a bit too clichéd for my taste and I don't have a strong enough personal connection with the character to want to dress up as her. Secondly, because it's a Look-At-Me costume. And I'm all for being looked at, but I prefer my costumes to elicit a jaw-dropping, rather than a salivate-y, reaction. (Not that I'm necessarily capable of receiving either, but I typically strive for the former.)
Men are literally programmed to be turned on when they see a woman's body, and we as women know that there is always that risk when we show up in a costume like that. Princess Leia is famous in the cosplay community for being one of THE sexiest costumes… And girls dressing as her know it.
If Mr. Pegg had been negative about the cosplay, calling them "sluts" or saying they were ugly, there would have been a problem. But the truth is, men are going to feel a certain way, so are we attacking them for simply voicing how they actually feel? Is this really what it's come to? Should they be ashamed of the loin-stirring they experience when they see our boobies hoisted together with fashion tape?
I believe as women, we do need to strive for equality. In some places in this country we don't share the same rights as men (lower pay, control of our own bodies, harassment in the workplace). But to attack a man because he makes a silly hubba-hubba joke at twelve attractive half-naked women that are posing suggestively? Find more important things to get upset about. Actually, in my very controversial opinion, you might be setting women back with this kind of stuff- because people just get annoyed, build up a negative opinion of feminists, and their arguments become less effective.
Remember, not all women think the same way. Some women like to be looked at, take charge of their sexuality and use it to their advantage like the Leias in the photo. I don't fault them for that by any means (I actually quite encourage it!) but if they then turned around and yelled, "HOW DARE YOU LOOK AT ME, YOU PERVERTS," I would be confused and angry. That's like placing a bowl of food in front of a puppy and being outraged when the puppy wants to eat it. Puppies just like to eat.
When we see hot men in cosplay, don't we think, "DAMN. I LIKE THAT." Or is that just me? Does that make me a misandrist? I just don't understand where these lines are anymore. If we want equality, then we need to follow the golden rule. If you think men should keep their thoughts to themselves, then you certainly are not allowed to voice your opinion about ANYONE being sexy. Ever. Doesn't that seem kind of dramatic? That's because it kind of is.
Look, I know I'm throwing myself into the wolves' den, but that's the problem. Shouldn't this be a friendly, open discussion rather than a public stoning? I guess that's really my point. Instead of joining together to find a solution, everyone becomes polarized. We don't need to be jerks to get a point across, whatever the point is. That goes equally for Mr. Pegg… Don't stoke the fires just to stoke them. I know it's tempting, but that doesn't get us anywhere.
Finally, I specifically wrote this wrote this article to make the point that I don't want these ladies representing my own views as a female cosplayer... Not just because I feel they're fighting the wrong battles, but because of the way they fight them- tenaciously. And so, my final request of the lady warriors: If you're going to argue, argue for you. Don't speak for all of us.