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Misogyny In The Geek World: What Is It Like To Be A Cosplay Woman?

Sexualization, questioning of capacity and secondary representations dependents on men,  these are characteristics of a misogynist society.  In the geek universe is not different, where women are constantly questioned. Often, misogyny is not wide open in this world,  but rooted. With Cris Fernandes, 37 years old, a teacher, cosplayer and lover of the geek world isn’t different.

Subduing “how much” geeky is a woman

For Cris one the worst thing that happens to a woman geek is the charge made by men, questioning women about their knowledge about the universe and making them prove that they are fans of something. “We are always asked to prove that we are real geeks, and if I don’t know something specific about some character that doesn’t make me less or more fan of the character”, affirms.

The absence of female representations

Stories of superheroes, with science, technologies, aliens, action, struggles and violence for a long time was considered -and still is- as something made for men and not for women. This sexist thought makes many women be judged and questioned for liking these stories and for being passionate about the geek world. There are a small number of female heroines in cinema. Also the sexualization of female characters in games, comics, anime, among others. Cris since she was little has been in love with Japanese TV shows, but she only started to feel this judgment in her youth.

Misogyny also made the role of many female characters dependent on a man or constructed them in a sexualized way. Then, the representation of female heroines is growing and changing in the cinematographic world, like in the movies of Stars Wars, Marvel and DC and others. However this change happens little by little. It is worth remembering that the representations of superheroine women are few. But black women or other ethnic groups are even less present in the geek world, as well as in other areas.

According to Cris, when the movie is starring strong women who are independent of men, the criticism of the male audience tends to be negative, and we can see that in movies like “Birds of Prey” and “Captain Marvel”.“ We realized the less the female characters are sexualized, the worse is the reception of the male audience, especially when they are the protagonists”, says.

Objectification of the cosplay woman

As a cosplayer, Cris Fernandes, she affirms that the objectification of the cosplayer woman is common. She feels that when a cosplay is more low-cut, more sensual, the photos end up having more engagement from the male geek audience, showing the objectification is not only with the female characters, but also of the female cosplayers.

But Cris thinks the men can help to change that and support the fight against gender equality within the geek universe. For her, they have to transform their comportements. “Stop making us prove ourselves all the time”.”Stop waiting for heroines to always be sexualized and start enjoying heroines for the same reason that you appreciate heroes, for their courage, bravery, altruism and honor “, says.

She  also believes that it is very important to respect and not objectify female cosplayers. Cris believes that is really necessary that men listen to what women have to say, “listen to us a little more”, and that is valuable to any other subject.

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The article above was edited by Camila Nascimento.

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Maria Luiza Dantas

Casper Libero '23

Love writing, reading, music, movies.
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