Buzzfeed has this article about worst lewd comments female cosplayers have allegedly received from male nerds. Their examples were kind of weak, such as:
- “Hehehehehehe…” – This was guy who was just laughing.
- “I always go with my husband so I never had an issue.” – This woman has never had a problem by their own admission.
- “I’ve only been inside you for like 900 years.”
— 10th Doctor [cosplayer] when I cosplayed the TARDIS at MCM Expo 2011.
With that last one, it’s important to explain the context. On the TV show, Doctor Who, the main character, The Doctor, is an alien who has this vehicle called the Tardis that travels through time and space. However, due to faulty circuits it looks like an old British police telephone box. It’s something of a character in the show, but since it is a vehicle, people actually go inside of it so it isn’t a lewd comment.
Already, this article has problems. Beyond that the male nerds who allegedly made lewd comments aren’t around to defend themselves. However, that’s not the biggest problem. When it comes to this sort of thing, whether a woman is receptive to these types of comments or not depends on the man saying them. These women were cosplaying at conventions filled with unattractive male nerds. If hot guys said that same things to them, they would be fine with it. It’s like the Saturday Night Live sexual harassment skit where the only way to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit is to “be handsome, be attractive, don’t be unattractive”. It’s the same principle.
These women who are cosplaying are also dressing up in sexy costumes and shoving it in the face of the unattractive male nerds at these conventions. They’re intentionally engaging in attention whoring and then complaining about it. However, it’s worse than that. What these women are doing is going on fishing expeditions.
A fishing expedition is a legal term where a lawyer tries to gain information outside of the relevant bounds of a case. Often, a fishing expedition happens when a lawyer has a weak case and is trying to search for unrelated incriminating information. It also can be used as a method to attempt to prejudice a jury even if there is no incriminating information, whether related to the case or not. Fishing expeditions are considered dubious from a perspective of legal ethics.
Since these women are cosplaying at conventions with lots of unattractive male nerds, anything the male nerds say or do will be interpreted negatively since they’re unattractive. That could include something as simple as saying hi to these women or even just looking at these women without interacting with them. These women have a weak case that they’re actually being harassed by male nerds at conventions so they’re effectively on fishing expeditions to try an incriminate male nerds. They are trying to provoke reactions from male nerds (which can be and are likely completely innocent) and use those reactions to incriminate male nerds, similar to a legal fishing expedition. A legal fishing expedition is unethical and what these women are doing is also unethical for the same reason. And that’s true even if one of these fishing expeditions turns up a male nerd who is legitimately acting inappropriately, just as it would be true if a legal fishing expedition turns up evidence of a crime being committed.