Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On Simon Pegg and cosplayers

Simon Pegg, someone who I very much admire, tweeted a link to a picture of lots of people cosplaying Princess Leia saying

"Also, I've got a thing about cosplay girls. They're like zombie stormtroopers, a glorious combination of beloved things. #SDCC"
and
"*makes noise like Homer Simpson thinking of donuts* twitpic.com/a8myof"

@cnstoker was bothered by this and responded to him on twitter about it.  He replied that he found this boring and referred to her tweets as 'late '90s political correctness'.

You can read the exchange, with some more input from @cnstoker, here.


The first place I saw it was in this tweet:

Turns out @simonpegg can be a bit of an unenlightened jerk > storify.com/cnstoker/cospl… (IMO similar to gizmodo.com/5915473/asus-h…)

    — Emma Jenkin (@indeedemma) July 17, 2012


Which she goes on to explain a bit more here.



I think that @indeedemma was possibly going a bit far with her original choice of words, but then, she agrees with that herself.

I think that @cnstoker started off confrontational, instead of trying to open a discussion.  She assumed that by appreciating how sexy these women looked, he was assuming that they weren't real geeks.  In fact, his tweet about them combining beloved things implies to me that he was appreciating them for their geekiness as well as the way they looked.

But I can see where both of them are coming from.


I think that he should have been more wary before comparing the attraction he felt towards these women to the desire for food in front of his literal millions of followers.  I think that he shouldn't assume that all people who dress in sexy cosplay actively want to be sexualised.  And I think that before dismissing the reaction of someone who does not have a privilege* that he does have as 'boring' or 'political correctness**', he should consider that his privilege may be making it hard for him to see their point of view clearly.  I hope, maybe, he's learned some of that from this.


I also think that people who attacked @cnstoker and @indeedemma on twitter as a result of this are twits.  There are too many twits on the internet, but that's a subject for another post.



* I've encountered the problem before where 'having a privilege' is meant and/or taken as an insult, rather like 'being entitled'.  That's not what I mean here.  No one can help having a particular priviledge.  Priviledge isn't a problem, it's how you deal with it that can be.
**  For the record, wikipedia confirms my impression that by the '90s, political correctness was mostly a 'pejorative term by the political right', rather than actually something anyone would aspire to.  There is a huge difference between objecting to people saying things that will offend a lot of people, and wanting people to say, or not say, particularly things in some arbitrary fashion.

5 comments:

  1. I think he saw a (photo of a) bunch of cosplayers dressed as a charachter from one of his favourite movie series of all time (this is @simonpegg, like) - and not only that, but dressed as "Leia as slavegirl" - one of the most iconic "sexy" images of the early 80s. And hey - they're posing for a photo. They are not shy, retiring wallflowers who inadvertently stumbled by mistake into somewhere they weren't supposed to be. (Like the bemused-looking Trekker in the top right of the photo...)

    They look... hot. More fully - they look like hot, sexy geeks enjoying themselves at one of the geek Meccas of the world.

    Mr Pegg would appear to agree. I would imagine the cosplayers would take the comment/compliment, call it as you you will, as it was meant - it certainly didn't come across as creepy or sleazy. (Or anything like the Gizmodo/Asus comment!)

    Actually, I wonder if anyone has bothered actually asking the cosplayers themselves?

    (And I generally don't find references to genitalia offensive, be they female or male).

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  2. Calling someone a twat in a pejorative sense is the same as calling someone a cunt. I mean, it doesn't have the same level of taboo, but I object to it for the same reason. A vulva is not a horrible thing, so please don't use slang-words that mean vulva to express your distaste.

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    Replies
    1. In the US it actually has a higher level of taboo, or so I'm told.

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  3. Calling someone a twat in a pejorative sense is the same as calling someone a cunt. I mean, it doesn't have the same level of taboo, but I object to it for the same reason. A vulva is not a horrible thing, so please don't use slang-words that mean vulva to express your distaste.

    ReplyDelete