Research Paper Example on Using Media on 'Cosplay is NOT Consent' Movement

Published: 2021-08-18 04:14:33
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George Washington University
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Research paper
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The 'Cosplay is NOT Consent' Movement fights sexual harassment of cosplayers; whereby, a cosplayer is one who puts on costumes that are similar to the attires that characters in movies and video games wear. Sometimes, cosplayers wear some revealing attires; hence, people tend to harass them through various actions, such as stalking, offensive verbal comments, non-consensual photography or video recording, unwelcome physical attention, intimidation, and inappropriate physical contact (Edwards; Thayer). Arguably, perpetrators of that kind of a crime imagine that by the cosplayers looking attractive in the costumes, they are willing to engage in erotic activities even without necessarily saying so. However, the movement comes in to dispute that notion; it stresses on the fact that participating in cosplay has nothing to do with one's consent in engaging in sexual behaviors. In a bid to achieve its objectives, the movement has used social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and those platforms have seen a wide range of people participate in the 'Cosplay is Not Consent' Program.

Looking at the history of the movement, it began following the rampant harassment of cosplayers. The words Cosplay is NOT Consent were first used in 2015 at the New York Comic Con, and they led to the start of the program (Edwards). According to Janella Asselins report, close to 10000 cosplayers suffered sexual harassment in a single event (Edwards). Noteworthy, the many cases that cosplayer victims of sexual assault reported include a wide range of criminals, such as teens, photographers, and many more, who come from different countries and harass the victims in various ways (Bateman). Resultantly, the Cosplay is NOT Consent association came as a reaction from both the cosplayers and their fans who felt that the cases of harassment of cosplayers were escalating and there was the need to stop criminals from infringing on the rights of the models (Bateman; Edwards). Indisputably, the cases of sexual harassment in cosplay events necessitated the beginning of the movement.

It is worth mentioning that the champions of the movement spread it through numerous channels, but no central body is in charge of the worldwide movement. According to Skyler, different associations have their policies that seek to ensure zero-tolerance to cosplayer-harassment (Thayer). However, the use of social media to hold the Cosplay is NOT Consent campaigns creates a sense of unison among the many groups that run the movement. It no longer seems like a platform for setting the dos and the donts, but rather, a campaign aimed at reminding people to show respect to others (Thayer). Social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, website blogs, and LinkedIn, among others have seen to it that people make crucial contributions towards the campaigns against assuming that cosplay is consent.

First, thanks to social media, people can now report cases of harassment against cosplayers; thus, they create awareness to authorities. Tera Edwards, Liam Bateman, and Skyler Thayer, for instance, use their blog posts on the Greeks, Insider, and Great South Bay Magazine, respectively, to sensitize people on the cases of sexual assault on cosplayers. The trio, collectively, elaborates the concept of harassment of cosplayers, which include the numerous factors as outlined in the introductory paragraph. What is more, they report the prevalence of such crimes in cosplay events; for instance, Tara is very keen on numbers (Edwards). Elsewhere, the bloggers reveal the crime groups, which according to Bateman, include the youths and photographers. Finally, they address the spread of the crime, and they state that assault of cosplayers occurs in many countries across the globe (Bateman). Therefore, it is true to conclude that social media has given a conducive platform where people can report cases of sexual assault on the cosplayers.

Aside from that, Facebook has enabled the movement to open a page where its members and the public talk about matters regarding their theme (Facebook). Through that page, the organization gives information about its planned activities; for instance, a post of 20th November 2017 reads, We've started collaborating officially with conventions around the world to create a list of Safe conventions. Shows that offer protection and policies regarding harassment and improper behavior (Facebook). That only seeks to tell the members about the planned activity. What is more, the movement uses the page to assess its success; for example, it asks followers how the organization has assisted them throughout their years of practice (Facebook). Further, it acts as a factor for uniformity among the various cons across the globe; for example, it is through the page that the society shares the zero-tolerance policies of different association (Facebook). Confidently, social media, and Facebook, in particular, has enabled people to participate in the Cosplay Is NOT Consent movement by giving them access to information about the activities of the campaign.

What is more, through social platforms, the cosplayers can air their grievances to the public, and remind them that engaging in cosplay should not attract any sexual contact. Thanks to Twitter, one cosplayer confronted fellow cosplayers who they accuse of having assaulted them in an event (Twitter). Further, the complainant received comments on her post that further helped to reinforce her message; for instance, Nostalgiaverses reaction to the post reads, Yes, this is an older article, but the point still remains an issue. Cosplay does not mean consent, and neither (Twitter). Besides, it is on the same Twitter that another cosplayer exposed a purported criminal for leaking players photos to the public, and his Tweet reads, , but the truth is he's still a huge force in causing harassment and leaking nudes of cosplayers and him pretending he's a protector of hurt cosplayers is a joke (Twitter). Through such posts, the cosplayers, themselves, show their seriousness in the pursuit of their right to privacy and freedom from assault. Therefore, the contribution of social media through giving the victims of harassment a voice is quite appreciatable.

It would not go without acknowledging the fact that social media also enables the public to air their views on and criticize the movement, thereby, making it more efficient. For example, the Tweet, , but the truth is he's still a huge force in causing harassment and leaking nudes of cosplayers and him pretending he's a protector of hurt cosplayers is a joke reminds the movement to be more cautious about its champions (Twitter). According to the owner of the Twitter account, there are moles within the movement; hence, the administration should be cautious about the people it involves if it wants to succeed. What is more, Bart Lidofsky, in his Facebook post of 23rd November 2017 says, create a code for photographers, and sell badges, "I promise to abide the "Cosplay Is Not Consent" Photographer's Code!" (Facebook). That is a suggestion to the movement that the latter could employ to make itself more useful, thanks to the social media, the concerned follower of the page aired his view. Noteworthy, those many criticisms and suggestions aired through social platforms enhance quality in the system; thus, they are a sign of the peoples participation in the running of the movement.

Having discussed the history of and use of social media in the Cosplay Is NOT Consent movement, all indicators show that platforms for interaction have played an integral role in materializing the goal of the campaign by facilitating the participation of many people. One cannot forget to appreciate the fact that even this paper draws its set of facts from the social platforms such as Tweeter, Facebook, and blog posts, among others. History shows that the movement sprang separately in different cons, and social media helped to coordinate the various associations. Throughout the years, it has provided a central platform where people air their views, share the zero-tolerance to harassment rules in various cons, and inform people of any cases of assault. Resultantly, social media has been a tool for improving the Cosplay Is NOT Consent movement as criticisms and suggestions from the public enable the campaign to intensify its activities. Besides, the movements Facebook page has been a good source of information for members; it has informed people of the movements progress throughout the years that it has been operational. In other words, the impact of social platforms on the operations of the movement has been positive, and thus, social medias contribution to the success of the initiative.

Works Cited

Thayer, Skyler. Cosplay Is Not Consent. Great South Bay Magazine, Nina Algeri, 2 Oct. 2017,

Cosplay Is NOT Consent. Facebook,

Cosplay+Is+Not+Consent - Twitter Search. Twitter, Twitter, 23 Nov. 2017,

Bateman, Liam. Cosplay Is Not Consent. [Insiders], 19 Mar. 2016,

Edwards, Tara. Cosplay Is Not Consent. Geeks, 16 June 2016,

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