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PAX cosplay interview backlash

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A cosplayer at PAX, Megan Marie, wrote a blog post about an interviewer at PAX, What would you do if you weren't afraid?. The post title refers to Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In.

While hosting a Tomb Raider cosplay gathering, comprised of eight or so incredibly nice and talented young women, a member of the press asked if he could grab a quick interview. I said he’d need to ask them, not me, and they agreed. He squeezed into the group and posed a question. I couldn’t hear what he said over the hubbub of the show floor, but the confused and uncomfortable looks from the ladies indicated that it wasn’t what they expected, to say the least.

I moved in closer and inquired “Excuse me, what did you ask?” with a forced smile on my face, so to give him the benefit of the doubt. He laughed and didn’t respond, moving a few steps away as I repeated the question to the group of women. Turns out he’d probed what it felt like “knowing that none of the men in this room could please them in bed.” ...

Megan told the interviewer his question was unprofessional and that he and the cameraman had made the group of women uncomfortable. This was the response:

He proceeded to tell me that “I was one of those oversensitive feminists” and that “the girls were dressing sexy, so they were asking for it.” Yes, he pulled the “cosplay is consent” card.

She went on to write that she had come to the realization she had to speak out, as often as possible, not just to protect other women but to assert herself and her right to cosplay without constant sexual harassment.

"...I can stand up and say that that I won’t accept being talked to in this manner anymore. I’m not simply going to ignore you; I’m going to call you out and tell you that you’re being inappropriate. Just because I have a public job and an equally public hobby doesn’t give you the right to ignore my comfort zone. "

Her post met an immediate backlash.

"Yesterday a lot of the fears that kept me from speaking out for so long were realized. Although the general response to my words was overwhelmingly positive, I was and still am being called a stupid bitch, a cunt, and “all that is wrong with womankind.” I’ve been insulted, misrepresented, and threatened."

Another commen response to her post was that the interviewer likely meant his remarks as a joke.

While there was plenty of hostile backlash, Megan was in the main supported by readers and by the PAX conference itself.

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