There seems to be this huge belief lately, or rather, every time there is mention of girls being sexually harassed or assaulted, that they are always in a skimpy costume. They aren't always though.
This is actually something that has been on my mind for a long while. And it bugs me how people seem to think that it's only the girls who wear exposing cosplays that get sexually harassed or assaulted. Yes, they are the most common, but you don't even have to have everything exposed to get it.
My first instance with being assaulted in any form in cosplay was in 2009 at my second year of Anime North in Toronto. Back then, assault wasn't quite as big of a thing and you didn't hear about it as often.
I don't know if this could be really considered sexual assault, actually I don't think it could.
But in 2009 for the Saturday of AN, I wore Roxas from Kingdom Hearts with a group of my friends. It was my first made-from-scratch cosplay and my mom made my coat, dad cut out my keyblade and I just painted things. On the Saturday, before the Kingdom Hearts photshoot started, I was tackle glomped to the ground. Yes. To the ground. I had heard someone shout "Roxas!" and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back in shock.
I don't think that really counts, but it can certainly be considered a form of assault. Sadly, this put me off ever bringing the character back to Anime North until I braved it in 2013. But the keyblade broke 20 minutes into the day and it was cold so I switched to my Creeper.
Now, this is an instance where I think you could call it sexual assault. Because that's what it is. And if you disagree with me, well, how else could you view it really?
Now, as Grell, I expected crazy fans because of how popular the character is. I had people running up to me asking for hugs or pictures. Which was fine. I was used to it from other loved characters (who I've honestly been turned away from doing much of thanks to creepy people).
But I was not expecting this in the slightest!
During the Kuroshitsuji photoshoot at Anime North 2013, there was a pause as people figured out who was to come up and join Grell - I was strangely the only one at the shoot by that point - so I just stood there, and set my chainsaw down for a moment to give my hand a rest.
I stood up, looked towards the crowd of people, and the next thing I knew I was bent backwards, with some stranger's lips pressed against mine forcefully. Naturally I was pretty damn shocked, even moreso when they took off running away. Their friend shouted back to me "sorry she just loves Grell so much!", at the time the only thing I could muster was "THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT!"
I was pretty damn mad. You just don't do that. I would very much like to know what made this person think it was ok to do that.
You see, it is not only the ones who wear the skimpy cosplays who get it. You can be fully covered and get it too. Heck you don't even have to be portraying your own gender it seems! What has the cosplay world come to when you can't wear our favourite character without someone kissing you, groping you, or worse.
Yes I've even been groped, in my God Tier Jake at Anime North! IN THE DEALERS ROOM!
Why the heck is it always when I cosplay a guy? Only time I get sexual stuff for my female cosplays is online. Bit of a relief but still annoying.
So to the people who think "oh they're asking for it by wearing skimpy clothes", I have some things to say to you.
No one is ever asking for it. Would you go and grab a girls breasts in the street just because she had a spaghetti strap tank and short shorts on and you could see some cleavage? Nobody has the right to touch another person's body without permission, and even then they should specify what they intend. And it's not just the girls in skimpy outfits, it's those of us who crossplay and be fully covered too. And I'm sure some guys have received it in some form.
Stop blaming the victim. It's never the victim's fault. It is the fault of the people who refuse to control their actions.