The post heard 'round the world.
In late 2012, a young fashion and costume designer named Mandy attended a convention dressed as the comic book character Black Cat. Per her own description, “Black Cat’s costume has a fair amount of cleavage” and, thus, likely to attract attention.
Let’s face it: whether you are creating a costume that is sexy, elaborate, colorful, or all of the above - cosplay is designed to attract attention. It’s meant to celebrate being a fan by making the fictional seem fantastically real. Attention, though, doesn’t not grant consent to act inappropriately.
Mandy was harassed by a group of guys under the pretense of interviewing her about her costume. She tells the whole story here.
As of this writing, that Tumblr post has over 90,000 responses... a sign that Mandy’s story was not unique. Her story popped up all over the Internet on websites like The Mary Sue, Bleeding Cool, and even Jezebel.
Soon the Internet was on fire with others telling similar stories... cosplayers dressed as a character from comics, video games, etc. being inappropriately spoken to and even HANDLED - all “justified” because of the way they were dressed and
as the owners of the largest cosplay-based adult site in the world, CosplayDeviants.com, we often saw this behavior first-hand. The problem soon seemed like less of a series of incidents and more of an epidemic. For some reason, many convention attendees believe that acting this way and treating cosplayers this way is normal.
The rest of us, though, know better, and that's where the education and prevention of the Cosplay is NOT Consent movement comes in.