The weirdest thing to happen in cosplay this month had nothing to do with Comic-Con. CONvergence, a sci-fi/fantasy/pop culture convention out of Minnesota, has a reputation for being super woman-friendly. (And boy, would it be fantastic if that weren’t something worth noting in the con world.)
Which is why this one happening from last weekend’s con seems so out of place. A group of cosplayers took to the hotel floors to reenact Cersei’s walk of shame from Game of Thrones.
I don’t know the order in which these videos were taken, but that first one looks to be a reenactment for reenactment’s sake. This one, though (reblogged by the convention’s official Tumblr), looks to me like the parade may have picked up some steam. Either way, things are a lot… rowdier.
So my initial thought is that this group wanted to do a straight reenactment, either just as a fan tribute or possibly some sort of statement. And I assumed that the people in that second video, laughing and heckling and dudebro-ing it up were being assholes. But from what the performers have said themselves, this was MEANT to be comedy. One con attendee took to the convention’s Facebook page to start a conversation and gauge reactions, and (before it devolved into dbags and cat pics) the second commenter was the Cersei herself, quick to let everyone know that she was fully in on the bit, that she loved doing it, and that no one was exploiting her but her.
So, that’s definitely great that this woman got a kick out of having people spit on and scream at her (different strokes), that’s not really the big issue here. In that now 900-comment-long Facebook thread, yes, some people were concerned for her well-being, but most were more focused on the larger implications. The thread seems to be pretty much split between those who thought it was hilarious and those who thought you’d have to be pretty tone deaf to find it at all funny.
Personally, I find myself stuck on the very basic question of why? If this group was looking for a laugh, why turn to one of the most horrific and upsetting scenes from recent television to find it? If there were any sort of subversion or satire AT ALL, I could see the appeal (whether or not it was then executed correctly). If Cersei were replaced with some male character who we all want to see get his comeuppance, or— just spitballing here— maybe a Michael Bay cosplayer. But this seems to easy, too cheap, and utterly pointless. At worst, for this group, your peers at a convention priding itself on being a safe space feel that you are making light of the abuse and shaming many women face every day in various forms. No, not every woman has Cersei-level attacks on the regular, but different levels of sexual-based harassment IS a daily part of many women’s lives. And then at best this group is having a chuckle because “OMG look, that chick is naked and people are throwing shit at her.” What is the point in that?
Via The Mary Sue.