How Do Fan Convention Experiences Differ for Women and Men?


The Action Flick Chick and some friends got to discussing Comic-Con dos and don’ts. This wasn’t the first time the topic has come up and won’t be the last. A couple of her blogger gal pals have posted some great guides. For example, Nerdy Bird Jill Pantozzi (@TheNerdyBird) had responded to the LA Times’ “Girls’ Guide to Comic Con 2009” with her own piece, “When Geek Girls Attack!” More will follow. Oh, wow, will it ever.

Contemplating how a girl’s guide to Comic-Con might be any different from anybody’s guide to the Comic-Con inspired our chick to ask on Facebook and twitter how the fan convention itself differs depending on attendees’ gender. Does this conversation reflect reality more than it reflects stereotypes? Surely a sci-fi or comic book fan convention is about more than, well, you’ll see.


Action Flick Chick
Action Flick Chick
How do convention experiences differ for women & men?

Arturo R. Garcia: From many accounts I’ve read, women have to deal with a larger amount of bullsh-t from their fellow con-goers.

Coop Cooper: Guys look at boobs. We look at boobs A LOT more than you… Maybe.

Stuart Hasty: Donno I am neither a woman or a man and have not gone to a convention, I am empty on all 3 aspects.

Jonathan Miller: !Stuart ah, another sequential hermaphrodite. You’re missing out.

Russell Allen: I agree with Coop…Boobs are distracting. Seeing all the costume people would be cool. There must be a thousand Slave Leias at one of those things…and if I were to go I would have to get my picture with everyone of them. When I was a kid we went to a couple local conventions that mainly had posters and movie stuff. It was nowhere close to what Comic Con is. I never have gone to one and don’t see myself going soon….and probably wouldn’t have the money to spend at one.

Larry Fleming: I agree the previous comments, boobs and other body parts; that most of the womens costumes are over exposing. At the last DragonCon I was at, some gal painted on her costume. It was fun following the twitter chats. “Has anyone seen her”, “Yeah, she just left the hotel”, “How does she get away with that” … I thought they were going to overload twitter. The guys just went for macho, not very revealing, thank God.

Nicole Daniels Wakelin: I go to a convention and see all the boobs that appear to be jiggling free of their scanty bra/corsette/I-don’t-even-know-what-that-is outfits and think…that just can’t be comfortable. And I wonder why kilts are the fallback outfit for half the guys? I have asked and as yet no one has been able to explain why Scottish garb at, say, a con in Maryland, is appropriate. Although, I do have lots of men in kilts coming up to me at cons now which makes for some excellent photos!

Jacinta Brown Baca: Ugghh… boobs guys? It all depends on the person. Some women like to flaunt their assets and enjoy the dress up expereince. My mother is a 52 year old female geek and she knows more about comics than anyone I know. She goes to conventions as a true fan with not one but 2 light sabers (just in case). Guys also come in different forms… have u ever seen the diff between an anime fan and a 40 something year old Godzilla freak, whew… night and day! LOL. We each take 2 it as we please 🙂


@carlwatkins: Men in costume only get attention if their costume is really good. 😛

@Galaxy_Dallas: I’ll agree with that! It seems that no matter how crappy the costume, if a woman shows skin, she is definitely in!

@JDahveed: I go to con to hang with good friends. Boobs are just a bonus. Lol

@AyeQue: bigger it differ from men & women if they are costumed

@actionchick: Bigger Q? personally don’t think so because most aren’t.

@Quixote74: Spoiler alert: men are pretty much always focused on… wait, what was I saying?

@OnyxSparrow: Women at a convention are a rare commodity most often protected by their appointed males from OTHER males. Men at a convention are random individuals or small groups there to compete over sights, merch, and said rare females.

@AyeQue: all the cons i’ve been to over the years, always a higher male to female ratio especially the sci fi ones(Trek Cons especially)  Horror Cons are the only ones where i’ve seen more women at and usually they are gawked at because alot of times are tattoed  and looking very sexy in the outfits.Gaming and Anime, again i’ve noticed more recently alot of girls into it more so then guys

@actionchick: How do con experiences differ for women & men? The men continue focusing answers on costumes & boobs.

@aboynamedart: well, fan funk truly transcends the gender barrier, no?

@actionchick: Men clearly outnumber women at cons I’ve been to but not as much as people seem to think. Maybe fixation on women’s costumes & cleavage is reason people overestimate gender ratio – overlooking a lot of the women.

@stevapalooza: As a man I don’t have nearly as many creepy guys with camcorders wanting to “interview” me for their “podcast”

@NicoleWakelin: Cons for men are all about staring at boobs, for me, they’re all about wondering why so many guys wear kilts????

@atlcartoonists: You *wonder* why they wear kilts?? Men in kilts are SEXAY! And if worn properly, they can be quite risqué! LOL

@johnemersons: I think the boob factor winds up being a fallback. Bad costume+boob=good. Where good costume is just more rare, but more awesom

@justinjwilliams: @daNanner @actionchick yep. That rings true.

@JLoSH: Cons fer men (me being one) r not just about boobs…there r plenty of parts of the female anatomy to gawk at;)

@RussellMania89: Butts are important too!!!


@MShaneman: @ActionChick many girls are fan girls and/or eye candy while guys are consumers visually&economically. More girls Cosplay (ratio if not #s)

@clvcomic: Men wonder y I’m not showing my boobs- clearly.

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8 thoughts on “How Do Fan Convention Experiences Differ for Women and Men?

  1. Agnes Dinola

    gosh, it’s so hard to see a pattern in those answers. boobs, cosplay, breasts, cleavage, revealing outfits, boobs, butts…nope, can’t spot a common theme there

  2. OnyxSparrow

    Okay, so I think we have to start with the basic conclusion that both men and women mostly go to conventions because they are interested in the subject matter. Whether it’s to sell merch, buy merch, take pictures, snag freebies, tag along with someone else, etc. these are things that are universal between the two sides so we can throw them out of the discussion.

    So what are you going to a con for BESIDES the intended content of the con? Apparently the peanut gallery says that guys are there to oogle girls in costumes. So it that the only difference? The question comes down to this: do (straight) women go to conventions to oogle men? On the flipside of the coin, do men go to conventions in costumes with the intention to attract attention? Do women go in costumes to attract attention? Is the intention for either side meant more to awe on-lookers wih the awesomesauce-atude of your costume, or do you want people to notice how attractive you are?? And if you’re not in costume, do you want to meet people or just admire from afar?

    these fundamental questions of intended effect verses actual effect I think define the differences between the experiences of men and women at a convention.

  3. ioana

    there are no conventions in Romania, not movie related anyway, i would love to go to one and dress up:))i think it would be a lot of fun:)>….we only have medieval festivals , those are fun 2;)) but i would love to see a comic convention..romanians don’t read comics ,I don;t even know a store were to find them,,i will search after i get back in January:)))

  4. steve b.

    Do any women ever feel pressure to wear a costume to a con? More and more it’s becoming a convention staple. If I were a pretty lady (and in my mind I am) I might feel a little bit of pressure in that area.

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