I will never understand the mindset of some men who just don’t know that “no means no”; that women are not there for their own fantasies and satisfaction; that constantly disrespect and harass women to the point of suspicion and fear – and then push past personal boundaries and outright inflict damages to these women that they claim to love, lust, or idolize. How can someone act so cold and callously towards someone? Make them feel less than human? Make them feel unsafe wherever they may go? I will never understand why these stalkers act the way they do and act only on their base instincts no matter how it makes their intended target feel. I just don’t get why they don’t understand and respect a woman’s decision to reject them or turn them away.
I bring this up because this issue has come up again this past weekend within the cosplay community locally during the Anime LA event in Ontario, CA. Now, I don’t personally know the cosplayer involved in the incident, but we have many friends in common – and besides that, I have always felt that the cosplay community has always been a close and inclusive one, so I feel a string connection with her despite not knowing her. While attending Anime LA, Julia Moreno Jenkins was targeted by a man identified as Matt Toyotome, who had been stalking her and harassing her and her husband while at the event. (He may also have been stalking her beforehand, but I will only speak about what happened at ALA and what has been reported related to it.) But, after being rejected by Julia, Matt apparently decided to take revenge on her by setting her parked car on fire, subsequently damaging a total of seven vehicles. He has since been arrested by local authorities.
I just can’t quite comprehend how someone could act like this towards someone. I mean, I’m no innocent myself; everyone knows I have a pretty perverted mind, and I’ve had a few crushes on a some cosplayers over the years – but never did it occur to me to continue to harass and stalk and intimidate any of them to the point of making them feel uneasy much less act violently towards them. I don’t get that kind of thinking. I mean, I hope that I have always acted as respectfully towards my cosplaying friends over the years; that I never gave them a reason to feel uneasy around me. I never tried to force a hug or touch them inappropriately or even leered at them for too long when they were in costume. I’ve always tried to remain a gentleman around them and respect their wishes and boundaries. So, when I come across a story like this, I just can’t quite wrap my head around why these guys act like this.
Like I said, I’m no innocent or boy scout, and I sure as hell am no SJW by any means – but I know when “no means no”, I know when to give a woman her space and leave her alone, and I know not to act on some stupid primal instinct and make her feel the way that Matt did to Julia this past weekend; or how numerous other men make women feel day after day. That kind of behavior is simply uncivilized and speaks loudly to the kind of men they are. And yet they still wonder why so many women are instinctively fearful and cautious around men. That kind of thinking is just plain stupid and shows that these men are really just boys who never learned how to respect others.
Thankfully, as I have said before, the cosplay community is a close and inclusive one, and many have set up a GoFundMe page to help Julia and her husband replace their vehicle and other belongings that have been lost because of the actions of Matt Toyotome. As such, I would like to ask all of you reading this to please consider donating to this page and help Julia recover some of the damages that have been inflicted on her. I’m sorry that this happened to her, but I am hoping that the cosplay community can come together and show her that there are still good people out there – women and men alike.