GiveBIG Tomorrow!

Just a little reminder from us to y’all that GiveBIG starts tomorrow, and GeekGirlCon needs your support as much as ever.

GeekGirlCon works all year to create physical and virtual spaces for us to come together and honor the contributions of everyone who’s been under-invited in traditional geek culture, and we have no intention of slowing down.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Why Bunny Day is So Unpopular

by GeekGirlCon Tumblr Adminstrator Member Emily Hendrickson

I’m more neutral about Animal Crossing’s Bunny Day event than a lot of other people. And from a game perspective, I understand why Nintendo made the eggs so ubiquitous. This is a children’s game, and if you were a kid who actually wanted to find recipes for and make all the egg items, you’d want the materials readily available. Plus, learning some of the recipes is contingent on how many eggs you’ve found; so, it makes sense to make quickly finding a lot of eggs easier.

All that said, the event has some major issues, which have been meme’d nonstop pretty much since the event began. And since the Bunny Day event is overlapping with the Cherry Blossom event, I feel it’s apt to compare the two and to answer why one (Cherry Blossom) is so much more popular than the other (Bunny Day).

[Image Description: Screenshot of Animal Crossing gameplay.] Source: Emily

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

What Programming are You Submitting to GeekGirlCon ’20?

While most things in our lives are on hold at the moment, one thing that isn’t is our preparation for GeekGirlCon ‘20. Besides all of the behind-the-scenes stuff that our team is working on, we’re also at the point in the year when we’re accepting programming submissions from our community. Submissions close on April 30, so I’m here to ask what panels, workshops, and events y’all have in store for us this year?

If you’re interested in submitting but aren’t sure where to start, I’d suggest first checking out the page on our website and then head over to our Facebook group for past and future GeekGirlCon contributors. I’m pretty sure I recommend it every year, but it’s seriously the perfect place to brainstorm programming ideas, find co-panelists, or troubleshoot the application process. 

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

#GeekGirlTalk: We Want to Hear from You!

Who We Are Vaguely and in Terms Only of the Media We Seek Out Most Often:

Teal (roman type!)
Literally any teen TV show, YA, women’s and feminist media, everything Star Trek

Hanna (italics, baby!)
Reality TV, memoirs, romance novels, anything British, any podcast ever

Welcome to #GeekGirlTalk, a (biased, subjective, opinionated) conversation about the pop culture we’re currently loving, hating, and obsessing over. 

This month–this dark, dark month–Hanna and I are coming to you with a request: We need guest co-writers for this series!

The goal of #GeekGirlTalk, from the beginning, has been to carve out some digital space for this community to really talk about the media we’re thinking about. For the past year(ish), Hanna and I have been facilitating the conversation via these blog posts, but now it’s time to grow. Not only has this been our plan from the beginning, but given everything that’s going on right now, we think this could be a really great opportunity to lean into the community we’ve built here at GeekGirlCon and get to know some of you better.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

#GeekGirlTalk: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Who We Are Vaguely and in Terms Only of the Media We Seek Out Most Often:

Teal (roman type!)
Literally any teen TV show, YA, women’s and feminist media, everything Star Trek

Hanna (italics, baby!)
Reality TV, memoirs, romance novels, anything British, any podcast ever

Welcome to #GeekGirlTalk, a (biased, subjective, opinionated) conversation about the pop culture we’re currently loving, hating, and obsessing over. For February, and to kick off a 2020 full of #GeekGirlTalk, we’re reflecting on To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and the special place teen rom coms hold in our hearts. 

I, like everyone else in the world, fell in love with To All the Boys when it premiered on Netflix in the summer of 2018. For whatever reason, I hadn’t read the books, so I went in with almost no preconceptions. I’m not the biggest of movie fans, so it’s notable that that summer I watched it twice back-to-back and have returned to it several times in the past year and a half.

Hanna, we can get into the sequel (if we must), but first, I want to try and articulate why I think of this movie as such a triumph of its genre. To start, I must admit that I am very, extremely in favor of the Fake Boyfriend trope. It’s definitely my favorite romance trope and also maybe my favorite fiction trope in general. Not only do I think that it reliably adds the tension and drama we’re all seeking in our love stories, but I also find that it more consistently centers actual emotional closeness than other common tropes can or, at least, do. One of my biggest pet peeves about stories with romantic plots is how much so many of them rely on readers just believing in the emotional closeness of the characters without its development actually being reflected in the text. Now that I think about it, in my mind I tend to frame the Fake Boyfriend (and all of its more tangential iterations) as the opposite of the Soul Mate in terms of romance fiction. And, honestly, I think that while obviously the average person is not actually getting into that many fake-romantic-partner situations over the course of their life, the relationship-building that accompanies the trope is wildly more applicable to our real lives than the kind of situational drama that comes with finding (and then losing and then reuniting with) a quote unquote Soul Mate. I know we generally agree on most of this, Hanna, but I’d really love to hear what you think in re: the Fake Boyfriend potentially being the best romance trope out there. I also want to acknowledge that Fake Boyfriend stories can depend heavily on heteronormativity in way that erases the experiences of and/or is inaccessible to queer folks, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on that piece of things as well.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Passes and Hotel for GeekGirlCon ’20—Available Now!

Happy Friday, everyone! I have two exciting bits of news for y’all:

Passes for GeekGirlCon ‘20 are on sale NOW!

  • Kids 0-5 years old: free weekend passes
  • Kids 6-12 years old: $15 weekend passes
  • Teens 13-17 years old: $30 weekend passes
  • Adults: $30 one-day passes OR $40 weekend passes
Me and you once we get our passes! [Image Description: Gif of two little kids wearing black cowboy hats. They’re showing off their red tickets and smiling.] Source: Giphy

This year, we’re partnering with the Paramount Hotel to offer group-rate rooms literally on the SAME BLOCK as the Conference Center. (Shout out to our excellent Operations team for making this magic happen!)

  • $175 per night
  • Available Friday, October 30 through Tuesday, November 3
  • This rate will expire, so wrangle your con-going companions and book now!
[Image Description: Screenshot of a Google map showing where both the Paramount Hotel and Conference Center are located.] Source: Google

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Why are Women with Mental Illnesses Portrayed So Inaccurately on TV?

Post by guest contributor Kate Harveston

You’ve undoubtedly seen a storyline similar to this one on TV: A woman becomes obsessed with so-and-so. Have you ever paused to wonder how this trope plays into the inaccurate depiction of those with mental illnesses? 

Although many celebrities have come forward about their battles with mental illness, depictions of characters with these disorders in movies and TV have little to do with reality. Instead, those with such disorders, particularly women, are still portrayed as emotionless and evil. This stereotype does a grave disservice to everyone in entertainment as well as to mental health awareness.

Mental Illness and Women 

Researchers often claim that women experience mental illness at higher rates than men. However, this figure is convoluted by the fact that they also receive treatment for these disorders more often than men. For example, while more women attempt suicide, more men die from it.

Suffice it to say that all genders experience mental illness. However, you can’t ignore the way society interprets these conditions differently based on gender. For example, picture somebody with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re like many, you may envision a male soldier coming home from war. This stereotype is valid in some cases, but not all by any means. Studies actually show that physical and sexual trauma followed by PTSD occurs more often in women than in men. 

This statistic should shock no one in a world where 90% of all adult rape victims are women. Repeated sexual and physical trauma often results in mental illness, not murderous rampages. Consider how few sexual assault survivors receive justice in our courts. The records of rapists getting away with their actions should spur an epidemic of revenge slaughter if women were inclined to turn their trauma outward. The majority of the time, however, they suffer in silence.

Depictions of Mentally Ill Women in Film

If you flip to channels like Lifetime, you’ll see countless representations of women with mental illness losing their collective minds, stalking and killing with impunity. We’ve all heard of the “crazy ex-girlfriend” trope. In fact, the Lifetime channel dedicates Wednesdays to Women on the Edge. On the edge of what? 

Most of the time, the violent women depicted in these types of films don’t have a definitive diagnosis. Consider the classic Fatal Attraction. We know that Glenn Close’s character boils a bunny, but the movie never tells us what disorder compelled her to commit such a heinous act. It’s as if mental illness all fits into one neat category—it doesn’t matter if you have PTSD or a schizotypal disorder or anxiety. If you’re a woman and you have a mental illness, you’re simply nuts. 

[Image Description: Screen grab from Fatal Attraction. Glenn Close’s character is lunging at a man holding a large kitchen knife. She has a look of pain on her face. She’s wearing a white plain dress with long sleeves.] Source: ABC

Contrast this treatment to the way films depict men with mental illness. Has anyone watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest without cheering for Nicholson’s character? Directors often portray men with mental illness as loveable-yet-misunderstood rogues. Such movies focus on their redeeming qualities, a man-versus-society theme. Conversely, when a woman character has a mental illness, she’s the problem—not the culture she’s grown up in.

Changing the Dialogue Around Mental Illness and Women

To truly embrace the reality of mental illness, filmmakers need to quit using it as a convenient plot device. Mental illness doesn’t explain why women, or anyone for that matter, commit heinous acts. Such actions stem from a multitude of factors. Making the simplistic correlation between violence and mental illness leads to a continued problematic stigma about mentally ill individuals. Mental illness can be a contributor to violence in a person, but it’s not the sole factor. A convenient explanation for an unpleasant phenomenon doesn’t make it accurate. 

Instead, movies should show the real way mental illness affects women. They should present how they tend to isolate themselves from those they love and withdraw into despair. Films should show—and address—the overwhelming loathing of self, not hatred of others, that often exists as a hallmark way in which disorders manifest among women

Representation matters, and the images that people see in the media form part of our collective consciousness. By depicting the reality of mental illness for women in film, we can hopefully open up a better dialogue about mental health. Ideally, this new dialogue may even inspire people to seek help if they need it, instead of feeling like they have to hide their problems from the world, lest they be labeled and stereotyped.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCon ’19: A Retrospective in Staff Selfies

First off, from everyone at GeekGirlCon, thank you so much to our Agents, attendees, contributors, and exhibitors. As always, we just cannot do GeekGirlCon without you. Thanks for making the magic with us.

Before we beginning peppering your feeds with some more formal recaps of the weekend, I wanted to bring some cheer to this Monday we’re all experiencing while coming down from our con high with some staff selfies from the weekend. So peruse these, reflect on the pure joy of the weekend, and share yours with us using #GG19.

Amy on Friday, pre-setup.
Julie and Beth setting up and definitely not violating even ONE safety protocol.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Kicking Off GeekGirlCon ’19 at PacSci!

If you’ve never been to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, you’re truly missing out. It’s one of the cutest, geekiest, most special places in the city, and we were lucky to have hosted our annual pre-con party there this year.

Hanna and I (and my sister!) swung by the party after work, picked up our passes, and meandered around our fellowed geeks for an hour or two. We sat in on a planetarium open house (did you know Pluto and Charon actually orbit each other??), learned about software that was created for embroidery patterns, and witnessed an epic dance party.

It was just good to be around folks who know what’s so important about the next two days, and we were beyond glad to have been there.

Until tomorrow, everyone!!

S/O to my sister for indulgently taking photos of us!! [Image Description: Hanna and Teal pose for a picture. They have their arms around each other and are both holding cans. Behind them, the party is unfolding.]
See! This place is freaking cool! [Image Description: A huge glowing globe surrounded by party-goers.]

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Merch Reveal and Q&A with Artist Tatyana Vogt

As a lot of you might know, GeekGirlCon has this really excellent practice of hiring an artist every year to design our year-specific merch. This year, that artist is Tatyana Vogt, whose art is so beautiful I’ve literally teared up over it. We are all in for such a treat with this year’s stuff, so read on for some of that good good design reveal and a little Q&A with the artist herself! Then, get your passes, check out our full programming schedule, and get yourself organized with the Guidebook app. Three days and counting!

Tell us a little about your story. Where are you from? Have you always been an artist?

Sure! So I was born and raised in California. I’ve drawn off and on my whole life, not realizing that it was something that could be a job until my later years of high school. I went to an art college where I worked part-time to help pay the bills and spent the little bit of free time I had working on becoming a better artist.

[Image Description: Tatyana poses for a headshot holding a light gray cat. She’s looking at the camera and smiling. Her hair is bright pink with some purple underneath. She’s wearing glasses and a muted red lip color.] Source: Tatyana Vogt

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

Skip to content