Panel Recap: Lassos, Lightsabers, and Stakes

Given the wildly fluctuating highs and lows of 2017 (let’s face it, mainly lows), this past year’s GeekGirlCon represented the perfect space to reflect on the progress that has been made in the media we love, as well as the work that still needs to be done. One panel which perfectly encapsulated this blend of nostalgia and foresight was Lassos, Lightsabers, and Stakes: Assessing the Heroine’s Journey 20 Years After Buffy.

Image Description: Buffy twirls a stake in her hand. Source: Giphy.

Since 2017 was the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the complex and groundbreaking Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, this panel highlighted the ways in which the entertainment industry still struggles to accept the lessons demonstrated by the enduring impact of the show, its characters, and its fans. Simultaneously, panelists celebrated the gains made through media ranging from Wonder Woman and Star Wars at the movies to Supergirl, The 100, and The Crown on television.

Drawing on the theory of the Heroine’s Journey – a counterpoint, most notably presented by Maureen Murdock in her 1990 book of the same name, to Joseph Campbell’s famed Hero’s Journey – in which characters experience a cyclical journey of personal and communal growth, the panelists analyzed the state of affairs in media representation for women and other underrepresented communities.

Image Description: A gif of Buffy squinting her eyes and looking intense. Source: Giphy.

The panelists included B.J. Priester, a law professor, novelist, editor, and self-professed “lifelong geek;” Tricia Barr, an engineer, novelist, and writer at the FANgirl blog; and Jennifer K. Stuller, a writer, editor, and pop culture critic and historian specializing in the history of American female superheroines and action heroines in comics, film, and television.

Image Description: A gif of Buffy and Willow, with Buffy sucking on a lollipop. Source: Giphy.

Fittingly beginning with the enduring significance of Buffy, the panelists discussed the modern-day resonance of its values, especially the themes of community, friendship, mutual support, and female empowerment and leadership. The panelists argued that, while many shows shaped the values of young people at the time, Buffy truly defined those values. However, the show is not without its flaws. The panelists noted the egregious lack of diversity in the show’s cast as a particularly frustrating limitation. Similarly, the actions of the show’s creator Joss Whedon – which have been incredibly problematic and disappointing to say the least – are important to grapple with for fans who continue to glean insight, comfort, and empowerment from the series.

Image Description: A gif of the character Rey from Star Wars, with the caption saying “Follow me.” Source: Giphy.

The panel subsequently analyzed Star Wars and Wonder Woman, pieces of media which represent both how far we have come in terms of representation for women in film, as well as highlight the limitations that we still encounter time and time again. With the emergence of the character Rey, the Star Wars universe has introduced an exceptional new example of a heroic arc, as well as an inspirational figure for audiences and storytellers to connect with. At the same time, the film series needs to ensure that all female characters are depicted as full human beings, with agency and complexity of their own.

Image Description: A gif of the character Diana from Wonder Woman, deflecting a bullet with her forearm cuff. Source: Giphy.

As Jennifer noted, Wonder Woman not only became the highest grossing DC comic film ever, but had a “visceral, resonant impact,” due to the care with which director Patty Jenkins crafted a narrative of empowerment and the struggle for power and self-determination in a world marred by war and misogynistic violence. However, as Trisha noted, Wonder Woman is far from perfect, and it too falls far short in terms of full representation for women and marginalized groups as a whole.

This panel is a perennial staple at GeekGirlCon, a chance to check in on the state of affairs in feminist media. As the panelists noted, every year there are more stories to talk about, more examples of exciting and necessary representation, and more opportunities in the future to look forward to. But as with the Heroine’s Journey itself, the progress of intersectional feminist representation is never-ending, and we must constantly challenge ourselves to support diverse media, to fight for greater representation, and to create our own narratives which challenge all of us to extend our knowledge, understanding, and empathy.

Image Description: A gif of Dawn from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with the caption saying “Cause at least I admit the world makes me nuts. Source: Giphy.

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Geek About Town: April

Spring has officially sprung, dear blog readers! And that means flowers popping up, bursts of sun to up those depleted vitamin D levels, and, most importantly, plenty of amazing events coming up! Here’s a look at what’s happening this month. Get ready to mark your calendars for movies, meetups, and talks galore!

Image Description: A gif of Alice from the animated movie “Alice in Wonderland” lying in a field of grass as daisies blow in the breeze above her. Source: Giphy.

 

Saturday, March 31st*: Luncheon with Students from Shanti Bhavan

  • 12:00pm – 3:00pm
  • Bellevue Botanical Garden
    12001 Main Street
  • Join us on March 31st for an inspiring afternoon with students from Shanti Bhavan and Director of Operations, Ajit George. Shanti Bhavan, a school in Southern India, caters exclusively to children from India’s lowest socioeconomic class and is the subject of the recent documentary Daughters of Destiny.

    The event kicks off at 12:00 p.m. with a light lunch. Shree and Visali, Glamour Woman of the Year in 2014, will share their stories and the impact that Shanti Bhavan has had on their lives. Guests are invited to stay for a special screening of Daughters of Destiny, which tells how the unique educational model of Shanti Bhavan equips its students to break out of the cycle of poverty.

    The only educational program of its kind, Shanti Bhavan offers 17 years of rigorous academics, leadership development and professional guidance completely free of charge. The school’s graduates have a 100% university acceptance rate, work at Fortune 500 companies and contribute 20-50% of their salaries to their families and communities – helping end the poverty that has trapped India’s poorest communities for generations.

    This is a free event but donations are welcome. Visit shantibhavanchildren.org to learn more about the school and ways you can get involved.
  • (*Note: okay, so this is obviously not quite April, but WHAT a great event!)

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

A Reading Challenge for Spring

While the concept of a temporally-bound reading challenge is one I find very alluring, actually finishing one is a success I’ve never personally experienced. This year, in an effort to prioritize both reading and sustainable self-care, I’m working on setting myself some more manageable, bite-sized challenges.

If you’re interested in joining me, here’s what I propose: a three-book seasonal reading challenge to usher in the spring. The more I think about it, the more I’m not only excited about the selections I’ve made, but also about the real possibility that this is a challenge I can and will finish. I want to imbue these next few months and reads with as much meaning and springtime symbolism as I can, and I’ve devised these challenge parameters with that goal in mind. Follow along for the three challenges (one per month of spring) I’ve set for myself and the books I’m thinking about reading to fulfill them.

[Image Description: A black background behind an illustration of a gold pentacle design interlaced with leaves and flowers.  A white banner along the bottom reads, “Spring equinox.”] Source: Pinterest

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Getting Political on Youtube via Makeup, Contouring, and Comedy

You may or may not have heard of her, but I’ve recently developed a hearty admiration for Sailor J. Slightly newer to the scene and sitting at about 206k subscribers, Sailor J is the “beauty guru” / content creator we’ve only dreamt of until now. She’s witty, smart, funny, and incredibly adept at bringing political and social commentary to the YouTube medium.

Sailor J, or JJ Smith, makes lifestyle vignettes about everything from fandom to the astrology. I first stumbled upon her channel when GETTING A MAN 101 made its way into my inbox—but let’s pause right there, it’s not what you think. Usually guised as a makeup tutorial, Sailor J puts together a satirical manifesto as she openly mocks archaic views about women and ignites a conversation about intersectional feminism through an overly familiar format. “If it rubs off on anything…they’re going to know you’re a witch,” she exclaims to the viewer while buffing foundation across her cheeks.

But, she has something else to say.

The video, just under five minutes, takes you through the steps any beauty guru would. She glenty swipes a light champagne-colored eyeshadow across her lids, but she’s using the gesture to challenge the false perception that women wear makeup for some ulterior motive—to please or attract the opposite sex. In the same vein, How to have Bedroom Eyes takes us through a similar formula. She talks about shading and blending—but it’s more than just creating depth by smudging a dark shade of eyeshadow across the curve of your brow. Whether she’s talking about contouring or criticizing some women’s need to put down other women, Sailor J is combining satire and very real, relevant conversations on an often quiet side of the platform.

Beyond social commentary, tackling political conversations on Youtube can be just as difficult as in the classroom or at work and is something that we seldom see in the beauty and lifestyle corner of YouTube . She caught the attention of sources like Allure when she put out a video titled How To Do Thanksgiving Makeup That Has Nothing To Do With The 566 Federally Recognized Tribes. While writing #NODAPL across her cheeks and mocking Disney’s Pocahontas, Sailor J points out a disturbing trend in “native-inspired looks” that pollute Youtube and social media each holiday season, using makeup as a form of appropriation. “It’s all about your (the white, female content creator’s) convenience, not the wellbeing of a traumatized nation of people.” It’s a conversation that we’ve been been having, but her utilization of the same platform as a direct combatant to the conflict is ingenious. 

Sailor J says what we all want to say, what we need to say. She’s gritty, even giving this gamer’s salty vocabulary a run for its money, but she’s right. Content creators, regardless of medium, have the ability to use their platform to build on ideas. From her makeup tutorials to her book reviews, Sailor J is a refreshing light coming from a void where we need better representation and smarter conversations. Makeup can be makeup, there doesn’t need to be a deeper meaning behind which color you choose to blend into the crease of your eyelid, but seeing Sailor J utilize that not-so-basic gesture and turn it into critical commentary on society is something that we need more of. Even shown through the lens of satire, these faux-lifestyle guides and tutorials aren’t as jocular as they may seem, because, rather than mocking the genre, Sailor J is leading an attack on objectification and discrimination. While you might pull a spit-take or two at her jabs and jokes, she truly is, in her own way, guiding us to live a better lifestyle: one where we’re loud and counter the toxic perceptions that we face each day.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Panel Recap: Sex Ed Super Friends!

It’s time for me to make a confession. I have to admit, dear readers, that even though I look forward to all the amazing panels we at GeekGirlCon offer each year (seriously – so many different topics! So many incredible panelists!) there is one category that I await with an almost feverish anticipation, and that is the sex panels! There is maybe nothing I love more than smart, cool, thoughtful people getting nerdy about one of life’s most confusing, awesome, weird, and wonderful topics: sex.

This past year, GGC17 was graced by the incredible Sex Ed Super Friends! panel. Presented by Planned Parenthood, this panel amassed a slew of the raddest sex nerds around to delve into the complicated, emotional, embarrassing, and oftentimes difficult to talk about world of sex. Whether it was offering compassionate insight, providing recommendations, clearing up misinformation, or much more, the panelists took on attendee question – both anonymous and not – with thoughtfulness, wit, and utter aplomb.

Image Description: A person dressed in a superhero costume dances through a shopping mall. Source: Giphy.

Before delving into questions, the panelists began by introducing themselves. Comprising a veritable murderers’ row of sex education, the panelists represent a variety of experiences and identities. Moderator Liz Andrade is a sex-positive graphic designer who works for Planned Parenthood and has co-founded All Cycles, a grassroots Outreach Project for community members to bring menstrual supplies to folks in need and is a member of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network. Andie Lyons is a Health Educator for the Seattle & King County Public Health department, where she provides direct sexual health education, support and training for teachers providing sex ed, as well as a variety of resources to promote sexual health and wellbeing in the community at large. Forever Moon is a Community Outreach Educator and Teen Council Facilitator at Planned Parenthood in Olympia, Washington, and a self-professed nerd who has been educating about topics of sexuality since she was 17. Dawn Serra is the creator and host of the weekly podcast, Sex Gets Real, and of the annual sexuality summit, Explore More. She also lectures at colleges and universities on sex and relationships and works one-on-one with clients who need to get unstuck around their pleasure and desire. Tobi Hill-Meyer is a multiracial trans woman with well over a decade experience working with feminist and LGBTQ organizations, and one of the few people in the world who can claim to being both an award-winning porn creator and a children’s book author. She currently serves on the board of Gender Justice League and works as Communications Director at Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, along with operating her own media production company, Handbasket Productions, and releasing the recent anthology Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic. Cy Enseñat is a queer pleasure-based sex educator, full spectrum doula, and curandera who works with Babeland, a Seattle-based sex toy boutique which works to create an approachable space for people to explore their sexuality with high quality, body safe products and accessible classes on a myriad of pleasure based topics.

Image Description: Emma Watson as Hermione from “Harry Potter” raises her hand to ask a question. Source: Giphy.

After introducing themselves, the panelists answered attendee questions on a variety of topics. First up was a question about how to support a friend who is doing sex work? The panelists recommended education about sex work and sex workers, including the ways in which many anti-sex work policies are incredibly harmful to sex workers. Like other work, sex workers experience a range of working conditions, and preconceived stereotypes about sex work can fail to adequately represent real-life experiences. Ultimately, resources like the amazing Whorecast podcast – run by queer sex worker Siouxsie Q – can help educate, which, alongside involvement in sex worker advocacy, is a crucial way to support sex workers.

Another panel attendee asked about ways in which to delve deeper into body positivity and fat-positive media. In response, the panelists noted that the more we see representations of ourselves in media, the better we are able to feel about ourselves. In this way, finding community and representation online and in person can be crucial. Some examples of resources to look into included the Instagram hashtag #bodieslikeoceans, the store and community Fat Fancy in Portland, the queer No Lose conference, the porn performer April Flores, the Oh Joy Sex Toy webcomic, the More Fats More Femmes quarterly event in Seattle, and Curvy Girl Sex, an amazing book by sex educator Elle Chase.

Another question centered on the difficulty of accessing sex and having a sex life while facing homelessness, dealing with public and group housing, living in poverty, and other related issues. The panelists pointed out that sex can look many different ways for different people depending on their various situations. It doesn’t have to follow one particular model to provide pleasure. Ultimately, though, there are many barriers in place for marginalized people around their own bodily autonomy and access to fulfilling sexual lives. Because public sex is criminalized and private space is commodified, access to money so often means access to sex in our capitalistic culture. Additionally, sex and sexuality can be hugely important to mental health and general well-being, so devoting energy to these aspects of life are in no way a waste of time, resources, or energy for marginalized people facing such barriers, but rather a necessary form of care and wellness.

Image Description: Characters from the movie “Pitch Perfect” engage in an a capella sing-off, and the caption reads the lyrics “Lets talk about sex baby, lets talk about you and me.” Source: Giphy.

Another panel attendee asked about how to figure out if they are asexual or just having bad sex. In answer to this question, the panelists offered tips and resources to help explore asexuality., graysexuality, demisexuality, and many more identities. They also urged people struggling with whether they are asexual to engage in thoughtful individual contemplation of what sex mean to them and the place it has in their life, since sexuality is incredibly individual and cannot be dictated or defined by anyone but yourself. Perhaps the most important element to keep in mind when going through this kind of questioning is so allow space to change with time, to recognize that identity does not have to fixed, and that changing your mind is incredibly valid.

Image Description: Beyoncé takes off her glasses seductively. Source: Giphy.

Another question asker shared their experience of having come to terms long ago with being a lesbian, and feeling uncomfortable in queer spaces now that they are currently in a relationship with a man. They wondered how to participate in queer spaces while feeling like they no longer quite fit. Dawn Serra, one of the panelists, empathized with this question, sharing that she too had gone through a similar experience and grappled with the same questions of belonging, She – along with the other panelists – advocated for finding bi-specific spaces rather than monosexual queer spaces, recognizing that queerness isn’t defined by a current relationship, behavior, type of sex, or experience, and that many people find themselves in the position of feeling isolated in queer spaces for a variety of reasons.

Lastly, one question centered around how to explore sexuality while working through guilt from growing up in a deeply religious family. The panelists offered a variety of fascinating and thought-provoking responses to this question, including the possibility of finding erotic possibility in their own internalized guilt by exploring taboo, kink, and shame. They also spoke about the intrinsic elements of embodiment and sensuality in many religious traditions, and the potential power of exploring the latent queerness and erotic potential of even the strictest of traditions. One panelist also suggested the Our Whole Lives curriculum offered through the Unitarian Universalist church as a way to explore sexuality and sexual education as a religious person.

Thanks to Planned Parenthood and this amazing group of panelists, I left feeling comforted, inspired, and excited by the potential of nerdy, queer, fat-positive, inclusive, empathetic, and fun sex education to truly transform the ways that we engage with and experience sex and sexuality!

 

Image Description: Sex educator Lindsey Doe from the YouTube channel Sexplanations riases her fists in excitement. Source: Giphy.

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Big Little Lies and the Representation of Women’s Relationships

A few weeks ago, I binge-watched Big Little Lies over the course of one (bad-feeling for unrelated reasons) day. At the end of the day, I was feeling weirder than before, but for an entirely new set of reasons. As far as I can tell, this is the experience many of us have had with the show. We think we may have liked it, but we also definitely feel that there was something off about it.

Big Little Lies is based on a book written by a woman, starring an allstar (if very white) cast of women, and produced by a company founded ostensibly to uplift women-centric stories. Yet, more than anything else, Big Little Lies tells the story of women who, despite being overwhelming rich in access to resources, are still barely surviving the emotional barrage of patriarchal social structures.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Panel Recap: ¿Como Se Dice ‘Nerd’?

Going into my second Con as both an attendee and a copywriter, I was incredibly excited to attend the panel “¿Como Se Dice ‘Nerd’?” Last year, this panel was without a doubt one of the highlights of my entire convention experience, and this year proved to be no different. Moderated by Sylvia Artiga, a writer and the creator and manager of ¿Cómo Se Dice Nerd?, an online spaced dedicated to celebrating Latinx nerds and their contribution to art, music, and pop culture, the panel explored the fraught yet joyous intersection of Latinidad and geekdom. Artiga’s fellow panelists included Tristan J. Tarwater, a prolific comic and fantasy writer, Isabel Ann Castro, an illustrator who acts as co-founder and art director for St. Sucia, an international Latinx art and literature zine, and organizer for the San Anto Zine Fest, and Joamette Gil, an illustrator, cartoonist, curator, podcaster and publisher.

Image Description: Panelists speak at the “Como se dice ‘Nerd'” panel at 2016’s GeekGirlCon. Source: Sayed Alamy via GeekGirlCon flickr

The panel was guided by a variety of questions surrounding creativity, community, and identity. How does language, nationality, race, and history influence the way Latinx nerds interact with fandoms, hobbies, and geekery in general? What are some of the works or places that make Latinx nerds feel welcome and represented and what feels isolating? How can geeky interests be used to confront issues of colorism, colonialism, and culture clashes in the Latinx community?

The beginning of the panel focused on introducing the panelists, a diverse group of self-identifying Latinx nerds from a wide variety of backgrounds. The panelists immediately reflected on the difficulty of the time in which the panel was taking place. This year, the convention took place during the utter devastation of Hurricane Maria, and the ensuing governmental and aid response (or lack thereof). Artiga and her fellow panelists noted that it was a “heavy time” for the Latinx community, and that GeekGirlCon provided an opportunity for those carrying so much stress and heartache to still recognize how much they simultaneously deserve joy and fun.

The panelists then highlighted some of the ways in which their geekery interacted – and often clashed – with their Latinx identity growing up. As fledgling nerds within a Latinx community, the touchstones of nerd culture that they loved were often seen as “American” (read: white), leaving the panelists in a difficult position in which “American-ness” was both venerated and discouraged. As Tarwater pointed out, “the whiter you acted, the better you could do,” highlighting pressure from within the Latinx community to comply with the forces of assimilation in order to get by. Artiga underscored this point, noting that there is a “painful and complicated narrative of passing into ‘Americanness.’” Ultimately, many of the lessons that the panelists absorbed growing up played into the false narrative that if marginalized people play by the rules of assimilation they will succeed and be accepted. Part of their individual and collective activism lies in recognizing the damage of this narrative, making sure that the Latinx community knows that it doesn’t “have to play the game anymore,” and creating new spaces for Latinx people to thrive without having to adhere to the strictures of a white, capitalistic, colonialist society.

In order to create these spaces, the panelists spoke about the crucial importance of the internet as a tool for communicating, collaborating, sharing work, finding your voice, finding an audience, and, ultimately, expressing yourself independently and authentically. In this way, Latinx creators can push for their own representation, creating media that speaks to their experiences far more directly than anything in the mainstream. The internet also tends to have a snowball effect, creating large-scale change out of small-scale projects and mobilizing people around common goals and experiences. To this end, the panelists highlighted the hashtag #latinxscreate, which provides one such space to share and celebrate Latinx work that is also inclusive of the Black community.

Image Description: Audience members at the “Como se dice ‘Nerd'” panel at 2016’s GeekGirlCon. Source: Sayed Alamy via GeekGirlCon flickr

The panel moved on to a discussion of the challenges facing Latinx nerds and how to face them. The panelists noted how much guilt can be involved in the process of creation for Latinx individuals – a sense that pursuing their passions means betraying both their community and their ancestors. They reflected on the importance of being self-centered rather than selfish, of paying attention to what you are and what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt others. They spoke of the fact that guilt will inevitably crop up, but alongside it there must be space for a reclamation of happiness and joy, and a recognition that incredible suffering has occurred in the hopes of building a better future.

The panelists then offered a few examples of great representation of Latinx identity within mainstream media, such as characters from “Jane the Virgin” and Cisco from “The Flash,” as well as the re-vamped America comics from Marvel. Alongside these positive representations, the panelists also expressed uncertainty about Claire Temple from “Luke Cage” and frustration over the fact that white brunette actors are often substituted for Latinx characters and that Afro-Latinx women are usually cast as Black characters. Because of the disappointing nature of so much media representation of Latinx identity, many of the panelists spoke about purposefully avoiding content that promises Latinx characters in the understandable fear that they won’t deliver. The representation that is necessary is of Latinx characters as authentic, well-rounded, diverse people – a low bar, but one that mainstream media all too often fails to meet.

Image Description: Panelists speak at the “Como se dice ‘Nerd'” panel at 2016’s GeekGirlCon. Source: Sayed Alamy via GeekGirlCon flickr

The panel concluded with a question and answer period. One attendee reflected on the fact that too many Latinx characters are written by white people and the result is almost uniformly terrible. They wondered where consumers should be looking right now to nurture Latinx creators. In response, the panelists pointed to the aforementioned #latinxscreate hashtag along with the #comesedicenerd hashtag as valuable resources, as well as the power of writing and creating for yourself. They noted that it’s important for Latinx creators to allow themselves space to fail and get it wrong, but that putting their work out their is too important to stay silent out of fear.

Another attendee asked about Latinx-owned businesses to support, to which the panelists noted that many creators at the Con itself were incredible and more than worthy of support. They also highlighted zine fests, creator Patreon pages, and the importance of supporting friends and utilizing community resources, as well as prioritizing money to support independent creators of color. One of the final questions centered around “passing privilege” as a light-skinned Latinx person, and wondered how they could interact within Latinx spaces without bulldozing and taking advantage of their privilege. In response, Artiga noted that “there is space for people to be the scaffolding and make the space” for others to speak, to provide crucial behind-the-scenes support and signal boosting and to use privilege and the energy that privilege provides to call out racism and prejudice where those with less privilege might feel unable to. Ultimately, the panelists also emphasized the fact that light-skinned Latinxs are “part of the story too,” and have an importance space within the larger fight for greater representation of the incredibly diverse Latinx community.

This panel was thought-provoking, beautiful, and an important reminder of the power that creators have when nurtured by an inclusive and committed community. Here’s hoping that the panel will be back to provide additional insight and inspiration at this year’s Con!

(Also, a reminder that, more than three months after Hurricane Maria, nearly half of Puerto Rico’s residents still do not have power and the devastation from the hurricane (and the lack of an adequate governmental response) means that attention and support is as necessary as ever. Alongside supporting Puerto Rican creators, please consider checking out the following links and directly contributing to disaster relief efforts:)

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Geek About Town: January

The New Year is (almost) upon us, which means that we can finally bid goodbye to the unfortunate, terrifying mess that characterized most of 2017. The good news is that there is SO MANY incredible and exciting events coming up in January to help beckon in a better and brighter new year!

 

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The character Rachel Berry from “Glee” wearing a Happy New Year Crown. The image text reads “The countdown begins.”

 

Tuesday, January 2nd: Kit Build! Adafruit LED Goggles

  • 1pm – 4pm
  • Living Computers: Museum + Labs
    2245 First Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
  • $68
  • Kill two ravens with one stone and learn how to solder while you create your newest costume headpiece – a wicked pair of Adafruit LED Goggles – in this 2-hour entry level workshop. Space is limited for this take-home activity.

 

Wednesday, January 3rd: Reading Through It: Weapons of Math Destruction

  • 7pm
  • Third Place Books Seward Park
    5041 Wilson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Free event!
  • The Seattle Review of Books and Seattle Weekly aim to help you cope with the next three years thanks to Reading Through It, a “monthly book club exploring who we are as Americans, where we’re going, and how to fix it.” Weapons of Math Destruction is a former Wall Street analyst’s warning against “the mathematical models that pervade modern life—and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.”

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The characters Bones and Kirk from Star Trek: The Original Series nod at each other.

Saturday, January 6th: Extraterrestrial Architecture in Space

  • 10am – 12pm
  • Center for Architecture & Design
    1010 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Free event!
  • All-ages event!
  • We’re bored with Earth. What about Mars? Participants will learn about the very different problems architects would face if building for the surface of other planets….and moons…and asteroids? The sky is not even the limit…

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The characters Steve and Nancy from “Stranger Things” dance at a party.

Saturday, January 6th: Laser Stranger Things

 

  • 4 dates – January 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
  • 8:00pm
  • Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center

 

  • Follow our Laser artists into The Upside Down with this laser show tribute to the music of Stranger Things. A synth-heavy score and dark 80s soundtrack contribute to the spooky nostalgia of this popular Netflix Original hit. Performed, as always, by our talented laser artists, don’t miss this limited run in January of Laser Stranger Things.

 

Saturday, January 6th: Children’s Storytime at Elliott Bay Book Company

  • Every Saturday of the month
  • 11am
  • Elliott Bay Book Company
    1521 10th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • Free event!
  • Join us for this fun hour of readings from picture and storybooks with one of Elliott Bay’s bookfolk. Go to the castle in the children’s section … and the stories begin!

 

Thursday, January 11th: Gay City Arts presents To Exist Is To Resist

  • 4 dates – January 11th, 12th, 20th, 21st
  • 7:00pm
  • Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center
    517 E Pike St, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • General Admission $15, Discounted Tickets $12, Radical Hospitality Tickets free!
  • What would Marsha P Johnson, Leslie Feinberg and our sick and disabled queer grandparents have to say about fighting to survive and win? Sick and disabled queer/ trans people have always resisted, from the first colonial invasions to nursing homes to freak shows to street based queer and trans activism. We are heroes, fighters and survivors and we have the medicine we need to survive Trump. In this star-studded sick and disabled QT/POC show, curated by billie rain and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, come witness Seattle based disabled queer/ of color artists performing new work reflecting on the resistance wisdom of our disabled queer ancestors.This performance is also part of a star studded ALL SICK AND DISABLED QTBIPOC ALL THE TIME DOUBLE WEEKEND! Come see us, and then check out Neve Andromeda Bianco Mazique’s one femme show, Betcha Ungodly Things! Support all of us! Come for this living altar of disabled QTBIPOC testimony, genius and love. 

Thursday, January 11th: Art Spiegelman, Anita Kunz, & Steve Brodner on Art Young

  • 6:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Society Of Illustrators
    128 E 63rd St, New York, New York 10065
  • Non-Member and Member tickets $15, Students and Seniors $7
  • Join us for an evening with comics art giant Art Spiegelman and acclaimed illustrator Anita Kunz as they discuss the lasting influence of 20th century political cartoonist Art Young, with master caricaturist Steve Brodner moderating the discussion. The three will examine the historical significance of Young’s work, and its relevance in today’s artistic and political landscape.

    Images for discussion will be drawn from the 2017 retrospective To Laugh That We May Not Weep: The Life & Times of Art Young (Fantagraphics) by Glenn Bray and Frank M. Young. Copies will be available for purchase after the event.

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Characters from the movie “Jumanji” sit down to play the game “Jumanji” together.

Friday, January 12th: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

  • 7pm – 10:45pm
  • Wayward Coffeehouse
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Free event!
  • Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon (http://www.geekgirlcon.com/) game nights with our friends at Wayward (http://www.waywardcoffee.com/)? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

 

Monday, January 15th: BlackLivesMatter- Let Black Liberation Ring

  • 6pm
  • Westlake Park
    401 Pine St, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Free event!
  • We strive for #BlackLiberation – we strive for freedom to not be treated like animals and for our justice system to treat us equally or be abolished – we strive for fair and equal taxation so that people of color can not only survive but thrive – we strive for a day were we are not discriminated against for our skin color or our culture but treated equally for content of our character – we strive to not be shot and killed by police and then our image be slandered on the news. We ask you join us and say Racism and police brutality and unfair and unequal treatment of Black people has to stop and freedom has to begin because until Black people are free no one is free.

 

Sunday, January 15th: Cine-City: A Community Exposé

  • Seating at 6:30pm, show at 7:00pm
  • Naked City Brewery & Taphouse
    8564 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98103
  • $8 in advance, $10 at the door
  • Cine-City is Seattle’s only consistent film night with bi-monthly (every other month) screenings of local short films. We will fill up a block of films 45 minutes to an 1 hour, at the end of the night the films will be voted on and the most voted film will be announced the next day and will move on to the Best Of in November. All proceeds help the Film Non Profit Ardor Creative Media. http://ardorcreativemedia.com/cine_city/

 

Monday, January 16th: MLK Seattle Rally & March

  • 11am – 4pm
  • Garfield High School
    400 23rd Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • Free event!
  • Educate yourself at workshops from 9:30-10:50am, then at 11:00am, join the pre-march rally in the Garfield Gym to become inspired and informed with speakers, performers, and more. View the full schedule at www.mlkseattle.org/index.php Following the rally (12:00-12:20), the march line-up starts in the Garfield parking lot (across the street from Ezell’s chicken). The march will begin at 12:30, heading to the Federal Building at 2nd & Madison. The Downtown Program is estimated to start at 1:30 p.m. Marchers are welcome to return to Garfield for a late lunch or to join employers and more at the Opportunity & Information Fair at Garfield (1:30-4:00pm).

 

Wednesday, January 17th: Literary Arts Series: Jesmyn Ward

  • 9pm – 2am
  • Benaroya Hall
    200 University St, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Tickets between $10 and $80
  • Jesmyn Ward has been called “fearless and toughly lyrical” by the Library Journal. Her novel Salvage the Bones, the story of four motherless children trying to protect their home in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction. Her unflinching portrayals of young black men and women struggling to thrive in a South ravaged by poverty and natural disaster have been praised for their “graphic clarity” by the Boston Globe, and for their “hugeness of heart” by O, The Oprah Magazine.
    Ward’s follow-up to Salvage was Men We Reaped, a memoir that confronts the five years of Ward’s life in which she lost five young men—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that follows people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Lauded by Kirkus as a “modern rejoinder to Black Like Me [and] Beloved,” Men We Reaped is a homage to Ward’s past, her ghosts, and the haunted yet hopeful place she still calls home. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, it was named one of the Best Books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, Kirkus, New York Magazine, and TIME magazine.

    Ward is also the editor of the critically acclaimed anthology The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race, which NPR listed as one of the Best Books of 2016. Taking James Baldwin’s 1963 pivotal examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, is a jumping-off point. The groundbreaking collection features essays and poems about race from the most important voices of Ward’s generation and our time—from Edwidge Danticat, Natasha Trethewey, and Isabel Wilkerson, to Mitchell S. Jackson, Kiese Laymon, and Claudia Rankine.

    In the forthcoming Sing, Unburied, Sing, Ward will return to Mississippi and the themes of her earlier work. Confronting the realities of life in the rural South, Ward gives us a road map through Mississippi’s past and present that explores the bonds of family as tested by racism and poverty. Her work is all set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi where Ward grew up, and each new publication makes her a fitting heir to the rich literary tradition of the American South.

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Beyoncé and Lady Gaga dance together in a music video.

Thursday, January 18th: BEYONCÉ vs. GAGA vs. BRITNEY vs. MADONNA SING ALONG

  • 8pm
  • Central Cinema
  • $12 General Admission
  • Four of music’s finest divas join you for what’s sure to be one of the best nights of your life. The Queen of R&B, The Queen of Pop, the Princess of Pop, the , and the Mother of Monsters team up to get you singing, dancing, and so much more. Telephone on the big screen is worth the price of admission alone.

 

Sunday, January 20th: 2018 Pantsuit 5k Run/Walk

  • 9am – 11am
  • Green Lake
  • $22.09 entrance fee
  • Bring out those pantsuits ladies (& gents, kids, dogs ok too). Fun run/walk around Greenlake. The primary purpose of the event is for the unification of the Pantsuit community and to continue to strive for change. Last year we had over 700 attend, let’s make this event bigger & better. Event is not timed. It is a fun run/walk. No refunds or transfers. Rain or shine. This is a no frills run/walk. 30% of the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood!

 

Wednesday, January 24th: #MeToo in Tech: How Men Can Help

  • 6pm
  • Northwest Film Forum
    1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
  • $12 tickets
  • This event will be a forum for men who work in the tech industry in Seattle to discuss ways that we can show up for women, trans folks, and other non-cis-male-identified folks who often experience harassment and discrimination in our industry. More details will be posted at this URL as we get closer to the event.

 

Monday, January 25th: Children’s International Film Festival

  • January 25th – February 10th
  • Northwest Film Forum
  • 1515 12th Ave. Seattle, WA 98122
  • $12 General Admission, $9 Students, Seniors, and Children
  • Over the past 13 years, Children’s Film Festival Seattle has become the largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families. Each year, Northwest Film Forum selects more than 170 children’s films from 50+ countries, reaching more than 10,000 people during festival screenings in Seattle and a subsequent festival tour of 15-20 U.S. cities. What we stand for: Racial equity and diversity, inclusivity, social justice, global awareness, and the best in age-appropriate, visual storytelling for young people. Produced by Northwest Film Forum, Children’s Film Festival Seattle includes live performances, features, shorts and hands-on workshops, all crafted with care for the next generation of movie lovers.

 

Friday, January 26th: Lovett or Leave It

  • 8pm – 11pm
  • Moore Theatre
    1932 2nd Ave, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Ticket prices vary, starting at $47
  • STG Presents & AEG welcomes Lovett or Leave It to The Moore Theatre on Friday, January 26, 2018. The Lovett or Leave It podcast, as part of Pod Tours America, has announced additional tour dates and will be live on stage January 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm at The Moore Theatre. Former speechwriter for Hillary Clinton and the Obama White House and co-host of the wildly popular podcast Pod Save America, Jon Lovett brings his Lovett or Leave It podcast live to Seattle. Get ready for a night of lively and humorous discussion of politics and top news stories with special guests along with other popular Lovett or Leave It segments.

 

Friday, January 26th: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

  • 7pm – 10:45pm
  • Wayward Coffeehouse
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Free event!
  • Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon (http://www.geekgirlcon.com/) game nights with our friends at Wayward (http://www.waywardcoffee.com/)? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Ryan Gosling works on on an exercise bike while wearing a onesie on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Saturday, January 27th: 2018 Onesie Bar Crawl

  • 14pm

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

ADHD: the White Boy Bias

A still from a YouTube video that shows a headshot of a woman making a quirky face next to text that says “Do you have ADHD?”

One of the best moments of my life was when, while sitting in my psychiatrist’s office after having filled out a series of questionnaires, she looked up at me and said, “Well, you have ADHD.”

I was 26. I had graduated from college with honors, was working a full-time job, and led an outwardly stable life. At the same time, I was experiencing debilitating anxiety and depression and struggling to cope. I saw myself as lazy, incompetent, and immatureI had incredibly poor self-discipline, was always forgetting things, and constantly ping-ponged between excitedly volunteering for roles and feeling completely overwhelmed. It seemed like I had to work twice as hard for twice as long to keep up with my peers.

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Panel Recap: A Geek Girl’s Right to Erotica

I have been more than a little bit obsessed with romance novels, erotica, and romantic fanfiction for most of my life. It started with sneakily checking out books from the library and skim-reading to get to the “good parts,” then moved on to scouring Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, and other glorious sites for all of my slash fic needs, no matter how niche (Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, anyone?), and now, at long last, I can finally say that I am a proud sex nerd and devourer of all things romance and sexuality.

Given this extensive history, I think it’s safe to say that I couldn’t have been more excited to sit in on this year’s GeekGirlCon panel A Geek Girl’s Right to Erotica. This panel was the first live episode of the certifiably awesome Podice Rippers podcast, hosted by Natalie Warner and Lainey Seaton. When not podcasting “at length and girth” about romance novels, Natalie and Lainey are a cyber-security technical writer and an account manager, respectively. Together, they host a podcast that is an incredibly funny and thoroughly geeky exploration of all things romance, smut, and erotica.

Image Description: podcast hosts and panelists Natalie Warner and Lainey Seaton sitting at their panel table at GeekGirlCon ’17. Source: Twitter

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon