Who Is GeekGirlCon For?
As we work toward our convention in October (Do you have your passes yet? Seriously? Buy them already!), I thought I’d address some assumptions about GeekGirlCon, who we are, and what we do. As a proud staffer with GeekGirlCon, I am familiar with our mission statement:
We celebrate and honor the legacy of women that contribute to science and tech; video games and comics; and arts and literature. We fulfill this mission by connecting geeky women worldwide and nurturing a community that fosters the growth of women in geek culture through year-round events.
To me, it seems evident from reading this that anyone who supports geeky women would be welcome, but what does this really mean? So I decided to pose the question, “Based on what you know, who do you think that GeekGirlCon is for?” to some folks I know, and some of the replies are interesting.
“Pretty much what it says on the label. It’s primarily for girls and women of the geekier persuasions, but it’s also open to anyone who’d like to learn and see more about the perspectives/issues on their side of things.” – Aaron Blalack, convention attendee and hip-hop artist
“GeekGirlCon is for the thinking geek. I’ve always found the atmosphere and the vibe of GeekGirlCon to be a bit more academic than most other gaming conventions I attend. The panelists and the special guests arrive with the intention to talk about important issues. You are expected to think, you are expected to communicate well, and you can expect the conversations to be thoughtful and the questions challenging. Attendees should go to GeekGirlCon expecting to explore their favourite element of nerdy culture on a more thoughtful level.” – Joanna Gaskell, writer and producer of Standard Action
“GeekGirlCon to me is a sort of geeky safe harbor. A place where women can meet one another and share common enthusiasm about geeky passions without being subjected to the more negative side of our beloved culture such as sexism and voyeurism. A happy place to feel warm and fuzzy.” – Nick Hahn, Community Outreach Event Coordinator for Ablegamers
“I think GeekGirlCon is for everyone. It doesn’t exclude men in the same way that Comic-Con focuses on Comics but doesn’t exclude people who like genre prose, video games or sci-fi television. It invites you to a gathering that celebrates women who, sadly, don’t always get the recognition they should elsewhere. And it has plenty of panels and activities that aren’t gender specific.” – Alan Kistler, author/actor and comic book historian
“If you believe GeekGirlCon is a place for all geeks, then GeekGirlCon is the place for you. Join the inclusion clique!” – Andy Munich, convention attendee, Special Agent, and RPG specialist
“I think that GeekGirlCon is for anyone who thinks that questions of gender disparity in geek culture are fair ones, and who therefore sees that having a focus on deliberately (re)presenting groups or perspectives that differ from the cultural default of many other events is a reasonable response. When other events (or cultures surrounding them) are, or seem to be, presumptively male, tagging an event “girl” only seems exclusionary in the superficial sense. Really, it’s a geeky and pop cultural event for anyone interested in any other such events, but built from the ground up to rest on the foundation of a more inclusive default.” – The One True B!x, Portland writer and founder emeritus of CSTS
“I am a little disadvantaged, having never been to GeekGirlCon…but I would still have to say, it’s for everyone. Based on the fact that every male Enforcer I am friends with actually looks forward to going to GeekGirlCon and certainly every geek girl I know in the PNW attends. I would say it’s for anyone who is comfortable with a con that is trying create a space where women actually feel comfortable instead of merely accepted.” – Shervyn von Hoerl, nerd dad hoping to raise a geek boy and a geek girl
“Although my knowledge is limited because I’m on the other side of nation and all, I was always under the impression that GeekGirlCon more or less celebrated and emphasized the fact that it’s not just a rare thing to be a girl with sci-fi/fantasy/RPG/console gamer interests. It’s normal… and darn it, it’s cool!!! GeekGirlCon is awesome, and I really must spread the word to a couple newly arrived gamer grrls I met at our weekly game day. I think at least one of them would make a pilgrimage someday :-).” – Michael Hanna, gay gamer rakehellion and Michigan bon vivant
Now…after reading all of these replies, it’s clear that everyone sees GeekGirlCon a little differently—and that’s sort of the point! GeekGirlCon is for everyone that supports us in our mission and values.
I’ve encountered folks who were convinced they couldn’t come because they think they’re not geeky “enough” or they’re not girls. Nope. All are welcome. All welcome. Go into the Light. There is peace and serenity in the Light. Wait, sorry. I channeled a little Tangina there…but you get my drift. Genuinely, and I’m quoting directly from our values:
“GeekGirlCon embraces all types of people. PERIOD. There is no way to list all the subsets of folks that now or in the future will make up the body of GeekGirlCon. ALL: ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, sexual preferences, sizes, abilities, ethnicities, nationalities, races, creeds, religions, familial statuses, alien species, earth species, education levels, science specializations, operating system preferences, fandoms, etc., are welcome. Anyone supporting women in geeky pursuits is welcome.“
And with that, we hope to see you in October!