So, I did not mention here that I’d be at Geek Girl Con this weekend, however I did on twitter. But I was just, I have never recovered my verve for blogging since the years of abuse after the dickwolves bullshit, and I’m thinking this year’s GGC might have fixed that.
I met some fantastic people, of all ages, who are so inspiring, and I’m trying not to swear as much because I was once again reminded that not everyone who does, has or will read my blog is a chronological adult. So, why don’t you guys just start creating a betting pool on how long I’m going to last THIS time. Probably until the halfway point of this article. That’s my slot anyway.
I did two panels:
The All-Girl Game Group Might be Just What You Need. In this one, put together by the magnificent Berlynn Wohl with members of her gaming group, and me. Those of us who had been gaming longer talked about bad experiences with mixed gender groups, and then things we loved about our all-girl groups. And I was astonishingly pleased that we did not get one single, “Well, isn’t an all-girl gaming group just as sexist as the guys not letting you play?” question, which I had been expecting. At the end, we urged audience members to meet each other with the goal of forming their own groups. And at least one gaming group did in fact form out of that!!!!! So excited!!!! We also heard from a young lady in middle school who was experiencing some sexist crap, and had just lost a gaming group and was going to try to form another one, but was so upset she couldn’t finish her question. One of the panel members, Hats, talked to her and her mom after, and gave them some advice.
Then, I had Cosplaying While Fat, with Wolfcat and Jo Jo Stiletto, the Professor of Nerdlesque. We talked about foundation garments, which is my personal hobbyhorse. Seriously, ladies, if you haven’t been professionally fitted for a bra by someone who knows what they are doing (not Victoria’s Secret or Lane Bryant, I’m talking go to Nordstrom or the Bon), then get thee hence to a good department store and get fitted as soon as possible. Most stores won’t make you buy a bra there, but it would be a nice gesture if you did if you can afford it. I cannot stress this enough. Your back will thank me. We talked about places to get things, like tights (WeLoveColors.com and Sockdreams.com), the tights under fishnets trick, wearing socks with fishnets, remedies for chub-rub (Lush’s Silky Underwear), and various things to glue costume bits to yourself. We talked about make up, and Stealth Cosplay, Bombsheller, and lots and lots of things that I can elaborate on later.
During the above panels, I was not allowed to swear, which I’m sure was hilarious as I kept having to stop after the first letters of words, and think about what was leaving my mouth. In the Cosplaying panel, in response to a question about how I coped with jerks and where I found the confidence to cosplay my response was, “I have just reached a point where I don’t give any fffff… You know those things that start with F that no one gives? I don’t have any of those to give. My field lies fallow.” To which the Geek Husband What Rules said later, “Nice save, potty mouth.”
The Geek Husband What Rules went this year, and ran games on demand in gaming. And this is what brings me to the “More on Why I Hate Gatekeepers” part.
On Saturday after I was done with my panel, I went back down to gaming and sat to watch the GHWR and our friends Andy and Jay teach two teenaged girls how to play Dungeon World. And they were so excited!!! They got it, it was fun for them! They got to help the GHWR’s character save her kingdom. The one girl was a Druid and turned into a bear and leapt off of something to squash a guy, landing claws first. They were having a great time! And the guys were having a great time teaching them because they were so happy about it and exuberant about it! And the entire convention was filled with young girls having a fantastic time, and as we left Saturday night and I checked my Twitter feed, my mood just plummeted. Because looking at all the GamerGate tags, and all the jerks reacting to the “INeedDiverseGaming” hashtag, and all I could think was, “There are a bunch of selfish, heartless, soul-less, gutless wastes of human DNA who are just waiting to take that joy and that exuberance and enthusiasm from those girls. And I want to punch the ever-loving shit right out of them.”
You know, usually I go out of my way to reassure people that I’m just being hyperbolic, and that I don’t as a general rule want to hurt people.
I’m not doing that right now, because I remember all the ways that my love for all things nerdy was continuously shit on while I was growing up. How I was belittled and mocked for liking “boy things.” And how I wasn’t taken seriously as a gamer, a comic fan, or whatever, for years, and the idea that those wonderful, happy, excited girls would have to go through that soul-crushing bullshit makes me want to don armor and protect them from it.
I want those girls to love what they love without a bunch of selfish, childish assholes trying to take it away from them.
And I want to punish those selfish, childish assholes for being selfish, childish assholes. And I don’t care if that makes me a bad person to some of you. I just don’t care, because I’m remembering a 13 year old girl reduced to tears in a Saturday morning panel trying to ask us what to do to make things ok again so she could do something she loves: game. And I’m crying while I type this, hell I can barely see the screen because I’m crying so hard and I am so angry about what the assholes of the world want to do that girl and all the other wonderful, smart, intelligent, fantastic, enthusiastic, exuberant Geek Girls I saw there this weekend.
I am so angry, and if I could absorb all that bullshit so that they can grow up without ever having to experience even a quarter of the bullshit I’ve dealt with in my geek life, I would do it gladly. I am not someone who thinks, “Well, it happened to me, so it should happen to you.”
No, I’m someone who thinks, “It is wrong that I had to endure this, and I will fight with every fiber of my being to let you know that I am here to do everything I can to keep you from having to live the bullshit I have put up with to participate in these hobbies and fandoms that I love so much.”
Berlynn said in the Gaming panel, that it’s kind of amazing how much love Geek Girls have for their hobbies, considering the sheer amount of crap that we have had to put up with, and continue to put up with from the Stupid, Selfish, Assholes of Geek Culture.
So, yeah, do not ever, ever, EVER Geek-Check a girl in front of me, because as I said in a couple of panels: “Putting jerks into therapy for the rest of their lives is my hobby.” I don’t care if it’s not “nice” or whatever. If you act like an asshole in front of me, I will treat you accordingly.
Yup, I was right. About half a page in.
I will enthuse about more stuff later, I really did have a fantastic time. I managed to push the angry out of my head, ignore the internet, and just enjoy the convention, helped in part by forgetting my phone this morning, because I am awesome.
I also attended “Geeks Got Your Back” which talked about the Back-up Ribbon project, and the Fatness in Fandom panel, and the PWNFattitude meet-up afterward. Got some awesome Fat Acceptance buttons.
The GHWR and I were trying not to spend any money, and while I made my saving throw versus all the cool notebooks, I lost the saving throws versus a GGC tumblr, and a mystery shirt bag from ShirtWoot. He found the lady with all the buttons (nothing but buttons) and picked up four or five, including two Hawkeye buttons, an X-men button, a Deadpool button, a Nightcrawler button, and a Black Widow Button. So six.
I can math. Really.
The next couple of posts are going to be photos of awesome cosplays. But for this post, I just wanted to highlight some of the awesome little girls I saw.
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Oh, and Honey Badger’s first two songs are available for download here, for free or pay what you want. We’re also part of a larger compilation to benefit a local venue, with a song written by yours truly. Check it out (we’re track 16).