Today I was trying to be con-lite and hang out with my family when not actually appearing on panels, to make it up to them about the entire lack of mummy for the las two and let’s face it, the next two days. This choice in itself has some feminist ramifications, let’s face it. Juggling motherhood and writing is hard, and juggling motherhood with cons is extra hard. I have help in my partner whi is basically prime child carer for them this week, and mostly on his own in the evenings, which he has managed excellently. Jem has been less than impressed with the arrangements, and clings tragically to me whenever she gets the chance. Raeli, while she is herself a mistress of emotional blackmail, is having a ball.
My morning panel, on the plight of the female superhero, was a sadly disappointing experience. I had been desperately looking forward to talking about this topic with Karen Healey, one of fantastic writers behind the Girlwonder.org project. Unfortunately the male member of the panel had not expected to have a conversation involving feminism, and the institutionalized sexism in the comics industry and all that sort of thing, which meant that we ended up in a frustrating argument about what the panel topic meant for most of the hour. It was a shame that we got derailed so badly and were not able to properly address the topic, and an even greater shame that no one had thought to bring the feminist bingo card as a power point graphic, to save time. We didn’t know we would need it!
Luckily there was some pro feminist awesomeness to redeem the day. I spent the afternoon chatting with Helen Merrick and a veritable cabal of academic women while Raeli had a playdate with Helen’s daughter. I then walked back over to the convention centre and got to sit down with Marianne and Maxine for fifteen lovely minutes, before going over to the green room to meet some of my fellow panelists.
Unlike this morning’s panel, Feminism in Fantasy was exactly as a feminist panel should be. Moderator Delia Sherman made it very clear right from the start that we all accepted the premise that fantasy has historically been a genre in which women got the short end of the stick, and no one argued. Hooray!
With Gail Carriger, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Catherynne Valente and Glenda Larke talking about feminism in their writing, I would have already considered this panel a must see of any convention. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to be sitting up there with them, listening to what they had to say and contributing my own thoughts and experiences. I had so much lovely feedback from the audience afterwards, and the whole thing was a pleasure.
Then I got to hurry back from the con centre to record a quick (ha!) Galactic Suburbia extra credit podcast with Alisa and Alex before returning to eat sushi and actually read bedtime stories to my daughters. Yes, yes, I still owe you all the first two days. I’ll get to it. Tomorrow we Hugo!!!