ConShark

GeekGirlCon 2014: Saturday

First of all: sadly, no photos tonight, as I ingeniously left my camera cable in Los Angeles. They will be a treat to brighten your Monday, then! Instead, here’s a video of The Redshirts (the house band for Outdoor Trek) performing the Star Trek opening theme.

 

Now for a quick rundown of today’s GeekGirl festivities:

Anita Sarkeesian: the gaming/media critic was a last-minute addition to the morning schedule; I was still en route during her 10am session, but it’s been the talk of the con all day. Sarkeesian’s words themselves were widely praised, but some of that limelight was stolen by both the Twitter trolls attempting to overtake the GGC hashtag and the added security for the panel.

Exhibitors: I took a quick spin through the show floor and artists alley; while much of it is classic con fare, there’s an obvious emphasis on the inclusive, with more female, POC, and LGBT-friendly booths than usual. Plus, you have what are now becoming staples at other non-girl-focused cons around the country – booths selling things like nail polish (a trend I started to notice back in 2012 and very prominently in 2013) and custom tea blends.

Programming: High school robotics students got to show off their work to adults and kids alike – kids who stayed through the end of their panel got a chance to drive the custom-built robots. It was just about a full house for the Trek Women in Charge panel, and lots of boos (did someone seriously dismiss Janeway because she knew “too much science?”) and cheers (if you ever want to be well-received at a female geek event, simply utter the words “Tasha Yar”) filled the room. And in the realm of “only at GeekGirlCon,” I sat in a panel on advertising to women where a room full of grown women silently cried while watching an Always ad together. No shame.

Outdoor Trek: Evening programming kicked off with a fantastic performance of Outdoor Trek from Hello Earth, the group that puts on stage performances of a classic Trek episode every summer in Seattle parks. With a live house band (above), the group performed an absolutely hysterical version of “Mirror, Mirror.” Even if the play wasn’t quite your cup of tea, the band alone was worth watching – how can you say no to a mandolin solo during a bluegrass cover of The Doors’ “Break on Through?”

GeekGirlCONcert: With performances from Thundering Asteroids!, The Doubleclicks, and Sammus, the traditional GGC concert was well-received; it’s a bit of a bummer that this event didn’t play to a packed house, but it’s not surprising to see crowds thin in the evenings. As we mentioned on Twitter, there was lots of dancing – particularly from a group of young girls. These girls, who all looked to be under the age of 10, were dressed up as their heroine of choice: Kamala Khan, Jessica Drew, Elsa, Harley Quinn – and plenty of other young girls without costumes joined them. They danced through all three sets – a punk band, folksy comedy duo, and a rapper – with no concern over the meshing of styles. There was music, so they should dance. (Tiny Spider-Woman was even break dancing at one point.) And rightfully so, because that’s the spirit of GeekGirlCon: outsiders with varying passions coming together in a safe space. As The Doubleclicks sang about the fallacy of geek gatekeeping, the girls kept dancing; one of them even knew the words (guess which li’l break-dancing one). But it was really just another song to dance to: and isn’t that the point? The hope is that these girls can grow up in a world where the way people behave at this con isn’t just something you get for two days a year – it’s the norm. The goal is that the next generation doesn’t need to start their own convention simply because they’ve been told too many times that they didn’t belong. I hope those girls instead start their own convention for whatever weird, specific thing they all like. Nobody ever gets to try to convince them that they don’t deserve to enjoy something.

That’s what GeekGirlCon is all about. We all deserve that kind of space.

See you tomorrow.

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