The ‘Little Convention That Could’ gets the best buzz as women and girls are given a safe space to share old passions and discover new ones.
Last week I road-tripped with a couple of friends from Los Angeles to Seattle, cramming the trip into a couple of days so we’d make it in time for the second annual GeekGirlCon. I have to say, it was a different beast than last year’s convention. The organization went up about five levels, the location was more centralized and in the actual downtown part of the city, and the scope in general was beyond what you might expect from a con only in its second year.
But it was a completely different experience for me, since this year I decided to go as an exhibitor.
There has been a lot of bad blood in the geek world in the last couple of months, particularly around the subject of women in nerdom. Apparently there is some phenomenon (which I’ve never personally experienced) of girls pretending to be geeks to get attention. The thing that gets me is that I believe you can be a geek about anything. Geekery is about passion, not cred. There are music geeks, architecture geeks, fashion geeks, and even sports geeks. Comics and sci-fi/fantasy geeks don’t have ownership of the label, we’re just the public face.
Once upon a time, Sarah Kuhn belonged to a “nerd collective” that put out a .pdf zine with a geek focus: Grok. For each issue, the collective came up with a theme, and everyone wrote a piece around that topic. And from the theme of Pon Farr Kuhn’s geeky romance novella, One Con Glory, sprang into existence.
The First Annual Geek Girl Con was a lovely sight to behold, both figuratively and literally (some awesome cosplay!). Totally low-key and mellow, with a wonderful sense of camaraderie and community. Everyone seemed very comfortable with themselves and each other. There was a definite sense of intelligence in the air; great, detailed discussions about representation in television, novels, and comics took place in every room.
Sometimes, the convention scene is stressful. There’s not enough time to do everything, or see everything, or hear everything. As I was considering some of my favorite things about con, the one that went to the top of the list is the opportunity to interact with other people who feel the way I do about geeky things. That got me thinking about ways to make that happen, and I came up with a little scavenger hunt, guaranteed to allow the so-inclined to geek it up.
I’ve got some events and deadlines coming up in the next couple of months, so it’s crunch time. First, at the start of October I’ll be headed to Seattle for Geek Girl Con with my friend Clare. I’m pretty excited about this, especially since I had a rather disappointing time at Comic-Con this year. It’s also my last big ticketed event until I get a new job.
One good thing came out of the ridiculous New York Times review of Game of Thrones – it made me realize just how much I want to go to Geek Girl Con in October to spend time with like-minded women. In celebration of that, I set out to make a list of Top 10 Pop Culture Geek Girls.
And got stuck at 4.