Yes, I wish we didn’t need to keep having this conversation too, but even though we’re barely three months into the new year, there have already been several high-profile blow-ups in fandom (not to mention all the things that happened last year) that just continue to prove how sexism is an ongoing problem in geek culture. I’m thrilled that this panel will feature many returning speakers from last year’s “Exorcising the Spectre of the Fake Geek Girl,” as well as other amazing women who I’ve worked with on other panels. This discussion was created with the idea that we’re done arguing about whether or not sexism is a problem in fandom and geek communities, so we’re going to move right into dissecting the myriad ways sexism manifests in geek culture and how we can address it.
Glass Ceilings, Missing Stairs & Gatekeepers: Geeks Still Deal With Sexism
Date: Saturday, April 26
We’ve established that yes, women can be geeks, so what gives? Why is con harassment still a problem? What other barriers are women facing in geek spaces? Isn’t talking about it just perpetuating the problem? Find out why talking about sexism and fighting for geeky gender equality is still needed. Panel sponsored in part by the Chicago Nerd Social Club.
Joining me on this panel:
Susheela (codename SoosheBot) – a multimedia STEM communicator helping make science more accessible to the world by removing the jargon and helping researchers talk about their work using clear, simple language. Her geek interests, outside of science writing/communications, are “being that friendly person who will take a picture of, and/or give tourists directions in Chicago,” reading ALL THE THINGS, and perfecting the fine art of introversion. Susheela will serve as the panel moderator. Follow her on Twitter @SoosheBot
Carlye Frank - a local artist who specializes in comic art and was trained under comic artist Skip Williamson. She’s also feminist activist, a college instructor and an alum of the Masters in the Humanities Program at the University of Chicago. Follow her on Twitter @JohnnyGreyArt.
Laura Koroski – an opinionated twenty-something who hails from the Chicago area and is in love with her city. Currently a grad student, hopefully a future history teacher, she has little free time, and such time as can be called free often goes into her blog, Challenge by Geek, where she writes about nerd culture and geeky topics through a feminist perspective. Laura’s geek passions include fantasy, sci-fi, feminism, and history – also, Doctor Who.
Kate Lansky – an avid gamer, lifelong comics fan, unrepentant book horder and writer. Kate recently had her short story, “We Save What We Can,” published in The Toasted Cheese Literary Journal. When she’s not creating fantasy worlds or raiding with a guild, she’s diligently tutoring her son in the Way of the Nerd.
Dawn Xiana Moon – a lifelong geek who performs with Read My Hips tribal bellydance, works freelance as a web designer, is a singer/songwriter and is also the producer and director of Raks Geek, the bellydance + fire show that broke the internet’s brain with a video of a Wookiee bellydancing to a Klingon band. She’s also part of the podcast, Podcast on the Edge of Forever. Follow her on Twitter @DawnXianaMoon
Erin Tipton – a lighting designer extraordinaire whose love affair with Anne McCaffery’s dragons began at age 8. She’s been a fan of the Doctor since she was tall enough to be able to see the TV from where she was hiding behind the couch, and in her spare time she likes to knit things such as Cthullu ski masks, Jayne hats, and even a crocheted animaguri Totoro doll. Follow her on Twitter @munchkin9482.
(Cover image is the “We Are All Wonderwomen,” a beautiful print by the Satrun Twins, based in Chicago. I bought this print at Wizard World, so please look for them at C2E2 at booth E7 in Artist’s Alley, or visit their Etsy store:http://www.etsy.com/shop/