Monday, March 31, 2014

ECCC Story: Girl Power

I know, I know. Girl Power is a very 90s, Spice Girls thing to say. It's almost come to represent a superficial female empowerment that's often driven by embracing sexist attitudes in a half-hearted attempt to subvert them, yet in the end kind of reinforces them further. Sometimes when dealing with heavy issues like sexism and racism the illusion of change becomes more important than any sort of real, substantial, change.

Sorry that paragraph got way deeper than I usually get.

There were a lot of kick ass female artists/writers at Emerald City Comic Con this year. Out of the measly 10 books I did get signed, 5 were either written or drawn by women. And I'll be honest, the women that I talked to, like Kelly Sue DeConnick or Amanda Conner, were a lot nicer and more interesting as a whole than their male counterparts. That's not to say that I didn't have some great conversations with a couple dude artists. It's just that if I had to choose between hanging out with the gals or the guys, I'm picking the gals. Maybe that says more about me than anything else? I don't know.

It's amazing how quickly I can get away from my original point.

As the father of a 7 month old future geek girl, it was great seeing how many positive female role models there are in the industry and culture that I love so much. There's still a long way to go but it feels like the tide is turning. I know that one father's experience at one convention doesn't erase all the fake geek girl memes or the boorish behavior of some guys that think seeing cleavage is a free pass to harassment but it did provide some needed encouragement that this is a community I'd be happy to raise my daughter in.

ps. the girl dressed as Deadpool in the picture up top was one of my favorite cosplayers at the con. She was super bad ass. I didn't take the picture but I wanted to share it.

pps. I have lots to blather on about regarding Emerald City Comic Con this last weekend. I'm going to try and spread it all out over this week, so if you didn't want to read about ECCC, maybe you should hang out at Ars Technica this week. Go head, I won't hold it against you.


Anonymous said...

I was super proud of the atmosphere this year. I didn't encounter a single creeper or jerk. There was less T&A art around. It's still fairly prominent, but less so than last year. People were generally more friendly. There was a pretty good amount of gender-bending cosplay and people were cool about it. I didn't hear any cat calls. I didn't see cosplayers looking harassed. There were a lot of women around who seemed confident and comfortable.

I think it really is getting better. It's taken hard work to get this far, but hopefully we can keep it up and make things better yet for girls like your daughter. :)



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