Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wiscon: Part I
I've been back from Wiscon for two days, and I'm finally caught up on my sleep and my e-mail.

For those of you who don't know, Wiscon is a bit of a rarity. It's a feminist Sci-fi convention.

What does that mean? Several things...

The paneling is slightly different:

When I went to Norwescon, they had a panel titled: "Where Have All the Great Monster Movies Gone?" Wiscon had a panel titled: "The Role of Women and Ethnic Minorities in Stargate."

There is a lean toward issues of race, class and gender at Wiscon, but it's just a lean. It's not the only thing that happens there. Wiscon still has panels on writing good high fantasy, the science of dark matter, and artificial intelligence. The difference is that at Wiscon the AI panel will be more likely to discuss the gender of the AI, and what that implies about society.

The people that attend are slightly different:

At Wiscon you have less of the extreme freaky fans with borderline social dysfunction. This is nice.

However, there is a corresponding rise of Wiscon attendees with graduate degrees. Which, in a way, means they just have a different flavor of social dysfunction.

In practical terms this means that at Wiscon you'll have fewer people standing too close to you, interrupting you when you speak, or following you around explaining why Squire of Gothosis personally, very important to them. The trade off is that people at Wiscon are more likely to use words like, "hermeneutic," and "appropriation" and "trope."

I score this as a point for Wiscon, as I kinda like the word trope.


The activities are slightly different:

There is less filking and yiffing, more discoursing and unpacking of social constructs.

Simply said, at Wiscon, there's less geeking, and more speaking.

The amount of drinking and hobnobbing at the parties are roughly equal.

You'll see fewer people in costume at Wiscon. In fact, it wasn't until the very last day that I saw my requisite catgirl. Costumes are still there, but they tend to be more reserved, or designed along challenging gender rolls. Which is a fancy way of saying that there's a fair amount of cross-dressing. Though honestly, I saw a fair share of that at Norwescon too.

I'm not saying that I like one scene more than the other. I'm just pointing out the differences. Personally, I just like being around people who are doing what makes them happiest. If you're a woman who wants to dress up like a Klingon, fine. If you're a guy who wants to wear a red sequined evening dress, also fine. You want to do both, it's all cool with me, baby. Get down with your freaky self.

There, now we're all on the same page about Wiscon. Next post I'll give y'all the list of surrealness that happened while I was down there....

Stay tuned,



posted by Pat at


Anonymous Tycho said...

I think I like appropriation more than trope (and Klingons more than red-sequined dresses, I guess).


May 31, 2007 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to look up the word trope... The definitions I got weren't all that enlightening, but it IS a fun word...

Trope. (at the risk of being repetitive)

May 31, 2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Filking and yiffing and trope, oh my!
Okay, let's really push the envelope..How about a Klingon in a red-sequined dress? I have to giggle just thinking about it. All that testosterone and battle gear, with a nice pair of pumps...

June 1, 2007 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Josie said...

I can't wait for next post, i love surrealness. It makes my life a bit less boring. I'm glad you had fun.

June 2, 2007 8:40 PM  

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