After two weeks of being sick, it’s great to be able to come back with some good news: my panel has been accepted to Otakon!
For nearly a year, I’ve been attempting to become a panelist in one form or another. First I submitted a panel to SXSW about reporting on fandom, but it was rejected. Next, I collaborated with Patrick Taylor on a panel about sexism in anime fandom for Katsucon. That one was accepted, but I had to bail or else miss my San Francisco trip.
We decided to resubmit the panel to Otakon, even though we’d have a far lower chance of getting accepted. But luckily—and I think this is partly thanks to Otakon’s policy of giving brand new panelists a fighting chance—it did!
Here’s a refresher on what the panel is about (readers will notice it’s almost identical to our Katsucon pitch):
Sexism and anime fandom. Even though women have a stronger presence at anime conventions every year, there’s still much to be said about sexism in the medium and geek culture in general. Geekdom is considered a pursuit that is historically male, while women’s involvement has been understated until recently. Are the images and messages of anime at odds with the increasingly vocal fanbase of women and girl fans? Do women feel uncomfortable at some parts of a convention or in anime clubs? Do they feel special for the attention they get for being both a geek and a girl?
This panel will give attendees a safe space to discuss feminism and sexism in a geek environment.
Note that last sentence, where I say this panel will be a discussion. That’s because Patches and I don’t want this panel to be about just us and our background as geeks and allies, but about as many people’s anime convention experiences as possible. We want to create a panel that resonates with as many people as we can—and that’s where you come in.
In order to gather some stories, we’re running two surveys. It’d mean a lot if you could fill out the ones that apply to you, regardless of your gender identity. I’m a little late posting these since I’ve been sick, but here’s how Patches describes our surveys on Altair and Vega:
Research Survey For Otakon Sexism Panel 2012 – This one is for any of you who’ve attended a convention. We’re trying to get a sense of how people feel at events and how they connect to the community.
Sexism in Cosplay Survey for Otakon 2012 – This one has been out a few days. It’s for you cosplayers out there. If you’ve cosplayed or do so regularly, we’d love for you to take the time to fill it out.
Notice that very few of the questions are mandatory. Even if you just fill out a few questions that you best relate to, you’ll be helping us paint a bigger picture of the anime convention experience.
Thank you, and I hope you’ll come support the panel, too!
Photo by Gage Skidmore