SFF + Feminism + Happiness = WISCON
WisCon is the world’s leading Feminist Science Fiction Convention – and now I know why! The schedule was packed with events ranging from “How to Ally“, to “Female Sexuality in Rhoda Broughton’s Twilight Stories”, to getting your face painted and watching episodes of Jem until 3 in the morning. But don’t take my word for it! Go to their website and check out the schedule for yourself.
I traveled with authors Genta Sebastian and Cecelia Isaac, and we departed at 4 AM to travel to Madison, Wisconsin to get there in time for the 8:30 am writing groups on Friday morning. It is hard to put into words the vast range of emotions I floated through during that short four day trip. I found new friends, I uncovered some hard truths about myself, and I explored how to be a better activist.
But most importantly of all: I listened the stories of fellow activists and writers. Women and men who have been in the trenches for a long time. People who have had mud and shit flung at them for decades, and yet stood before me, sometimes with tears in their eyes and with a voice interrupted by sobs, to tell their own unique story. I experienced their pain through my sympathy, and unearthed some of my old pains which I had thought were long buried and dead to me. From that pain we all bonded and found validation in our experiences.
I cannot explain enough the open, warm, friendly atmosphere of the convention. You can find a seat anywhere and start up a friendly conversation. I did not find myself afraid to speak up or out, afraid of having my space or feelings trampled on, or fearful of the frequent retaliations we hear when talking about feminism online or in other public spheres. It was a veritable sisterhood of activism I had stumbled across, and I am still drunk from all the happy feelings.
And also, Madison was simply quite beautiful in the fresh, summer air.