On combating microaggressions at conventions. Notably provides handy lists of potential responses for calling-out or shutting-down gross comments, which are useful for those of us who can freeze up in social situations. Allies of all stripes; this one’s on us. If you hear something, say something! I know it’s hard. I struggle with it too! But just remember it’s much, much harder to be on the receiving end of microaggressions when they occur. Which most of you probably well-know, because intersectionality and all. So, yanno. Be the bystander–or, better, institutionally organised change–you wished someone was for you!
As a disclaimer: I was at the Continuum this post is talking about, though I apparently managed to miss all of the problematic panels and I had the luxury of having a pretty heavily (self) curated experience. Continuum is what I would call a “generally good con”, by which I mean it seems to make a special effort to be diverse and inclusive, although there can occasionally be a… factional split, may be a polite way of putting it, between more conservative, “oldschool” SFF congoers and, um. Everyone else. So yes, there are issues, and I think race is probably one of the areas the con culture in general is weakest in.
Also, as an aside–and for my own “papercutty moment”–it’s amazing what people with mutter to their friends while sitting next to you in panels if they think you’re too busy drawing to pay attention to them…1
- Spoiler alert: painting/sketching is a fidget activity for me. So yes, I am paying attention and yes I can hear you! ^