First up was Female Friendship in Fiction. A lively conversation about the good, the bad, and the missing of female friendships depicted in fiction. Lots of recommendations, including a solid five minutes at the end dedicated solely to recs from the audience. Many of them can be found in the Twitter tag. Lots of my favorite examples -- Supergirl, Jessica Jones, the Spiritwalker trilogy, etc. -- were brought up, and of course my TBR continues to expand.
After lunch (back to the cheese shop!) was probably the best panel of the con for me so far: a discussion of "weaponized kindness" -- when calls for civility are used to shut down important discussions. The Andrew Smith/#KeepYAKind incident was used as an example and jumping off point for talking about why "niceness" as a code word for "sit down and shut up" is a problem (as opposed to actual niceness, which they defined as really listening to other people and caring about their feelings and point of view) and how to fight back against it. I'll definitely want to come back to this later, and maybe see if I can find other people's write-ups. For now, I highly recommend the Twitter tag for this one, too.
Next up was a panel on metaphorical minorities (such as the X-Men "mutant metaphor"), which also moved a lot into thoughts on coded (as opposed to explicit) representation followed by a roundtable on the works of Octavia Butler. I learned quite a bit from these discussions, stuff I will have to process and also probably revisit. Very glad I went to both.
After dinner, I went to the Tiptree Auction, a fundraiser for the award. I was promised a great show, and I absolutely got it. brainwane was the auctioneer, following in the footsteps of legendary auctioneer Ellen Klages, and I thought she was great -- an evening of humor, and Hamilton filk, and smashing of the kyriarchy (literally, in the form of a "Pilates for Weight Loss" DVD), and costume changes, and serious remembrances of significant people. Well worth my time, even though I didn't bid on anything (though I did donate a little when the hat was passed around).
Now I'm headed back downstairs to check out the Floomp, the con's dance party. I'm not sure I'm feeling high-energy enough to dance, but I'm told that it's still a fun scene with excellent costumes to admire. And who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to cut a rug or two.
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