Monday, 3 August 2009

Letter to WisCon

You know, one thing I feel kind of embarrassed about is that I don't actually know what WisCon is. 'Some kind of awesome fat-positive feminist trans-friendly queer anti-racist SF convention' is how I think of it in my head, although I'm also aware that it doesn't live up to that tag. Anyway.

But this letter! This letter is lovely.

Talking about issues of race and access makes everyone uncomfortable. There’s a particular expression of that discomfort in the sf community, where we have the hope that race is one of the differences between humans that will cease to matter in our brave new future, and that the best way to hasten that future is to act as though we don’t ‘see’ race [see note]. But, as Chip Delany has said, someone who can’t see something that threatens his life is not going to be his best ally...

This high level of discomfort squashes dialogue and leaves people feeling that race is still an issue, but it’s somehow shameful to even speak about it. As feminists we’ve had a parallel experience in trying to raise awareness and organize around issues of feminism. Feminism has developed a time-tested way of dealing with such silencing, which is to first take a little private time and discuss the issues amongst ourselves, without the need for constantly allaying the dominant group’s anxiety at every step.

Anyway. This is mostly for my own reference, so I can model my own teaching and talking practice on this kind of sweet, straightforward tone, wherever possible. (Not that I am going to give up ranting, don't worry--)

And yeah! I'm in Melbourne. I've been to two conferences in July, I haven't blogged about either of them, or about Australia, at all. I feel a bit hampered by the fact that I brought the wrong camera lead so I can't upload photos--

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