At first blush, the world of comic books and video games can seem really male-dominated. But thousands of women and girls meeting up in Seattle this weekend for GeekGirlCon say, hold on a second, there’s plenty of room in geekdom for them, too.
Sharon Magliano Feliciano is on the board of GeekGirlCon. She said she fell in love with Star Trek: The Next Generation when she was about nine years old. On the playground, she approached some boys who were playing Star Trek.
“I wanted to play with them and they said, `Well, you can be Counselor Troi’ and I said, `Great, I’ll be Counselor Troi.’ `Well, we’re all going on an away mission and we don’t need Counselor Troi,’” she said. “So it was this very early, eye-opening – oh, in this world, girls are different and girls are other.”
She didn’t let that kind of exclusion deter her, and she’s fully embraced her inner geek. She co-owns a store called Arcane Comics and More in Shoreline and writes a blog called Parenting Geekly. Magliano Feliciano says she takes her daughter and her son to GeekGirlCon every year.
“GeekGirlCon welcomes anyone who wants to celebrate female geeks and is an ally to women and girls in geekdom,”
She says one highlight is seeing people’s amazing costumes in the cosplay contest on Saturday afternoon.
The conference also aims to get girls excited about science, technology, engineering and math fields. There are hands-on science experiments, a droid-building workshop and a panel of entomologists who use bugs to talk about social issues such as prejudice, racism and sexism.
And there’s a panel on unconventional sports. JC Lau, a captain of one of the Rat City Roller Girls roller derby teams, is one of the panelists. Her derby name? Chairman Mouse.
“Sport is generally a very male-dominated space, but modern roller derby was created by women, the governing body is run by women and it’s this place where, if you think you don’t belong in sport, you actually do,” Lau said.
There will also be people from cheerleading and quidditch teams on the panel. Quidditch is a game that originated in the Harry Potter series.
Geek Girl Con is taking place this Saturday and Sunday at the Conference Center across the street from the Washington State Convention Center.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story referred to women as people "with XX chromosomes." This language is exclusionary. We apologize for the error.