Wednesday, April 2, 2008

We're back!

Well it was more difficult than I anticipated to do live blogging at WAM! Namely because we were intensely interested in each and every panel we went to. Now it's true, I pride myself on multi-tasking, but I have a hard time listening and trying to write at the same time. It's a flaw. The panels were good, the comments were interesting. WAM! 2008 was a success. Thanks to all who made it happen, namely our own author, Jaclyn Friedman, the CNW Program Director.

Other WAM attendees have blogged about how inspiring it was to be surrounded by so many other feminists, and I hate to be a follower. But it's true. Not only did we have several Seal authors to connect with in one place (always a good thing), but there were many WAMmers there who may be future Seal authors. This was a group of intelligent, activist, passionate women who want to change the world. There's not much more inspiring than that.

I blogged ever so briefly about the last panel of the conference--the panel about election coverage of Hillary Clinton, and it was fascinating, if not also depressing. We looked at the media's inability to actually cover the content of her speeches, choosing instead to focus on everything from her blouse (there wasn't actually any cleavage visible), her laugh (called a cackle by the cable media), and her conveyance of emotion (or lack of it, according to some pundits). Meanwhile, when you review the media coverage of McCain, reporters and pundits practically had to refuse to comment on his appearance, which is often the elephant in the room (I looked for one of those unbelievable facial tumor pictures to put here but had trouble finding one--still looking), in order to push through to talk about the real issue: the content of his speeches or what he says during debate. It's amazing when analyzed side by side, and for anyone who believes sexism in this country is a nonissue, (yes, these people are all around us), it's a current and larger-than-life example to review.

The overarching questions at the panel were what do we do about this? And it is clear that the most important thing is to keep bringing it up. Talk about it. Let's not assume this is OK because we're used to it. Let's not assume anyone is tired of hearing about it. Let's not give in. If you have to sit down with a friend and show them YouTube videos back to back to prove your point, do it.

If Hillary is not our nominee, when will we have another woman running for Commander-in-Chief? It could be a long freakin' time. It's OK to tell that to people too. She was well poised for this campaign. And if she couldn't make it happen with her experience, money, connections, intelligence . . . who can?

More to come as my brain thaws after being in the very cold Cambridge. Maybe I'm wimpy when it comes to cold. I'll admit to that, but I sure am glad to be home. Hello Bay Area. You are the best.


1 comment:

abw said...

Sorry to barge in and be all off topic, but I couldn't find a direct contact email for either of you. Regarding the discussion going on over on Blackamazon's blog, you might want to check out this discussion on what publishers can do to attract more PoC writers. Though it is true that publishers aren't expected to spend all their time seeking out writers, it is NOT true that publishing isn't about outreach. It's a little bit of both. You have to get it out there that you're interested in getting more submissions from POC, and not just in comments where you're being defensive about supposed slights. There's plenty publishers do in terms of publicity, and a org like Seal press probably does a lot of publicity surrounding your mission than, say, Random House. You're attempting to promote a point of view with your books, so you can't tell me there's no outreach involved in that. But if all POC writers see when they look at you is a wall of whiteness, why would they ever, ever bother submitting to you?

See the link for more on this issue.