[LMB] Of Fen and Women

Eric Oppen technomad at intergate.com
Thu Aug 21 00:54:23 BST 2008

Quoting Pat Mathews <mathews55 at msn.com>:

> On my way to Bubonicon this weekend, I remembered the woman at   
> Denvention who had a black tote bag with all the patches of all her   
> fandoms, and was thinking of decorating my old Cascadiacon bag   
> likewise.

I wouldn't mind something like that myself.  One for Mensa, one for my  
(former, and still sympathetic) membership in the Richard III society,  
and so on.  I wonder where I could get those patches?

  However -
> I am, or was, a Darkover fan. And a Valdemar fan. And those are Not   
> Respectable among the Serious Fen. Why? Well, take Valdemar. "Eew!   
> It's so EMO! All that teenaged angst! All that Boy-meets-horse and   
> Girl-meets horse stuff. It's for Children!" Or chicks. Middleaged   
> adolescent girls with bad haircuts and fifty extra pounds and the   
> slumped shoulders of one resigned to the Lesson of Janis Ian at   
> Seventeen.

I used to like Valdemar---and still do sometimes.  _Takes a Thief_  
showed that _this_ time she'd done her flippin' _homework._  Matter of  
fact, I think I might just know some of the books she consulted.

Unpack: What is "the lesson of Janis Ian?"

> In other words, it carries the same stigma as a Harlequin Romance,   
> only in the fantasy world. It's hard to imagine the same scorn being  
>  heaped on "Eew! All those car chases! And property destruction! And  
>  imposible hot babes bursting out of their spandex bikinis!" That's   
> respectable.

Oh, I don't know...depends on who you're talking with, I think.

> And those who write about geeks & nerds either assume that the   
> population is all male, or all male with the handful of females who   
> are both As Good As A Man and Really, Really Hot. Which latter   
> exist, just as their male counterpart, the omnicompetent Heinlein   
> hero, really existed. (Bob, meet Virginia. Virginia, meet Bob.)

Or A Bunch Of Luzers Who Can't Get Laid (Sharyn McCrumb, I'm lookin' at YOU!)

> Or is this just more whining from a fangirl who is neither into the   
> boy stuff nor hot enough to interest the laddies?

I don't think there's _anybody_ who's into _every_ interest you find  
at any reasonable-sized con.  Panels that fascinate me leave others,  
including good friends of mine, icy cold and wondering what I see in  
THAT stuff...

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