Please see the foot of the Feedback page for important copyright information. In this role, the mayor promotes the town of Warrington to attract more investment and visitors to the area.
The skirt length is Starfleet Regulation. It was short intentionally. I was dressed in a science officer costume from Star Trek: Not the sleek little work-appropriate but still sexy jewel tone tunics from the new movie, but the flared, strangely-constructed, unapologetically teal and chartreuse polyester cheerleader dresses that fit perfectly with the now retrofuturistic vibe of the original show.
And at the beginning of the day, I just assumed the lady who commented was pointing out that I needed to tug down the dress a bit. That was the first comment.
After the next 30 or so, I had had enough. I was at Balticon, a great science fiction convention that leans more to the literary side than the ones that are normally in my wheelhouse. This was my second year going to this con, and my second year costuming there. Last year I brought several costumes, but only wore one: I wore that outfit for all of Saturday, became extremely annoyed with the response I was getting and then dressed in normal clothes on Sunday.
As a costumer, you have to develop a fairly keen sense for what is a safe space and what is not. I felt safe at Balticon both years.
That said, the responses I was getting made me want to run away. Or possibly take a shower to wash off the feeling of eyes and comments. This year, in my Star Trek dress, I was just as uncomfortable, but I decided to say frak it and ignore them.
The discomfort came from a constant stream of microaggressions. A constant flow of women leaning in and stage whispering in mock-concern about how short my skirt was. A constant flow of men grilling me about whether I had watched the series, and trying to trip me up on trivia.
For one thing, if I was Yeoman Rand, I would have the perfect blonde basketweave beehive. Fake Geek Girl Screener. I assume I passed?
I felt like I was placed in the role of Convention Booth Babe, receiving both the objectified interest from the men and the scorn of the women.
I do need to point out here, that none of this came from people involved with the con. In fact, everyone even slightly officially affiliated with Balticon was respectful, concerned and nerdily-excited about my outfit, my hair, the screen-accurate seams. The staff, the volunteers, the program participants, even the people working the tables for other events were all wonderful.
I felt like they really, really wanted me to go back to my room and change into a long, historically accurate, shapeless Medieval dress. Or jeans and a geek t-shirt. Either would be acceptable: The ones who dress alike and spend their lives being sheep to the newest styles. We celebrate our community for being thoughtful and intelligent and welcoming of weirdness.
But we do the exact same policing to our own that we see in mainstream society. Women who, at one end of the spectrum, put too much effort into their looks, whether in costume or not, are ostracized.
This is not a problem unique to nerds, of course. It is just an extension of the same in-group presentation policing that every aspect of society does. Often in much more subtle and ostensibly socially acceptable forms than the abuse heaped on Anita Sarkeesian or Rebecca Watson.
Often in ways that are neither obvious nor actionable. Often in ways that are extremely mild until they pile up interaction after interaction, hour after hour, day after day.
So how do we fix these problems? The women who want to make sure I know I look a little slutty. No one touched me, or even made inappropriate come-ons.
No one groped me, cornered me, made me feel like I was in danger. I never worried about walking the halls alone, even late at night, costume or not. Balticon is trying to do that, and I give them kudos for that. I really enjoy going to this con and I plan to go back next year.The Telegraph's Competition channel features the latest prize draws.
Visit regularly to boost your chances of winning something special. The Mayor of Warrington, as the first person of the borough, chairs the meetings of Warrington Borough Council.
Elected for one year, he/she is also a diplomat of the town who is responsible for officially welcoming people and inviting people to the town. A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah timberdesignmag.com is a platform for academics to share research papers.
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