Friday, February 16, 2007

Give Me The Klingons and Stormtroopers

I spent yesterday at a Women's Business Symposium and Luncheon sponsored by the other magazine I edit, NCCNM. It was a tremendously successful event, with our keynote luncheon speaker being North Carolina’s Lt. Governor, Beverly Perdue, who was wonderful. But I have to tell you, as much as some guys may think that the idea of spending the day with 200+ women sounds like fun, let me tell you it was a lot of work and definitely one of the... I don't know how to put it... one of the most "interesting" days I've spent in quite some time. I have more women friends than men friends and frankly I usually feel more comfortable talking with women. But that many of them?

Women are not treated the way they should be by far too many segments of our society. There’s no question about that. My wife was once offered a job at $12,000 dollars less than any man in the company doing the same job was making, so I've seen the inequities first hand. And as the father of two daughters, that causes me no small degree of concern.

But try being one of three men in a ballroom full of speakers using terms like "sheroes" instead of "heroes" and saying "you go, girl" and "my sisters" every five minutes. I felt like a puppy in a room full of alley cats and the best thing I could do was keep my back to the wall. Whooo-boy, what a day.

If you've ever been to a science fiction convention, you know there are some odd sights to be seen. People dress up in some pretty outrageous costumes, and say and do some pretty strange things. But you know what? After yesterday, I'll take the Klingons and stormtroopers every time...

5 comments:

Juliette Wade said...

My guess is, it's not the presence of so many women that causes the problem, it's the atmosphere filled with so many gestures of social alignment that do not include you - or may even point to you as an outsider. The Klingons and Stormtroopers, now, those costumes are gestures of social alignment, but at least they're in a genre you can align yourself with! At least, that's how I'd feel :-)

Juliette

Edmund R. Schubert said...

I'd say you've got that about right, Juliette. And I'm still not sure if the fact that my wife was there made things better or worse...

Alethea said...

Heck, I would have been intimidated by the Estrogen Brigade too. I don't blame you for feeling like the...er...odd man out. ;)

Ada said...

Sheroes? "My sisters" and "You, go, girl"? I'm glad I wasn't there, I'd have been barfing in a corner of the room.

Anonymous said...

Ed, I kind of know what you mean. While at Towson State, I lived with 3 girls off campus. I'd say "mouse" would be more appropriate at times!

~Mike McD