Tuesday

Jan. 18th, 2013 09:16 pm
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I accomplished a life goal on Tuesday that I didn't know I had until recently: got Julia Serano to come speak at Stanford.

Her talk was deliberately accessible, a version of "putting the femme back in feminism", but the event was called "what we think of blue and pink" due to the freshman (Zoey) I was planning with. Serano seemed to like that theme, she played it up a bit, so Zoey was happy.

There's really been a lot of stress leading up to this, wanting to get good funding, and good publicity. I did most of the work, though supported by two others; but then at the end, several people pitched in, gave opinions, added things, did publicity, and so the event just went *way* better than it should have. I was also glad at the number of people who came, demonstrating that (gasp) you don't need to be trans or interested in trans feminism to get that Serano's work is important! Though, some of the trans students who did come were pleasantly surprised to see each other, and to see the size of the audience.

Maybe I'll write something more concrete about what I got out of the talk. It solidified things I already knew, and made them much easier to understand. It was funny, especially the part about frivolous masculine clothing, "baseball caps and jerseys with things on them that don't do anything!". It...I dunno, during the talk itself I was disappointed that there weren't big new lightbulbs, but I haven't got over how well it was presented. And I realized there were ideas that slid so neatly into my brain I thought I had always known them. I also had forgotten that it was Whipping Girl that taught me about traits being "marked" vs the default, and the effects of that--a big reason why I started using "cis". I had forgotten what it felt like to have confusing seemingly contradictory chunks of information, awareness, and stories, all tied together with their differences used to more clearly illustrate a picture.

We also got to have dinner with her. I did not act all fangirlish. A couple others did, not that I blame them. For me, doing that makes it harder to have a real interaction with someone, and I'm interested in hearing bits of the real person if they're willing to share, or I guess, making them comfortable.

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