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Being a Nerd is Wonderful, and We Still Have a Problem

On Saturday I went to C2E2, a kickass nerd convention in downtown Chicago at our giant convention center, McCormick Place. This was my third year going, and second in costume. I entered it excited and left 70% still extremely happy, 30% enraged. Here's why:

Being a nerd is one of the most positive things to be. A nerd's main function is to be excited about something. You're SO excited about something that you become uncool, because cool is not caring too much about something, which frankly is a stupid fucking concept, but I digress.

C2E2 is WALL TO WALL NERDS. Thousands of people in one relatively condensed area, all excited about things, and frequently excited about the same things. C2E2 is the one time a year I can stop someone and excitedly yell "OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH" and they don't look sincerely panicked. They just take it in stride, because they dressed like Rufio from Hook on purpose, and they knew it was going to cause every person who was a child in the early '90s to lose their shit.

At C2E2 you can walk past someone and exchange nods, because you both know each other's cosplay idea is cool as hell. At C2E2 you can chase someone down and ask for their picture, and no matter what they are doing they will oblige because that's what you do there. At C2E2 you can dress as the most minor character on a show almost no one watched, and at least ONE person will be intensely excited that you did that.

My friend Doug and I went as a suffragist and an anti-suffragist this year.

It was a kickass idea (Doug thought of it last year) and a million people took our picture. What I wasn't expecting was some really weird questions, all of which came from men.

"Is this a Hillary thing?"

"I'll support you if you'll tell me who you're voting for."

"Can I get my picture with just him?"

When the first guy told Doug "Yeah, man!" as we walked by, I looked back at him in bewilderment. When the second one did it, I started to get pissed. When the third one did it, I said "EXCUSE ME?" and Doug quickly moved me away. By the end of the day, I was just giving any guy who said something the finger.

When I was in the middle of a rant about it to Doug, he said "Well, this is what happens when you stir the pot," to which the only response can be "THIS SHOULDN'T BE A POT-STIRRING ISSUE." The fact that I was apparently naive to think that cosplay from 1915 that brings up an issue we settled in 1920, would not cause dissension -- my mind can barely handle that. 

C2E2 is still one of the best parts of the year. Being a nerd is still great. But being a woman is still sometimes not.


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