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Wiscon panels I am on

These are the Wiscon panels I'm on. I've never been on a Wiscon panel before. I would welcome any comments about these panel topics and any ideas you would like to see addressed at these panels. And if you're at Wiscon I hope you come, but if there's something else fascinating going on at the same time, I hope some of you go to that instead, so I can find out what happened!

Romancing the Beast
Sat 4:00 - 5:15PM, Conference 4
Moderator: Vito Excalibur. Panelists: Catherine Cheek, Stef Maruch, Heidi Waterhouse, Janine Ellen Young

Paranormal romance almost always features the hero as a paranormal being and the heroine as an ordinary human. How does this resonate with gender relations and power relationships in our society? And is it emblematic of women seeing men as Other?

I wanted to be on this panel because the disparity has always bugged me. To give an example that has nothing to do with paranormal romance, I refuse to see Cyrano de Bergerac in any form because I'm not aware of any gender-reversed version.

Dealing With Your Male Answer Syndrome
Sun 10:00 - 11:15AM, Assembly
Moderator: John H. Kim. Panelists: Suzanne Allés Blom, Moondancer Drake, John Helfers, Stef Maruch

Although it's not absolute, there's a strong tendency among masculine people to always want to have the definitive answer for everything, even if they don't necessarily know. In panels and elsewhere in life, it can be hard for men to admit they don't know things. Why is this? How can men deal with the pressure (either internal or external) to always have the right answer? How do women and other non–masculine folks deal with Male Answer Syndrome? If you think the answers to all these questions are obvious, then you need to come to this panel!

I wanted to be on this panel because it's All Answer Syndrome All The Time at my house...and the XY person in the relationship is not the only person participating. So I have experience from multiple sides. I also have funny stories and techniques that you'll want to know about!

Wish Fulfillment in Fiction
Sun 2:30 - 3:45PM, Assembly
Moderator: P. C. Hodgell. Panelists: Beth Friedman, Anne Harris, Stef Maruch, Caroline Stevermer

What is the role of wish fulfillment in fiction? If you're a writer, what personal wishes do you want your stories to fulfill? Are they the same ones you want to read about? How do our fictitious wishes affect our everyday dreams?

I wanted to be on this panel because I fundamentally don't get wish fulfillment fiction, and I think that has something to do with why I find it difficult to write fiction, so I hope to provide an alternate viewpoint and I also hope it will shake something loose.

The OH is envious that I get to be on a panel with P.C. Hodgell. (He isn't going to Wiscon this year.)



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
This will be my first WisCon so I have nothing to say abt the panels except that they sound awesome.

Also, I don't know if this counts but Camryn Manheim did a Cyrano inspired movie about her being fat that I really enjoyed. Hang on, I'll see if I can find the title...Kiss My Act. I found the imdb plot summary inaccurate but it's been a while. :)
May. 9th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
Yay, I'm looking forward to meeting you! And thanks, I'll have a look for that movie.
May. 9th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
For what it's worth, I've noticed a distinct tendency in myself to look for know-it-alls in my romantic partners. That is, partners who genuinely do know it all, or enough of it that I can often turn to them to answer a puzzling factual question on many subjects. It's probably part of that sapiosexuality thing.

But the result is that I have a much higher tolerance for Answer Syndrome, perhaps more than is good for me. So if I'm not careful I reward the syndrome on a personal level of "ooh, your mental muscles are so *strong*, honey!" This puzzles my partners when I take them to task for displaying Answer Syndrome in other situations, e.g., when they insist they're correct in the face of overwhelming evidence, or when they horn in on a situation where I didn't directly ask for their opinion.

You might find more people like me in fandom than in the outside world.

Edit: The act of writing this comment crystallized the existence of that personal dilemma, so thanks!

Edited at 2009-05-09 01:40 am (UTC)
May. 9th, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
It's probably part of that sapiosexuality thing.


Also since I have such a strong tendency to do Answer Syndrome myself, I worry about overwhelming people who don't do it themselves.

I am making baby steps in the direction of not giving advice when not asked to do so, so I believe it's possible for others to learn the distinction.
May. 13th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Hadn't really thought about what it would be like in an all-Answer Syndrome household. :)

I look forward to hearing more about this panel after Wiscon.
May. 13th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Having meals with us didn't give you a taste? ;-)
May. 13th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
*snort* You see what I mean? I think of this as totally normal! (has an "oh, uh, yeah" moment :) )
May. 9th, 2009 07:01 am (UTC)
It's ages since I saw it, but The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Cyrano de Bergerac, ish, with two women. Kind of. If you squint a bit.
May. 9th, 2009 09:34 am (UTC)
Yes, I immediately thought of that.
May. 9th, 2009 07:27 am (UTC)
Re: Romancing the Beast, it strikes me that traditional folklore does not have the same disparity. Yes, there are stories about a woman marrying a shapeshifter (e.g. Tlingit stories about women marrying bears), but there are also al the selkie stories, which commonly have the woman as the shapeshifter. The universal factor in those is that the human doesn't know he or she has married an Other, but benefits from it until finding out, at which time the non-human spouse leaves.

Stories where the woman turns out to be the daughter of a god are also not uncommon, though I think the power dynamics might be different for those.

For the more modern version, it's worth rereading Dracula. Bram Stoker's mother was involved in the early feminist movement and he had very conflicted ideas about the roles of women.
May. 9th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
Good points all, especially about the selkie stories!

(And I also grew up on Greek and Roman myths, which had people and deities of all genders changing into beasts, trees, statues, and what not, right and left.)
May. 9th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
Wish fulfillment. Would that be like "Mary Sue" stories, or more like "I wish I could come up with snappy comebacks, so I'll write a character who does"?
May. 9th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
I don't know if the moderator has something particular in mind, but my inclination would be to answer "Yes."

One thing I want to discuss is the kind of wish fulfillment story where after I have finished reading it, I know way more than I want to know about the author's sexual proclivities (because they fetishize a certain sort of character over and over).
May. 10th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know what you mean. It can also be like that in the non-sexual realm. I can't stand the exquisitely detailed shopping spree descriptions and brand name references in some kinds of fiction these days, and like the sexual stuff, it feels like I'm reading somebody else's porn and it isn't doing anything for me.
May. 10th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
I don't like the shopping spree/brand name references either, which is part of the reason I read science fiction more often than mainstream fiction, and why it really bugs me when there's a science fiction story set thousands of years in the future that still includes them.
May. 9th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
Heh. Wish I could attend Wiscon for the Dealing With Your Male Answer Syndrome panel alone. *wink*
May. 10th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, you should really be at that panel!
May. 11th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
the MAS panel is one of those "sunday at 10:00 a.m." panels that i want to attend, but which of the four will win out? not sure--i guess i'll go with my mood at the time. but i'll for sure want to hear all about it if i don't go!
May. 11th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Definitely! And if you go to the "post-scarcity utopia" or "book reviews" panel I'll want a report on that...
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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