This week’s issue in diversity is All Male Panels. A recent article from Slate recaps an All Male Panel that happened recently at the Denver ComicCon, which panelists discussed “Women in Comics” the history of women characters in comics, with academics in comics as the panelists. It seems hypocritical that all of the panelists were men. Making your panel about women, but excluding women from the discussion automatically defeats the purpose of what’s trying to be achieved.
But that’s not the only panel in the nerd world to take a similar course of action, at BookCon John Green and others were celebrating the release of the PAPER TOWNS movie with a panel that included the actors, composer, and director. The only female on the stage was the moderator. John did address this in a series of tweets that vowed to do better. He knows that representation is important. I’m sure if we looked at the statistics of the Nerdfighter community (online community founded from John and Hank Green’s Vlogbrothers YouTube Channel), it would be overwhelmingly women. And John is not solely to blame, he’s the figurehead. When creating a panel that is the headline of the event, it’s important to recognize how things can be done better and figuring out ways to make sure that the audience enjoys the discussion and the people who are involved in that discussion.
If we look at the figures and numbers in attendance, specifically for BookCon, it’s mostly female attendance. Equal representation or even proportional representation for the panels would mean so much. How many women have thought about going into a certain career, but are reluctant because it’s male dominated? What makes these male panelists better than a woman of equal expertise? For Paper Towns Panel, you can’t expect me to believe that there’s only one female character or one woman who was involved with the project?
The male voice is the prevalent voice in both these scenarios. It’s detrimental to women, especially young women, that we would have to only hear a man speak. Hear only his opinions and ideas. Women’s representation is vitally important when it comes to fostering a healthy environment where self-doubt does not exist. Our nerd communities know better and should act better.
If you’re interested in more about this discussion visit: allmalepanels.tumblr.com.