Over the past few years, social justice warriors have moved from ruining nerds’ favorite pastimes — video games, comic books, sci-fi movies — into ruining the places where nerds used to go to celebrate those pastimes: comic cons.
But, unhappy that radical feminists and diversity scholars are relegated to panels, that fat-shaming sexy costumes haven’t been banned from convention floors, and that comic cons as a whole have not turned into celebrations of “inclusiveness,” social justice warriors now want to host their own comic book convention — and they’re even raising money for it.
The “Universal Fan Con,” a Kickstarter project, is a comic book convention designed to banish the isolation and marginalization that people who have made careers out of critiquing comics, comic book characters, and comic-related entertainment, feel at more “mainstream” conventions like San Diego Comic Con and DragonCon.
Everyone, they say, will be included in everything so that no one can complain, no one is left out, and no one is oppressed.
“From the panels, to the celebrity guests and activities, all the way down to the parties, we believe that the con experience should be a celebration of the differences that make us strong. In this time of political divisiveness rooted in fear, Universal Fan Con is here to celebrate the power of inclusion and representation,” their mission statement reads.
It will still have the trappings of a traditional convention, they say, but straight, white males simply won’t find a home among the attendees, panelists, and exhibitors. “We are focused on women, LGBTQ, people of color and the disabled and providing these groups opportunities to have a platform where they can be heard, as well as geek out with other like-minded nerds within their respective communities.”
So, “inclusive,” only means so much. It’s unlikely they’ll be welcoming to opposing viewpoints. There probably won’t be many panels discussing the advantages of video games that don’t teach complicated lessons about tolerance, or cosplay competitions that give out much beyond participation trophies (or, perhaps, cosplay at all). Aside from a few recent arcs involving politically correct female characters, it’s unlikely there’ll be many comic books for sale.
There will probably be plenty of preaching, however. So, in other words, it might be the least fun comic con in world history.
The convention has set a lofty goal of attracting 10,000 attendees, but those declining the invitation — or preferring those dastardly mainstream conventions — may not miss out on much.