Apparently last year, the conference erupted in ex post facto drama over some inconveniences experienced by various attendees, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over whether or not these had been caused by racism. Some of said drama involved the WAM! party, which coincided rather unfortunately with another event in town hosted by queer women of color. Hearts were broken; sisterhood was disempowered; the dominant plutocratic hegemony of white androcapitalism continued its relentless marginalization of wimmin's voices/spaces. This year, WAM! organizers reportedly took the lesson to heart, and solved everything by holding their party at a Eurotrash craptini bar in the Theater District.
I am perhaps enjoying ragging on WAM! a little too much. The speaker lineup did look rather spiffy. I am especially sorry to have missed the war correspondents.
While we're on the topic of women, action and the media, I'd like to alert you all to this grant opportunity from the McCormick Foundation. You have until midnight to apply for $10,000, to be used for the purpose of saving journalism. But only if you have a vagina. The reasoning:
Connection. Women are natural networkers. They know how to initiate and maintain relationships. This is the essence of the digital world.
Conversation. Women are listeners. And talkers. They ask the tough questions. This is the starting point for good journalism.
Creativity. Women give birth to new people and new ideas. They are resourceful and make things happen.
Change. Women are on the move. They adapt to new realities, seize opportunities and take risks to improve themselves and society.
I especially like #3. I think I am going to tell the editor at my next job interview that, having given birth to a person, I am naturally full of ideas. If there are any media outlets left by the time I am back on the job market.
It helps that on the website for the New Media Women Entrepreneurs program, these talking points are in hot pink. Also, their logo appears to be made of dismembered fingernails.