Let me be clear: Fort Ti was amazing. It was everything I’d hoped for. Far away, made of stone, populated with people I like, with an event cleared of all the crap that makes me crazy.
The issues that enrage me are both societal and hobby-specific.
While boys were boys and women were women this past weekend, I found myself tired out by biologically deterministic behaviour. For the love of Christ, you can listen to a woman, not talk over her or interrupt her even if:
a) she is not your boss or mother
b) you do not want or expect to sleep with her.
Gentlemen: we are human beings as smart as- if not smarter– than you. If we are smarter, society has taught us to manage that for you, so you won’t feel <ahem> small. I know that what men fear most is humiliation (the bravest ones will admit it) and what women fear most is violence (it’s true).
But a woman’s interest in history, or even military history, should be as joyous to you as your male friend’s interest.
So why the shouty?
Why the taking over of the conversation?
Why the relegation of women to a separate bench?
Why am I pointing this out?
Well… because even some of the best progressive reenactors have trouble getting past uber-traditional gender roles.
I get it, really, I do. I am accustomed to being a woman in a (hyper manly) man’s world.
I studied sculpture in college in the Dark Ages and I know from male-dominated fields. I ran a foundry in grad school, and a bunch of mostly-male work study students. I’m an owner’s rep for construction projects, and work with a lot of different contractors and construction workers.
But that doesn’t mean I have to like it or tolerate it, as any of my history, art, or construction associates will tell you. My younger counterparts have even less tolerance than I do, so I advise you to listen up, think about gender roles, gun shows, assault/predation and interpretation or consider Lysistrata the future you have earned.
It’s really simple.
You like living history?
We like living history.
Let’s play together better to more accurately represent the past without replicating crappy gender relations. If you start listening and stop interrupting, we’ll stop laughing at you.