I’m in Scandinavia this month. First I visited Fastaval, a Danish freeform convention, and now I’m hanging out at a friend’s place in Oslo for a couple weeks before heading to Knutepunkt, a larp convention that rotates its way around the Nordic capitals.
This means I’ve been lucky enough to get an up-close peek at Nordic culture, and in the process I’ve learned a few things I’d like to share.
And now…a paean to Awesome Nordic Ladies of the Nordic larp scene.
Nordica apparently has a long proud tradition of awesome women. They differ a bit geographically — if stereotype is true then Sweden is on the bleeding edge of gender equality/political correctness, with Denmark — still great on plenty of gender stuff — lies at the other pole, with Finland and Norway in between.
However, Awesome Nordic Ladies know no national boundaries, and they support one another across them. Here are some of their qualities:
Awesome Nordic Ladies…
- …show solidarity for each other by supporting each other’s projects. For example, at Fastaval, four Nordic ladies agreed to run my scenario about breast cancer. A couple of them also helped by reading the game text and offering feedback. (Note: “solidarity” isn’t the same thing as “unquestioning acceptance of everything women say or do.” Awesome Nordic Ladies also critique with love and care. They say how they feel and what you could do better, but in a manner that’s geared toward making your stuff better.)
- …unapologetically espouse feminist ideals and act on them. In addition to speaking up, this also means looking out for other women.
- …have mad style. 1950s dress seems “in,” as are androgynous looks. Lots of iconic fashion choices going on.
- …take risks and do projects. They’re frequently in charge of things. They are active participants in their scenes, as players and game creators.
- …deal with their emotions openly and rationally. I’ve sat in on lots of interesting talk about body image, jealousy, and scene politics. What’s cool is that they seem able to talk about this stuff and acknowledge others’ feelings without things turning bitter and competitive.
- …are super-smart and able to converse intelligently about a wide variety of topics.
- …have keen social antennae and include others socially. This can mean working as a team to include folks who are less socially savvy, for example, by rotating around hanging out with less savvy folks in big groups. It can also mean they make good larp casting choices, or think about how to help their friends grow as people.
- …think about social engineering. That is to say, how to maneuver situations to produce the best social outcome. This includes…
- …foster leadership skills in the next generation of Awesome Nordic Ladies. They do this by giving honest feedback, including less experienced women in their projects, and by serving as mentors for other women working on their first or second projects.
- …own their own awesomeness.
In conclusion, Awesome Nordic Ladies are awesome. Start a sect near you today!
What else makes Nordic women so awesome? Post your bit in the comments.
I love how the Nordic women are eager and willing to share their expertise with others of all genders and nationalities. At least, the ones I have talked to (which is a small sample).
Their enthusiasm and dedication to live action role playing is infectious, and I appreciate how they have encouraged and advised me in my endeavors. It has been very inspiring for me to follow their accomplishments. I hope it will be for you all.
Thank you, female Nordic larpers for doing what you do, and thank you, Lizzie, for giving them the credit they deserve.
BTW, Lizzie, will you be posting more interviews with Awesome Nordic Ladies? I greatly enjoyed the Emma Wieslander talk on ars armandi (http://lizziestark.com/2011/11/09/intro-to-ars-amandi/). Did I miss others?
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