Notes from the 1996 Feminist Expo

Site Map for Women's Resources

Blue Ribbon Against Censorship

Links from the Organizations/People Who Attended the Feminist Expo 96.

Message One, 2/2 3:40pm
Message Two, 2/2 7:10pm
Message Three, 2/3 8:25am
Message Four, 2/4 8:30am

2/4 8:30am

I was on a roundtable with 12 other feminists that was subtitled "Feminist Technocrats." I loved the subtitle so much that I comissioned Feminist Technocrat buttons from Nancy Lebovitz, the button maven. I didn't have enough of the buttons created because lots of other people came up and told me they wanted them.

It was a pretty interesting discussion, but I would have appreciated more direct interaction among the panelists. We had some very differing opinions, and the ability to discuss some of these things directly would have been useful.

I actually wasn't at the booth as much as I expected to be. The Women Leaders Online booth continued taking new E-mail addresses. We might have collected close to another 200 E-mail addresses for people who'd like to receive the Hotline.

There was a temporary mob scene in the exhibit hall as Gloria Steinem appeared at a signing at the On the Issues booth, which was quite close to ours. Additionally, a mystery writer was having signing at the Llamas booth, which was adjacent to ours. So things were rather tight around our booth for a while until these events were over.

I attended about 20 minutes of the main session in the afternoon. Marie Wilson gave a great speech on the importance of "Take Our Daughters to Work" day, illustrating the "pull-no-punches" questions/comments that the girls make when they get the chance. Two thousand feminists stood and cheered Marie Wilson at the end of her speech.

For several 4th-of-July weekends, my family and I attended a campout at Anne Bowers place in upstate New York. I hadn't seen Anne in a few years, though knowing of her pro-choice actvism, I'd always looked for her at national pro-choice marches. It turns out she is a friend of Bob Fertik's, and we finally connected over the weekend. Anne is co-editor of a rabble-rousing newsletter The Body Politic. I got to introduce her to Joann Evansgardener, another of the best rabble-rousers I've ever met.

In the late afternoon, I took the leftovers from my party and attended the Feminist FAXNET get together. Martha Burk knows some of the most interesting folks around. I met lots of women from the NOW Legal Defense Team, including its communications director Vivian. I also got to meet the lobbier behind the FACE and VAWA initiatives (Pat Reuss (?)---I apologize if I've been butchering names!), one of the founders of NARAL, and a woman with a fascinating story to tell about being pregnant and in college. (Oh, and Jim's beer earned rave reviews!)

Bob and I got together for dinner which turned into a long discussion of some of the things the feminist movement needs to do to regain its momentum. We both agree it can be a very vital movement, but the "movers and shakers" need to take a somewhat different approach. We need to be a little better organized, and we need to have periodic get-togethers to help raise the level of synergy.

2/3 8:25am

Yesterday afternoon, I briefly stopped at the opening ceremonies. They were running late because the auditorium had to be reconfigured to handle the standing-room-only crowd! I wished I could have stayed. The excitement in the room was wonderful to behold.

The exhibit hall reception last night was quite busy for the first hour or so, but quieted down substantially after then. I had a good conversation with Vickie Montgomery, author of many books on women in business. Eileen LeFlue spent hours working at the booth, remembering the set up an obvious thing that I'd forgotten---a sign-up list for the Hotline.

I used to be somewhat active in a Pittsburgh NOW chapter in the late '70s, and well remember Joanne and Gerry Evansgardner. I ran into them in an elevator yesterday. It turns out they are old friends of Jo Freeman, another WLO volunteer. We had a few long conversations yesterday.

Last night, WLO and I threw a combination Geek/"Smoke-Filled-Room-Without- the-Smoke"/Birthday (my 39th) party after the reception. I met Asherah and Bonnie Raindrop and a bunch of women from the "On the Issues" magazine. My husband's "Groundhog Bitter" was consumed and a good time was had by all.

Today, I'll be out of the exhibit hall for about three consecutive hours to participate in a roundtable with other Feminist Technocrats.

2/2 7:10pm

Let's see...

I met the "real" Chris Dwyer---a person I'd long imagined as a short, dark, curly-haired woman. Well, the hair is dark, but I was wrong on every other count. Chris says he's just started to use "Christopher" in his signature because I'm not the only one who's made that mistake.

The Exhibit Hall is crowded with people. I'm surprised that there don't seem to be many 30-somethings (and I still am for another year). There are lots of younger women, quite a few women over 45, but surprisingly few women between about 30 & 45. Not many men either, Bob & Chris aside.

Microsoft has the only decent Telnet connection, so I am using their computer again (and they are thanked!). They just had a mystery writers' chat here.

A singer whose name eludes me (Libby ... from Maine) just stopped by to ask me some E-mail questions...neat!

Bob F. himself has just dropped by to say.....


2/2 3:50pm

I finally found an adequte Telnet connection between DC and Pittsburgh. This has been a great day to meet many of feminist cybergeeks, including CyberGrrl, Joan Korenman, Dina (from and a bunch of other folks. I finally met Bob Fertik, the father of WLO, IRL (in real life) this morning. I met Eleanor (whose last name I instantly forgot) but who is the VP of an environmental concern.

The Women Leaders Online booth is in the Exhibit Hall, next to the Organizing for Women On-Line, Worldwide booth. The Organizing booth is geek city, a joint venture between Feminist Majority, Microsoft, New Media Publishing, Women Leaders Online, and WomensNet. Lots of people hav been surfing the Web, networking in many ways, etc.

Tonight at about 6:30, there's going to be a big reception down here in the Exhibit Hall. I'll let you know who stops by.

I saw Eleanor Holmes Norton as she was hurrying out of the hotel after giving a welcoming speech. And Carol Mosley-Braun is now participating in a discussion on the Microsoft Network. Earlier today, Anne Zill from WLO DC and I were interviewed on Women's International News Gathering Service (WINGS) and we spoke about the political potential of women and of how we'd like to see more women on the net.