I also apologise for conflating approximately 100 different issues into one post--that was not ideal, although it was kind of awesome to see people identify with lots of separate parts! I still feel a bit overwhelmed by the responses but I'm making this post in the spirit of moving forward, especially since I personally find myself in a very different emotional place after the post than before. And you'll see that a great deal of this post is framed personally, because... well it always was a deeply personal post/subject, though definitely one I hoped would be constructive for others in the community and the community as a whole.
1. It's not all in your head. The relief that came from finding other people who felt a similar way, even if only on aspect of my post, was overwhelming. I was glad to see people finding each other in the comments too. Finding a voice was important for me--I think it was for others too.
2. It IS all in your head. In the sense that it's only as important as you make it. YAY! \o/
3. An extraordinary number of people (most people?!) feel like they 'don't fit in' in one way or another--even the people you think fit in.
4. Someone you might read as intimidating may just be shy themselves.
5. There is a great diversity of opinion within the fandom about these issues, and a lot of anxiety. That first part is comforting, the second saddening.
6. The best way to deal with these feelings is to do what you want, yourself. Whether that's vidding what you want. Or creating the space in fandom you'd like to have. It take courage and effort but it can be done.
These are in addition or complementary to those in my initial post:
1. Be more courageous in asking for help. Don't let fear stop you.
2. Reach out to others who feel the same way.
3. Assume other people don't see themselves as having status, even if you think they do.
4. Assume other people may think you have status. (Really I just about came away thinking everyone looks like they have status in the eyes of others!) And therefore behave to them the way you would wish those you look up to to behave to you.
5. Lower your expectations. Stop expecting the world to be perfect or others to be so.
6. Make your own fun! <--a personal motto of mine in many situations and something which despite appearances in the previous post, I'm actually very good at doing. :) See more below.
7. Explore other communities.
I don't want to stir up emotions on this again, but I realised I'd said this elsewhere and not on my own journal. This is a purely subjective description of my experience and I do not wish to debate it with anyone. I have had nothing but positive experiences with men in vidding fandom. I was absolutely startled in the recent debate into suddenly thinking of them as men, to be honest, since I usually think of them as vidders first and other aspects of their personality somewhere down the track... maybe. And that's from someone who considers herself a hardcore feminist and has had (more than) her fair share of issues with men elsewhere, in other environments. So I'm going to go back to that mindset as of now. It feels a lot more comfortable.
One of the things I loved about the comments was people throwing out suggestions of things to actually do. My thanks to elynross for her participation in the threads in matters related to Vividcon. Personally, I wanted to highlight a couple of 'action points' (omg! I sound like a frakking committee--sorry, I have work brain on!) evolving for me personally from the discussions.
1. Australian/NZ vidding convention. Even if it's just three people in a cafe. :) To be planned... at some point. I'm sticking my hand up and saying I'm willing to organise this.
2. Rec more diversely. People are interested! That was most encouraging, in fact I came away wondering if I wonder if I sometimes feel as much or more interested in the wider 'remix' culture (I learnt this collective term! *g*) than in the narrower vidding fandom. Hmm. Certainly creatively I'm at a point where I want to draw on much wider material.
3. A Livejournal community for socialising about vidding? Maybe? chaila suggested to me that what a lot of people seem to be expressing is an absence of engagement and connection with other vidders--and it would be cool to have somewhere we could just hang out in a low-pressure environment on LJ. Somewhere to meet others and chat. While we could do that already, without a specific community, going up to someone in their own journal is a little different and I know I've found in other fandoms that having a shared social space can be really valuable. There are heaps of communities that fulfil specific needs or desires in the vidding community already--resource communities, rec communities, places to post vids, like in fandom-specific communities, but maybe there are people who'd like this sort of space as well? The idea is only just beginning to form, but we both like it and if others are interested would love to hear their ideas about what that sort of space would look like for you. We'd really want to invite input from anyone.
Thanks all! :)
PS. If I'm slow to respond it's because I still have Work Crisis, not because I hate you or am a snob. :)
ETA: Adding 'investigate possibility of vidukon recurring to 'do do' list'.