The Future is Female! Persisticon Event Brought Comedy, Art, Music and Electing Women Together at Brooklyn Bell House

There’s not a whole lot to feel good about as a progressive these days. But on a Sunday night in liberal utopia Brooklyn, Persisticon- an event “where comedy, art, and electing feminists collide”- my fellow feminists and I in attendance were all offered a glimmer of hope about the future.

Not sure how many of you know this, but back in November of 2016, something happened. Something bad. In response, four women- all solidly badass and successful women in their own right -decided that they needed to take action to fight against the horrorshow garbage fire that controls our country right now: our sexual predator-in-chief and all his toadies. So Diana Kane, Theo Kogan, Lynn Harris and Leslie King created this event in support of Emily’s List, the political action committee that works to elect pro-choice women into office, to make a positive change that is desperately needed.

And it was a moving experience: even a cynic like me felt a pretty strong impulse to step up and evolve from simply politically opinionated to politically active. I was definitely the youngest person there by a hefty margin – and I’m not exactly a young buck myself- but I felt somewhat elated by the passion of the Nasty Women and Black Lives Matter t-shirt-wearing women that were in abundance. Though the audience could been more diverse, considering the demographics of Brooklyn, ticket prices ranging from $50 to $500 aren’t exactly something everyone can swing.

But by all accounts, the event was a massive success, raising over $15,000 before the event even began. Drag King and New York-institution Murray Hill served as host, and got major laughs from the crowd. And the performers were, for the most part, slam dunks across the board. Michelle Buteau, blowing up from the success of Two Dope Queens, kicked it off and crushed it with solid material about turning 40 and suddenly giving zero fucks. Brooklyn (and personal) favorite Aparna Nancherla killed it with her unique deadpan delivery, and the crowd ate up Jo Firestone’s off-kilter style. Political commentator Sally Kohn mused on the meaning and power of resistance and Negin Farsad got good laughs from her story about disappointing anti-Semitic trolls by being Muslim. Writer and pleasure activist Jaclyn Friedman urged everyone to vote for candidates who are pro-fucking- as in pro-sex as pleasure education and pro-safe and affordable access to reproductive healthcare for women; and Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg used a story of a day she spent with blood smeared across her face as a testament to the coolness of New Yorkers.

And of course, the night ended with a powerhouse performance from the one and only Bridget Everett. And in the end, a lesson we all learned recently was resoundingly reaffirmed: the future is female!

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Ophira Eisenberg @ #persisticon

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Mr. Murray Hill! #persisticon

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