“It is alternately frustrating & enraging to read fiction that erases you, or treats you as nothing more than a convenient plot device. And yet, I still love SF/F even when I find myself critiquing it regularly. Growing up, I wanted to see a future that included people who weren’t white if only to know that we had a place in the future at all. SF/F is the genre that’s about making our dreams real, or as real as possible. Well, what happens when you’re erased from those dreams, or trapped in the same roles that already exist? When you’re oppressed even in fiction what message does that send?”
– karnythia over at Future Fire.
I hate Joan with burning passion.
If I was that actress I would apologize after every take. 8lx´D;
Okay, you know what? Just because she said that, that doesn’t make her a racist. That’s the way things were then. Martha wouldn’t have been allowed to be a doctor.
Joan was cool and John Smith loved her.
So fuck all you guys.
The way things were then (and now) is that white people were racist. Hence the whole push to have slaves & keep people of Martha’s color from having access to education, wealth, or power. Really, if you’re going to comment? Pick up a history book & then read it. Also, there had been black doctors in Canada & the US for almost 50 years at this point, & there were licensed doctors of color in the UK by 1894. In fact one of the first doctors of color was a black woman by the name of Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler. She graduated from med school in 1864 so Joan was wrong & racist. Martha is amazing in every time period. Now go spout your bigoted bullshit somewhere else.
Check out @karnythia interviewing Nnedi Okorafor! Thank you for passing this along! Nnedi sounds friggin lovely. And wicked sharp. Thank the gawds for #BlackGirlGenius…
Fantasy, Reality, & ‘Ism’s
In the wake of the Fuck You Jim Butcher post a lot of the “It’s fantasy, don’t get offended” rhetoric is circulating again. Nothing new, but I’m a little perplexed by the argument that using real racial slurs (like Injun or Tar Baby) for fictional characters means that those real slurs are somehow neutered. That using real cities as backdrops and rewriting them to erase millions of people of color doesn’t mean anything…because it’s fiction. That including real sexist tropes & real rape culture is somehow a-okay because…it’s fiction. Fiction that is built on real racism, real sexism, & real classism is likely to be real offensive.
No one is saying that authors must write books that please everyone. That’s impossible. Fiction is supposed to be an escape for readers, (that is especially true of genre fiction) and when you use real social issues in your work you need to be aware of that fact. After all when your idea of an escape is a world where those social issues are present and often unaddressed or poorly handled? That says something about you. Don’t like what people think it says or that they’re angry when they discuss it? Might be time to examine your work and yourself a little more closely. Among other things, ask why your fiction needs to be rooted in real ‘isms. And just what are you & your readers trying to escape?
“SF3 has withdrawn the invitation to Elizabeth Moon to attend WisCon 35 as guest of honor.”
– SF3. Via karnythia on Twitter.
Via K. Tempest Bradford,
For those of you who haven’t heard, the SF3 organization that is the parent org for WisCon passed a resolution at their Oct 3rd meeting recommending to the concom that they rescind Elizabeth Moon’s guest of honor invitation. This is just a rec, though. It’s still up to the concom — I assume the troika, actually — to follow through on it. Based on this post by Karnythia, there seems to be a lot of discussion going on within the concom about following this rec, with some strong voices opposed to doing so.
I’m going to Madison this year. But if Moon is GOH I’m not going to Wiscon. […] I’m sorry not to be there honoring Nisi, but I can’t in good conscience support this bullshit approach to feminism.
And N. K. Jemisin quits the concom in protest, having put up with a great deal of denial and outrageous treatment from fellow concom members. Like Karnythia, she may be visiting Madison but not attending the con.
Karnythia is pissed off and asks, “What would LJ do?”
N. K. Jemisin comments, eloquently voicing an argument I’ve seen from other people as well, and which I think is the strongest one for attending Wiscon anyway (though, of course, I respect anyone who chooses not to go):
Assuming I get a job anytime soon and have the money, I’m going to Wiscon. Something that’s being lost in all this is that Moon is one of the Guests of Honor; Nisi Shawl is the other. I have no respect for the former, but great respect for the latter, and I refuse to let Moon’s asshattery prevent me from supporting a friend and mentor. That gives Moon too much power, IMO.
That said, I’ve been asking myself what I would do if this GoH was, say, Orson Scott “Gay People Bad!” Card, or someone who had a problem with black women (there are lots of such characters in SF/F, but I can’t think of any big enough to be a GoH). I agree that keeping such a person as a Guest of Honor is an insult to the targets of their hatred. I don’t think it’s possible to honor someone for only their work, and not the attitudes and thought processes that produce that work. But I still wouldn’t want that person disinvited for this — because it provides a chance for the insulted parties (in this case, not just Muslims — Moon also insulted immigrants, people too brown to assimilate, people who’ve been the targets of hate crimes, and more) to fight back.
Wiscon provides a chance for people to express their anger at E. Moon in a forum she can’t control, and where she can’t delete the comments. I don’t think I have to be Muslim or Arab to be furious with this woman, and I want the chance to vent that fury at her. I want her to see that there are consequences for holding those kinds of attitudes — because I don’t think she knows that. I don’t think she’s been censured for her bigotry before. I think she lives down there in Buttfuck, Texas somewhere — no offense to people who like buttfucking, mind, or Texas — surrounded by people who think like her and hate like her, and I think she feels like her bigotry is normal. I want her to see that it’s not. Quite frankly, she had no business accepting the GoHship for a con like Wiscon; clearly she didn’t bother to research the con first.
So I would happily participate in a protest at Moon’s speech — standing and turning my back on her, walking out, whatever. I am planning to attend her panels, and ask her some hard questions. I would happily participate in any counterprogramming. But I won’t skip the con, because of Nisi.
Dear Elizabeth Moon,
When Will Shetterly is calling you out on your bigotry and he’s right? It is past time for you to shut up and listen. To him or pretty much anyone else that isn’t an Islamophobe. Put some pants on.
Someone who wishes you weren’t GOH at Wiscon 2011”
It’s true. Expect rivers to start running backwards, Hell to freeze over, and the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup any day now.