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Jim has a comprehensive roundup of links relating to the SFWA thing/Jim is only linking to people who agree with him.

I never claimed to be doing a comprehensive list of links. As I stated up front, I was responding to the claim that protests and complaints were being done anonymously. There are posts I agree with that I didn’t link to, and posts I’m less comfortable with that I did include.

I have no objection to people linking to that post, but please don’t describe it as a full or comprehensive list of responses to this mess.

Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg are good people who have helped a tremendous number of people.

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone claim that Resnick and Malzberg are evil, or that they’ve never done anything positive. Nobody’s one-dimensional. So yes, I’m sure they’ve both done many good things in their lives. But I also think they messed up this time.

I believe I’ve done good things in my life, but I don’t expect people to give me a pass when I screw up. (And believe me, I still screw up a lot.)

Scalzi’s apology was weak!

I’ve seen a range of opinions on John Scalzi’s statement. Personally, I thought it was pretty good. Sure it wasn’t perfect, and there are certainly valid criticisms to be made.

That said, based on the statement as well as 1) knowing John personally and 2) his history of working against sexism and discrimination, I’m taking it at face value as a genuine apology and promise to do better. And maybe that’s where the history of positive work comes into play. Not that I think we should ignore it when Scalzi messes up. But when he offers an apology and says he’s going to work to try to fix this, I’m inclined to believe him.

All this attention is just making SFWA look bad.

You’re right. In the short term, SFWA has definitely taken a black eye. In the long term, I’m hopeful that the result will be a better organization. And I have trouble buying the idea that the real problem isn’t the sexism, but people pointing out and criticizing the sexism.

What about all of the good work SFWA does?

As Mary Robinette Kowal said:

“I still feel like some asshole spilled something on my prom dress. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a little spot, that’s all anyone will see. It doesn’t matter how great the dress is, the stain still ruins it.”

I was at BEA last week, where Jaym Gates and Laura Anne Gilman worked incredibly hard to set up and the SFWA booth where I and other members were able to sign and meet folks. It was awesome, and it’s one of a thousand things SFWA does that I’m grateful for.

I don’t think those things should be used to derail the current conversation. I do think they’re part of a conversation that should happen, and as a member of SFWA, I’m making a note to try to have that conversation in the future, to post more about why I stay with and believe in the work the organization does.

All those age-related insults flying around? Not cool, man!

I agree. While I think some of the “dinosaur” comments are meant to refer to old/outdated attitudes, there have also been some direct shots at old people. There are plenty of older people speaking out quite strongly against sexism, just as there are young folks being sexist asshats.

It’s a witch hunt! It’s a liberal-fascist crusade! It’s a lynch mob!

It’s over-the-top hyperbole!

One of the people you linked to used the phrase “right-thinking.” Doesn’t that prove it’s not hyperbole, and liberals really are the thought police?

One of the people — out of sixty-plus that I’ve linked to so far — used that phrase.  And you know what? I’m not comfortable with that word choice either. I do agree with a lot of the other things said in that post.

I also find it interesting when people latch on to one phrase in one post, generalize it to an entire group, and then use that as an excuse to dismiss or stop listening to that group as a whole. That’s some weak and lazy-ass thinking, regardless of which “side” you believe you’re on.

Shouldn’t you be writing instead of wasting your energy on this?

I’ve been doing both. 17K words on Unbound so far. Poor Isaac is having a rough time of it. And you know what? Since it’s my energy, I figure I can spend it on things I believe are important.

Why is everyone making such a big deal out of a silly cover or a bad Barbie analogy or a couple of writers describing women as attractive? Aren’t there real problems to worry about?

Interesting how often I see men trying to proclaim what is and isn’t a real problem when it comes to sexism…

Anyway, I can’t speak for everyone. For myself, I see these incidents as things that could perhaps be brushed off if they happened in isolation. But as many of the responses have pointed out, they aren’t isolated incidents. They’re part of a larger pattern of sexist behavior, and that pattern needs to stop.

It’s the death of a thousand paper cuts.

Have you gotten any hate mail about this?

I know some women have received truly nasty hate mail for expressing their comments and opinions, but the worst I’ve experienced so far is someone blocking me on Facebook. Weird. I wonder what the difference could be…

Don’t you get tired of this?


Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 5th, 2013 01:41 pm (UTC)
"Don't you get tired of this? Yes."


I admire you more than I can say for continuing to fight the good fight and to stand up for the ideals (and people) you believe in. I for one am glad to know you have my back.

Now, if you could just write faster, so I could have your book :-)

Jun. 5th, 2013 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm working on it! Believe it or not, my writing output has actually been a bit higher than usual these past few weeks :-)
(no subject) - deborahblakehps - Jun. 5th, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:06 pm (UTC)
Hopefully you gained back a few sporks by writing this.
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:11 pm (UTC)
I've mostly seen age proposed as a reason to excuse their behavior, why we can't possibly expect them to understand, why they get a pass or should just be ignored. If they use their age as a shield against criticism, I think it becomes fair game.
Personally, I figure they had just as much time to change as society did. If I said "dinosaur" I would mean "fossilized remnants of an earlier time who belong in a museum rather than human society", which is extremely rude and dismissive and so I don't say that. Instead, I condemn their wrong-thinking as expressed in their extremely rude and systematically alienating writing and expect people not to give them column space as long as they behave that way.

Sometimes I *am* dismissive of old people who expect that they have earned greater respect or deference simply because they survived this long, usually while ignoring all the privileges they had in getting there. I believe it is because they were forced to give that deference to their elders when they were young and now want to continue the pyramid scheme. Some of my elders I respect enormously *cough*Delany*cough*, but it is for the things they have done and continue to do, not simply for getting old.

I still can't believe it was *three issues in a row* *headdesk*
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
When I hear the age defense, I think of my 78yo dad who spent my childhood telling me, his daughter, that I could be anything I wanted to be- and then put his money where his mouth was for not just me, but other young women.

Dad was born in the 1930s. If someone tried to tell him age lets you be sexist he'd rip them a new one- or better yet, sit on them while my 70y0 mom does it.
(no subject) - sylvanstargazer - Jun. 5th, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - georgmi - Jun. 5th, 2013 04:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lietya - Jun. 5th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - georgmi - Jun. 5th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sylvanstargazer - Jun. 5th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lietya - Jun. 5th, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
It's a little confusing to label the hyperlink with the part of the statement that reads "a comprehensive list" when your point is to refute that it's comprehensive. :)

Unrelated -- I heard that you had an article in Bulletin 202 as well, but I haven't seen any links to it. Is that because it's not available online or am I just not looking effectively?
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
::Facepalm:: Very good point, and I've changed the hyperlink, thank you.

My article isn't available online yet, though I'm planning to check my contract to see when the exclusivity period expires so I can change that.
(no subject) - julieandrews - Jun. 5th, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rowyn - Jun. 5th, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
Quite frankly, as someone in the upper end of the middle age range (55) and someone who's been subjected to these attitudes as expressed by Malzberg and Resnick a big chunk of her life, I'm not willing to give the age-related excuse that some want to give. They aren't that much older than I am, and they went through the same political eras I did--and if they're still clinging to those attitudes, then yeah, they're part of the problem. The things they failed on were Feminism 101, and those ideas were part and parcel of the feminist analysis in the 60s and 70s.

Age is no excuse for refusing to learn and change as society learns and changes. Period. And good for you and others with the ability and audience to speak out and be heard to be doing so.
Jun. 5th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
For once I want a 'like' button. Well said (and I am 51, and HAVE changed my attitude about many things over the last 10-15 years. It can happen!).

(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 5th, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Jun. 12th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:48 pm (UTC)
How love how humanity thinks somwtimes, or, at least some samples of it think.

Words and thoughts that encourage one's own interests, behaviors, etc, whether or not there's detriment to others:

Yay! My poor behavior/point of view is being validated! or See, so and so doesn't mind me doing this sucky thing, so it's okay. Nyaah!

Words and thoughts that encourage that encourage being good to one another, treating EVERYONE like human beings and not just white males:


Words and thoughts etc being expressed that repress and discourage others:

*Crickets Chirp*
Jun. 5th, 2013 03:04 pm (UTC)
As an aside, I see the hate mail you've linked to, and I imagine, as a thought experiment, rewriting all of those included comments to be addressed to Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg, who claim to be censored and silenced by any and all objections to their editorials full of ridiculous misogynist tripe. (To be fair, ONE blog response [to which you linked, and with which I agreed] did include "Fuck you" and "you're an asshole." It hasn't all been "polite"... but thus far, I have not seen one single instance of either man being told he should be raped or murdered. Yet that's pretty much par for the course for a woman making waves on the internet. See also : http://jezebel.com/if-comedy-has-no-lady-problem-why-am-i-getting-so-many-511214385 ) Makes it especially infuriating to then be told that women are too sensitive to play with the big boys, when both men seem to be in need of a much thicker skin and ability to tolerate criticism (NOT threats) without screaming about abuse and censorship.

"I’ve been doing both. 17K words on Unbound so far. Poor Isaac is having a rough time of it. And you know what? Since it’s my energy, I figure I can spend it on things I believe are important."

This is brilliant. On the one hand, I'm disappointed that you too are getting the "there are better things to worry bout" derail, but on the other, this response is one I hope to adapt for the future. I've been trying for some time to come up with a cogent and concise reply to that one, a response which doesn't engage with the argument but does explain why I'm having whatever conversation this is.
Jun. 5th, 2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
Or as Senator Chambliss said (with reference to sexual abuse in the military) - it is the fault of all those raging hormones ...
Jun. 5th, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
I've watched the pendulum swing as regards to feminism through the years. Seen more than a couple backlashes, but on the whole I find that with each generation the idea that women deserve equal rights becomes more entrenched in mainstream society.

That Barry and Mike got taken to task for regressive attitudes towards women is a sign of progress, as painful as that progress has been.

Someone needs to send out a memo. The term lady (outside of historical romances) needs to be reserved for the counterpart of lord. Any other use is archaic and makes the author sound like an old fart. Not a big audience for old fart literature, far as I can tell.
Jun. 5th, 2013 03:21 pm (UTC)
The comment that ticked me off came from someone who said: "Anyone born after 1960 would be pissed off."

Framing the problem in terms of age is not helpful or accurate. There are plenty of sexist young people, and plenty of people in their 50s, 60s, and older who are furious at the sexism and racism Resnick and Malzberg were spouting.

I'd like to say that was the only ageist comment I saw, but it wasn't.
Jun. 5th, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
In fairness, the very first comment on that post called the author on exactly that issue, and he admitted that it was poorly phrased.

IIRC, that was also the post which pointed out that the heart of the problem was choosing to highlight the "hotness" of a "lady editor" in the context of the three sentences devoted to her influential career in SF, in an article which was supposed to be an overview of women's contributions to the field. That's the bit that stuck with me.
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - Jun. 5th, 2013 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Jun. 5th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 5th, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
I have trouble buying the idea that the real problem isn’t the sexism, but people pointing out and criticizing the sexism.

That's a bog-standard bingo-card response. It happens a lot on racial issues as well -- claims that the REAL racists are those who notice racist behavior, because aren't we all supposed to be color-blind?

Actually, you've got a wide range of bingo-card responses up there. I'm not surprised at all.
Jun. 5th, 2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
It's the "keeping your mouth shut" theory of societal change. I prefer my women uppity, myself.
Jun. 5th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
It’s a witch hunt! It’s a liberal-fascist crusade! It’s a lynch mob!

so far, all I have seen is a lot of words being exchanged, no one showing up to hang, burn, press, dunk, or torture anyone. Nor going on an actual journey to free whatever holy land they revere, nor anyone being in a close relationship with rope and tree that chokes them to death.

Its like a small child being caught drawing on the living room wall, they immediately start screaming and crying trying to distract the adult from what is really going on.

See, the crime isnt what you were doing, its the getting caught part of it.
Jun. 5th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
I would like a comprehensive list of male writers to avoid supporting to come out of this. As a woman, I work hard for my money and don't wish to spend it on people who don't value me as a human being.

Thank you, as always, for being one of the few who gets it, Jim.
Jun. 12th, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
I would, too.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 6th, 2013 11:31 am (UTC)
"Is there such a thing as not-over-the-top hyperbole? Can you give an example? Please?"

Um ... well ... hey look over there, it's a giant squirrel with a chainsaw!

::Runs away to avoid the question::
Jun. 6th, 2013 12:11 am (UTC)
And I have trouble buying the idea that the real problem isn’t the sexism, but people pointing out and criticizing the sexism.

This part stood out to me the most. I recently was witness to a twitter fight between a bunch of friends where a publisher criticised the male author involved for writing a blog post that criticised Reznick and Malzburg because calling out the authors was only making things worse and we should find a middle ground. Or something. Um I'm sorry. Calling out someone on their problematic behaviour and/or attitudes isn't victimising a person. It's pointing out problematic behaviour and/or attitudes. And it isn't JUST about those two authors comments. It's about a big organisation that should be representing both genders in a way that isn't problematic and/or denigrating.

This incident made me quite upset actually as the publisher also challenged a friend of mine who is an older lady on the basis of her not being eligable to be a member of the SFWA and therefore implied that her opinion was invalid and her (published) fiction not very good. As an emerging sci fi/fantasy writer, this exchange between a number of people I formerly respected a lot worries me. Is this kind of bullying what I have to look forward to?
Jun. 6th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
Also- using a position of white male privelage to silence a person who differed with you, publisher, made me very, very uncomfortable indeed.

(no subject) - jimhines - Jun. 7th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jim C. Hines


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