From Teh Stoopid That Goes Bump At Wiscon, Oh Good Lord Deliver Us

Yes, yes, as if you didn’t have enough stupid cluttering the walls of the Mad Genius Club already, we’ve got even more on display, this time some twit who is incapable of distinguishing between self-delusional ego-stroking and fact going all concern-troll over N. K. Jemison’s Guest of Honor speech at Wiscon last week.

Mostly the article is a little bit of fangirling, a little bit of concern trolling, and quoting honking great chunks of the actual speech. Which seemed just a bit off to me, so I took a deep breath and waded over to the deep end of Glittery Hoo Haa land to Jemison’s blog to read the whole thing.

I’m fairly sure I could feel brain cells dying as I read. Well, no, that’s not quite true. I couldn’t feel them dying, but I could hear their tiny little screams of “No more torture!” “Stop! Stop!” as they scrambled out of my ears and leaped to their deaths on the tiles far below (well, by brain cell standards it’s a long way down).

Let’s get this out of the way to start with. Yes, there are bigots in SFF. Duh. It’s a human field, peopled by humans (at least, I don’t know of any aliens in the industry). It’s possible that there were once far fewer bigots in the field simply because people who look to the future and see hope for humanity tend not to be the sort of people who are going to get hung up on who someone’s parents are. That’s changed, and the people who changed it are the ones this fool and her Feminist Glittery Hoo Haa adore.

That does not excuse lying about past events and claiming bigotry where none exists. Nor does it excuse such a narrow view of life and the industry that everything, no matter what it is, must be viewed through the distorted lens of “racism”.

When she says:

But it has been almost twenty years since his prophetic announcement, and in that time all of society — not just the microcosm of SFF — has racheted toward that critical, threatening mass in which people who are not white and not male achieve positions of note. And indeed we have seen science fiction and fantasy authors and editors and film directors and game developers become much, much more explicit and hostile in their bigotry. We’ve seen that bigotry directed not just toward black authors but authors of all races other than white; not just along the racial continuum but the axes of gender, sexual orientation, nationality, class, and so on. We’ve seen it aimed by publishers and book buyers and reviewers and con organizers toward readers, in the form of every whitewashed book cover, every “those people don’t matter” statement, and every all-white, mostly-male BookCon presenters’ slate. Like Chip said, this stuff has always been here. It’s just more intense, and more violent, now that the bigots feel threatened.

Jemisin neglects to mention one crucial factor. In the last twenty years or so, the Social Justice Warriors and the Feminist Glittery Hoo Haas have subjected everyone to a relentless drumbeat of white=evil, male=evil, not-white=victim, female=victim until anyone with more than two braincells to rub together is heartily sick of it. Jemisin has clearly bought the “victim” idiotology hook, line, and stinker, and seems utterly unaware of the way the – yes, bigoted – establishment has promoted her and her ilk against other equally meritorious authors (and is some cases authors with more merit) simply so they can say they’re doing all they can to “combat discrimination” without ever having to come out of their nice cozy plantation and actually deal with anyone honestly.

See, there’s a sneaky little trap buried in all the Social Justice bullshit that the Warriors and Hoo Haas never see. They’re so busy preening about their glorious glitter they never realize that the people in power aren’t letting anyone who isn’t in the power-club get anywhere near the real seats of power. It’s sickening, really. All they have to do is dole out a few goodies, just enough for those lesser sorts to get by on, and said lesser sorts will be so grateful they’ll never even think of revolt.

Seriously. If Hitler had claimed all his assorted untermenschen were poor, hardworking, hard-done-by people who needed a bit of help and given them unemployment benefits and subsidized housing everyone would have proclaimed what a wonderful humanitarian he was and cheered him on. The six million would still have died, only over a longer time period and nobody would have thought there was anything wrong about it because it’s just terrible the way an unjust society forces those people to kill each other, isn’t it? (Okay, this is pure bullshit – but stop and think about the analogy for a little while. Scary? Good).

Then, presumably in a fit of masochism, I hopped Jemisin’s link to her speech in Australia last year, the one that started off the whole round of bullshit that saw SFWA expel an “unnamed member” (yes, everyone knows who was expelled, but not because SFWA said anything) for doing rather less than anyone else did (namely use the twitter handle SFWA used to provide for SFWA members to link in their blogs to link in his blog) and claim he violated SFWA rules and supposedly brought the organization into disrepute. Honestly if that was an expulsion offense there would have been entire SFWA executive committees dismissed on a regular basis. SFWA’s executive committee brought itself into disrepute with its heavy-handed action towards what was fundamentally nothing more than an opinion they didn’t like.

Anyway. My surviving braincells stampeded for my ears so they could commit mass suicide rather than sit through this drivel. This poor, precious flower feels unsafe in Australia because she’s black? And of course it never occurred to the poor dear to actually research Australian culture or anything. There are very few places where someone’s skin color places them in danger in Australia – and most of those you don’t want to be of the lily white persuasion. That or the area is one of the relative handful where poorly integrated migrant communities have turned a suburb into a mini war zone where anyone who doesn’t belong to that specific community (color doesn’t matter there) is at risk. Most of those are fine during the daylight, and there sure as hell aren’t any within walking distance of the convention hotels.

No, I’m sure what terrified poor, innocent Jemisin is that Australians as a rule don’t bother with PC language. We don’t call a spade a spade, we call it a fucking shovel. And we’re likely to call our best friend of Chinese ancestry “our Chink mate”. And our best friend is just as likely to call us, “bloody convict, mate” or something equally friendly. We call catching a cold “getting a bloody wog” (and will laugh uproariously when one of our friends with Greek or Italian ancestry retorts “yeah, and I’ve got a bloody aussie”). If you don’t realize this, yes, Australians sound incredibly bigoted. But if you sit down and just watch a crowd of Australians in somewhere like one of the major Sydney or Melbourne train stations or the pedestrian malls, you’ll see that every damn ethnicity imaginable is passing through and getting no more and no less attention than anyone else.

But she’s got a Glittery Hoo Haa! It’s all – all – about her. What she sees as bigotry – sorry, racism – is nothing more than people giving her exactly the deference she deserves, namely the amount due any other human.

Until she can see that, she and her ilk are going to be jumping at racist shadows everywhere she goes. And writing and publishing will be poorer for it.

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219 Comments

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219 responses to “From Teh Stoopid That Goes Bump At Wiscon, Oh Good Lord Deliver Us

  1. Some where in Larry Correia’s recent stuff, I think it’s one of his ways to quickly identify a Troll, is something about how they’ll skim a blog or books looking for something to be offended by.

    It’s horrifying to think of so many people skimming life until they find something to be offended by. What a pitiful way to live.

      • Kate Paulk

        Which – contrary to the beliefs of some – is not intended to be a guide to life.

    • Pam, it also suggests that they have a lot more time on their hands than the majority of people do.

    • CACS

      There have always been people who take pleasure in taking offense. They feel that they are making the world better by giving it a good scolding.

      Re: Trolls…One down side of the interweb is that it is so much easier to launch a sanctimonious harangue on those with whom you disagree. You can do it from the comfort of your home, without getting your hands dirty by actual association with that which you condemn.

      It is a pitiful way to live.

      • Alan

        It’s the “Victim Game”. You know – the one where the mediocre, self-pitying attention-needy person observes that real victims get attention, and sympathy, and things changed for them – and figures out the apparent rules of how that’s done and starts publicly applying those rules to themselves, in hopes of getting some of the same.
        Somebody should market a parlor game of this sort, so people could learn to laugh at the tactic instead of being intimidated by it.

        • CACS

          Victim, yes, but not all are full blown victims. Sometimes they are the self appointed savior of the victims. They live as a kind of vicarious victim through their vaulted sense of empathy. They then take out their anger at those who they view as beneficiaries of unearned privilege and thereby gaining their self affirmation.

          • Kate Paulk

            Oh yeah. And of course because they say all the proper things they don’t have to actually DO anything remotely uncomfortable.

        • Kate Paulk

          Particularly since the real victims tend to be more interested in getting past whatever crap landed on them and getting on with their life.

          • CACS

            Thereby the original victims are doubly victimized. First by whatever hit them and then by their saviors, who need to keep the victims permanently vulnerable and in need of their help.

            Should anyone question the matter, and suggest that they really would rather to just be allowed to get on with their lives it proves that they are only suppressing their problems and have become victims of false consciousness, therefore in need of further help or have become traitors to the cause and in need of reeducation.

            • Kate Paulk

              Yes, indeed, and never mind that damn near everyone gets victimized at some point in their lives, and most manage to get on with it afterwards.

      • What bugs me is that trolls poison the well so that folks I know are capable of rational argument, when meeting disagreement– instead start going on troll patrol. Sometimes citing various troll identifier characteristics as they commit them.

      • And it’s addictive. It’s very satisfying to feel a sense of righteous indignation and then reach out and smite those you view as unenlightened with a +2 mace of verbosity.
        I’m starting to think that I’ve got to find a different way to engage those statements which have, in the past, gotten me so upset, and break the habit of indulging in that indignation myself, which I have been known to do.

        • Kate Paulk

          In my case the weapon of choice is the +infinitysomething nuke of snark. As you might just possibly have noticed…

      • Kate Paulk

        Yes indeed. The spiritual descendants of Mary Whitehouse and Mrs Grundy but without the balls to do anything about these terrible things (and just as well, too because they’re always getting the pineapple by the wrong end)

        • Spew Alert
          Kate, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the “joke” about the three explorers and the primitive tribe. Captives, if they want to live, have to: find an object, come back and shove it up “somewhere unpleasant,” while showing no emotion. The punch line involves a pineapple. =8-0
          I see GHH’s and SJW’s as being that “third explorer.”

          • Kate Paulk

            Hehehe…. of course I do. I know a LOT of those types of jokes. Why else do you think I make comments about getting a pineapple by the wrong end?

    • Kate Paulk

      Horrifying, and tragic. It’s such a waste of a life.

  2. It’s the mistake of putting words over actions. (re: the Aussie Slang). Hell, we white males do it all the time, calling each other bastard and mother f*cker (without the asterisk) all the time, and yet, somehow, not coming to blows.

    She just doesn’t get it.

    But the thing *I* don’t get is that blockquoted part, where she goes on about somehow white males in the publishing industry have cranked UP the bigotry and repression. She says “We’ve seen it” but frankly, without evidence, I can’t take her word for it. I haven’t seen it. I’ve seen the reverse, which has been documented with examples in this very blog. Hell, Jemisin herself is an example that puts her statements to lie. If publishers were “become[ing] much, much more explicit and hostile in their bigotry.” then how the hell did someone like her get anywhere near putting anything out.

    Or maybe the bigotry is that she doesn’t sell very well. Anything to make it not her fault, right? It must be the sheer fact of my white male-itude that my sales are so much higher than hers. Oh wait, they’re not. Damn, I need to recharge my white-card at the Privilege ATM.

    • Yep, they seem to have this tendency to latch on words and looks and symbols instead of actions and intents. Much easier, of course. Ban a word and nobody will ever be insulted again, so very logical.

      • BTW, has anyone here read anything by her? I had never heard of her before this kerfuffle, and I’ve been wondering if her stories would be worth a try. I’m assuming gray goo, but it’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised, and I am willing to give any writer a chance – if I can either do it cheaply or for free, or I get enough good recommendations. But I no longer want to waste my rather meager funds on something I am not going to enjoy, and unfortunately I seem to have gotten harder to please as I have gotten older.

        Well, may have something to do with the fact that there is much more of that grey goo around than there was when I first started reading and the older, fun stuff was still easy to find everywhere.

        • N.K. Jemisin writes fantasy romance with exotic kingdoms and cute guy godlings and psychic chosen ones whom the gods want to sleep with (along with other cute guy gods). I think she’s ashamed of the fact that her imagination wants to have fun, so she’s always proclaiming the Importantness and Transgressiveness of what’s basically just girly wish fulfillment/vacation/80′s miniseries with weirder sex.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. She’d be more fun if she’d just embrace her own silliness, and hire handsome guys to haul her around cons in a sedan chair while scantily clad in gauze and jewels. Never has an author needed cosplay more.

          I will also note that the lady who writes physics hard sf romances set in exotic locations with good-looking guys is not ashamed of her imagination one bit.

          • Synova

            Well, gosh, that actually sounds fun.

          • Mind you, I’d say that most of the Racism she perceives is Fantasy as well, so at least she’s constantly honing her craft. . . . (evil grin)

            • Kate Paulk

              WEll, yeah, but that’s more in the line of grimdark or paranoid fantasy compared to what sounds a lot like fluffy fantasy romance

          • “I will also note that the lady who writes physics hard sf romances set in exotic locations with good-looking guys is not ashamed of her imagination one bit.”
            Who is that?

          • She writes Mary Sue romps?

            (Note: I actually enjoy some Sue stuff, it’s relaxing to read something that’s just FUN. Not a fan of the omnisexual stuff, though. Not a fan of reading about sex.)

            • Kate Paulk

              Me either, really. I mean, we’re all adults here (I hope). We all know which appendage fits into which orifice. I’d much rather read about the emotions and the fun, not the bouncing and grinding.

          • Kate Paulk

            Oh, my. I’d possibly be tempted by that. Maybe. WEll, not the weird sex because I skip the sex scenes ,but the rest, perhaps.

        • mikeweatherford

          I hadn’t heard of her, either, Pohjalainen, so don’t feel bad… In fact, there are a LOT of new authors I see in bookstores I haven’t heard of. I used to find new authors in Analog, but I don’t subscribe any more. It quit being worth the price. I’ve limited my reading lately to people I meet at Sarah’s or here, or to what I can download from Project Gutenberg.

          Email me (mike.weatherford@gmail.com). I have something I want to ask you, and I lost your email address during my last computer change.

        • Kate Paulk

          Oh, but of course words and looks and symbols are much more important. They’re SO much easier to work with. Actions are HARD. They’re dangerous. But share a meme on facebook and you can be all virtuous and it doesn’t cost you a thing.

          I can only hope her fiction is better than her blogging or her speechwriting.

    • You’ve pretty much nailed it. I’m really not seeing where she’s coming from on some of this. I mean, when I was actually submitting short stories, I saw tons that actively said they wanted stories from minorities. It’s well known that conservatives aren’t really welcome at many genre publishers, which indicates that there are progressives are calling the shots there.

      And yet, there’s still all this racism? Really?

      Sure, she may be talking about some of us writers who don’t really have an issue with her skin tone, but have serious issues with her hate mongering. Unfortunately for her, we don’t actually call the shots at most publishers.

      However, not that long ago, Lightspeed retweeted something Jemisin put out on Twitter. I guess it was for the Women Destroy SF issue or something, but Jemisin mentioned that her piece was the first piece of original fiction she’d done in a while.

      Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re a writer, you write. I get it, she’s got a day job. So do a lot of other writers. Based on her most recent blog entry, she had time for video games and all that, so why didn’t she write?

      My own take is that, for her, it’s more about activism than fiction these days. It’s why she got a prime speaking slot at Wiscon. She won’t get those gigs if she’s upfront about the reality, that it’s not really us conservative and libertarians in SFF that are the problem, because most of us don’t have any kind of power, even if we wanted to keep folks out (and the vast majority of us don’t).

      • Alan

        Perhaps she hasn’t written much sell-able fiction because all her creative talent is being used on un-sell-able autobiographical victimization fantasies?

        • Entirely possible.

          Of course, I get a kick out of how the work of minority authors not getting picked up is “violence”. I wonder how the slaves in the old South would feel about that, or perhaps those who were blasted with fire hoses and had dogs turned loose on them. I mean, there’s “violence”, which is any outcome that Jemisin doesn’t like apparently, and then there’s real violence.

          She cheapens the term when she can’t manage to use them correctly. What kind of writer doesn’t understand that words have meanings? Or, perhaps she does, and chooses to use the word inappropriately on purpose. After all, if enough people start calling it violence, then maybe they’ll “win”, since no one wants to be accused of violence against minorities.

          • Kate Paulk

            To heighten the comparison, I wonder how the survivors of the concentration camps would feel about Jemisin’s idea of “violence”? Somehow I don’t think any of them would be terribly flattering.

          • It’s along the same lines as calling “sex that I regretted later on” by the name “rape”. It devalues and dismisses the experiences of those who’ve gone through actual rape, just as the example you cite dismisses the experiences of those who’ve gone through actual violence. It’s an attempt to piggy-back on the horror that people rightly feel towards real rape and violence, and direct that horror towards whatever cause du jour the SJWs want to get rid of this time.

            Their problem is, some of us see the crying of wolf for what it is, and are more and more people are becoming less and less afraid to say so.

            • Robin Munn

              To clarify: when I talk about “sex I regretted later on” being called “rape”, I mean sex that the woman in question (it’s usually a woman in those scenarios) is actively consenting to at the time. E.g., the case that came up a few months ago where a woman accused a fellow of rape, only it turned out that someone had filmed it on a cell-phone camera and she was obviously enthusiastically participating in the event at the time it happened, and not at all trying to fight him off (quite the reverse, from the descriptions of the video — which I chose not to watch).

            • Very much so.

              Heaven forbid we use the words as they’re defined. Instead, let’s shift them so they mean so many more things.

              Honestly, Jemisin most likely hasn’t seen much in the way of real violence. Most Americans who’ve never served in war are in the same boat, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, it also enables someone like her to hijack the term and apply it to any behavior she doesn’t like.

              Of course, her attempts to force people to make the world into the one she has in her deepest fantasies come a whole lot closer to violence than anything she’s experienced from the SFF industry.

      • Kate Paulk

        There’s two possibilities. Either her perception is so warped that anything other than being larded with praise is seen as “racist”, or she’s cynically milking the well-intentioned idiots for all she can get. Possibly both.

        There’s certainly no acknowledgment of reality. Let’s face it, very few readers give a damn about what their favorite authors look like. It’s much more a case of “Oh, so Author Name is [insert ethnicity of choice]? Neat. So when does the next book come out?”

        • Very true.

          I find it amusing though that she trots out Chip Delany as her proof of racism in SFF, despite the number of awards he won and the works he’s had published. Just the Wikipedia description of Hogg turned my stomach, and that’s a book that probably shouldn’t have been accepted anywhere.

          But, you know, racism and stuff.

          • Kate Paulk

            Absolutely. Seriously, I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few of Delaney’s works. My reaction to learning he’s black was “Oh, really? Neat.” It doesn’t change a word he wrote and doesn’t change his ability. It’s just a moderately interesting bit of fact.

            • I don’t think I’ve read any of his stuff. I’m hesitant to read any of it after reading that description of Hogg’s plot, but I somehow doubt his earlier work quite went in that direction.

              • Kate Paulk

                As I recall he got a lot darker and more… um… that as his career progressed.

              • Will Shetterly

                His early work is great science fiction. If gay sex troubles you, stick to his work that was copyrighted in the ’60s.

                • Gay sex isn’t an issue. But I worry about any man who writes about adult males raping young boys like it’s normal.

                  • pst314

                    Exactly: Tales of Neveryon begins with a black man (the hero) buying a young white male slave to rape. Delany wrote another novel (Solstice? Equinox? Eclipse? Some astronomical term anyway) which features lots of brutal SM sex between an an older black man and two young white kids whom he purchased for sex when they were preteens. I’m not clear on exactly what the plots of Hogg and The Madman are, but have heard that they involve lots of brutal SM sex, much of it between strangers. (Delany has himself said that for many years he spent every afternoon trolling gay bars and porno backrooms for anonymous sex.)

                    Delany has said, without any shame or apology, that he hates white people and that he thinks racial quotas and preferences that penalize innocent or more qualified whites are a reasonable case of “turnabout is fair play”. Since I never owned slaves or supported Jim Crow, I’m not sure why it is okay to hate me to do evil to me. Nor am I sure how he reconciles his evil desires with his endless blather about justice and making a better world, but I’m sure it has something to do with #IWantWhatIWant and #BecauseShutUp.

                    • Will Shetterly

                      Hold on there. I have vague memories of Tales of Neveryon that say you could be right about the basic details of its plot, but without rereading it, I suspect you are greatly oversimplifying the implications, much like, oh, atheists who cite bits from the Bible to conclude that God is in favor of slavery, rape, and infanticide. Context matters.

                      As for the rest of your charges, I’d appreciate quotes and links, because I haven’t seen any of that in what I’ve read, and one of the things I despise about SJWs is their love of unsupported claims. Which, alas, may just be a human thang.

                    • pst314

                      Will Shetterly “I’d appreciate quotes and links”
                      Delany’s comments on hating white people and reverse racism were in one or more collections of essays. I could not be more specific without spending man-days retrieving the books and re-reading them.
                      Wikipedia says that the novel I referenced was titled Equinox. I looked at it many years ago and do not own a copy.
                      I think what was going on was that Delany was engaging in racial rape/revenge fantasies, justified by a leftist ideology, combined with a more general fascination with rough sex.
                      Regarding Delany’s sex life, google should yield some articles. See here for an interview in which says that he has had something like fifty thousand sex partners, based on an average of 10-15 men per day. This was not news at the time of the article. He had made no secret of it.

                    • Will Shetterly

                      If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend his “Racism and Science Fiction”: http://www.nyrsf.com/racism-and-science-fiction-.html There are points I would quibble with, especially with his interpretation of what Asimov meant, but it’s honest, and so far as I’ve seen, unlike fandom’s warriors, he lives by his opening: “I don’t see much point in blaming people personally, white or black, for their feelings or even for their specific actions—as long as they remain this side of the criminal.”

                      I don’t know him well enough to call him a friend, but he’s been in my living room and I’ve driven him around town, and I like him. If he “hates white people”, I’ve never seen it. The man he has lived with for decades is white. He’s charming in person to everyone. A black friend of mine calls him “gay black Santa”, which is a fine description of the impression he gives in person.

                      I did a quick google for him calling for reparations, and didn’t come up with anything. (If he did, I would be among the first to ask him how you could do that today, a question none of the fans of reparations have answered.)

                      As for his sex life and fantasies, I’m on the side of letting the one without sin throw the first stone. What consenting adults do is their own affair.

                    • Jim Braiden

                      50,000 sexual partners!!
                      I find that disturbing and indeed quite sad.

                    • Kate Paulk

                      How wrong is it that I find myself wanting to check the math of that? (Let’s see, at an average 1/2 hour per encounter…. Ergh. Do not want to go there. Do not.)

                    • pst314

                      Will Shetterly “He’s charming in person to everyone.”

                      I’m entirely willing to accept the truth of your experiences. But I read what I read, and it must be equally true, especially since he was willing to commit it to print. As a matter of fact, I have even known a good number of people who were civil and pleasant who eventually revealed that they thought Lenin and Stalin and Mao had the right political ideas–they were nice to me in person but favored government policies that would enslave and impoverish me and probably put a bullet in my brain for Thought Crime.

                    • Will Shetterly

                      I keep thinking you’re confusing him with one of the SJWs, because I’ve read up on them, and I’m hesitant to put him in their camp. I may’ve missed what you’re remembering, of course. That’s why I asked for a quote.

                    • pst314

                      Kate Paulk “How wrong is it that I find myself wanting to check the math of that? (Let’s see, at an average 1/2 hour per encounter…. Ergh. Do not want to go there. Do not.)”
                      He said that he would spend every morning writing, and every afternoon trolling gay bars, porno bookstores, etc for what must have been quick encounters, so I’m guessing it was more like 5 to 15 minute sessions interspersed with lots of looking for the next most attractive person.

                      Jim Braiden “I find that disturbing and indeed quite sad.”

                      Yes, very very sad. He’s written other things that hint at a very troubled youth. One’s heart should go out to him. It’s a pity that some of the things he’s said make me think of him more as someone who would do me harm in the name of good

                    • CACS

                      This might be difficult for some to embrace. I have to conclude that something went horribly wrong between birth and adulthood to create a person who apparently approves of brutal SM sex inflicted on boys. I am very sorry that he bears such pain within himself, and I do hope that he will find relief for it. At the same time, this in no way justifies letting him continue that cycle of pain. The rape of children is evil.

                      I feel great sympathy for the Johnson’s dog in To Kill A Mockingbird, but he was rabid and had to be stopped.

    • I’m still trying to figure out who all these explicitly bigoted and hostile modern science fiction and fantasy film directors are.

      • I have to admit I was a bit miffed when they picked mostly white actors for the roles of Red Barsoomians in the ‘John Carter’ movie, considering the source material makes them sound as if they might look a lot like Indians, either continent version. All this talk of how there aren’t enough roles for PoC actors, and that opportunity does not get used? And then they gave them red tattoos instead of dark reddish tans as I have always imagined them. :)

        Oh well. Was a mostly disappointing movie in other ways too. How was it possible to take such a fun adventure story and turn it into something borderline boring (had some moments, but not many enough)? Oh yes, I think they, for one thing, tried to turn the main character into somebody interestingly flawed (that seems to mean whiny emo). And give the story some more meaningful message, maybe, since the original had only something like be brave and true to your friends and never give up and other old-fashioned stuff. And so on…

        Yes, I’m a fan of the original novels, why do you ask? :D

        • But that is one of the few cases one could really complain about whitewashing I do remember from near past.

          • Robin Munn

            Another case was the movie The Last Airbender. Which, for the record, does not exist — but if it did exist, it would have been a very disappointing case of casting white actors to play characters that are clearly Inuit, or some variety of Asian. (It could be argued that the Earth Kingdom is China, but it could easily be several other East Asian countries as well — but the Southern Water Tribe is clearly Inuit.)

            Oh, and don’t bother trying to watch the movie to see how bad it is. I just got done telling you that it doesn’t exist. Watching a movie that doesn’t exist is ALWAYS a bad idea. :-)

        • My first-coffee-of-the-morning guess had her thinking about George Lucas’ Jar-Jar Binks and the “Yellow Peril” Trade Federation in Phantom Menace or Spielberg and “natives” in the Indiana Jones movies. I’d totally forgotten about John Carter No Longer of Mars.

          • Synova

            There was a pretty famous YA thing where a book with a black protagonist was given a white girl on the cover and they were forced to fix it.

            I would find a deliberate decision to “make a book more appealing” by putting a picture of a white girl on the cover *on purpose* to be inexcusable. … not to mention insulting to readers (you know, all of *those* people, who won’t read a book about a black girl). But at the same time that I want, badly, to simply assume a miscommunication between the editor and art department, we all do know that the (progressive) publishing industry, just like the (progressive) film industry is full of people who are so SURE that the unwashed masses are racists, that they do that sort of crap all the time.

            • Would the ones in charge of the cover necessarily have known much more than something like ‘YA, teen girl protagonist’…?

              • Nope. The real thing to realize in this story is that NO ONE READS THE BOOKS. My cover art direction for musketeers, which was accidentally mailed to me from Berkley read I SWEAR “I think it’s Shakespeare. She did Shakespeare before.”

              • Synova

                Who knows what they knew but my assumptions are pretty much what Sarah just said… that nothing was “whitewashed”, everyone was just too lazy to get it right. It was a HUGE stink, though. (Looked it up… _Liar_ by Justine Larbalestier.)

                • Kate Paulk

                  Yeah, I heard about that. It was almost 100% for sure that nobody involved bothered to read enough to know any different.

                  Hell, these days they’re reusing art they bought for other books or getting open source stuff, so why wouldn’t they be cheap about the time taken to read the book?

            • SBP

              Then there was Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls where it was made clear (if indirectly) that the male protagonist was black.

              They apparently didn’t want to redo the cover art, so they just started printing that part of the cover darker in later editions.

              That’s the story I heard anyway, and indeed Col. Campbell’s skin tone is a little odd on my copy. Somewhere between George Hamilton and East Indian, I’d say (not having Larry Correia’s paint chip collection at hand). :-)

              Just checked, and the cover currently displayed on Amazon is darker still.

          • I wish I could. But I’m still angry. :P

        • Will Shetterly

          I also get miffed with people who miss the connection between the Apaches who attack Carter and the Red People of Mars. I don’t see how Burroughs could’ve referred to red skin at the time without expecting people to think of American Indians.

          • Yes. At some point the Reds are directly compared to American Indians, as looking similar. Some other descriptions do bring to mind India. I would have preferred a movie where the Reds, at least the major players like Dejah and Kantos Kan were all American Indian actors, but Asian Indians would not have been that bad a choice (a larger pool of actors to pick from for one thing).

            • Will Shetterly

              I dunno about the size of the pool, but the talent’s there. I love Dancing With Wolves for its cast.

            • Mary

              Well, it would be impossible to get it really accurate because:

              “She was the perfect type of that remarkably beautiful race whose outward appearance is identical with the more god-like races of Earth men, except that this higher race of Martians is of a light reddish copper colour.”

              Quick — what are the more god-like races of Earth?

              • Will Shetterly

                Interesting question. He uses the plural, so he means there’s more than one. I’m not an expert on Burroughs, but I know white Americans have described American Indians in every imaginable way, from the impossibly beautiful noble to the hopeless degenerate subhuman. I think you’d need specific descriptions of Indians by Burroughs to make your case.

                And in any case, you can’t argue that skin color is what Burroughs thinks is relevant. The worst Martians are white.

              • Will Shetterly

                And here’s a line from Princess of Mars about the red Martians: “All were mounted upon the small domestic bull thoats of the red Martians, and their trappings and ornamentation bore such a quantity of gorgeously colored feathers that I could not but be struck with the startling resemblance the concourse bore to a band of the red Indians of my own Earth.”

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Had to chuckle. While the Red Martians and the Green four-armed Martians were the first we see, later we met the White Martians who are arrogant SOBs. [Very Big Grin]

      • Kate Paulk

        The last time I looked they mostly existed in a different reality. And… gosh, funnily enough damn near all those modern film directors lean… whodathunkit? left.

    • Tully

      Or maybe the bigotry is that she doesn’t sell very well.

      We have a winner.

      • Stephen J.

        I can certainly acknowledge that I lost any interest in reading her once I became aware that it was being presented to me as some kind of moral obligation on my part — as if I somehow owed her and other minority authors not only my time but my approbation solely because of my own privilege. My to-read list is long enough as it is and my available leisure time is ever dwindling; I’m disinclined to yield to someone else’s moral browbeating about how I should spend it.

    • Kate Paulk

      She doesn’t get it at all. What she THINKS is “bigotry and repression” is nothing more than the understandable blow-back from people who are sick to death and beyond of being called evil every time they turn around.

      Of course, this kind of precious snowflake doesn’t DO that icky math stuff and heaven forbid she sully herself with the so-white-male logic and fact-based stuff of physics so the notion of “for each and every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” is foreign to her. She seems to think those icky evil white people are supposed to be grateful that she slags them.

      Ain’t happening, sister. You slam someone, you get something unfriendly in return. Always. It’s why those icky evil white people developed this weird notion called “courtesy”.

  3. Christopher M. Chupik

    Hmmm. “Mr. Various Diseases” is obvious, but I’m wondering exactly who the other unnamed people she insults in her speech are?

    • We’re all assuming that “free speech at any cost” refers to Larry.

      • Kate Paulk

        It’s quite clear that she hates them with a passion – where they mostly see her as an amusing and rather ignorant special snowflake.

      • Will Shetterly, more likely.

        • Will Shetterly

          I followed a link to my blog back here and am enjoying the discussion. Just wanted to say here that I hope I’m Mr. Civility because I did a post titled “Reclaiming Civility”, but Mr. Free Speech would be mighty fine, too.

          • She identifies via hyperlinking the “SFWA affiliate member [who] posted a call for civility on his website”; not you, I’m afraid. And there are apparently several “Misters and Misses Free Speech At All Costs”; I would guess every one of the writers, from all points on the spectrum, who signed the SFWA petition is included. And you, Mr Shetterly, are of course Mr Freeze Peach whose name may not even be spoken, “like Bloody Mary or Candyman”—and you’re definitely on that list.

            • Will Shetterly

              Darn. No, wait, that means I can be Captain Civility, which I like even better.

              I’d forgotten about “freeze peach”. I know there are a lot of Americans who think free speech is irrelevant or who twist the idea to rationalize their desire to censor, but the warriors are the first ones I’ve seen who actually mock it.

              • Kate Paulk

                Whichever it is – or isn’t – being insulted by the likes of that is a high compliment. Congratulations.

      • Tully

        Since it’s “Misters and Misses Free Speech At All Costs” I think we can safely assume a veritable host can claim the mantle, including Correia and Shetterly. Shetterly’s “How to Make a Social Justice Warrior” is a solid recounting of various SJW events in fandom over the last decade. For those not inclined to spend the 99 cents to get the compiled version from Amazon or B&N or Smashwords, you can track the whole thing down in its various parts on http://sjwar.blogspot.com/, .

        Shetterly’s hardly a conservative, so his take is excellent for perspective. He’s been a target of the SJW’s himself for many years, for daring to not be a parrot of teh silly.

        • Tully

          And yes, Jemisin was directly involved in and/or an instigator of many of the earlier incidents.

        • I’m with you on “How to Make a Social Justice Warrior.” It’s a good read. And a great background recap for people like me who somehow completely missed those earlier flamewars.

  4. CACS

    Ouch! How xould you subject yourself to such torture? My poor brain hurt as I read the passage you quoted.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  5. Docargent

    The SJWs remind me so much of the Moral Majority mouthpieces of the 80s: they made their living denouncing evil, so they found evil pretty much wherever they looked. What a coincidence!

    • Kate Paulk

      Well gosh! You make your pennies finding smut and everything, just everything is smutty? Who’d have ever thought such a thing?

  6. Christopher M. Chupik

    On a slightly related note: “Colored people” = racist. OK. “People of Color” = totally not racist. Huh?

    This makes no sense to me. At all. Admittedly, I am a white guy and thus incapable of grasping the intellectual nuance here, but the distinction appears to be without a difference.

    • Stephen J.

      “People of Color” puts the people part of the phrase first, and thus is believed to encourage subconscious emphasis on the common humanity rather than the differing complexion.

      So much of PC-think depends on critical assumptions like this about how human thought habits actually develop in response to language use. I am not myself aware of which studies are supposed to actually prove this effect, or demonstrate it is significant enough to be worth fighting over, but that’s the theory.

      • Just wait a few years. ‘People of color’ will be start to be used also as an insult sooner or later, or at least in contexts where it can be construed to look like an insult, and they will then abandon it and find some new label. After which anybody who uses PoC will face the full wrath of the SJWs. (And I still think that label has been badly chosen because the acronym is just ripe for that use. If said as a word, what does it sound like? Pox, pock… way too close to pustule).

      • Kate Paulk

        Er. I’d call that “uncritical assumptions” actually, because there’s buggerall critical thinking going on in there.

        • Stephen J.

          Well, I meant “critical” more in the sense of “vital” or “crucial” rather than “analytical”.

          The basic problem with the fundamental assumption of PC-think, namely that language influences thought and attitudes in a sufficiently direct way that controlling how it’s expressed and what it expresses can actually change how people think (presumably for the better, whoever gets to define what that is), is that it’s (a) incredibly difficult to falsify, (b) perpetually underestimates the reliability of its techniques, and (c) forgets that such techniques lose a lot of their effect when their use is openly admitted.

          I am much more in agreement with Kristian Niemetz of the Institute of Economic Affairs, who describes PC performance as the acquisition of a positional good. (http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/the-economics-of-political-correctness)

      • Will Shetterly

        My favorite comment about that was a meme at “Be a SJ Ally, not a SJ Sally” which said something like, “People of Color puts people first. White people can’t understand that.”

        • Kate Paulk

          It would be nice if everyone put the “people” part first. These days if you do that you’re racist – how *dare* you not care that these are Victims! Just look at the color of their skin. They have melanin! They are Victims! (And then they wonder why there’s a backlash)

          • CACS

            What about the albinos? Shouldn’t they be allowed to demand reparations from the melaninly endowed?

            • Kate Paulk

              Since they’re whiter than white, they must have the uber-white privilege, so… nope. ;)

    • Kate Paulk

      It’s a game. Every few years the “approved” term shifts. Evil White Dudes have to keep proving their Social Justice creds by remembering what the proper term is now.

      • Yep. I’m not trying to keep track of these anymore, I may avoid fighting but if caught using something out of use at the moment by some brave defender of the downtrodden I am getting to that age where I can always just do an old dumb broad impersonation – really? Oh so sorry, I didn’t know. That word was just fine a few decades ago, I’m afraid you start to lose track of these changes at my age, they always keep changing and they change so fast nowadays…

        I can talk too fast to be easily interrupted when I want to. :)

        • Kate Paulk

          This sounds kind of like what happens when someone finds the switch that turns my mouth on. I go from almost silent to “someone shut that crazy woman up” instantly.

  7. The ironic thing is that she was referencing Delany, and Delany said that one of the most racist things that happened to him was when he won for “Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones.”

    Asimov (meaning well) leaned over and said something about it proving that he wasn’t just a token black writer. So he suddenly felt bad, because he suddenly felt like all his colleagues just thought of him as the black guy, not the writer prodigy guy or the awesome writer guy or the guy whose stories they liked.

    Jemisin and her colleagues seem to be calling for everybody to be the token something-minority writer, and they don’t want to be that awesome writer who writes good stories. So it’s the opposite of Delany.

    • Stephen J.

      The fundamental paradox here is that the SJ activists can’t make up their mind whether they want the minority-representation stories/writers they’re promoting to be celebrated for their actual quality, thus implying that their identity-group is unimportant, or to be celebrated for their identity-group and thus implying that their actual quality is unimportant. As a result they tend to wind up promoting any sufficiently “representative” work as if it was artistically brilliant by mere virtue of that representation, in an attempt to eat their cake and have it too; the problem is that when the works in question don’t tend to back that assertion up, and enough people become aware of the flim-flam, it backfires on the whole endeavour.

      • A few books here and there from a writer with an unusual background, if it does show in the story and how they tell it enough, would be interesting from time to time even when they are not that well written or that good as stories. Just as a way to get a look inside the head of somebody who really is different from me or the people I usually associate with. (But probably only after I can have some proof that the writer really is what they say they are and have really had those experiences, there have been enough fakers during the years that if somebody get advertised as the illegal immigrant black lesbian from Brasilian favela now I better see some independent verification before I bother to buy her book for her unique perspective, in case our illegal immigrant grew up in Kansas and is neither a lesbian nor all that black).

        But I’m not going to keep on buying something just for that chance to get more peeks inside the head of somebody different from me if the stories aren’t otherwise good. I am not going to buy something I don’t like just so I could support somebody who belongs in a minority, I just plain do not have the money for it. Even if you do give me that peek of something different, an unusual perspective or whatever, that is not going to be, by itself, something which will keep me buying your stuff beyond one or two books unless your stories are also as good as those of any other writer I like.

      • Kate Paulk

        More than that, in trying to have both, they’ve ended up neither and the hollow shell is showing its cracks.

    • Kate Paulk

      And there you have the evil that is PC. When you set up so that everything is tokenized, nobody is going to believe that the “token” person actually earned what they get. And a lot of the time, they won’t have earned it because the PC tokenizers weren’t looking for quality they were looking for ideology plus the correct token,

  8. Synova

    My husband doesn’t do fandom at all and even *he* has managed to get linked to Jemsin’s WisCon speech. On the way driving him to work we talked about how all those white women who nod and encourage the racial crap all think that they’ll be spared from the ovens. I can almost believe that some people (like Jemsin) simply don’t *hear* the hate they spew, particularly when they’re getting a condescending *pass* for their bad behavior… but people getting upset and defensive when they’re attacked is *not* the same thing as people getting more overt or hostile in their bigotry. The proof-of-no-bigotry is *not* letting yourself be abused and then meekly saying “thank you, may I have another.”

    What bigotry is… is giving her a pass. We give children passes when they misbehave because they don’t know any better. “But don’t you understand why someone would feel that way?” Yeah, sure… but *adults* don’t get passes. Children do. Beginning back with the race-fail bull sh*t and the “white privilege” bull sh*t and the demand that one don sack cloth and ashes an apologize for your race and birth… no. Just… no.

    No one gains respect by demanding someone else be brought low… those who have complied are doing so in service of their own sense of ever more superiority (see how humble I am? how sensitive? how on the right side of History?) and all the while they give this hateful racist rhetoric a *pass* because better can’t be expected of those sad people who have suffered that terrible history, poor dears.

    • Wes S.

      It still cracks me up that SFWA kicked Beale out and kept *her.*

      • Kate Paulk

        Oh yeah. SFWA brought more disrepute onto themselves with that move than Vox could have showered on them in a lifetime.

        • pst314

          And yet you can be an open admirer of Stalin and Mao without incurring the wrath of the Social Justice Warriors. Funny, that.

    • Kate Paulk

      they give this hateful racist rhetoric a *pass* because better can’t be expected of those sad people who have suffered that terrible history, poor dears.

      DINGDINGDING!!! Someone give the lady a prize.

      The idiots who do this are the bigots. Not the people who expect every adult to be capable of adult behavior.

      • Dan Lane

        It also seems like a twisted sort of projection. They decry “racism! Sexism!” because were they in charge, some part of them knows that is what *they* would do to folks Not Like Them. They don’t like “free speech at all costs” because it lets people they disagree with (and find disagreeable in general) speak. That is the hard part that tests whether one truly believes in that freedom: does it cover the things you don’t like to hear, too?

        She uses the language of violence without seeming to know what the words really mean, which is a sad thing in a person to whom words should be familiar tools. If she gets a reaction from the right (or those perceived to be on the right), a matching violence and hate, it only seems to fuel her sense of self satisfaction and zealotry. The very fact that we don’t give a crap about the superficial and largely arbitrary categories she clings to is anathema.

        There can never be enough contrition, largely I’d say because you can’t really show that for something you didn’t do. Since that is so, it follows that folks like her want a certain class, color, and/or race of people to be in perpetual servitude. Now what does that really sound like?

        The language and rhetoric of SJW’s is a thin veil over a decided lack of any redeeming virtue. It’s not hard to see the naked lust for power beneath.

        • Kate Paulk

          Very much so, Dan, which is why I make the frankly unpleasant comparisons to the leadup to Nazi Germany and the Communist regimes that I make.

          When the only difference is the words that are cloaking the desire for power and the identity of the “enemy” group, it’s going to go bad if they get the power they want.

  9. I didn’t read Jemisin’s blog but I read the IO9 article and some of the comments. I deeply regret reading the comments. Reading the comments makes it harder for me to obey the second great commandment.

    • Synova

      Ah… IO9. That would explain it.

      (IO9… “We come from the future… and the lights are out.”)

      • If IO9 is the future than I want to stay in the past.

        • IO9… “It’s terribly misogynist when Resnick and Malzberg say ‘ladies,’ but quite alright when we use the word in our own headlines.”

          • Stephen J.

            The defining condition of being a progressivist is when you have mastered the skill of using the argument “Forget what they said, we all know what they really meant,” as an attack on your enemies’ speech and a simultaneous defense of your own, without acknowledging or indeed even noticing any inconsistency whatsoever.

            • Mary

              It’s been tested in the lab: the farther left you go, the more delusional you are about what your opponents think. They have to reject what is actually said to maintain their delusions.

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            Oh, hell, Kowal got a story with “lady” in the title in the Hugos this year. Isn’t that word verboten now? ;-)

      • SBP

        Whaddya expect? It’s a Gawker Media project.

        Oddly, it doesn’t seem to bother any of the Gawker leftoids that their company is based in the Cayman Islands.

        • Synova

          I enjoyed it for a little while until I’d seen enough to recognize the anti-human, anti-progress, anti-futurist themes. … which is where I get “and the lights are out.” If you want to do the equivalent of sneaking into the midst of a herd of them and going *BOO!*… mention nuclear power to the timid little dears…

      • Back when it launched, I checked it out… and identified it as either hipster (“can’t have fun, must be cool and ironic and stuff!) or done by folks who really had no clue why people would read scifi. Not sure which, don’t much care. Maybe hipsters hired by ‘danes.

        Haven’t had even geek friends share anything that changed that impression…..

        • They do have some fun to read articles, occasionally, when those articles stick mostly to data and not too many politically or ideologically colored opinions are offered. And they do have pretty pictures. Although I rarely go there anymore since even the ‘fact’ articles often include some shadings of ideology.

          Maybe Liberty Island will develop into an okay alternative with time.

          • If they’re not honest about their views, then I have to trust that I’ll catch the bias– and I’m really not going to put THAT much thought into something that’s supposed to be enjoyable. I don’t want to have to go re-do the research on whatever they’re pushing to find out what they left out.

  10. Synova

    Also… suburbanbanshee… I was totally serious that the stories sounded fun. Do you have any idea what would be a good one to try?

    • If you do, tell me what you thought of it. That did sound like it might make decent holiday reading.

    • KarinR

      I read and liked “The Inheritance Trilogy”, which starts with “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms”. The funny thing is that it’s kind of a paranormal romance. The alpha male romantic lead is actually a god. I do get the feeling that she’s not particularly comfortable with her romance sensibilities though, which makes sense considering all the racist/sexist koolaid she’s been drinking.

  11. I am _so_ going to steal the line about “brain cells jumping to their deaths from my ears.” (You must be a writer of or something. :-) ) Getting back to seriousness, for a second or two. Based on her “speeches” and other writings, I know why she writes “Fantasy.” (Fantasy that apparently no one reads.) She can’t tell “Fantasy” from reality. IOW, she “thinks” (using the word *very* loosely) that she’s writing reality based material. The problem being that in order to write Fantasy, you have to be functional *in* reality. Before you can “write” a good (or even adequate) Fantasy, you must know how reality actually works. The difference between “amateurs” and Professionals “breaking rules,” is that Professionals know why the rules exist, and therefore, how/when to break them.

    • Kate Paulk

      Thank you, sir! :)

      And you’re right – if you don’t have the grounding you don’t know where you are so fantasy – and SF for that matter – fall flat. It’s like trying to build on quicksand. No foundation, no lasting structure.

    • Stephen J.

      To give credit where credit is due, Jemisin is a perfectly good storyteller once you just look at her stuff on its own rather than trying to gild it with the patina of SJ Representation. Indeed, the ironic thing is that her characters indicate a fairly good grasp of human nature in a way her politics don’t. (But then, she wouldn’t be the first artist exemplifying that particular paradox.)

      More ironic, and more tragic, is the fact that the activism is not only overshadowing the art but now beginning to actively work against it, for those readers like myself who resent too heavy-handed and hostile a critique in their entertainment.

  12. Wyldkat

    I actually looked at the article. What I saw was so hate ladened and bigoted that I couldn’t make myself look at the source. A couple of things did jump to mind though.

    Did anyone else think it ironic that Delany made the comment “many of its writers come out of the liberal-Jewish tradition,” regarding SF? A bit anti-Semitic in that phrasing.

    If the first thing a person is worried about is the race, gender, etc, of a writer, I submit that you are worried about the wrong thing. The first thing an average reader will look at is the story, not the author’s photo or bio. Additionally, if you feel that your group is under-represented in the SF community, then try putting your energy to doing something productive. Write. Write stories that entertain. Practice your skill. Well-written, entertaining stories sell. CL Moore, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey managed to do just that back in the 60’s.

    One of the first things you learn in any marketing strategy is to identify your target audience, then mold your story to meet their expectations. It is highly unlikely that you can get a hard-core romance fan to read a gothic horror. So, if your target audience isn’t the mainstream fan, then you won’t get very many mainstream fans to read your work. It is as simple as that. I don’t care who the author is.

    I don’t read much fantasy, so it is doubtful I would have read any of Jemisin’s work previously. Having seen the hate she spews, I seriously doubt that I will be buying any of her work. I have a strong aversion to supporting such vile behavior – no matter which side of the fence it is. (Yeah, that means I probably won’t be reading any of Vox’s work either. I consider him to be just as reprehensible. ) My money, my choice. If they happen to show up in Analog however, I would not pass up the story just because of who wrote it.

    And, what the *#$@ is a “feminist science fiction convention”? Or do I want to know?

    • Kate Paulk

      Oh, I found it quite ironic – particularly given some of the other parallels I’ve been making in my commentaries here. But he was speaking years ago – equally ironically at a time when it was a little more socially acceptable to openly state one’s biases.

      I suffer through these things so that the rest of you will know what’s out there and approved of. That’s the part that bothers me. That and the ignorance that goes along with it. (Say what you like about Vox, I’ve yet to see him lie. I might not agree with the conclusions he draws, but his facts are always there, and he never hesitates to link to the source whether he agrees with that person or not. You’re still welcome to consider him reprehensible – just be wary of engaging him in argument: the man is a formidable debater. I don’t know that I’d fare at all well in a debate with him).

      I’m not all that sure what a “feminist science fiction convention” actually is, but I am certain it’s not something I have any desire to experience.

      • -heh- I have little desire to engage him in debate, of any kind. (I prefer easier targets – the ones who base their arguments on “fair”, “reasonable” and/or “common sense”.)

        It is possible that I will some day run across something written by either of these two and find it enjoyable. I can, with enough incentive, overlook such human flaws. ((I consider Wagner’s anti-Semitic politics to be repugnant, but I love his music. Most of my opera is Wagner.)) But, it would have to be something either handed to me or appearing in a SF pulp.

        I do appreciate your strength. I could not get through much more. ;-)

      • Dan Lane

        “I suffer through these things so that the rest of you will know what’s out there and approved of. That’s the part that bothers me. That and the ignorance that goes along with it.”

        It’s important to learn these things. Folks don’t seem to discuss politics like they used to, and have different opinions without thinking the other person was vile and awful through and through.

        I’ll admit, sometimes I still listen to NPR and scroll through the news just to see what’s being said. Maybe someday this will all seem like the years when everyone lost their mind, and most folk will get back to the really important stuff in life. Pursuing happiness, however we can, with as little bother as we can manage to anybody else.

        • Kate Paulk

          Somewhere the idea that it’s possible to disagree with someone and still have a civil discussion and even be friends has been lost. Mostly I suspect via the Communist and fascist assertion that those who are not active supporters must be enemies.

      • Docargent

        My last encounter with feminist science fiction was in an SF writers’ group. It’s been 20 years, and my clearest recollection of the experience was the author’s ability to work menstruation into Every. Single. Story. Of the author herself, she could not tolerate political views other than her own or refusal to make changes she recommended in other writers’ stories. The writers’ group survived her only because she accepted a job out of state shortly after finding us, and we lost two members for good even at that.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        If you and Sarah went to a feminist sf convention, you’d have *months* of material.

  13. What I think upsets me most about Jemsin is that she creating exactly what she complains about – and making it grow. It’s an un-natural plant and poisons the ground it grows on for a long time. She’s doing it for own short sighted self-interest too: She wants ‘guilt’ buyers. She wants them buying her book and putting it on their coffee-table to show they’re not nasty raciss! (I just had an Asshole – the name he chose for himself- tell me I was one on my post about Amazon a few days ago. That should shut me up, and frighten me!)

    Anyway, what she is trying to do is split fandom – and humanity into Them – in apartheid terms ‘Blankes’- whites and Us (Nie-Blankes)- not whites – everyone else regardless of commonality (and, as second class citizens the whites who will cringe and and beg to pay her a handsome income to assuage their guilt of being born the way they are). Humans just don’t split that way. Whites aren’t some lockstep group totally separate from anyone else, and neither are blacks, let alone sharing the same culture and values as every other person who is ‘not white’. The culture of African linguistic groups living across one river for each other, interacting often and not only with weapons, Zulu and Xhosa, are vastly different from one another, let alone black people from Zaire or Ethiopia. Hell the differences in one family can be huge. There is no way that a San hunter-gatherer has more in common with a Singapore Chinese scientist, than either have with me. There is no group ‘Nie Blankes. And it is bizarre to have her and her friends trying to re-create apartheid in inverse. Wiscon. (whites could go anywhere, non-whites could not – and this is their creation there) is not going to help. What she’s shrieking about won’t heal rifts – all she and her ilk want is guilt money, and therefore it is necessary to make you feel guilty (even though there is no logical reason for this)… or scared that not admitting guilt will get you attacked and purged. You will never ever ‘do enough’ to stop her demands.

    She’s like a soldier keeping a wound pussy and stopping it healing so he can have a comfortable stay in the sick bay, and not realizing it’s going to poison her and infect others in the long run.

    • Synova

      I don’t know what is worse… accusing someone of thinking it through and callously going for guilt sales… or accusing them of not thinking it through and doing what they do in ignorance.

      This is human nature: You don’t go where you’re not invited.

      So I was explaining to a coworker one day when she was talking about a big pow wow coming up, that I hadn’t been to any pueblos or pow wows because I’d feel like I was intruding. Of course she told me that was silly… a party is a party. But it’s human to feel the way I felt.

      There’s actually nothing wrong with feeling like people ought to issue an invitation, to say “we’d be glad to have you, don’t be a putz, Julie, it’s a *party*”… Even without posted signs saying “keep out” we humans tend, a bit, to sort ourselves by avoiding where we’re not welcome (like SFWA). So sure, it’s important to make a show of being inclusive and welcoming…

      But what burns me, what really makes me mad because it’s EVIL… is that every time someone goes on a rant about how “You white people have all sorts of things for *white* people… you’ve got lots of *white* this and *white* that and *white* everything… ” What they’re doing is posting “keep out” signs where there were NO “keep out” signs before. Going on a big rant about how racist and “old white men” science fiction is, first is a *lie* and second… it’s pounding in signs that say “keep out” for all other people of color to see. Is there an excuse for discouraging even one aspiring writer who internalizes the “no room for you” message because someone is having a self-indulgent hissy fit?

      • I figure if the powwow is advertised in the paper or on flyers around town, I’ll probably have fun if I go. If it’s word-of-mouth or the signs are only in Navajo or Comanche (for example), I assume it’s private, like many of the Pueblo dances are. My system’s worked thus far.

    • Kate Paulk

      Once again you’ve nailed it Dave. This nonsense she’s perpetrating is going to have a backlash and she will suffer more from that than she would if she hadn’t had her little glory run as the “champion of the oppressed”. Worse, there’s a damn good chance the inevitable backlash will end up hurting innocent people who’ve had no part in this shit and never wanted any of it.

      • Kate, a lot of us are starting to adopt the attitude “If I’m going to be treated as guilty, I might as well BE guilty and get whatever the advertised benefits are.”

        • Kate Paulk

          Of course. It’s inevitable when you can’t do anything right. The only thing I’m not sure about is just how bad that backlash is going to be.

    • Mary

      Well, duh. She would lose the ability to complain if it went away.

  14. No, I’m sure what terrified poor, innocent Jemisin is that Australians as a rule don’t bother with PC language. We don’t call a spade a spade, we call it a fucking shovel. And we’re likely to call our best friend of Chinese ancestry “our Chink mate”. And our best friend is just as likely to call us, “bloody convict, mate” or something equally friendly. We call catching a cold “getting a bloody wog” (and will laugh uproariously when one of our friends with Greek or Italian ancestry retorts “yeah, and I’ve got a bloody aussie”). If you don’t realize this, yes, Australians sound incredibly bigoted. But if you sit down and just watch a crowd of Australians in somewhere like one of the major Sydney or Melbourne train stations or the pedestrian malls, you’ll see that every damn ethnicity imaginable is passing through and getting no more and no less attention than anyone else.

    Thank you thank you thank you. And yes, before I moved here to Australia for good, I heard many a warning from well meaning concerned folks about how racist Australians are. *grabs eyes before they roll away* Believe me, I’ve experienced the racism that Jemisin wrings her hands over (In Europe), and no, that kind of racism doesn’t bother to be subtle. It’s a punch in the face, literally. It’s aggressive and threatening and doesn’t bother to hide. The ‘casual racism’ that the ‘rest of the world’ wrings their hands over about Australians is not hostile, it’s tongue in cheek teasing, the kind you get from mates who know you won’t take offense and instead take the joke and run to Tassie with it. (Mateship seems to be a concept few non-Aussies understand; it’s not too different from the barkada and nakama concept so not difficult for myself.) So, we joke about my being an ‘imported bride’, my housemate jokes about how he eats bacon with rice because this is an ‘Asian household’ and everyone makes light about how my proclivity for everything must be in supply or else it’s a DISASTER (which, I believe stems from my Chinese ancestry. Maybe…) = best house to head for in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse. And that we’ll all eat well because delightful Filipino dishes.

    And? I love and find INCREDIBLY REFRESHING the rejection of the PC language. Oh, it’s used – but only if you’re considered a stranger to be polite to. When the ‘polite language’ is cheerfully defenestrated, you know you’re ‘in’ with the crowd.

    Thinking a bit about it, that folks like Jemisin don’t understand the difference between friendly teasing and ribbing between mates, and outright hostility makes me think their lives are something of emotional wastelands with the constant scorched earth policy they have for a way of life. No tolerance for slights, imagined or otherwise; and they strike me as constantly being in a rage about something in order to feel important. What an exhausting way to live – and what a rather unpleasant way to escape the slings and arrows of reality.

    • Kate Paulk

      You’re welcome! I’ve had a heck of a time adjusting to the USA way of thinking – to an Aussie, it can be so terribly earnest, where there’s very little Aussies take seriously (cricket, rugby, and ANZAC Day is I think the list in total).

      When I’m meeting new people over here I usually tell them up-front that I’m crude, crass, and not terribly PC because I’m Australian – then if they show a bit of sense, I try not to shock them too much.

      No, I don’t think Jemisin has any idea that there IS a difference between friendly teasing and hostility. It’s a terrible way to live, and clearly leaves her with a paranoid search for the racism she’s certain has to be there SOMEWHERE

      • Stephen J.

        I’m sure Miss Jemisin knows that there is a difference between friendly teasing and hostility, but the thing you need in order to tell the difference in any given situation is a basic level of familiarity, trust and good faith; and in fairness to her, it is extremely easy to be discouraged from trying to acquire that familiarity, or extending that good faith, when you have already been taught not to expect it or to assume the worst as the default. Simple bad experience can do this with no need of malice to explain it.

        • Visiting a country, I would not have the bad manners to insult my hosts by nattering on about their people’s racism. But then again, it seems that she seems to expect that she be treated with respect and high esteem, by dint of skin colour and what she has between her legs; and is not obligated to dispense the same till it’s ‘earned’ in her view.

          • Will Shetterly

            The Privilege Theorist’s obsession with privilege seems to be related to a desire to have more. One of the writers they love, bell hooks (yes, one of those people who is so special we’re not supposed to capitalize her name as if she were like the rest of us), has an essay titled “Killing Rage” in which she assumes that whenever people in the service industry are not fast enough or efficient enough for her, it’s because of their racism or their internalized racism.

      • In re: Aussie directness, I read the Virginia Wake story today about how, when she parachuted into France to help the Resistance, she landed in a tree. The French guy said gallantly that he wished all trees bore such fruit, and she said, “Don’t give me that French shit.”

        • Kate Paulk

          Oh, yes. That’s about right :) Virginia Wake was one hell of a gutsy lady, too. I can only hope that if the need arose I could be a fraction as brave as she was.

      • I know of Aussies who have managed to turn the ‘respect culture’ thing around into a loophole in EULAs – the irreverence is part of Australian Culture, therefore, if you insist that ALL cultures MUST BE RESPECTED then the Eternally Offended MUST give way to Aussie Culture of being ‘crude, crass and un-PC.’ So, on Star Trek Online… you have the USS Stingray, captained by Steve Irwin. I’ve heard of gaming tournaments where the Aussie team, in order to psych out the American team, made an especial point of taking every single ‘flaming gay stereotype’ and ramping it up to 11 – with the result that the American team was supposedly so furious about the mockery, they lost. (A variant tactic was used against the Koreans as well, I’m told in a Starcraft tourney, and it worked so well that one of the Korean players, on losing, got so furious he picked up his computer, threw it onto the floor, and stomped out.)

        Aussies seem to live with the maxim ‘Why so serious?’ for most things that SHOULDN’T be taken seriously, and when things should be taken seriously, they’ll take it with appropriate gravitas … as necessary. It works out wonderfully I think.

        And yes on the ‘so terribly earnest’ part. When I first visited here, I was asked to stop being so formal. It took me a while XD

        • Kate Paulk

          Oh yeah – have you seen the Aussie Star Wars on YouTube? I nearly broke something laughing and the subtitles are precious!

          One should always be wary of a culture where taking the piss is a national pastime – and be ready to give as good as you get.

          That actually served me well over here in the US – working with a programmer who was generally regarded as ‘difficult’, and I had no trouble at all because I gave as good as I got and never got bothered by his crazy rants. He liked working with me because I didn’t get freaked out by him.

          Subverting the multicultural EULA is fun – I also like to twist it by pointing out that I’m naturally uber-pale and growing up in Australia I had a LOT of people assuming that I was sick because I don’t tan – and treating me as though I was a fragile chronically ill thing. “White privilege” my arse – when I was growing up in Oz the ideal was a mid to dark tan, and if you didn’t have that there was something wrong with you.

          Aussies tend to work hard when they need to work, then relax and have a beer. The things that should be taken seriously get taken seriously for as long as they need to be. There’s a reason the unofficial national motto is “No worries, mate”

          And yeah, it would be hard to adjust to the much more relaxed attitudes.

        • I didn’t think anybody could beat the Koreans at Starcraft….

          • That’s the reputation they like to have, I’m told. They take tournaments super seriously; they had a uniform, which looked almost like a costume, and were enraged by the Australians’s … uh… ‘uniform’ for that tourney. I think it involved rainbow unicorns. And neon colors. And being noisy and irreverent about the whole thing.

            It’s probably true now though, that nobody can beat the Koreans in Starcraft.

  15. Pingback: The Victimy Victim Victimized Competition | According To Hoyt

  16. Sean

    Late to the party but…
    NK Jemsin ought to change her initials from NK to N.A. As in that No Account, useless fool! that is all.

  17. Alex O'Meara

    “It’s possible that there were once far fewer bigots in the field simply because people who look to the future and see hope for humanity tend not to be the sort of people who are going to get hung up on who someone’s parents are.”

    Oh, Kate, you poor, sweet, incurable optimist. Futurists are usually the worst eugenicists there are. HG Wells, for example.

    • CACS

      Oh, Kate, you poor, sweet, incurable optimist.

      Merf!

      You almost lost me right there. Ok, so the Fabians were trouble, but not all futurists are of that ilk.

  18. Jim Braiden

    Ms Jemison’s speech in Australia also contained an outright falsehood

    “He ( she is referring to her father)n understood that a nation which classified its indigeous (sic) people as animals less than fifty years ago might not be the safest place for a woman like me… with brown skin and a big nose and a tendency to tell people to fuck off when they get on my nerves. Even in the depths of the Jim Crow era in the US, black people were people. Inferior ones… but people. – ”

    I am afraid Ms Jemison is incorrect- Australia did not classify its aboriginal population as animals.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_referendum,_1967_(Aboriginals)
    Took me 5 minutes on Google to find that.

    • pst314

      That reminds me: Remember the book The Fatal Shore which author Patrick O’Brian cited as a primary resource for two of his Aubrey-Maturin novels? An Australian historian dug into the claims about how brutal the prison colonies were and how badly the aborigines were treated, and found that the claims were seriously exaggerated. My apologies for not remembering the name of the historian or his book.

  19. Jim Braiden

    Robert Hughes- it was the Australian historian Keith Windschuttle who did the demolition job.
    And very good it was.