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.