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Re: SFWA Bulletin 202

Dear Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg,

I am not anonymous. I am not particularly young, either, so I guess I’m not one of the unnamed, insufficiently aged, Y-chromosome lacking horde you’ve created as a target for your smug, self-satisfied dialog in the latest issue of the SFWA Bulletin.

What I am is weary. Weary enough that I’m tempted not to address this at all, to point to Kameron Hurley's eloquent and impassioned response, or Catherine Tobler’s heartfelt resignation from SFWA, and say there it is in a nutshell.

Weary enough that instead I’m going to be rude. Women of my generation aren’t supposed to be rude to men of your generation; we’re supposed to be reasonable, understanding and respectful of all points of view, even those that seek to belittle us. And I hear you’re lovely people, supportive of women writers, great conversationalists, salt of the earth, and I’m sure in many ways that’s true.

Screw that anyway. I’m too tired to see your non-stop use of the term “lady;” lady writers, editors, publishers as anything but condescending, however gentlemanly it’s meant (and in #202, it’s so constant I can’t but suspect you’re intentionally trying to get a rise out of your soi-disant anons). I’m too tired to be anything but offended at your claiming that those who have the audacity to criticize you are trying to censor you, in a world where censorship means a girl getting shot in the head for daring to become educated, or a country trying to wipe all records and knowledge of an atrocity.

I’m tired because I sing in a choir where a man is offended when I suggest that feminists probably don’t laugh at his jokes because they’re not funny, rather than they have no sense of humor. I’m tired because my daughter won’t jog down her own street in broad daylight because men driving by harass her. I’m tired because my other daughter has had men pluck out strands of her hair because they have a fetish about the color, and a woman’s physicality is, by its nature, public property. Which is why talking about how nice Robert Silverberg looks in a suit – which you didn’t, by the way – is less problematical than talking about how beautiful a lady editor is.

I’m sick and tired and angry about your lowest common denominator whine about being that so-oppressed class, the Old White Guy; your implication that we can’t “handle” a bikini-clad woman warrior (we’ve been dealing with that all out lives; you can’t handle the trope being questioned); and especially your crass comparison of your critics to genocidal dictators (not to mention your not-very-clever Schiklgruber-the-painter dig).

I am not sure if I’m done with SFWA, which is more than its Bulletin and members with 1960s sensibilities. I have a few weeks to decide.

I am fucking done with being polite.

(I can't seem to insert a link to Kameron so here: http://www.kameronhurley.com/)


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
Sing it.

(nb: first link borked)
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC)

(I can't fix! so just cut and pasted)
Jun. 1st, 2013 02:04 pm (UTC)

Clapping hard. I am so glad that Rachel Swirsky is heading up a committee to investigate--I hope they get rid of those two drags on the Bulletin and totally rethink it.
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
It sounds like Things are Happening.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
I think they are. Which is even more ironic - they claim oppression from the anonymous hordes that pay for membership in this org.

Much more exciting! I pre-ordered Delia's Shadow and I can't wait. I must. But I can't. You know.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 4th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
Hopefully _way_ more than one!
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
It's taken until today for me to figure out what all the murmurings on Twitter were about. This bulletin goes out to members of the SFWA? Is there a place to read it online?

It's very infuriating--and plain wrong--when privileged people claim that the pointing out of that privilege is oppression. The equation of criticism with oppression is just bad math. They're not equal.
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
AT the bottom of this post are screencaps of the article http://radishreviews.com/2013/05/31/linkspam-53113-edition/

Not equal in any math in this universe.
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
I know you mentioned it in this post, but I couldn't help laughing awkwardly** at that first screencap with the words "lady writer" in it. Hell, why not just go for "authoress."

**The way I do when someone comes out with something kind of shocking and wrong, and I'm just... not knowing what to say.
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
It reminds of of the scene in Gaudy Night where Harriet objects to a newspaper using the term "undergraduette." And that's in the 1920s!
Jun. 1st, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
Ouch, yes.
Jun. 1st, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Sam. I'm not a member, of course, but I've been reading reactions all over the web and am furious at the way those of you who are published writers, editors, and publishers are being treated on a daily basis.
Jun. 4th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
Same way most women, I think - a casual and invisible constant.
Jun. 2nd, 2013 05:52 pm (UTC)
Jun. 2nd, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
Well said.
Jun. 4th, 2013 01:56 am (UTC)
Jun. 3rd, 2013 10:53 am (UTC)
I've just read that particular column. I resisted for several days, after hearing the uproar, because I usually don't waste time on their outdated drivel about how things were so much better in the old days. I don't quite understand why the Bulletin has given them space for so long.
Jun. 4th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
Me neither! I know the editor was working hard to try to get it on a regular schedule - perhaps it was on the back burner.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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