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Dear Wiscon

make it so, Make it so, make it so!
You are fucking this up.

It's time, in the quaint and old fashioned language of my mother's small-town Southern family, to shit or get off the pot. Either say you are keeping Moon as a GoH and move on to the part where you actively demonstrate that you're trying to minimize damage caused by your poor decision or uninvite her. Stop dithering. Your indecision is causing even more hurt - both to individuals who now feel betrayed by your obvious lack of goddamn concern for their well-being and to your reputation as a con dedicated to progressive politics.

You can't have it both ways. You are going to be the mustache-twirling bad guy to someone here. The question is, who are you going to tie to the railroad tracks? Is it going to be the person who has yet to make any public statement retracting the asinine, racist, and just downright bullshitty things she said that have actively harmed more people than I can count? Or is it going to be the people who are customarily tied to the railroad tracks because, hey, that's more comfortable than offending a famous author?

No decision is just as much of a decision as anything else in this situation. You're telling people, loud and with clear conviction, that their sense of safety and welcome in the EXPLICITLY PROGRESSIVE FEMINIST SPACE of Wiscon is not your priority. Your priority is apparently placating this one chick who wrote some books you like.

Orson Scott Card wrote a hell of a lot of books I like and said some things about writing I've remembered all my life but I certainly don't pretend he's anything other than a bigot. Why are you pretending for Moon's sake? I genuinely don't get it.

Yes, yes, second-wave feminism. It was an amazing thing and I think large swathes of it are still applicable. But when you use it like a bludgeon to injure women who don't look like you? That's a load of misogynistic asshattery.

You're hurting people. Stop it. Why is that so hard to understand?


This entry was originally posted at


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
I love you for this. *hugs you* Mind if I repost?
Oct. 19th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)

Not at all.
Oct. 19th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
Oct. 20th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
Love the icon. :)
Oct. 19th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Oct. 19th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
I saw the official "recommendation" that Moon be disinvited, and misread it as saying that she actually had been. So I was puzzled when she was still listed on the web site (this was two weeks after the datestamp on the recommendation.) So now they're confusing bystanders, and offending both parties at once.

A small fantasy convention I attend once, out of admiration for his relevant work, actually had OSC as GOH. He did do some great stuff in that role, but he also ... oh boy, we certainly won't ever do that again.
Oct. 19th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
SF3 can only recommend, they cannot make the decision. ConComm people can raise their voices, but afaik, only the 3 co-chairs (the "troika") can actually rescind the GoH invitation.
Oct. 19th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification, but I wasn't to have known that from reading the announcement alone. It seems to me that a supervising body without power to enforce its rulings ought not to make such an announcement until it's been implemented. For if the body with the power decides not to do it, again there's the brilliant result of both looking like wimps to the protesting populace and officially and publicly insulting the (still invited) GOH - I mean, sure, insult her, but not still invite her at the same time.
Oct. 19th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
They're not a supervising body. They're the organization with the tax number, but they do not supervise WisCon. It's a weird legal issue. I believe they did it to send a message to the ConComm and chairs about how they would like to see this handled.
Oct. 19th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Either they have something to do with running Wiscon, or they do not. If they do, they should abide by the considerations I outlined before. If they do not, they ought not to be issuing official recommendations on anything, but make it clear in every case that they are merely an outside body expressing their opinion, the same as all the rest of us are.

They did neither.
Oct. 21st, 2010 05:58 am (UTC)
And now the new official announcement reads, "SF3 has withdrawn the invitation to Elizabeth Moon to attend WisCon 35 as guest of honor."

I have no idea if this means that anything you said previously about how Wiscon is run is incorrect or not. I do know that it reinforces the impression of bystanders that SF3 is in some respect "in charge" of Wiscon, and if it makes announcements, as it did previously, about voting to recommend that the GOH be disinvited, nobody should be surprised when bystanders who don't follow the Politburo-style complexity of organizational politics, like myself, think the decision has already been implemented.
Oct. 19th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)

While I too understand that people are complex and like some of my favorite theorists, some of their work I find repugnant, and some of it I enjoy, that is much easier to reconcile when they have passed on. You can enjoy what you enjoy and still take a critical stance toward their work that is problematic. But, this is a living breathing person and an here is an opportunity, as an organization, to say, RACISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED and they are not taking that opportunity and it's really upsetting and disappointing.
Oct. 19th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
It IS really upsetting and disappointing - it really damages the whole community.
Oct. 19th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
Second-wave feminism was NOT a good thing. It was far, far too white, upper-middle-class centric.

Frankly, second-wave feminists are some of my least favorite people. They're on the same level as "sensitive liberal doucheguys" who think that because they say they're progressive or liberal, they can act and speak in hurtful ways but they "don't really mean it".
Oct. 19th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
I am not going to dismiss the work of feminists operating in a different historical context from me. I'm not saying it was perfect (far from). And I have A LOT of problems with people who are self-proclaimed second-wave feminists NOW because it is so limited. But second-wave feminism shifted the focus a lot of social issues that we're still struggling with today.

We've just a lot of other feminisms now that are MUCH better tools.
Oct. 19th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
I think if you look really closely at the second-wave movement, you'll find a lot of racism. This is why we have so much divisive identity politics currently. Third wave is trying it's best to mend those breaches, but women of color and lesbian/bisexual women were really, really marginalized by the second-wave and second-wave organizations like NOW are still selling out women of color, sex workers and lesbian/bi/transwomen.
Oct. 19th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Dammit, my comment didn't post. I will try again!

You don't have to look CLOSELY to see how rife the second-wave movement was with racism. That's one - one of the largest, in fact - problem I have with people who still call themselves second-wavers.

That's exactly WHY I brought up second-wave feminism - because Nora Jemisin had someone on the concom try to use it against her as a bludgeon:

(from her post)

I got into a particular battle with one woman who, when I pointed out that second-wave feminism was inadequate for dealing with this issue and it should be considered from a third-wave intersectional perspective, proceeded to try and inform me about how much second-wave feminism had done for me, and the poor black, Irish, and American Indian women who are my immediate ancestors.

That's where second-wave feminism turns into just another load of bs racism right there.

I also know that the 1960s were a vastly different cultural landscape - second wave is dead to me as a movement because we are BETTER than that, but I'm also not sure is something different could have arisen at that point. So, to be clear: second wave feminism did a lot of things I consider to be very important. It was also HUGELY FAIL in many regards which is why we moved on to other feminisms. People who have not moved on, and I know many, are problematic to me specifically because of the fail of second wave feminism and their usual refusal to engage on those issues. It's an historical relic - and people who are still trying to drag it up as a weapon against other people are assholes.
Oct. 19th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly. It's gotten to the point where second-wave as a self-descriptor is a huge turn-off for me. It's shorthand for comfortable with my privilege.
Oct. 19th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
So "shit or get off the pot"?

Oct. 19th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
I'm honestly astounded this is still going on. I mean, I've got no dog in this show, but the fact that it's been dragging on for what seems like months now and hasn't been handled decisively is just bad management either way.

Every day I open up my LJ and I'm like, "Really? She's still in debate?"
Oct. 19th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
If absolutely nothing else, it is utter and complete process failure and the process needs to be recognized as not being flexible enough to handle the situation. But the whole thing is about as transparent as mud anyway. Like, this is just goddamn ridiculous.
Oct. 19th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
I believe the technical disparaging remark to point at the committee is 'Fucking Hippies'.

In the sense that they are trying so hard to accomodate everyones feelings and not hurt anyone that they end up being incredibly offensive.

Also, every time I read about this issue get The Specials on my internal MP3 player.
Oct. 20th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
Oct. 20th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
Have only ever read Ender's Game.

Wasn't particularly impressed <_< I tend to feel like I'm losing nerd cred or becoming an outcast when I admit that, but it's the truth.
Oct. 20th, 2010 06:13 am (UTC)
Never been to Wiscon. Am on the concom of a very small local con. And yeah, that it's dragging on so long is ridiculous.
Oct. 20th, 2010 08:09 am (UTC)
Well said. And there are a lot of second-wave feminists who are awesome, progressive women - but I don't know any who are still calling themselves "second-wave feminists" except in the historical sense.
Oct. 20th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
Orson Scott Card wrote a hell of a lot of books I like and said some things about writing I've remembered all my life but I certainly don't pretend he's anything other than a bigot.

Oct. 20th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
This piece "Creating Ender the Innocent Killer" by John Kessel pretty much knocked my face off.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )