03 March 2009 @ 11:58 pm
You mean those giant brains are making everyone on Earth stupid?  
coffeeandink: RaceFail: Once More, with Misdirection
vom_marlowe: Fucking Will Shetterly Insults Me and My Family
deepad: To burn a bridge is sometimes as necessary as to build one
zvi_likes_tv: Shorter Kathryn Cramer
shewhohashope: Cultural Appropriation and SF/F: Once More, With Apathy
bossymarmalade: the point is: by *my* standards, i won fair and square
spiralsheep: In which Kathryn Cramer should be shunned for our own safety and the sake of our communities

More links archived by rydra_wong under her gcadod tag [here].

This is a post I never wanted to make because I don't want to engage with any of the players involved in Racefail or waste my time over them, ever. And yet, here I am because I am dismayed and horrified and angry. By now, most of those who were following Racefail know about the recent Very Special Episode wherein Racefail met forced RL identity fan outing in an attempt to discredit, intimidate, silence and suppress the critique coffeeandink made about the racially problematic words and actions of the outers and their friends during Racefail '09. (Shetterly himself has said that he outed her because of a post she made about him and banned him from her journal.)

This is behaviour is wrong, malicious and intentionally destructive on many levels.

Forced outing in this part of fandom is a big deal. It's one of the singular events that happen in slash fandom that unites the many fandom communities because we all hate it and it makes us feel unsafe, unsafe to be in this space and enjoy our fandom experiences. Many others posting yesterday and today have outlined reasons why slash fandom and fanfiction fandom hate outings and react badly to anyone who does it for their own gain. (People have also pointed out that the EFF supports bloggers' rights to privacy and anonymous/pseudonymous posting to protect speech; Google and many journalling platforms will take down search hits and journals if people forcibly out other people and violate their privacy.)

We may have various different reasons why we identify ourselves through usernames rather than legal names -- privacy, safety, wanting to write fanfiction about gay!space explorers making out without our (potential) employers finding out through google, just wanting our own space -- but we respect that people have their reasons and we generally know each other by our online identities. People who forcibly out fans *and* who out people who are active in social justice activism because they think they have some kind of natural right to dictate how we, as our own sub-culture, should behave and put us into danger because it reinforces their own subjective ideas of "civilisation" -- they can go to hell.

They have no respect for us as people, as fans, as a culture and they do not even pay us any heed when people repeatedly explain why this action make us unsafe. It only highlights their arrogance and insistence that the world they live and their normalcy -- ie the privileges afforded to them -- must be the world I live in and my normalcy. This isn't ignorance or simply cross-cultural misunderstanding out of different fan and online cultures; this is deliberately harmful and malicious behaviour. This is a deliberate decision.

Not to mention that these people, who purportedly have sympathy for social justice activism and have felt the fear in their hearts of a potential attack -- these people will, in this age of the internet where a name means you can track down a telephone number and address as easy as pie, out the identity of someone in our community who is very vocal and active in social justice activism without hesitation.

That's not all. Racefail '09 has now been completely re-imaged and repackaged by these people as a "flame war", wherein they repeatedly claim there were very few (supposed!) PoC involved and it was all about white people, grudge-wank and pseudonymity. This is what they wanted, after all, to derail and hijack a dialogue, an online discussion about race and the problematic attitudes and issues there are in race representation and even in a dialogue about such issues. They wanted to render non-white people/PoC invisible and turn it into a chance for white "ladies" to clutch their pearls and white men turning up like the knight gallant to protect them from the uncivil hordes. If it didn't make me so angry, I'd laugh at how this is a carbon copy of the behaviour exhibited last year by Amanda Marcotte/Hugo/Seal Press.

Non-white people/PoC participate in a wider community conversation about race, which is predictably derailed and hijacked by white participants who don't like what we have to say. They tell us that we are not playing nicely enough, our voices are too frightening and angry, our intellect is not high enough to have earned the privilege they feel it is their right to bestow of having this conversation.

They call us racist epithets, names and words that our brothers and sisters, our parents and grandparents have similarly heard and recognise but then deny us our experiences and history by telling us that we are imagining all the hurt and slight. They insult our personhood while lecturing about politesse and the vast amounts of civility, civilisation that we lack. Our language and terminology, which have been used by generations of actvists, is defined as arbitrary and odd and non-standard, language that surely no "normal" person can possibly understand. Their ignorance about our cultures and our language is, again, our fault. I am surprised that none of them went all the way and called our language "ebonics".

Our conversation, our dignity and are stripped away and our points are not considered. Our words and actions and identities are only permissible and acceptable within the parameters that they decide. We are not intellectual enough because they say so. We are not really PoC because we only say we are and of course, we are lying because they say so. We are othered only because they say so.

Then they will disappear us completely by telling us we are not in the conversation at all, really. They repeat the meme that we are a figment of someone's imagination, we don't exist in this space at all, we have not talked, the words we wrote are meaningless and nothing, we are a sockpuppet army, a part of a vendetta that white people are carrying against other white people. Our white allies are then punished for participating in the conversation. All that is left is their voices screaming as they decide they have the right to deny a blogger's right to privacy on the internet.

This is how easy it is to erase non-white people's voices and involvement and our presence from focus, for existence. This is how little we matter, this is how little they think we are worthy of consideration.

All of this because they were frightened and alarmed when it wasn't all compliments, roses and pats on the back in a community dialogue regarding race. All of this to distance themselves from the criticisms they received and how they were called out because they said and did racially problematic and thoughtless things. All of this because PoC and allies had our own thoughts and opinions on matters with regards to race that greatly concern us, not just in art but every aspect of our lives, which they could not dictate. All of this because we wouldn't shut up, we wouldn't go away, we wouldn't crumple up and cry and beg for forgiveness for challenging their views and opinions about race, racism and our experiences as non-white people/PoC in white-majority societies. All of this because we wouldn't agree that every incorrect, privileged and racially problematic thought they had about us and words they said about us were right, we wouldn't say that they could accurately see us or even have the ability to hear and engage us, let alone write us.

They are attempting to intimidate and silence those who challenged them because they don't like what we have to say and they don't think we have a right to say it. Their actions and behaviour are another sign of their privilege, a method privileged people employ try to perpetuate their privilege, a part of the culture the oppression and silence and struggle non-white people/PoC have and have had throughout the years in white-defined, white dominated spaces to be heard when non-white/PoC views and opinions and actions do not support, reward and reinforce white privilege. This is a pattern of behaviour that is very present in our society, in my life; this is a choice and this is not new. This is not new to me personally, this is not new to us as a community, as communities. This isn't, in any world, civility or politeness or niceness. This is white people working to reinforce and to continue white power structures.

*

I hate people outing fans against their will. I hate it when they do it so they can intimidate and threaten the fan and all the other fans by extension because they know, as a community, we hate outings and we are scared of them. It's a very specific pattern of behaviour, often followed up with calls to employers or family, just to make sure that these people feel the impact for raising the ire of the outer and for being a weirdo nutjob who likes to read and write fanfiction and dress as their favourite book/tv/film characters. Extra points if it's slash.

Ultimately, though, this post isn't about Shetterly, Cramer, their supporters and apologists. I don't want this post to be about them, I don't want to spend another minute on this, on them. I don't care to engage them, I don't care about them to engage them. They aren't worth the time nor the effort. They aren't worth the money I have spent on books written and edited by them and *their* allies and supporters. My time and money is better spent on doing things that are useful and helpful and interesting to me. Better spent reading and doing and creating space for myself and others, better that I spend time on participating in carnivals to make my space safer for non-white people/PoCs, better I donate that money to support the Carl Brandon society, better I spend money on chromatic realities press verb_noire than line the pockets, however measly the amount, of people who have nothing but contempt for people like me. Better I spend time being annoying and chasing people to write for the Asian Women blog carnival and look for interesting things to add, better I spend time reading and writing for myself and my friends. Better I spend the time to write another letter to protest Avatar: Last Airbender movie casting.

I'm done with them and I'm pretty much done with SF/F fandom, their professional writers, their supporters and their toxic environment. As shewhohashope said to me yesterday: Some people will never move on from this, so we need to move on from them. I'm moving on from this and I'm moving on from anyone like this.

I am not the good non-white person who will validate your innate belief that you could never do or say something racist. I am not the angry, scary one who is going to rip you apart with my tiny ninja Asian hands either. I'm just me. I am not here to correct and educate others about race and my life. I am not here to hold someone's hand while they behave in offensive and hurtful and ignorant ways and then listen and heed their demands that I educate them and make them better. I will not deny my existence or my thoughts or my pain or my joy because it makes white people uncomfortable. I am not a nanny looking after a naughty child throwing temper tantrums, demanding constant attention and rewards while refusing to take responsibility for its actions. I am not a sidekick to anyone's personal psychodrama. I am the heroine of my particular story and I've got my hands full living this topsy-turvy life, telling my story, looking and doing things that bring me joy and enrich my world.

I'm kind of excited and full of nervous and hopeful energy about what might be possible to try and achieve in this space with regards to anti-racism activism, just like I get excited by the activism work I participate in in real life. Your world may overlap with mine sometimes and I will be happy to share ideas, experiences, glee and what I can with you if you open your mind and heart to me. We might even travel and explore together for a while but I am not a mind, a body, a spirit nor an energy to be colonised, a resource that people believe they have a natural right to use for their benefit. It could be beautiful, friends. Complicated and hard and beautiful and because I'm me, kind of wacky. The music is good and I'm hoping there'll be lots of jokes and learning and emotional moments that will force me to punch you in the arm to relieve my feelings. Let's go, I'm ready, let's go.
 
 
Current Mood: ditzydizzy
Current Music: dj chang eue & eun jun - canon in d minor breakmix
 
 
 
I DON'T LIKE ANGRY FUTURE ROMULANS: cautiously gung-ho!bossymarmalade on March 4th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
I'll pack us a lunch, bb.
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: always eat a turkey or a hamciderpress on March 4th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
I'll bring the mangoes. Mmm, mangoes. I say this too often but, bb, I am so glad that we are on this journey together.
a princess of nowskywardprodigal on March 4th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
I will be happy to share ideas, experiences, glee and what I can with you if you open your mind and heart to me. We might even travel and explore together for a while but I am not a mind, a body, a spirit nor an energy to be colonised, a resource that people believe they have a natural right to use for their benefit. It could be beautiful, friends. Complicated and hard and beautiful and because I'm me, kind of wacky. The music is good and I'm hoping there'll be lots of jokes and learning and emotional moments that will force me to punch you in the arm to relieve my feelings. Let's go, I'm ready, let's go.

It's a party, with my kind of music, and people I want to celebrate with and celebrate.
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Yes! Celebrate instead of having to justify our existence, I want joy. :>
cathexys: hugs (by lim)cathexys on March 4th, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
I really really like the way you've managed to connect the two things, because they are indeed connected in more ways than one just being a distraction of the other. As always, I'm awed by your prose and sad and ashamed for the pain that generates this forcefulness.
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, I think it comes from the same place -- punishment. And I'm a little sad that it took a white fan being outed for there to be this kind of reaction in fandom when, really, it's still the same issue and still part and parcel of the same problem. A lot of my flist were involved last month but looking wider, just the sheer amount of attention that is being paid since the outing occurred and how many people are *now* saying that their behaviour is unacceptable and choosing to speak out and act. I wish it were different, bb.
(no subject) - cathexys on March 4th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dharma_slut on March 5th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cathexys on March 5th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Beth H: Bears Hugz (rexluscus)bethbethbeth on March 4th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
Beautiful and important post.

Beth (...still reading LJ even though I'm not making posts of my own because I'm kind of fed up with a lot of fandom right now.)
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: hey la hey la my boyfriend's backciderpress on March 4th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Beth. I miss your posts! :*

anna (...who gave up desserts for Lent and is now very sorry she can't chocolate cake her way out of her fed up-ness. )
Are you bold enough to reach for love?yeloson on March 4th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
This.

The way in which the entire conversation has been reframed around us, an elephant they can't identify.
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
I don't have any time or energy for those who are wilfully ignorant. They have no claim on me and shunning, repudiation, disengagement -- I'm looking to what I can see and hear and do. Thanks for helping me with that.
Aralarallara on March 4th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
Anna, thank you thank you thank you for this, and your last paragraph in particular: LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. Thank you, *thank you* for reminding us all that we can approach social justice work with a sense of excitement and joy and possibility and humor. I'm so glad you're able to find those things in yourself right now, and you're amazing for sharing that with the rest of us.
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: warm panda colaciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
I MISS YOU, I WISH I WERE THERE! :* TELL ME EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS!

We're going to do amazing things, Aral, we *can* do amazing things. We're going to leave those who weigh us down behind and we're going to make our spaces into ones that we can enjoy and be proud of. If this whole kerfuckle has resulted in anything, it's made me want to actually do something constructive. Which probably wasn't the aim of the exercise but ha!
rydra_wongrydra_wong on March 4th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad I got to read this before collapsing into bed.
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: my only care the price of sweetsciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
ΩΩΩ being the archivist of the revolution looks like tiring work, bb ♥ :>
Bear Fairiebearfairie on March 4th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Bloody hell, this is awful. I'm so horrified that this happened. Thank you for writing this up.
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
It's dreadful. I'm disappointed but not surprised that things to this turn.
"She Who Procrastinates"logovo on March 4th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)
Quick note. Before the outing of coffeeandink I'd never heard of Kathryn Cramer. Probably quite a few people in fandom had no idea who she was. I can now say I'll remember her for years to come.
queen of the thumb-sucking spies: msw - jessica - thinks you're dumbmedie on March 4th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'd never heard of her. I was only peripherally aware of Shadow Unit (hadn't heard of Shetterly himself) in that 'huh, must check that out some day' sort of thing.

Now, it'll be a cold day in hell before I touch ANYTHING they write.
(no subject) - miera_c on March 4th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad, then, that I posted it despite my misgivings. :>
burdened with glorious purpose: tattoo_neckfemmequixotic on March 4th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
I really heart you a hell of a lot, hon.
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: more likely to get mauled at the zoociderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
♥♥♥♥♥
Deepa D.deepad on March 4th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Thank you, and YES.
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: 화장을 고치고ciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Right back at you, sister-friend!
(Deleted comment)
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: beyond your peripheral visionciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I feel very lucky to have so many awesome FoC as a support system and as role models! :)
delux_vivens on March 4th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
I've got pretty men, and flan!
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: the world spins madly onciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
FLAN! YAY!

I always knew you were going to bring the pretty. :)

I'll meet you at the Ritz Carlton tea room, bring Jason.
Oyceoyceter on March 4th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
I am not a sidekick to anyone's personal psychodrama. I am the heroine of my particular story and I've got my hands full living this topsy-turvy life, telling my story and looking and doing things that bring me joy and enrich my world.

Thank you, and yes.
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: but i'm still going to shineciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
Yes! :>
(Deleted comment)
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC)
I'm glad this resonated with you!
queen of the thumb-sucking spies: misc - me - laughmedie on March 4th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
THIS

This post is why, most days, I just sit and nod mutely at everything you write. It's just stunningly beautiful and perfect and thanks for letting me learn a lot (even when it hurts like hell) and to watch your story unfold.
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to let me know that what I'm writing resonates with you! And yes, come along, we can all go together, whatever happens next, we'll all own the moment rather than let anyone define it for us.
Purveyor of Hot Combs and Hand Grenadesladyjax on March 4th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
I've got music, drinks and a picnic blanket. I've got some money in my pocket and a camera to take pictures.

Let's all go.
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: 화장을 고치고ciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
:D Yes, let's all go!

I've really wanted the opportunity to say how much I admire you and learn from reading you and watch you interact and I guess this is a good a time as any. I'm really glad that we're all going together.
I'm not fluent in your dialect of crazy: garden of dreams - copperbadgedine on March 4th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
I have a hard time figuring how anyone can say the sort of things WS & KC have been - their reality bears no resemblance to that of me, or most people I know. it's a shitty situation, but again you present wonderful words of wisdom.

may I tag along on your journey? it sounds awesome, and far more productive than paying further attention to WS and KC and their ilk - I don't wanna learn how to be like them, but I totally crave being half as cool as you when I grow up (some day)
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: beyond your peripheral visionciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
Heh, wisdom. Heh.

dine, of course we're all going together, we always were! it's going to be awesome and we're going to leave those who are trying to put a stranglehold on us behind. we can do this, we can be this, whoever wants it just has to open their mind and come with those who are going to try it, too. :)
J.J.: dreamwidthidhren24 on March 4th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
I am the heroine of my particular story and I've got my hands full living this topsy-turvy life, telling my story and looking and doing things that bring me joy and enrich my world.

Thank you for making this post public, strong, articulate, beautiful, ruthlessly just. You rock my world. :o)
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
:) Thank you!
glass_icarusglass_icarus on March 4th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
THIS. THIS, THIS, THIS. i'm so glad you wrote this, and so glad that you've managed to launch something happy and hopeful from the likes of this failboat, because, yes. you don't stay on a sinking (sunk) ship, you take a flying leap off the side. &hearts
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
you take a flying leap off the side

YES. If they're going down, they're not taking me with them. Whatever space they occupy, it has no place in ours. We don't need them, we are going to keep building our spaces, shiny and strong and sure.
a little specificity: the piersinensiss on March 4th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
I'm with you, one thousand percent.
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: someday somebody's gonna ask youciderpress on March 4th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
♥ x a zillion. I MISS YOU! If you guys were here, I could re-enact this whole brouhaha with my freshly laundered socks. I'm the sock that has heartshaped rubber soles of justice on the bottom. Heeh.
Katejuliansinger on March 4th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Hot damn, you're good.
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Hah, thank you!
WE WILL SEE AT THE END OF LIFE, NO?: Federer from the sidetsamm on March 4th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
What a great manifesto in those last couple of paragraphs. I hope our paths will intersect many, many times.
you have the boldness of a much younger womanciderpress on March 4th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Hee, it's so funny you said that. I totes used the word manifesto in the first version of this post and then thought that it sounded a little too Little Red Book for fandom's taste. Heh. Heh.

Beth! I'm so glad our paths have intersected so far, I'm looking forward to travelling with you even more. :>
genee li: bert mccracken: let me show yougeneli4 on March 4th, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
YOU. ♥
you have the boldness of a much younger woman: i had a dream i was married to the queenciderpress on March 4th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)