itsroach (itsroach) wrote,

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The Company That You Keep

I made a New Year's resolution this year.  Every time I come across anyone engaging in racist, sexist or otherwise anti-social and inhumane behavior online my response was going to be to respond with "Gross."  The same goes with people making nonsensical, trollish arguments (see MRA's "but what about the women who hate men!?" or "reverse racism" or "girls don't play computer games" and other just plain stupid comments).  I will respond to such things in person or online with the same reaction I would to someone who tried to make the argument that eating one's boogers is acceptable behavior.

I have never, ever kept to a resolution for as long as I have with this one.  I have used this response at least once a month since January and it just might last well beyond 2013.

But no where have I used it more than when dealing with the speculative fiction community, especially with the SFWA.  The latest incident is still unfolding over at Speculative Friction.  This is where messages from the private forum are being posted.  The forum is limited to only SFWA members.  The posts up at Speculative Friction concern members' reactions to some of the problems that have been plaguing the community of late: from the Bulletin cover blunder to Vox Day to the sexual harassment of Elise Matthesen at Wiscon last month.

seasinger pointed the Tumblr out to me yesterday.  After each post I could only respond with "gross".  I, in fact, just became grossed out.  And it's not just horrible but cringe-inducingly embarrassing.  I had to step away from the computer because I got to a point where the second-hand embarrassment got to the point where it was physically uncomfortable.  If we were playing Racist/Sexist Bingo, everyone would be a winner*.

And reading through the posts I can no longer justify holding on to the idea that I might want to renew my membership to the SFWA.  There are arguments to be made that change can come from within, and that the last few months don't represent all of the SFWA, etc.  But, there is also an argument to be made that my time and money would be better spent being a force for change on my own outside of the organization.  I already faced the reality that I won't qualify for full membership anytime soon.  And even if Eggplant got to a place where it would be considered a qualifying market (although I don't know how that would be...maybe with some future project?) I don't know if it is something I really care about any more.

I also think about something snurri wrote**: DON'T JOIN GROUPS, JUST MAKE FRIENDS.  I think he's on to something here.  I can affect change with friends just as well as with an organization.  So that's my plan.  At least until I come up with something better.

*That's a lie.  In Racist/Sexist Bingo, everyone loses.
**On his FB not his LJ but I can tag him here so let's go with it, shall we?
Tags: sfwa

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