The last couple days have been pretty eye opening, as I’ve watched a couple of SJWs get savaged by their own kind for not toeing the line hard enough. The first incident was a reviewer by the name of Bookworm Blues, who was all too happy to attack me for saying it’s not a good look to attack other authors to someone else. She posted an innocuous image on twitter:
Other than showing her bad taste in fiction, it’s not that interesting of an image. However, having played to the SJW outrage train, she made a fatal mistake: posting a single image that mentioned male authors. Even though this is just some powerless book blogger with a few hundred followers, dozens of comments, emails, blogs were made about her posting this image. Now despite her signaling, apparently she got a bunch of flack because it lists Robin Hobb (one of the better authors on her diagram) who is female and therefore she somehow offended Hobb by posting this? The situation is unclear, but what was clear, was she started receiving threats via email for her post. Bad enough that she was contemplating quitting Twitter:
The mob went after her, someone with zero power in the industry, because of one tweet that mentioned a few books in conjunction with emotional responses they evoke in readers. That’s it. Nothing offensive. Nothing weird. This is the level of crazy the SJWs go to to attack someone. And yes, I’m defending someone who attacked me for no reason. But seriously? This woman doesn’t deserve this kind of heat.
But it doesn’t stop there. The next interesting outrage of the day moved onto the Midwest Writers Workshop. This is a group that’s been teaching people how to write for 18+ years, running this non-profit, helping out. Of course, they’re steeped in SJW politics from the board on down to who they invite to speak at their conference, and have been perpetuating the culture of fake “representation” outrage for a long time.
This is even more unclear drama than happened with Bookworm Blues, as I can’t get to the heart of the details of what’s being accused with all the back and forth public signalling going on from authors who aren’t remotely involved in it. The situation came to my attention when author Roxanne Gay called to boycott the conference:
This is a workshop designed for people just to teach n00b writers how to make their writing suck less. It’s not that interesting of an event for demanding boycotts, but perhaps they did something egregious?
Having seen the outrage-spin with different people and organizations, I investigated into this, hoping to find something interesting from a journalistic standpoint. What I found is that this is just another example of how the professional science fiction community is filled with worse drama than high school. Cliques will be cliques, and it’s ugly. As I mentioned, some things are unclear but here’s what I was able to determine on the situation from a factual standpoint:
- A woman who worked for the group was called fat by someone in the board of this conference in a private meeting.
- This woman at some point was not invited to come on the board, which I presume is unrelated to point 1 having seen no evidence to the contrary.
- Later on, the board decided they’re having problems and wanted to restructure how their efforts are going in order to streamline/make a better convention. They were planning on cutting someone else.
- This someone else claimed she was a whistleblower about the fat comment, and was removed from the board for whistleblowing. Made big internet stink about it. There is no evidence one way or another.
- The convention organizers posted a long-winded apology basically apologizing that someone on the board (not the person posting) called the first woman fat.
- SJWs smelled blood and went for “it’s not enough of an apology!” And that’s where calls to boycott, destroy people, etc. came into play, including some help from a NYTimes writer who decided this was the outrage cause of the day. I guess she wasn’t outraged enough by her pal Paul Krugman winning the #1 Fake News Award.
Not a very interesting story. Sometimes in journalism you come across interesting stuff, other times you don’t. In this case, everyone involved seems to be just absolutely steeped in high school drama and there’s no clear winner or innocent.
I do have advice for the conference however: your mistake was issuing a verbose public apology. You didn’t call someone fat. Someone else did. Even if someone else did, people call names all the time, it’s not a big deal and doesn’t merit you acknowledging it on a public forum. When you make a big apology like this that’s vague, you give openings to pick it apart. The intention of these people is to disrupt organizations and change their stated purposes from their stated purpose (in this case, just critiquing n00b writers and helping them get better) to a political agenda of some feminist unclear goal. Because that’s their goal and not the surface of what they’re outraged about, they will use anything you post to try to destroy you. An apology only opens the door for their outraged friends to say “see! they are this bad and know it!” They’re not trying to meet you halfway.
I was hoping to have more, but the workshop did not reply to my comment asking for an interview at the time of this blog.
But the mistake is made, and I expect this conference is not much longer for this world. Oh well. When you play with social justice, the world loses, as excellent book reviewer, the Injustice Gamer says quite often.
I write books that are just fun, drama free, politics free. My readers come in all shapes and sizes, fat, thin or in between, and I love them all! You should check it out because you’ll probably enjoy the epic adventure that captivates so many people. Join us and read For Steam And country today!