rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2009-08-04 10:02 pm

"...are people too"

Now I want a "Pixel-stained technopeasant corn" userpic.

Also, a letter.

To: author@pauldifilippo.com
Re: Declining your kind invitation

Hi Paul,

Thanks again for the invitation you extended at Readercon for me and my partner Josh to visit you in Providence. As I told you then, I've never been there and was looking forward to finding a good weekend to go up, see the town, and hang out with you.

Following your recent participation in the discussion over the Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF, however, I no longer feel I can take you up on that offer. It would be entirely too awkward for all of us were we to get into an argument and find ourselves unable to resolve it while you had responsibility for hosting us and we were far from home. Moreover, as you have now compared women and people of color to weeds; implied that homosexual men aren't really men, or that your critics believe so; and suggested that women like myself must have some sort of professional ulterior motive to object to a major anthology TOC being solely the province of white men (even though you as an author in that anthology have a significant professional stake in this discussion, and I as a journalist and magazine editor have no professional stake in it whatsoever), I find it hard to believe that you actually want to spend a weekend in my company, given that I am a queer woman who has recently made it extremely clear that she cares a lot about minority representation in genre fiction circles and isn't shy about getting into loud discussions of same.

You have always been very kind to me in our direct interactions, but I cannot reconcile that with your wholesale dismissal of these classes to which I and many of my friends belong. You state that your error was in breaking your policy of remaining on the sidelines of arguments. I disagree. I think your error was in coming into a conversation and turning it into an argument by espousing an absurd, offensive position and backing it up with absurd, offensive rhetoric. I very much hope that you reconsider your exit from the conversation at least long enough to post an apology to the numerous people you have insulted, explicitly declare your affiliation with the book under discussion, and either reconsider your position or recuse yourself from further conversation on the very reasonable grounds that as an author in the anthology you cannot--as you yourself have noted--possibly have anything like an unbiased opinion of the selection criteria used by the editor.

I know you're fond of my father and I was hoping I could become friends with you someday as well. For that to happen, though, you have to see me as a real person, and see all people like me as real people, even the ones whose fathers you don't know. If that happens, and if you are willing to make a public statement to that effect and make a serious effort at understanding exactly why women and POC and queers and other minorities get so furious every single time a straight white man publishes a book full of stories by straight white men, drop me a note and perhaps we can reschedule that weekend visit.

Cheers,
Rose Fox

--
Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.
--Philip K. Dick
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

[personal profile] ironed_orchid 2009-08-05 12:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Good move, flamewars are even less fun when you are in the other person's house and and don't have a ride home.
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)

[personal profile] sashajwolf 2009-08-05 12:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow. The Whitman reference is just incomprehensible, but the weed comparison is really epic, isn't it?
dhobikikutti: earthen diya (Default)

[personal profile] dhobikikutti 2009-08-05 04:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Nice letter. I've haven't really been following the imbroglio in question, but I hope your words make some impact.

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[personal profile] ironed_orchid - 2009-08-06 00:20 (UTC) - Expand
cyprinella: a red octopus on a white background with a red star above it (Default)

[personal profile] cyprinella 2009-08-05 02:36 am (UTC)(link)
That's a great letter.

[identity profile] harroldsheep.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 02:46 am (UTC)(link)
excellent letter with an amazing quote from my favourite author.
it is always a shock when someone shows their true colours.

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[identity profile] ithiliana.livejournal.com - 2009-08-05 22:25 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] emilytheslayer.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
This is a good post and you should feel good. I expect it did not actually feel that good though, and that always sucks.
ext_3386: (wonderful)

[identity profile] vito-excalibur.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for rocking!

[identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
Excellent letter.

[identity profile] kitteridge.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
That was awesomely impressive.
ext_87252: http://www.janetchui.net (Default)

[identity profile] marrael.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:28 am (UTC)(link)
The letter got an out-loud "wow" from me.

[identity profile] karjack.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:29 am (UTC)(link)
You are so very awesome.

[identity profile] epenthesis.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:46 am (UTC)(link)
BAM. Thank you for saying that.

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[identity profile] epenthesis.livejournal.com - 2009-08-05 04:13 (UTC) - Expand
ckd: small blue foam shark (Default)

[personal profile] ckd 2009-08-05 03:47 am (UTC)(link)
That's a great letter, which addresses what his comments actually mean to the people reading them; I hope he can learn from it and gain thereby.

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[personal profile] ivy - 2009-08-05 08:06 (UTC) - Expand

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[identity profile] shadesong.livejournal.com - 2009-08-05 11:20 (UTC) - Expand
ext_1843: (Wendy fights like a girl)

[identity profile] cereta.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 04:34 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not only impressed with the letter, but that you're sticking to your convictions so firmly.

[identity profile] patgreene.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 05:11 am (UTC)(link)
That's a great letter.

(no subject)

[identity profile] damienps.livejournal.com - 2009-08-05 06:58 (UTC) - Expand
ailbhe: (Default)

[personal profile] ailbhe 2009-08-05 09:32 am (UTC)(link)
Well done.

Now I need to go fix the inside of my head, because the first thing I thought about your letter? "How did she dare to be so rude?" And actually, it's not rude at all, it's just assuming your own right to be just as equal as he is. It's perfectly polite.

Inasmuch as women pretending to be real people ever is, mind you.

[identity profile] janni.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 02:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I've become convinced the expectation -- and this comes from women as well as men -- that women be polite (which tends to mean, "nice") at all costs does real harm, in all sorts of ways.

The trick (which I'm still struggling with) is to figure how to break away from excessive niceness without both men and women finding one rude instead ... because it takes far less not-niceness in a woman to get a bad reaction than in a man, something which infuriates me (and ups my not-nice quotient!) to no end ... women are expected to put up with things in a way men rarely are.

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[identity profile] janni.livejournal.com - 2009-08-05 18:19 (UTC) - Expand

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[identity profile] janni.livejournal.com - 2009-08-05 19:31 (UTC) - Expand

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[personal profile] ailbhe - 2009-08-05 19:06 (UTC) - Expand

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[personal profile] ailbhe - 2009-08-05 19:12 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] therinth.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 09:50 am (UTC)(link)
That was fantastic.

[identity profile] potassiumman.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 02:09 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a magnificent letter.

[identity profile] janni.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 02:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Well said.
ext_39067: (pixel)

[identity profile] kath8562.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Fine letter, and well said.!
Oh, and see user pic above ^

[identity profile] amaebi.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 03:52 pm (UTC)(link)
You are all kinds of awesome.

[identity profile] thegreenyear.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 07:22 pm (UTC)(link)
*wild cheers*

[identity profile] hitchhiker.livejournal.com 2009-08-05 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
good on you!

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