22 June 2014

Hiding in language

(Language Warning)

It was a tenet of post modern doctrine that words have no inherent meaning. We don't even know what the word "means" means. This doctrine paved the way for people both hiding behind weasel words, and laying accusations against people for something they said whilst denying them the opportunity to defend themselves by saying they never meant what the offended party interpreted their words to mean. But postmodernism is filled with contradictions. The average post modern university graduate will be a feminist, which means they believe that gender is an arbitrary costruct foisted upon people (meaning women) by society for their disadvantage, and that gender can therefore should be altered for greater equality; while at the same time also believe in gay rights, which means they also believe that gender is a biological imperative, is absolutely inherent in the individual givingg them no choice but to be who they are, and any attempt to alter their gender and their expression of it are deeply offensive and therefore to be absoultely resisted. In the case of language, words have no inherent meaning, they have inherent feelings. That is, some words are so deeply offensive they cause an uncontrollable reaction in many hearers. They're called Trigger Words, and many articles now come with Trigger Warnings. Pretty impressive for a visual representation of a verbal utterance arbitrarily connected to a thought, which is different in every person, and yet, somehow, not quite.

My belief that this was mostly garbage that gave me a fair amount of trouble during my overlong time at university. I have often said that we all have our points. Even the people with whom I disagree most vehemently have their points. I agree with some points more than others, but I still try to see their point. But we live in an era where people insist that there is no point but their own, and no perspective but their own. It was there in the nineties I first ran afoul of the tolerance police and their claim to tolerate absolutely anything, except someone actually disagreeing with them, or calling them on their baloney.

I saw this over at Larry Correia's Monster Hunter Nation. This commenter made a better point than most. He cut through a plethora of words and accusations, of people trying to hide in words and behind words, offended by words, to ask why are they hiding themselves from truths far more unpleasant than what has caused their supposed outrage.

The background on this is a little complicated. You may want to skip this part and go directly to the bottom. Science fiction authors who lean to the right politically (most notably John C Wright, Sarah Hoyt and Larry Correia) have been claiming on their well read blogs that the Science Fiction Writers of America (SWFA) has become increaingly politicized and now favours the Left. Accusations go back and forth. It got ugly quickly.

In the middle of all that, a contestant at a beauty pageant (no, seriously) answers a question by saying how she feels empowered through learning self defense. Somehow, this kicks off a minor media storm, as several woman claim that it would be better to teach men not to rape, so women wouldn't have to defend themselves at all. Correia, a gun lover and gun instructor who routinely tells his readers that he has taught hundreds of women how to use handguns for self defense and concealed carry, fires off a post wherein he expresses his opinion of how stupid it is to teach men it is bad to rape, and basically says a better way to educate them would be a small, tight grouping of nine millimeter bullets to the chest. "Bad rapist! Bad!" He then gets into a twitter fight with John Scalzi, while being attacked by Jim Hines in a blog post, and possibly a few others I may have missed. Correia was roundly condemned by many weighing in on the fight as a misogynist and apologist for rape culture after- get this- he called one of his attackers a "pussy". He himself had been called a dick and an asshole, an someone insinuated that he liked to slap around bitches, but that elicited no outrage. Triggers abound in the mouths of some, but not others. Classy.

(By the way, remember what I said about everyone having their points? I may have to take it back on this one.)

So, if you can keep track of all that, and then throw in the acceptance speech for an award from the Nebulas by NK Jemisin (which has an even more complicated context involving fights with other authors, and so on and so on) in which she called out for all who are opposed to their ideals to be shouted down, while quoting and praising science fiction author and NAMBLA apologist Samuel R Delany (who also received an award of some sort)and the recent revelation that writer and feminist icon Marion Zimmer Bradley was an aider and abetter of her pedophile husband (in her testimony she called her husband's pedophilia an "intellectual position", words to hide the horror of what happened) and also an abusive pedophile herself, and you reach the point where I may now introduce the quotation I wanted to share with you in the first place. It oringally comes from a comment on Jim C. Hines' piece linked above.

JUN 18, 2014 @ 17:20:14
Hey Jim,

I’m a survivor.

I’m trying to think of a way to say this that isn’t going to either sound like I’m an MRA or that I’m trying to invalidate the good work you do with other survivors. But I really think the way this issue has become political and how I see you contributing to that is really… uh… not okay.

I think you’re probably a good dude. I can’t imagine you not being a good dude given the amount of work you do with survivors and the depressing toll I know that work takes. BUT (I know you were probably sensing a but, and I’m sorry to have to do this in a thread where you’re already taking a pummeling) I’m going to step on your toes a bit here.

I’m doing it because I think you’ll listen and because it needs to be said.

Okay, here goes:

Why are you focusing on Larry Correia?

I just don’t get this.

At all.

Why are you responding to a piece by a guy who thinks rape is wrong and just disagrees with you on the exact nature of the problem and the solution? I’m not saying those aren’t large gaps. I’m not saying I don’t think he’s wrong about rape culture. I’m not saying I don’t think he’s wrong about education (another survivor I know actually works in those groups with those people and says its effective and I trust him, although to be honest even giving offenders that much help makes my stomach turn).

But why is Larry Correia a target?

I don’t agree with a lot of what Larry has to say, but I’ll be honest and say I still like him. He reminds me of a couple of uncles I have and some friends I used to argue with at a couple construction jobs I had. He’s really loud and says some shit I don’t agree with but you also see him actually trying to help other writers and doing stuff for charity all the time.

So, I get that you guys have serious disagreements. I get that he’s called you names. You feel attacked and that makes sense that you’d want to focus on him.

BUT (and this is what’s bugging the shit out of me): The community just found out that Marion Zimmer Bradley was a child rapist. As in, she raped children. She put her hands on kids. I’ve just found out that the community knew she was a procurer and turned a blind eye to child-rape for decades on top of all of that. And no one talks about it.

No one in the community who usually talks about this stuff is talking about this.

I was five when I was victimized. That story hit me right in the guts. I figured I’d see everyone talking about it, trying to do some agony origami and figure out what to say about it that might bring some kind of useful awareness to the community. The silence has been deafening.

I get that Larry is loud and he says things that people don’t like. But maybe fandom needs a voice like that? Before you disagree, Larry’s website is the only place I’ve heard anything even WHISPERED about Samuel R. Delany. I can’t quite seem to figure out why that is.

Samuel R. Delany was just honored at the Nebulas and quoted in NK Jemisin’s speech (I agree with a lot of what she has to say, but I just don’t get how this isn’t at least being pointed out) and Samuel R. Delany outright without any kind of doubt or apology speaks up for NAMBLA.

NAMBLA is a group that advocates grown men raping young boys.

That’s so fucked up I don’t even have words for it.

Look at his Wikipedia page. If you can stand to do it, go to NAMBLA’s website. They quote him right goddamn there.

I’m not going to say that being a male survivor is harder than being a female survivor. But I will say that when you’re a male survivor not nearly many people are willing to talk about it. Giving a pass to a guy who supports NAMBLA is not okay. It’s not okay. Focusing on Larry Correia when that shit is not being talked about is not okay.

It is not okay.

I’m hoping you didn’t know. I’m hoping NK Jemisin and K Tempest Bradford and Mary Robinette Kowal don’t know. I saw everyone tweeting happily when he won his award. Because if you guys all know and aren’t saying anything about it and maybe even turning a blind eye because it’s really hard…

Well, I’d even kind of get that.

People talk a big game until that stuff is at their doorstep and then it becomes really easy to look away. We’re all human. No one’s invincible or infallible.

This is about the ugliest thing you can look at as a person.

But it’s still not okay.

I know none of you are under any obligation to condemn Samuel R Delany or Marion Zimmber Bradley. But when you’re going to start attacking people and you choose Larry Correia….

I just don’t get this

No comments: