Elizabeth Moon, racism, and Wiscon
nisi_la (Nisi Shawl, Wiscon 35 Guest of Honor along with Elizabeth Moon): "What I Want"
Excerpt: Meanwhile, I want everyone who was hurt or offended or puzzled or appalled or angered or infuriated or stymied or worried or threatened or in any way negatively affected by Elizabeth Moon's post to attend WisCon 35. Because when I was asked to be a Guest of Honor for that convention, you were the ones I was expecting to see there. And because I want to dance with you, and sing with you, and talk about smart stuff with you, and admire how beautiful we are, and flaunt it!
That's what I want. You do what's right for you, though. I don't always get what I want. I will miss you if you don't attend, but I love you unconditionally.
nojojojo: "Elizabeth Moon, Wiscon, and the Responsibility of Dissent"
Excerpt: I doubt she'll care, but I believe Moon should disinvite herself. She has no business at a convention committed to social justice if she holds these sorts of bigoted views, and isn't willing to listen to opposing views. She's put the Wiscon Con Committee in a terrible position, as well as her fellow Guest of Honor, and her very presence will send an unwelcoming message to all those attendees who have been hurt by her words. The professional, responsible thing to do on her part would be to withdraw herself from the whole mess. But if she hasn't done so thus far, I doubt she will.
yeloson: "WisCon and what we mean when we talk about institutionalized power"
Excerpt: At the end of the day, whether they intended it or not, the message is either:
a) "We care more about this writer, than we do about Muslim attendees (including, say, people who've been mistaken for muslims and got to enjoy the same kind of hate and understand exactly what this kind of propaganda produces)"
b) "We care more about our pride and not eating our words about disinviting someone than we do about Muslim attendees (etc.)"
K. Tempest Bradford: "Very Short Post On WisCon, Elizabeth Moon, And How None Of This Is Satisfactory"
Excerpt: I do want to state, unequivocally, that I disagree vehemently with Elizabeth Moon’s feelings on the non-Ground Zero non-Mosque, assimilation, Muslim Americans, and related subjects. I also want to state that this response from the WisCon concom is just not good enough.
onceupon: "The Burden of Education"
Excerpt: I'm interested in figuring out ways to move the burden of education and presentation off of the Muslim members of the community. It is not their job to show up anyway and it is not their job to create counterprogramming. It is our job, whether they show up our not, to create an atmosphere that is a) explicitly welcoming to Muslim fans in the face of Elizabeth Moon's bigotry and b) to step up when it comes to genuine teachable moments and education. I'm not sure how that will wind up manifesting - but I do think there needs to be some sort of organization on the part of nonMuslim fans to ensure that this so-called teaching moment doesn't ruin what is, in essence, supposed to be a damn vacation in a space that explicitly values social justice politics.
tithenai: "Thoughts on Elizabeth Moon and the Wiscon ConCom's Response"
Excerpt: My feeds are full of people expressing outrage and disappointment over the ConCom's statement, saying it isn't enough, saying Moon should've been disinvited as a Guest of Honour, saying that it's wrong of the ConCom to seek to make this a "teaching moment" at the expense of Muslim fans' feelings. And I look at all this and think, why was I okay with this when so many of my non-Arab, non-Muslim, non-immigrant friends aren't?
And I'm afraid to say that, basically, I've toed Moon's line, and been grateful for forbearance.
maevele: "The more I think"
Excerpt: about the concomm response, the less okay I am with it. I mean, it's their decision, and they have more data than me. I am friends with people on the concomm, who I know are good people with great intentions, so I don't hold it against anybody, but this shit ain't right. I'm not saying that disinviting was the only answer, but claiming good will come of her still being guest of honor? no fucking way. Rescind the Honor part, but still have her as a guest of the con, so she can show up and try to defend this crap or apologize or get educated or at least not be "silenced" as some would try to claim. I get that there was no easy answer, but that letter was not the right move.
Seeking Avalon: "Wiscon + Moon + Things Certain People Do"
Excerpt: Seriously Wiscon Coordinators? "We have decided that this can be a learning experience for those of us in the majority, no matter and irregardless of the cost to others."
How many times in life and face to face interpersonal dialogue, does someone punch you in the face or stomach, the crowd around you gasps, and the hosts of the next party who invited the puncher decide that you can come too - and talk in detail about how it felt to get punched in public.
delux_vivens: "also, a comment on wiscon"
Excerpt: I think no matter what happens, the onus will be on muslims with this mess. If a muslim speaker comes to talk on panels or a keynote? Its still someone having to provide education. And its still only in response to Moon's screed. Its not b/c anyone thought of it proactively.
I think that the real problem here is the refusal of so many people in genre to engage at all except reactively with muslims in their communities on the local level or to educate themselves, beyond news headlines, on islam globally. (*)
littlebutfierce: "so, wiscon"
Excerpt: Because "We know that opinions are not changed by running away from them, but instead by engaging with them, challenging their assumptions, sharing knowledge, seeking understanding, and by lively and candid discourse."
Oh yeah. On whose backs? Who is going to feel comfortable even coming to a con that has thrown its weight behind someone who's given that kind of Islamophobic, anti-immigrant screed, & who is not going to feel comfortable?
Who is going to feel comfortable engaging in that kind of discussion, in that kind of atmosphere, & who won't?
Whose voices are being privileged here? Whose presence?
They "fervently hope that her inclusion will not lead anyone to feel unwelcome at WisCon." Keep hoping!
Censorship and Speak
rj_anderson: "Speaking Up for SPEAK"
Excerpt: Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Speak is not pornography.
It is the farthest thing from pornography, in fact -- a novel which shows the devastating effect that being raped has on an innocent teenaged girl. Not a girl who "went looking for it", but an ordinary girl teetering on the line between childhood and adulthood, who went to her first high school party and ended up way out of her depth. It is a novel about the girl next door. A girl who could be your sister, your niece, your daughter.
jbknowles: "What is the Opposite of "Clean"? Part II"
Excerpt: The opposite of clean is dirty.
When we hold books up because they are "clean" we're implying that there must be something wrong with or bad about the other books. And what does that tell these girls? There must be something wrong with or bad about you.
silveradept: "Bonus Stage - Book Banners and other Worst Persons in the World"
Excerpt: You mean to tell us, Mr. Scroggins, that the teenagers in this school are going to read about rapes and get off on it? Well, considering that he spoke at Reclaiming Missouri For Christ, an organization devoted "To educate our pastors, legislators, educators, students, and all citizens as to the truth about America’s Christian Heritage and the role of fundamental, Biblical Christianity in the establishment and function of our legal, legislative, and educational system, and to work towards the successful reestablishment of these values in our society," he might actually believe that is the case, under the rubric that everything regarding sexuality and young adults is bad and will be used as jerkoff material, unless it's the anvil of abstinence, which is pure and always encourages students to be virtuous.
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