On Saturday N.K. Jemisin delivered an intelligent, thoughtful speech calling for reconciliation and a better future where all of SFFdom and broader society would be enriched by diversity arising from the full and equal participation of all peoples. I made a few comments about that speech here.
In her speech, Nora mentioned but did not name the racist, misogynist straight white male who ran for the presidency of the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America, a global professional organisation for qualifying published SFF authors) this year, garnering 10% of the vote.
The person concerned is Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day. Beale stood for the SFWA presidency earlier this year. When Beale first put his hat in the ring I read a rant attributed to him that I assumed to be pure troll, some kind of sick joke. I’ve been searching but I can’t find the rant I’m looking for. I turned up these little gems though: “Women ruin Everything” and “Which is worse, work or rape?” both by Vox Day. I don’t recommend reading them: the titles alone reveal Beale’s politics. If you want more information on Beale’s blogs, then I recommend reading commentaries like this one on the work/rape blog, written by a sane person.
Theodore Beale must spend a lot of time and energy stalking people he claims to consider beneath him because he was swift to post a response to Nora’s guest of honour speech. WARNING: THE BLOG IS AWFUL AND THE COMMENTS ARE WORSE. The first comment was effectively a call for a lynching. I recommend not reading his blog at all but instead read Amal El-Mohtar’s blog about Beale’s bile.
Amal El-Mohtar wrote a sanitised version of Beale’s response, sparing readers from the worst of Beale’s bile and all of the comments. Amal’s blog has the added benefit of being an open call for the expulsion of Theodore Beale from the SFWA, something that could help combat the misogyny and racism that periodically spews forth from some members whose prestige and writing careers are supported by the SFWA.
Beale made an accusation against Nora:
It may amuse some of you to know that in making her false claim, NK Jemisin appears to have violated the SFWA Forum rules, which state: “[A]ll posts made here are confidential. Material may not be re-posted outside these forums without the explicit permission of their authors.”
The ‘false claim’ Nora allegedly made?
I am not “a self-described misogynist, racist, anti-Semite, and a few other flavors of asshole”… I merely posited that even if their false claims were true, I would still be the right choice for SFWA president given my industry connections and executive experience.
Beale claimed rape is better for society than women working and has called Nora a savage because of her colour… he’s revealed himself as misogynist and racist. I’m not reading any more of his bile to find where he ‘posited’ himself nor am I prepared to search out anti-Semitic rants, I already have a headache. My point here is: Beale’s politics and assholery are already well-known across the internets.
While attacking Nora, Beale lends credibility to the Encyclopedia Dramatica’s entry for Vox Day, that says:
Vox spends his days writing books and trolling the internets professional victim classes, such as Women, Leftards, Mexicans, Jews and Arab. He vigorously defends the right to sexual intercourse for males especially with feminists and thinks voting should be restricted to rich white men (although excluding Jews).
I recommend reading the entire entry because ANTIDOTE TO BEALE’S BILE.
Somewhat amusingly, Beale has gone from campaigning to become president of the SFWA to calling them the “Spitefully Fascist Writers of America.” But Beale, I thought woman-hating racists were fascists, which puts the SFWA at the opposing end of the political spectrum to yourself.
It is my sincere hope that, for the good of the reputation of the SFWA, science fiction and fantasy as a genre and the SF/Fantasy community, Theodore Beale is expelled from the SFWA.
For those who want more information:
- The Examiner on the lead up to the SFWA election
- SFWA website
- The Write Agenda supports Vox Day with like-minded politics
- The Guardian on SFWA reaction to sexism in the SFWA magazine
Lt-Gen Morrison of the Australian Army said, “This [sex and other types of abuse] goes to the heart of what I’ve said about systematic problems with culture inside the army and it in turn shapes the army and it in turn shapes the approach that I’m taking with regard to how we deal with this.” (reported in the Telegraph.)
In a video released Wednesday, a clenched-jawed, simmeringly furious Morrison says, “Those who think that it is OK to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have NO place in this army … Female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian army … If that does not suit you, then get out … The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others … The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” (reported in the Salon)
Science fiction as a genre leads the way for society to follow by predicting technological and cultural change, by exploring ethics, morality and philosophy. The Australian Army has led the way this time, and it is my hope that the SFWA and the SF/fantasy community in general (including conveners of conventions) will follow the example of the Australian Army.
Lt-Gen Morrison’s speech is below.