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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule


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So, wonderful, wonderful post. I agree absolutely. As a girl writer on the internet, I lay all my anecdotal information down to support your point: I certainly have received rape threats, also actual physical stalking by people from the internet, and for a couple of years I got daily hatemail, much of it including death threats. A friend of mine told me once in shocked tones that women who ran knitting blogs got rape and death threats and I said casually 'Oh, but so does any girl on the internet for any length of time' and then was stunned by the enormity of what I had apparently casually allowed to happen--to become acceptable to me--in my life.

It is terribly, scarily easy to 'offend' while being a girl: every time I've passionately expressed an opinion or a feeling on the internet, I've had a bad reaction to it.

I admit that when I saw the reference to Requires Only That You Hate, I wanted to click away, because from all I can see, by far the most frequent target of Requires Only That You Hate's ire is a female writer of colour. I understand Require is also a woman of colour, and that she dissects a lot of different authors' work. And I'm not saying any author should be exempt from dissection. I am just saying at another point I saw her discuss wanting to put dog piss in a water pistol and fire it in a (different, white male) author's mouth, and I clicked away fast because I was genuinely terrified I'd see her say something like that about the aforementioned female writer of colour. I don't say this to say 'Oh but this person is horrible' or to defend those who called her terrible names (they are absolutely, absolutely out of order, and revolting) but to say--whoa, this stuff is everywhere. It is so everywhere that I could not even read your post without thinking of another not-discussed-in-the-post lady being attacked, and how tired I am of it that I almost could not continue to read your (again, wonderful) post. What happens to Sady Doyle, who I'm a huge fan of, is also so hideous that sometimes I'm scared to check her blog, even though her posts about the abuse she gets are both insightful and funny. I also clicked away from Priest's post, as once people start talking about dog pee in relation to human beings, I start looking for an escape hatch.

These discussions are draining and hideous to have, and eventually you see so much of it that it feels like it's all over everywhere. Long way to say... it's a horrible, tiring circle. Ladies hating on ladies. Dudes... also hating on ladies! And if a lady hates on a dude.... or speaks out of turn... that lady gets it in the neck. And so I think it was very brave of you to speak up about it, and I hope (and wish I could confidently expect) that nobody is sending you hatemail because of it.

Edited at 2012-04-06 08:34 pm (UTC)

I'm not sure who you mean--I'd say Bacigalupi is the most common target of hers these days.

I mean Cindy Pon, but I really don't want to derail into specifics when you were making an excellent wider point, and I wanted to chime in and say yes, and that I agreed, and that lady-hate makes me so tired, despairing and inclined to click away that I thought it was great you were engaging.

For a while there she was flaming anyone on 50books_poc who dared to give N. K. Jemisin a positive review, too. That finally blew up into a moderation controversy, a bunch of people left the comm, and it's been a lot quieter ever since.

I regret having that, actually, mostly because it's an obnoxious thing to do.

Didn't say racist, sexist things about Jemisin, however. And I could write an entire essay on how people pick apart a woman's online conduct in a way that doesn't happen to men, but I doubt you in particular would be interested.

I am just saying at another point I saw her discuss wanting to put dog piss in a water pistol and fire it in a (different, white male) author's mouth, and I clicked away fast because I was genuinely terrified I'd see her say something like that about the aforementioned female writer of colour.

Really?

Really?

This is such a fantastically disingenuous thing to say. Also? It's offensive. I'm livid, but I'll moderate my tone because hey, someone else's blog. I won't even touch the idea that I've only ever said inflammatory, critical things about Cindy Pon. You know what you're doing, though? You're a white woman attempting to police a woman of color's language and conduct, and suggesting that her conduct toward a white man means that racism and sexism are surely her logical next step.

Wow.

Whoops:

I won't even touch the idea that I've only ever said inflammatory, critical things about Cindy Pon.

To clarify, since that's not what you said: I won't even touch the idea that I've made Cindy Pon some kind of fixation for my attacks, or whatever it is that you wanted to imply.

After a discussion on twitter, wanted to publically say that I apologise for the implication: I don't know Requires, and should not have implied she would say something like that about a woman of colour: I was discussing my emotional reaction (tired of seeing women attacked on the internet, fearful of it at every turn, noticing that so few defend said women and wishing someone would defend Cindy Pon) without thinking (as I should have) of the implications.

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