I was almost going to say, I can't believe I'm having to make another post about Winterfox/Requires Hate/Benjanun Sriduangkaew and parts of the SFF community refusing to see her for what she is, and continuing to give her a platform, but to be honest, I can believe it. While the publication of the Mixon Report and simultaneous posts by Sriduangkaew's targets speaking out about what she had done to them did open the eyes of some in SFF, far too many people seemed content to pretend that Sriduangkaew's abusive behaviour was all in the past, done only under the RH and earlier pseudonyms, the actions of a youthful innocent who took things too far. Despite repeated instances of her continuing to behave in the same way, certain corners of SFF continued to give her a platform: not just publishing her stories, but treating her as an authority on issues of representation, and, in a particularly egregious recent example, picking her as the person to moderate a roundtable on intersectional feminism. The refusal of certain segments of the SFF community to see why this is wrong means that Sriduangkaew's targets, and their friends, are forced to continually speak out about her abuse of them, making themselves targets over and over again, at great personal cost. That they must continue to do so is a disgrace; we owe it to them to read their words.
likhain wrote A letter to Apex editors re: the intersectional SFF roundtable
[D]oes intersectionality in SFF not include women, especially women of color? Is intersectionality only important enough that we must write about it, but not so important that we actively value it by considering how much further harm giving RH a platform to talk about intersectionality would cause? By this I mean that RH speaking about intersectionality, when she herself has harmed marginalized people — when she has caused harm by using people’s marginalizations against them — is a grievous injury.
I wonder whether you did not consider these things, or whether you did, but simply valued having RH’s contributions to your intersectional roundtable more than preventing harm. Neither bodes well for your commitment to marginalized people in the community.
Zen Cho wrote Being an itemised list of disagreements
All people of all backgrounds can be awful. Things are simultaneously complicated and very simple. Don’t just put people in the “good box” and the “bad box” based on their background/identity and turn your brain off.
It is not OK to bully people. It does not advance the cause of social justice or diversity. This is not the tone argument. There is a difference between making emphatic statements to which the privileged object because they hurt their feelings or they (consciously or unconsciously) wish to preserve the advantages of their privileged status, vs. chasing people around on the Internet having a go at them.
rachelmanija wrote A more specific grievance
There are people she is harming right now. She and her supporters make the science fiction world unwelcoming to her targets, who are disproportionately women of color. They also make it unwelcoming to onlookers who see people like them getting abused with impunity and even applause, and decide to go elsewhere. Not fucking okay, Winterfox supporters!
Sometimes life hands you difficult and complex ethical problems in which the right thing to do is genuinely unclear. This is not one of them. If you are endorsing someone whose big contribution to your field is to tell women of color that they should be raped by dogs, you are not one of the good guys.
A lot of people in the progressive side of SFF talk a lot about the need to condemn abusive behaviour, even when it comes from friends and respected members of the community who hold a lot of social capital, but many seem to have a strange kind of denial when it comes to Benjanun Sriduangkaew. I want these people to ask themselves if a person who: names video game characters after former targets and posts screenshots of said characters after she's killed them in the game; laughs at the misfortune of a woman (a woman of colour who is also an immigrant) whose husband has recently died; harasses one of her targets every time this person does work for LGBT rights; and laughs about a queer, immigrant woman of colour being deported to a violent dictatorship is really the staunch intersectional feminist you seem to believe she is.
This entry was originally posted at http://dolorosa-12.dreamwidth.org/235397.h