Friday, March 16, 2018

Writers at File 770 validate my concern about the Fourth Street ban

At Shetterly Banned by 4th Street Fantasy Convention | File 770, Lis Carey says,
I’m also not inclined to believe he has engaged in full disclosure about his interactions with Fourth Street over this. Not suggesting anything is faked; just that I wouldnt be surprised if there’s more, stuff that he’s decided is “not relevant,” but which Fourth Street might consider very relevant.
Hampus Eckerman says,
we can be fairly sure that he will not mention everything relevant.
JJ says,
I’m quite sure that WS has, as usual, presented only the information which supports his narrative. 
This amuses me. In order to show I wasn't omitting anything relevant, I was afraid I'd included too much.

For the record, I omitted the emails about planning the seminar before I was kicked off it, I omitted the emails we shared once it was settled that I'd be doing a panel at the convention, and out of consideration for Alex Haist, I omitted some insulting notes that she incompetently or maliciously left on the copy of the letter she sent me to answer my four questions. If there's anything I left out that seems pertinent, I invite anyone from the Board to share it with the assurance that I have no intention of suing anyone.

It also saddens but doesn't surprise me to see people insisting "But there must be something more!" It is another way cults try to discredit outsiders: when they have nothing, they suggest that the absence of evidence must be significant.

Meredith says,
I’ve never got the impression that Shetterly is dangerous – apart from a willingness to out people, which is a different sort of dangerous –
My "willingness to out people" consists of ironically saying I was outing one person, Micole Coffeeandink. If there were more, Meredith's community would have screen caps to prove it.

For much too much about this claim: The Retroactive Pseudonymity of Micole “Mely” Coffeeandink

Jayn says,
I remember vaguely how he went around here saying that he took some sketchy exam online that proved he wasn’t racist while vaguely implying that anyone who didn’t want to take the same exam online was.
The idea that Project Implicit's Race IAT is "sketchy" is also amusing. The test actually suggested I am racist--like a large minority of white people, I show an implicit preference for black folks. I wish I was among the people who show no preference, but sometimes you have to accept that you are what you are.

estee says,
about the “outing” business—that woman was not closeted in the first place, no matter what she said about it afterwards. Back in 2009 when Racefail was in full swing, I used to read the various blogs every few days, when I could snatch a little free time. On one occasion I had trouble finding hers because I couldn’t remember the name of the blog and hadn’t bookmarked it; but I did remember the personal name used by the blogger, because it was unusual. So I Googled it, and among the first things that came up were her Amazon wish list, and references to her published fiction, all with her full legal name. I had no idea who she was and certainly wasn’t trying to find anything except the blog, but there all the information was, for anyone to see. So when she started claiming that she had been outed by the people she disliked, my first reaction was bewilderment, and my second reaction was outrage at such a bold-faced lie. (And my third reaction was disgust at how many people fell for the lie.)

I strongly disagree with many of Will’s opinions, but for several years—specifically, between 2009 and 2014—I read his blog regularly because he seemed to be the only person willing to tell the truth about something important: namely, that very ugly things were being said and done in the name of social justice in SFF. Eventually, of course, the nastiness became so extreme that other people pointed it out as well, and Laura Mixon won a Hugo for going public with it. But for quite a while there, Will was the solitary, bratty kid complaining about the Emperor’s new clothes while everyone else politely pretended that all was well.
estee, thank you.

Oneiros says,
It seems to me that WS could’ve just taken his lumps and gone on with his life. His decision to go public about all this is just trying to create drama over a non-situation. He’s done with them; they’re done with him. Nothing of substance has changed as far as I can tell.
The discussion at File770 shows what has changed: so far as I know, no one is implying that I'm physically dangerous to be around, which would have been the first assumption if I'd stayed silent.

Litch says,
Really, there was no threat of lawsuit in his email, none. He both explicitly denies an interest and provides a reasonable explanation for why he brought it up

Why go out of your way to piss him off? Ive seen some people call him a drama queen but really, this crown was thrust upon him.
Litch, thank you.

John A Arkansawyer says,
One advantage of taking this to court–which I’m increasingly hoping he’ll do as I watch you go all white cell group mind over the intruder, something I doubt you realize looks as ugly to outsiders at it does–would be an outside check on whether or not this is bullshit.

I think it sounds like bullshit. Once you wipe away the dust, what happened was that Shetterly and Brust disagree politically with identity populism. They take a traditional left-wing approach to ending oppression. That is not an acceptable political position to say out loud in America, so they got booted under pretexts.

(That’s clearly not what happened with whatsisname, who made publicly explicit his intentions to commit clear and unequivocal harassment.)

So I’d like to see a judge–or anybody who isn’t the buddy or antagonist of someone involved, though a judge can really rub your nose in it–say whether or not what what Shetterly is accused of is actually harassment. A word the board avoids using, though folks here have felt free to do so without knowing what the board knows.

That last is a rather delicious irony which only occurred to me as I typed it.
One of my assumptions is that this is not about harassment. I assume that because the board was explicit in what they said.

The bouncing from a panel–but not from the convention, as I assume it would be if he were harassing people–was about “mode of discourse and your pattern of pursuing conversation past the point of when the other party wants to disengage”. I read that as being about panel behavior, though I could be wrong.

The banning is explicitly said to be because they are worried about a lawsuit.

Neither is characterized as harassment by the board, which presumably knows more about the situation than anyone in this discussion. Yet two commenters had used the word harassment in varyingly indirect references three times, all after the comment where I quoted the board’s explicit statements.

I don’t like slippery slope arguments, because all of life is a slippery slope. Being on the the slippery slope of banning people for harassment is a righteous place to be. It’s made righteous by not by leaving the slope–since you can’t leave it–but by resisting going down it. So perhaps people could resist sliding from right to wrong on this one.
@Meredith: Since I’m here, I’ll say it again: The board did not make any claim of harassment whatsoever. Harassment entered the discussion here, when people did exactly what Shetterly predicted they’d do: Decide something happened that was super terrible and double secret. And so entered harassment, from thin air.

He was bounced from a panel for…harassment? Why wouldn’t he be bounced from the con for that? Isn’t it much likelier such a limited sanction involved a more limited reading of the board’s words: “your mode of discourse and your pattern of pursuing conversation past the point of when the other party wants to disengage”?
John, thank you. I'm sorry to disappoint you about suing them though. Life's too short.

Lenora Rose says,
Then more reports of following people after racefail (And some later smaller incidents, if I recall correctly) — including into private correspondence. That started to weird me out.
it seemed exceedingly frequent for him to attack other leftists
Following people around and repeatedly trying to get them to continue an argument thay have said they don’t want to have, and who have asked you to leave – IS HARASSMENT.mis
I suspect the mention of "private correspondence" refers to an attempt to end a disagreement by email. In many communities, trying to resolve things privately is considered a virtue, not a sin. Whenever I was told someone did not want to discuss this, I dropped the subject. If I am misremembering anything, I invite people to share my emails. One of the codes I try to live by is Bob Dylan's "to live outside the law, you must be honest."

As for disagreeing with people on public forums, I completely own that. I do not tolerate lies or misrepresentations, and I do not plan to change my ways. Anyone is free to respond at a public site, much though people promoting agendas may wish it were not so.

I'm not sure who the "other leftists" are. I suspect they're neoliberal identitarians, who I criticize because they are not leftists. I just today came across Adolph Reed's observation from 1996:
"...identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance."
The flamewar called Racefail was entirely about form over substance.

Lydy Nickerson says,
The woman in question did not want her LJ handle linked explicitly to her real life handle.
If that were true, why did she use her extremely uncommon first name as her LJ handle? At the time, if you googled just her first name, she was among the very first hits thanks to her habit of using her full legal name in public posts on her LJ.

ETA: There has been more discussion at File 770. I say that for thoroughness—none of it seems worth adding to this post.

ETA 2: For Lis Carey, Hampus Eckerman, JJ, or anyone who has said I must have held back relevant information about the Fourth Street Kerfuffle