So we have been having a discussion, the umpteenth reiteration of a discussion that has been going on since the 1930s, about the marginalization of women and for that matter people of colour and GLBT people in the SFF community. I got into the discussion as well, posting links and commentary in a trio of posts that shall henceforth by known as the “Girl Cooties” trilogy, namely Invasion of the Girl Cooties, Revenge of the Girl Cooties and Bride of the Girl Cooties.
One of the many entries into the ongoing discussion was N.K. Jemisin’s excellent Guest of Honour speech for the Continuum con in Australia. It’s a very good speech and I’d have thought that what N.K. Jemisin has to say wasn’t all that controversial either – she mainly calls for finally acknowledging that women and people of colour have been part of the SFF genre since the beginning.
Another participant in the current debate is Theodore Beale a.k.a. Vox Dax, a fantasy writer and rightwing blogger who ran for SFWA president and lost. He also happens to believe that women, people of colour and in general anyone who is not like VD ruin the SF genre. N.K. Jemisin had some not very kind words to say about VD and his failed run for SFWA president, whereupon he completely looses it and posted this shitdump of sheer offensiveness. Trigger warning! Whatever upsets you, this post will probably include it.
Among other things, VD spews racist bullshit of the worst sort at N.K. Jemisin, who gets the brunt of his shit flinging attack this time. Though he also makes disparaging comments about Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s appearance and intelligence (insulting an editor at a big SFF publisher is a great career move) and demonstrates his inability to grasp irony by mistaking a satirical post by John Scalzi about rape apologists for a genuine confession (What is it with VD and Scalzi? Unrequited mancrush?). The whole post is both utterly disgusting and just plain bizarre.
If you don’t feel like giving VD hits and Google juice and still want to see what he wrote, Amal El-Mohtar, Foz Meadows and Jim Hines have excerpts of VD’s shitdump on their respective blogs along with thoughtful commentary. In fact, I did debate whether to link to VD directly, but then his idiocy deserves to be seen and ridiculed. Ironically, VD also proves N.K. Jemisin’s points about him with his shitdump rant. If anything, “various flavours of arsehole” was probably too mild a description.
However, VD was not satisfied by spewing crap on his own blog, he also had to promote the post via the SFWA Twitter feed. Which is against SFWA rules by the way and has resulted in calls for expelling him, because disseminating hate speech is clearly not the purpose of the SFWA. Natalie of Radish Reviews has a round-up of further links and reactions.
The most shocking thing (and yes, I know I probably shouldn’t be shocked) is that VD got ten percent of the vote when he ran for SFWA president. Yes, ninety percent of the membership voted against this guy, but ten percent honestly felt that a guy with the manners of a poo-flinging monkey would make a better SFWA president than Steven Gould. Look folks, Kermit the Frog would make a better SFWA president than VD. Hodor from Game of Thrones would make a better SFWA president than VD and a more eloquent one, too. A slice of bread would make a better SFWA president than VD. Besides, it’s not as if the problems with VD were unknown, since he has been spewing crap for years. And yet ten percent still voted for that guy?!
Meanwhile, outgoing SFWA president (and one of VD’s favoured targets) John Scalzi as well as Arachne Jericho and husband and wife team Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier have made a pledge to match any donations made today to the Carl Brandon Society, a non-profit organisation for supporting diversity in SFF which among other things awards the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship to send writers of colour to Clarion and runs Con or Bust which helps fans of colour to attend cons.
It’s a very good cause, so let’s all show VD that he is a very small minority of unrepentant arseholes in this genre.
ETA: In the comments, Estara points out that Kate Nepveu is also matching donations to Con or Bust through Friday.
And in my referral logs, I found this delightful Tumblr listing books and authors that Theodore Beale a.k.a. Vox Day does not want people to read. I can’t think of a better recommendation.