Yet more sex-related scandals in the freaky world of science fiction:
Over the last 48 hours or so, the science fiction and fantasy literature field has been rocked by multiple accusations of multiple authors of improper behaviour, abuse, gaslighting, racism, misogyny, sexual coercion and authors using their platforms to engage in dogpiling and bullying.
The number of accusations has been almost overwhelming. Genre Grapevine is currently running a list of the allegations where the facts of the matter are not in dispute. Authors Paul Krueger, Myke Cole and Sam Sykes have been accused of inappropriate behaviour (Cole has subsequently been dropped by his publisher and agent, and Krueger by his agent) and others of enabling that behaviour.
It’s the exact opposite of “shocking” to be informed that a field that lionizes convicted and admitted pedophiles and celebrates its sexual freaks is rife with creeps. Like, you know, our old pal McRapey, who has a pain in his tummy over the possibility of his own peccadilloes coming to light.
My friends fucked up. Not accidentally, to be clear. They made choices.
They are responsible for their wholly intentional fuck ups.
Also, I am responsible for my fuck-ups in relation to them — to what extent my friendship implies complicity with their actions, or provides cover, or has allowed me to overlook things I should have been paying attention to, or has allowed me to excuse what they were doing. This is one reason I feel like I have a small ulcer at the moment; the gnawing feeling in my gut that wonders how much of their fuck ups are at my door. In some cases, not much! In others: well, more.
(You should also know right now I definitely have that exasperated part of me that is all, like, look, I haven’t been in the same room as this guy for a couple of years! I don’t have a body cam on him! I don’t see every goddamned thing he does as he does it and to whom he does it! My brain is very full of defensive frustrated whining right now! Which is also a thing I have to work through.)
(And while I’m at it, I’m going through my own interactions with people, especially women, at conventions and other places where it turns out the power differential slides toward me. I can admit that this power differential wasn’t something I truly clued into for a while — I think it took being SFWA President to get it drilled into my head, because that was a big fuckin’ neon sign, wasn’t it — but it was there fairly early, so, uhhh, yeah. I’ve seen people commenting “well, at least we still have Scalzi,” and there’s part of my brain going, oh, man, I sure hope you do! But I also know that I have fucked up before in other places where I didn’t understand my power (see: RaceFail, now a decade back), and because of that what I did or said hurt people. That’s also a thing.)
So, yeah, I have to sit with and work through all of that.
It’s delightful to be able to state that I have absolutely no connection with any of these awful people on either side. And I can’t say that my own tummy hurts from laughing so hard, because I’m not really the laugh-out-loud type. But I may have smiled.
UPDATE: If, like me, you have no idea what the latest tempest in the freakshow teapot is about, it apparently is related to this:
In last night’s episode of The Horror Show With Brian Keene, he said the show’s team was aware of 10 cases of allegations involving everything from sexual coercion to sexual assault that have been made “against ten different individuals in the comic book, horror, science fiction, book-selling, convention organizer, and cosplay sectors of our industry — all of which had publicly come to light in the last 7 days.” When Keene followed up the podcast today with a public Patreon post, “Behind Closed Doors”, he said the number is up to 17.
The soyboys are finally beginning to understand why the men’s club was necessary, even by their idiotic equalitarian standards. It’s fine to decry the creeps and all, and I have no doubt that most of them did what they are accused of and more, but the fact is that there has been a lot of significant art created by very flawed men. I am dubious that all of the art, science, and technology created by sub-Alpha males and good Christian married men can be adequately replaced by female creators.