First, let me say that a couple of people have pointed out to me, quite correctly, that this particular brouhaha is not actually on the shoulders of the people currently in charge of SFWA–but rather, on those of the signatories of the petition going around. So this is me acknowledging that. Everything I’ve seen so far indicates that SFWA themselves are trying to do the right thing here, as a direct result of last year’s mess, and now they’re getting called out on it because apparently certain persons think last year’s mess is what they actually want? Or something? I DON’T EVEN KNOW.
But what I do know is this. It’s come out that the originator of this petition, back in 2007, took it upon himself to try to be satirical about someone else’s post complaining about the male-heavy Hugo ballot. And by “try”, I mean FAIL MISERABLY. He threw out those inflammatory first few paragraphs, and then goes into “HA HA I WAS ONLY KIDDING if I really meant that the feminists would get all angry at me! Also, if you thought I really meant that you’re crazy!” mode. And then proceeds to castigate the poster of the complaint about the Hugo ballots, taking the tactic of “why is it okay for her to use that language about a male-heavy ballot, and it’s not okay for me to do the same about a female-heavy one?”
In other words: BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?
Y’know what, Chuckles? You were right. Feminists will get angry at you, but not for the reasons you think.
Because here’s the thing. We see this BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ? thing all the damn time. It’s a diversionary tactic to try to silence a woman speaking out. Because OHNOEZ HER LANGUAGE IS INFLAMMATORY, and that’s way, way more important than the actual point she was trying to make. I got news, Chuckles. This diversionary tactic is still bullshit. It’s the tactic of a group in power to make the group NOT in power keep their place.
Now okay, yeah, that post was back in 2007, so you could argue it’s old news. But you’d be wrong, given that now, seven years later, we’re still having these arguments.
And I for one am deeply saddened at seeing the list of people who think this chucklehead is worthy of their support.
Dara has her thoughts on the matter here.
ETA: It has just been brought to my attention that as per this statement from Mr. Gould, president of SFWA, the petitioners’ uproar is over something that isn’t even happening.