I got into a Twitter fight with author John Scalzi yesterday. There’s no need to write up a blog post detailing that because Twitchy already did it for me. Thanks, Twitchy!
Posted that earlier and got some messages of WTF? For those of you following the continuing balkanization of sci-fi/fantasy and the perpetually outraged Social Justice Warrior’s outrage of the week, it was recently revealed that liberal/feminist icon Marion Zimmer Bradley was a pedophile child rapist, with many victims, whose crimes were known about and covered up by elements of fandom… So yesterday the Social Justice Warriors boldly banded together to condemn conservative author Larry Correia for using the word “pussy”.
Background, yesterday morning Jim C. Hines decided to make up some more stuff about me. This time it was about my post in response to Miss Nevada’s detractors called The Naïve Idiocy of Teach Rapists Not to Rape. Like usual Hines pretty much agreed with what I actually said, all while making up weird things that I supposedly said to rail against instead.
Of course I didn’t see this post through a track back, because it is hard to throw chickenshit allegations about somebody when you link to what they actually said. But one of my readers saw it and posted the link on Facebook. (later in the day, Hines would marvel that Correia’s minions had found it already… Yes, Jim, they have the internet on computers now). Unlike Jim, I’m not an incompetent wimp, so here’s the link to his: http://www.jimchines.com/2014/06/lc-on-rape-and-self-defense/ (I copied the final comment and posted it at the very end of this post because I find it powerful and damning, so if you read anything, at least skip ahead and read that)
Now here is the interesting thing, I had to finish a short story yesterday so didn’t have any time to respond myself, but ten or twelve of my readers went over and started arguing. It mostly consisted of “He never said that, he never said, Larry never said that either.” One guy, who was a fan of both me and Hines, put his post up on my FB and posted it to Jim’s blog comments. It was all reasonable, but mostly concentrated on where Jim’s stats were fishy. It never appeared. Go figure.
A couple hours later Jim locked the comments, because that’s what progs do when people disagree with their disingenuous nonsense. Ironically, my post that provoked Jim is still open to comments, and has about 600 now with people from all sorts of different backgrounds arguing all sorts of different positions. I’ve never closed a comment thread on my blog ever. It’s like I always say, it isn’t my side trying to silence the opposition. It is routine for left wingers to “massage” their blog comments. Meanwhile the right loves when the left talks, because the more they say, the more the world can see just how full of shit they are.
That afternoon, short story is turned in, and somebody else on FB tells me that Scalzi is trying to start some shit on Twitter. So I went over to take a look. You can see how that turned out in the Twitchy link above. Basically the nail that sticks up must be hammered down, but sadly I’m more of a rail road spike and my detractors are Fisher Price squeaky hammers.
There were a ton of other comments on there also, because as usual a legion of poo flinging monkeys descended on me, armed with their Checklists. You had the internet tough guys who didn’t need guns to defend themselves (of course, I’m sure they are total badasses in real life, but their wives and mothers aren’t, which is why I teach women to shoot guns) and the usual how guns were compensating for tiny penises (which doesn’t explain women who carry guns…) Most of it was the usual snide, self-righteous, make shit up, and take whatever you can out of context in order to get offended and give yourself sainted victimhood, nonsense.
Another author, Mary Robinette Kowal, who I have met in person several times, either read the timeline backwards on accident or deliberately, (in reality, I insulted Scalzi, then a woman said she was a rape victim and I was being mean, but Mary flipped it so that a woman told me she was a rape victim and then I insulted her) then used that to show her readers how hateful I was to hurl insensitive insults at rape victims. When pointed out by me and a few others that she got the timeline backwards, she kept with it, because my insulting an effeminate man with a vulgar word related to female genitalia (a type of insult that has been in common usage since at least the Romans) was the worst thing ever.
Meanwhile, one of the Caring Liberals was hurling much viler insults at one of my supporters who was a rape survivor, but that didn’t count, because he was on my side, and thus deserved it.
Mary then told me I was disgusting and dangerous and needed to stay away from her. Yep. Disagreeing or failing to sufficiently cheer lead prog nonsense makes you “dangerous”. SJWs love to hurl stuff like that out there, hoping it sticks. The best weapon in their arsenal is someone unfamiliar with you seeing your name connected to Dangerous, Rape Apologist, Misogynist, Sexist, Racist, Homophobic, etc. and spreading that around. Smear then disengage. Mary’s far smarter than Scalzi.
EDIT: See below, Mary has made a public apology. I’m still disgusting and dangerous… meh… But at least I’m not being portrayed as going out of my way to insult rape victims.
But dangerous? You must have me mistaken with one of the left wing child molesters you guys keep showering with praise. If by dangerous, you mean I’m well trained and used to be a top competition shooter, yes, which is why I took my dangerous knowledge and shared it with as many women as possible so they could be empowered and able to defend themselves. But hey, everybody’s definition of dangerous is different. I hurt someone’s feelings once.
As for the insensitive evil badness of disagreeing with the opinion of somebody who has been a victim, the following was written by one of my regular readers (Shadowdancer) a few days ago and is from the (still open!) comments:
But do rape victims, or, indeed, any other victim of a tragedy or any other trauma, suddenly become sainted, that they become unquestionable? Are they suddenly elevated beyond the rest of us, that their words – especially if they’re incredibly harmful ideas -can no longer be tested or confronted in the arena of ideas? Do people who have been traumatized in some way gain a special knowledge that makes them unimpeachable and beyond criticism if they espouse a point of view that is not only hypocritical, but one that actively will create more victims, encourage social if not actual vigilantism, and remove the protection of innocent until guilty?
No, they’re not. They’re still people, and being a victim of a tragedy and a person who espouses harmful ideas are two separate things, even if they reside in the same person. They are just as capable of having lethally bad ideas as the rest of the population. They are still capable of being hypocrites. And their ideas are just as eligible for testing on the arena of ideas, not automatically segregated from it, nor are these ideas entitled to being given smacked with wifflebats of sympathy instead of swords of reason and scrutiny.
If pointing that out makes me bully, that is no worse than being an enabler who allows the spread of the idea by refusing to confront it simply because the person spreading that idea is put in a special class of social perception of Saint Victimhood.
Pretty much that. I like to judge ideas on their merits and people by the content of their character and not whatever handy sex/race/class/victim box a Social Justice Warrior assigns them to.
So what was the horrible misogynistic thing that I did which was so terribly insulting and awful bad that it caused all these SFWA officer alumni to unite in my condemnation? I called Scalzi a “pussy”. So, the Word Police swooped in, declaring that this was the most hurtful misogynistic trigger outrage this week. (of course, these same people shower praise on, quote from, and give lifetime achievement awards to sci-fi author, Samuel Delany, who praises pedophile organization NAMBLA, so their outrage meter may need some calibration)
In this section I’d like to talk about “offensive” words in the context of being a writer. Now, personally I think trigger warnings are stupid, but apparently they’re like mandatory to the perpetually outraged crowd, so TRIGGER WARNING: I’m going to talk about body parts, there will be lots of profanity, it is going to get very crude, and I’ll probably hurt some feelings. Most people who aren’t total pussies will be fine.
Now as an author I find it curious when other authors are so quick to declare certain words off limits. Personally, I like words. I like many, diverse words. Words are tools in an author’s toolbox and we use them to create our work. And I really don’t like somebody else declaring which words are good and which words are bad. Especially when the litmus test for determining acceptability is predicated entirely upon it hurting the feelings of the perpetually butt hurt (oh wait, butt hurt may be offensive to people who have actually experienced anus pain).
In this case, let’s talk about the word “pussy”. On one hand it is a slang term for female genitalia. On another it is a common insult usually related to cowardice. That was the manner I used it in. Or it can be a cat. The history of words is fascinating stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pussy
But the premise here (because they’ve been trying super hard for years now to find proof that I hate SOME GROUP) is that because a pussy is a female body part, calling a man a pussy as an insult is in fact not insulting to the man, but is rather an insult to all women because they have that body part.
Okay, interesting… Now totally disregard the history of the English language and how humans actually talk and interact in the world, the hypothesis is that Pussy, when used in the common vulgar way as an insult toward cowardly, effeminate, worm tongued, physically weak, beta males (like Scalzi or Hines for example) is really an insult to all women everywhere (and thus promotes “rape culture” but I’ll get back to that).
Who uses this horrible word? So your football coaches? Hate all women. The military? Hate all women. Cops? Hate all women. Anybody who has ever had to train or motivate people doing something physically challenging? Hate all women. Most people at every blue collar job? Hate all women. Plumbers, electricians, roofers, truck drivers? Obviously hate all women. The women who use that word as an insult? Hate all women.
Got it? Okay. Let’s run with that. Using that body part as an insult is incredibly sexist. Sure, I grew up on a farm and my mom would tell her kids not to be pussies (usually when we were doing some form of awful backbreaking manual labor) but my mom must hate all women. The Word Police have spoken.
On a personal note, I don’t actually ever use that term for the female body part. Culturally, that wasn’t how I was raised, and even conversationally I can’t recall using that definition since probably high school. A cursory search of my thousands of posts, and my use of Pussy is always for spineless weaklings. Sadly, spineless weaklings takes up too many characters on Twitter.
But this word is now banned as offensive, but why this sainted body part only?
Scalzi kicked this whole thing off and said I was an Asshole. Like Pussy, Asshole has a few common, vulgar uses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asshole It can describe the anus, or it can be used to describe somebody who is crude, unpleasant, or detestable. I’m certain Scalzi and his tribe find me to be all of those things, and I’m not the one trying to enforce rigid group think, so I’m cool with it.
But wait, wouldn’t it be hypocritical to say that Pussy means all females are soft, yet Asshole doesn’t say all human beings who have anuses are unpleasant? Oh, but Pussy is a sainted word, because it represents the female sex organ… But hang on… this same crowd is always harping on ending default sexuality, and lots of people engage in anal sex. Since I was repeatedly admonished that using the word Pussy as an insult promoted Rape Culture, once you include America’s prison population in the stats, anal rape is possibly more common that vaginal rape. As Mary told me, as a self-defense instructor I should know the stats, so by that standard, Asshole could be a trigger word for lots of people.
So we should definitely ban the word asshole too.
But wait… Hines has repeatedly called me a Dick. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_(slang) This is another common term with dual meaning, where it could represent a penis, or it could represent someone who is rude, abrasive, or inconsiderate. Once again, since I am often abrasive, the word fits and I’m not the self-appointed guardian of English, so whatever, I’m cool.
Yet if calling someone a Pussy is an insult to all women, by the same exact token, isn’t calling somebody a Dick an insult to all men? Now a few people brought this up on Twitter yesterday and they were quickly dismissed, because Pussy indicates soft but Dick indicates hard (well, duh). But if the prerequisite for banning a word is somebody finding it offensive or hurtful, and somebody finds Dick to be a trigger word, we should ban Dick too. After all, dicks hurt people.
I posted the speech from Team America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32iCWzpDpKs (best social commentary movie ever) but Scalzi didn’t like that, because implying authors are pro-rape and maligning their fans without evidence is SERIOUS BUSINESS.
Any body part that has more than one meaning could be offensive to somebody. Calling somebody a boob is insensitive to women. Talking about having balls to indicate courage? Offensive to those without testicles. The phrase nut up could be replaced with cowboy up, only cowboys were insensitive to Native Americans and PETA doesn’t like how they were mean to cows, so cowboy may possibly be offensive. Pecker-head? Holy shit.
The Guardian’s Village Idiot, Damien Walter showed up, demanding to know how many “bitches” I’d “bitch slapped” today. Of course, that is Damien’s idea of being clever, because obviously if Pussy is an indicator of misogyny, then obviously calling somebody a bitch is the same… Except Damien is like the definition of a whiny little bitch, and not that I want to pigeonhole him in his bold-queer-future-non-binary-gender world, I’m pretty sure he’s a dude.
In America, Bitch is even more common than Pussy, and is used for both sexes, because we’re all about equality. I wouldn’t presume to tell Damien when to bollocks the bloody crumpets, or whatever the hell it is the British do.
Then I had about a bunch of FEMALE readers show up, call Damien a bitch and Scalzi a pussy. If only Scalzi could mansplain to these poor women how they’re actually misogynists they’d get their poor befuddled girl brains in order.
We don’t have to limit it to just body parts though. Any word that could cause offense or be insensitive should go. True story, I had somebody complain once that they were so afraid of spiders that seeing the word Spider in print hurt them. Now, Word Cop Scalzi would immediately dismiss banning Spider as absurd, and it is, but why? It causes suffering in this person. How come one person’s outrage is more valuable than another person’s outrage?
Hell, if taking offense is the primary component of determining which words are good and which words are bad, I’d think that authors would be against the concept on principle. After all, you’ve got outraged types who want to ban books with naughty words, or sex, or violence, or too much religion, or not enough religion, or something. There’s always somebody offended by words. Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile.
They’d have to weigh each offense carefully to see what is goodthink and what is badthink. That’s why I prefer being morally consistent and thinking all offenses which demand others conform to an arbitrary standard are equally bullshit, and I’m defiant like that. I know that our language is filled with colorful comparisons and odd definitions, which is what makes it awesome. But let’s be honest, the SJWs don’t actually weigh anything. If somebody they don’t like says anything that can possibly be construed as bad they pile on, and when somebody on their side literally rapes children their next blog post is about how women shouldn’t have guns.
Here is the final comment from Jim Hine’s blog post before he locked it. I copied it because I think Andrew makes a very powerful point.
JUN 18, 2014 @ 17:20:14
I’m a survivor.
I’m trying to think of a way to say this that isn’t going to either sound like I’m an MRA or that I’m trying to invalidate the good work you do with other survivors. But I really think the way this issue has become political and how I see you contributing to that is really… uh… not okay.
I think you’re probably a good dude. I can’t imagine you not being a good dude given the amount of work you do with survivors and the depressing toll I know that work takes. BUT (I know you were probably sensing a but, and I’m sorry to have to do this in a thread where you’re already taking a pummeling) I’m going to step on your toes a bit here.
I’m doing it because I think you’ll listen and because it needs to be said.
Okay, here goes:
Why are you focusing on Larry Correia?
I just don’t get this.
Why are you responding to a piece by a guy who thinks rape is wrong and just disagrees with you on the exact nature of the problem and the solution? I’m not saying those aren’t large gaps. I’m not saying I don’t think he’s wrong about rape culture. I’m not saying I don’t think he’s wrong about education (another survivor I know actually works in those groups with those people and says its effective and I trust him, although to be honest even giving offenders that much help makes my stomach turn).
But why is Larry Correia a target?
I don’t agree with a lot of what Larry has to say, but I’ll be honest and say I still like him. He reminds me of a couple of uncles I have and some friends I used to argue with at a couple construction jobs I had. He’s really loud and says some shit I don’t agree with but you also see him actually trying to help other writers and doing stuff for charity all the time.
So, I get that you guys have serious disagreements. I get that he’s called you names. You feel attacked and that makes sense that you’d want to focus on him.
BUT (and this is what’s bugging the shit out of me): The community just found out that Marion Zimmer Bradley was a child rapist. As in, she raped children. She put her hands on kids. I’ve just found out that the community knew she was a procurer and turned a blind eye to child-rape for decades on top of all of that. And no one talks about it.
No one in the community who usually talks about this stuff is talking about this.
I was five when I was victimized. That story hit me right in the guts. I figured I’d see everyone talking about it, trying to do some agony origami and figure out what to say about it that might bring some kind of useful awareness to the community. The silence has been deafening.
I get that Larry is loud and he says things that people don’t like. But maybe fandom needs a voice like that? Before you disagree, Larry’s website is the only place I’ve heard anything even WHISPERED about Samuel R. Delany. I can’t quite seem to figure out why that is.
Samuel R. Delany was just honored at the Nebulas and quoted in NK Jemisin’s speech (I agree with a lot of what she has to say, but I just don’t get how this isn’t at least being pointed out) and Samuel R. Delany outright without any kind of doubt or apology speaks up for NAMBLA.
NAMBLA is a group that advocates grown men raping young boys.
That’s so fucked up I don’t even have words for it.
Look at his Wikipedia page. If you can stand to do it, go to NAMBLA’s website. They quote him right goddamn there.
I’m not going to say that being a male survivor is harder than being a female survivor. But I will say that when you’re a male survivor not nearly many people are willing to talk about it. Giving a pass to a guy who supports NAMBLA is not okay. It’s not okay. Focusing on Larry Correia when that shit is not being talked about is not okay.
It is not okay.
I’m hoping you didn’t know. I’m hoping NK Jemisin and K Tempest Bradford and Mary Robinette Kowal don’t know. I saw everyone tweeting happily when he won his award. Because if you guys all know and aren’t saying anything about it and maybe even turning a blind eye because it’s really hard…
Well, I’d even kind of get that.
People talk a big game until that stuff is at their doorstep and then it becomes really easy to look away. We’re all human. No one’s invincible or infallible.
This is about the ugliest thing you can look at as a person.
But it’s still not okay.
I know none of you are under any obligation to condemn Samuel R Delany or Marion Zimmber Bradley. But when you’re going to start attacking people and you choose Larry Correia….
I just don’t get this.
EDIT: Mary Robinette Kowal post this to the comments:
Larry, I am sorry for misreading the timeline.
I did acknowledge the possibility that my twitter client had the order flipped to the first of your followers, but realized that you hadn’t seen it nor had anyone else. So I posted a public apology today.
Let me say that again. I read the timeline wrong. I am sorry.
I have been struggling for the past two days trying to figure out how to apologize with sincerity, because I was still angry with you for other things in that thread. I did not want to appear to condone them by offering an apology that was too broad, nor did I want to offer an insincere apology that was too narrow.
I can’t offer a sincere apology for the disgusting and dangerous, because it was a previously held opinion and the entirety of that thread angered me. We have mutual friends and I have tried to refrain from comments for their sake.
But I am sincerely sorry that I chose to say something damaging out loud though. Calling you “disgusting” was deliberately hurtful and unnecessary.
I am sorry for that and for misreading the timeline.