on September 2nd, 2006 at 09:29 pm
autonomy and enough
They get to decide how they want to respond to a given incident directed at them. (And both seem to have.) But I think, as a community, *we* need to say "This type of behavior is beyond the pale and will not be tolerated."
Yes. I think taking up the cudgels in the names of the women involved, demanding apologies to them, takes away their right to exercise whatever requirements for a response they are comfortable with. They've already had their autonomy impinged upon by Ellison; raising an outcry "on their behalf" just does it twice.
To me the modern trend to demand apologies is ludicrous. They're so often supplied as a jerk of the knee, as a formula without meaning, the words babbled at the end of confession. And demanding one from Harlan Ellison, based on his past record, is ridiculous. We saw the quasi-one he gave: to me it's a perfect sample of the contemporary required apology, words without meaning. It doesn't change a thing; it certainly doesn't express regret. And the man is 72 years old by his own admission. He is not going to change.
But the community--ah. There are far more like Ellison, and younger. All those male gamers whose female co-gamers end each game with their characters naked and tied up? The pros and fans whose looks are insulted publicly, whose arguments are rudely dismissed, for no other reason than that they are female? The female panelists who are cut off by their male counterparts, the female pros who are told their work doesn't rate?
Enough. These men need to know our bodies are not props; that our casings do not mean our minds and our work is inferior. If they want respect, they need to give it. We need to stop being good sports when men are oafs.