writing rengeek magpie mind

December 2014

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writing rengeek magpie mind

Hey, Harlan?

This is so not okay.

***

Comments

No, it really isn't. I keep seeing people saying, variously, either "oh, he's just a jerk, he's always been like that, it's not really surprising in the context of everything else he does" or "HA! He really is a jerk! See, Ellison fans? SEE?"

and for fuck's sake, this is not just another "being a jerk" incident. -- because, I'm a jerk sometimes-- not of Ellisonian proportions, because I'm also shy and retiring -- and I've never grabbed somebody's breast uninvited. It's a whole universe away from mere snottiness, drama-queenage, or provocative whatever. This is disgustingly sexist behavior, and it is not okay to class rank sexism under the jerk umbrella, as if it's something we'd all do if we lacked social graces and let our id take control. Being a rude and abrasive person is one thing, and treating women's bodies like public property is another, and it comes from a different kind of fucked-upness, and one person may do both, but they're still not the same. pnh's bit about the 'meaning of the tit-grab' was so absolutely right. It drives me nuts to see this classed in the same category as other amusing Ellison anecdotes (I admit, I do find a lot of them amusing, or did.) It's not. the same. thing.
so now he has gotten to Jerk Emeritis.. I don't like his writing, and i don't like what he did to science fiction, and i have a feeling i wouldn't like him, if we ever met.. He helped turn a genre for engineers with imaginations into a dopeadelic angst fest...IMHO..

Not to say that SF didn't need a shaking up, not to say that a lot of great stuff didn't come out of the "Dangerous Visions Movement", not to say that he didnt open doors for a lot of Women and other non-standard-isssue-white-male-writers... But a jerk and master of the hollywood cheap shot..


Skroom.
and, while i'm raving, the contrast between Ellison and Arthur C. Clarke, in personality, prophethood, imadination and life style is pretty awsome. at least at my distance..

It's not just the tit-grab. It's also poking Rachel in the stomach uninvited.

When I say "This is so not okay," I mean the pattern of treating women as if their personal space is not sovereign.

Rachel and Connie are both strong women, and more than capable of standing up to Harlan. 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."
Yeah. And I may be alone in this, but I think using this incident to trot out every reason people don't like him, every snide remark he's ever made, is actually a way to belittle the severity of this real, unambiguous offense. I've heard plenty of stories about him before this, everyone has, but it's never added up to anything awful -- people will be furious, and declare him a hateful little man, and then they tell a story that culminates in him saying -- an joke that wasn't funny!! or something equally horrible, and I never really could tell what the big deal was.

Anyway, this is totally different. And I wonder if he was going for something like this, but the thing is, that wasn't okay either, at all.
Yeah. And I may be alone in this, but I think using this incident to trot out every reason people don't like him, every snide remark he's ever made, is actually a way to belittle the severity of this real, unambiguous offense.

I agree absolutely.
Me too, and well said. Exactly.
You know, I'm so terribly torn on that kiss. Even at the moment I saw it, I was stunned that Halle Berry didn't haul off and slap him one, because holy gods did he deserve it. And at the same time, I think that was simply the *greatest* kiss I've ever seen, and I am eternally grateful to Halle Berry for *not* hauling off and slapping him one, even though he roundly deserved it.
But I think, as a community, *we* need to say "This type of behavior is beyond the pale and will not be tolerated."

Absolutely. The comics community is going through the same thing with Taki Soma/Charles Brownstein -- drunken hijinks or harassment? And it that case, it's hard to draw the line, but Charles apologized, at least, and I really doubt Harlan will, judging by his pattern of behavior.

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.

Tamora Pierce

Re: autonomy and enough

If they want respect, they need to give it.

Oh yes. Perfect.

And lovely to meet you, by the way.

Re: autonomy and enough

Lovely to meet you, as well, even if it took something this nasty to bring me out of my sett!

Re: autonomy and enough

Badgers welcome. *g*
Oh, I was agreeing with you. :-P