writing rengeek magpie mind

December 2014

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writing rengeek magpie mind

Hey, Harlan?

This is so not okay.

***

Comments

I believe there's a general consensus that Harlan is a swine. Deliberately so. I've never met the man and can't speak from experience.

I believe that a number of other famous writers in our field can be classified as swine, based on reports of similar behaviour at past Cons.

If incidents occurred as described, I'd like to see criminal charges.
I think it's up to the women assaulted (and you're right; it is assault) to decide if they want to press charges.

I think it's up to us as a community to say "This pattern of behavior is not amusing, and will not result in praise but rather censure."
Okay, operating totally on hearsay -- never been to a Con in my life. But according to reports by people I respect, the F/SF community seems to have tolerated a _lot_ of outright illegal behavior at Cons through the years, including furnishing alcohol to minors for the purposes of immoral acts, known sexual predators in the ranks, etc.

Yes, the women involved should decide whether legal action is worth their trouble.
the F/SF community seems to have tolerated a _lot_ of outright illegal behavior at Cons through the years

Indeed we have.

And I think it's bloody well time we stopped.
Seconded.
>And I think it's bloody well time we stopped.

Well past time. Me, in a similar situation (unlikely, due to stereotyped sex roles), I'd have broken a bone or two or at least had somebody facedown on the floor in a chi na lock. But that's the Kempo dojo speaking.
I also study martial arts. What he did to me was rude, piggish, and totally inappropriate, but did not merit the type of response you mention-- especially since he's an old man, which does not excuse his behavior but would give me pause before doing anything to him that might break his possibly fragile bones. I suspect he trades on people's reluctance to strike an elderly person, which is obnoxious of him, but I would still feel that reluctance.

If he'd grabbed my breast, that would have been a more serious assault, and I would see a takedown or a knee to the groin as an appropriate response, no matter how old he is.

That being said, the burden should not be on women to have to defend themselves after they've already been groped. If Harlan Ellison cannot control himself, he should not be invited to conventions.

Amen. And you are absolutely correct.
I believe there's a general consensus that Harlan is a swine.

Oh, completely. He's brilliant but nasty, and -- most damning -- enjoys being nasty. I was subjected to him at one work gathering, and have refused to willingly be in his vicinity since then. I didn't find him amusing or entertaining or anything other than mean.


However, I also know people who have benefitted from his kind and generous side. It's a pity he doesn't let that out to play more often.