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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

noted without comment

Harlan Ellison issues a public apology.

Would you believe that, having left the Hugo ceremonies immediately after my part in it, while it was still in progress ... and having left the hall entirely ... yet having been around later that night for Kieth Kato's traditional chili party ... and having taken off next morning for return home ... and not having the internet facility to open "journalfen" (or whatever it is), I was unaware of any problem proceeding from my intendedly-childlike grabbing of Connie Willis's left breast, as she was exhorting me to behave.

Nonetheless, despite my only becoming aware of this brouhaha right this moment (12 noon LA time, Tuesday the 29th), three days after the digital spasm that seems to be in uproar ...YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

IT IS UNCONSCIONABLE FOR A MAN TO GRAB A WOMAN'S BREAST WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION. To do otherwise is to go 'way over the line in terms of invasion of someone's personal space. It is crude behavior at best, and actionable behavior at worst. When George W. Bush massaged the back of the neck of that female foreign dignitary, we were all justly appalled. For me to grab Connie's breast is in excusable, indefensible, gauche, and properly offensive to any observers or those who heard of it later.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I've called Connie. Haven't heard back from her yet. Maybe I never will.

So. What now, folks? It's not as if I haven't been a politically incorrect creature in the past. But apparently, Lynne, my 72 years of indefensible, gauche (yet for the most part classy), horrifying, jaw-dropping, sophomoric, sometimes imbecile behavior hasn't--till now--reached your level of outrage.

I'm glad, at last, to have transcended your expectations. I stand naked and defenseless before your absolutely correct chiding.

With genuine thanks for the post, and celestial affection, I remain, puckishly,

Yr. pal, Harlan

P.S. You have my permission to repost this reply anywhere you choose, on journalfen, at SFWA, on every blog in the universe, and even as graffiti on the Great Wall of China.


I am totally not down with this as an opportunity to tell "Harlan is an asswipe" stories. That's character assassination, and it's not helpful.

I suspect that some of the more vehement reactions are coming from women because we are fed the fuck up with men in positions of power getting away with treating our bodies as their property. Call it a personal investment.

(Apology accepted)
(Much thanks)

And acknowledged. Thanks for clarifying on the reactions, BTW---I think at times I have a tendency to be unknowingly or accidentally sexist (or come off that way, as above, if I did) on account of I think I have far less cross-gender-divide empathy than I make myself to have (not that I'm incapable of it, just that I by virtue of lack of experience with such matters have an innate tendency to miss the proverbial point when it comes to matters that would likely have a different impact on different people depending on their gender. Or something like that.)

*lets the parentheses breathe now*
*g* I keep writing books that put men in traditionally feminine roles...

...and boy do they make some men uncomfortable.

So, yeah. It's a hard thing to empathize with. Just as it's hard for somebody who has never been discriminated against because of skin color or social class to understand how it works.

This is why we talk about "unexamined white male privilege." Because a lot of white men don't understand that they have an advantage just by virtue of who they are, and that it *is* harder for everybody else.

(Which is not to say that women and minorities do not have advantages as well. But they're not the overwhelming social advantages that white men have.)
I keep writing books that put men in traditionally feminine roles...


Okay, so I know what I would view as that, but I don't suppose you'd elaborate on which characters you are referring to in particular?

And in relation to that (in my mind at least), what significance is there to the queen of the faerie in Celtic folklore *always* being female? At least to the best of my knowledge, which I suspect is rather superficial. Before I go ahead and draw deep-sounding conclusions about the ancient celts and their views on women and sex and all things related, I'd like to at least get my facts straigh(er) :)
*sprinkles some t's over the last sentence*
Oh, no, there are Faerie Kings, too.
*waves bye bye to the nice li'l theory*

Oh well.

I figured Matthew, and I'm drawing a blank on the other two because I haven't read them yet :)
Also, Gabe in the Jenny Casey trilogy, no?
Indeed. Although he's not gotten the vituperation poor Matthew has.
Specifically, Matthew, Kit, and Isolfr, off the top of my head. Matthew's the only one who's gotten wide release yet, but I've got extensive enough first-reader commentary on the other two to suspect how it's going to go down.
That's a very diffucult thing to own up to, actually.

I have a similar tendency to be unknowingly and accidentally racist (I'm white). I don't do it deliberately (and in fact make but I do have a lot of ingrained reactions that I have to keep realizing I'm having.

So thank you for saying that so straightforwardly.
(Most welcome. I can live without my pride, legs, one of my arms, probably one eye, my nose, the ability to speak independently of one of those talkybox things Stephen Hawking uses, and my Game Boy, but I could never bring myself to forfeit my decency. =^P)

More seriously, though, oi. I live in a town with a VERY large black population, and one that tends to live in separate chunks of the city from everyone else, at that. I have nothing against any of these people, but I find the gangsta subculture grating and obnoxious as Hell, and I go to a college, where that sorta thing is popular amongst a good number of the black population there. I think this fact ends up tainting my view of the rest of the people---some days I'll get paranoid of random bystanders if they show some 'gangsta' habits (habits as opposed to a full-blown lifestyle), and sometimes it starts applying on larger levels, though rarely.

I just don't 'get' the gangsta subculture, even though me and many of my sharper associates have developed plenty of logical and highly plausible theories as to why so many choose the lifestyle.

Do you have things you just don't 'get'?
I feel *exactly* the same way about children, college football fans, and people who drive minivans.

I have to keep reminding myself that they are human, and the fact that they piss me off doesn't mean they don't deserve their share of the sidewalk. :-P
I feel the same way about Yankees.

*quirks eyebrow*
Fine. You can't have any of my apple pie for breakfast.
With me, it is...:

A) Gangstas (already mentioned).
B) Furries (sometimes I wonder if they 'get' themselves).
C) Religious fundies.
D) Severe/diehard anime fans (I nearly have a Vietnam-vet-style PTSD-esque reaction every time I hear the word 'kawaii'). I love anime, too, but I am bloody fed up to Valhalla with the subculture it has over here.
E) People who are crack-addicted to World of Warcraft, or prettymuch any computer game. I would say more except there's too many subtypes under this category to cover. Suffice it to say I'm tired of gamer subculture and nearly tired of games due to this (though being increasingly picky I'm also partially tired of it because some people I knew who fit the bill ended up treating me like shit and also 'cause many of the products are just plain kinda crappy, even the better-made ones. That's why I'm reading more books and watching more movies these days.)
F) People who say "DOWN WITH THE CORPORATION" or the like. While I'm all for dealing with injustice, generalizations of who is antagonizing oneself confuse me. Specify target plz.
G) People who drive Humvees. The only way you will ever get me to like these things if it's one of the military models with the snorkel-exhaust pipe and the attached grenade launcher.
Furries... Severe/diehard anime fans ... (video) gamer subculture...

Are you familiar with the geek hierarchy?
Yes. Yes I am.

Part of me is eternally dead inside knowing that somewhere, in the darkest recesses of the electron void, the bottom-most item ACTUALLY EXISTS.