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bear by san

February 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.


Re: Oh, I'm not denying that people who do that kind of thing can't be sweet

I'm just hoping that people who were not involved can back off and let people who were handle it. As I said, I have no idea what happened.

Re: Oh, I'm not denying that people who do that kind of thing can't be sweet

There are some eyewitness reports in the comment threads here and at Patrick's place.

The thing is, all SFF prodom *is* involved. For us, this is about standards of behavior in our community, and whether we're going to permit a male writer who happens to be an honored elder of that community to get away with abusing other members of it--one of whom also happens to be an honored elder.

This has gone on in the past, and been swept under the rug. People will tell you who not to get on an elevator with, but you know what?

I shouldn't have to know that. And the young writers coming up after me are as entitled to a workplace free of sexual harrassment as any working woman or man in the world.

As far as I'm concerned, that's what this is about.

Re: Oh, I'm not denying that people who do that kind of thing can't be sweet

Thank you.

Re: Oh, I'm not denying that people who do that kind of thing can't be sweet

I am not an SF pro. I have no desire to write anything. I don't have enough time in my life, currently, to get involved heavily in fandom. But I read SF/fantasy, I watch some shows, one of the ways I identify myself is as a fan.

So no, I'm not gonna back off.

As part of the larger fandom, I think that this is an important discussion to have, particularly if we can continue focusing less on, "Yeah, Harlan sucks," and continue working on, well, a clear understanding of what we're trying to move towards here. (I should make it clear that while there's been some Ellison bashing, I think most of what's been said has been fairly straightforward and not vicious.)

To answer several earlier questions, I don't want Harlan's head on a platter. If someone I liked had done this (like, I dunno, Bear), I'd be requesting similar kinds of things.

I just want it known that this kind of stuff isn't welcome. And honestly, while Asimov was a nice guy and all, he shouldn't ought to have been doing that either.

Private encounters where people want to be consenting adults, fine. Private encounters where there isn't consent, not so fine. Public enounters where the lines are not clear, not fine.

I also, in a larger sense, want an atmosphere where women are fully welcome. /I/ usually feel fine. Other folks I know don't. I've worked (just by being myself) at making women more part of some aspects of fandom; I'll continue working on that. It's not that I think we're excluded. I just think some attitudes in some parts of fandom need to be worked with.

Re: Oh, I'm not denying that people who do that kind of thing can't be sweet

<== I'm with her. In more ways than one.

SF fan. Therefore, one of the people involved.