So there’s plenty more going around the web on the lack of response from Wiscon’s concom, especially after the governing body SF3 has suggested that E Moon’s (link goes to the post that kicked this off) GOH invitation be rescinded. There are others who have spoken far more eloquently than I ever could, those that were deeply involved in the whole thing that have stepped away from being on concomm or the programming comm and have said NO to Wiscon because its failing to meet its own expectations by not rescinding her invitation, and by expecting Muslim attendees to be walking teachers to correct her failure to see them as human beings, and in her own words as good citizens. That’s utter bollocks, and imposing an unfair burden on Muslims that would be attending the Con.
The other issue I’m having is seeing how this is affecting so many people, and how little it seems to matter to those who can make the decision to disinvite her. Is the pain of even one member of the community insufficient to move the concom to a decision? Do they need to see people canceling their memberships, their rooms and more declarations of how done people are with Wiscon to be moved to action? Is it going to come down to money lost versus doing the right thing to get some kind of action to occur?It shouldnt be a matter of just dollar but of sense, and of what the Con supposedly stands for and not forgetting that in the face of controversy.
I’ve only gone to Wiscon once, and I greatly enjoyed it last year. I got to meet many wonderful people who I’ve remained connected to since Wiscon 34. I was afraid to even attend this year post race-fail, and frankly after seeing all of the hemming and hawing on making a decision about Moon’s GOH invitation and the idea that Muslim attendees should be walking teachable moments instead of making Moon see where she screwed up and making her accountable for her words; which are on the internet for the world to see and repeating them is not maligning her, it’s called quoting people I’m angry that I even gave Wiscon this one year of my time, money and experience. I’m disappointed more than angry about all of this.
I hope that Wiscon makes a decision, and soon about rescinding Moon’s GOH status before anyone who cares just gives up and goes away. I know I’m getting to that point and I’ve only gone once but was excited about returning to Madison next May, already booked a room and was planning on how to get there even if I don’t have a job by next spring. But instead I’m going to join the folks sitting, waiting and wondering what is going to finally happen.
Lastly and most definitely not least, I hope that people have not forgotten about Nisi Shawl, the GOH for Wiscon 35. I feel like she has been overshadowed, overrun by the utter fail of Moon’s idiocy and hate speech and forgotten in this. I hope to be there to support and celebrate Nisi as she should be celebrated for all she’s done. It was wonderful meeting her last year and I want to keep her in people’s minds as they make up their mind about attending/not attending/giving up on Wiscon altogether.
In short, I hope there’s some action sooner than later and I can resume plans to attend in good conscience.
2 thoughts on “More on Moonfail… and how Wiscon has disappointed me”
If this was about provocative speech, I’d be inclined to agree. However she spouted a racist, Islamaphobic screed then shut down any and all conversation by deleting comments and freezing the thread.
I can function quite well without supporting a convention that allows a bigot to be held up and honored at the same time calling itself feminist and progressive and working towards a better community.
One of the things I’ve always liked about SF cons is that people who I completely disagreed with (and people whose political views I even found reprehensible) could nevertheless exist in relative harmony. What other kind of community can host an Orson Scott Card (rabid conservative homophobic Mormon, with whom I passionately disagree) and China Mieville (left-wing anarchist)?
F. Scott Fitzgerald is quoted as having said that “Intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” By that notion, the SF community is intelligent in proportion to its tolerance for provocation. Anyplace that could host Heinlein and Delany at a single event is amazing in its tolerance for provocation and diversity.
If we start disinviting people who challenge us and make us uncomfortable (sometimes because they’re just completely wrong!) can we complain when people we agree with who challenge others and make others uncomfortable are disinvited as well?
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