aberwyn: (justice)
Because, slowly but surely, we're winning. By 'we' I mean women, minorities, and common sense.

The current flap, started by a petition about the new editorial policies at the BULLETIN, is actually an old flap resurgent in a new form. Some months ago the SFWA BULLETIN, a periodical that not a lot of people read, had a ghastly sexist cover and some old-style male chauvinist columns. Women protested. The columnists became irrational. The real issue was 'male privilege,' specifically, the right of males to say demeaning things and make demeaning images of females whenever they felt like it (insert stamp and pout here).

The protests actually did some good, in that the SFWA officers took a long look at the amateurish rag that's supposed to represent our professional organization and decided it needed to change. No more titty pix on the cover, respect for all members inside -- this would seem to be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, we have members who could be described with that very term.

So there was a Petition, claiming that the president intended to "censor" the BULLETIN because he wanted to institute the same peer review of articles that other professional journals have. Writers of said Petition do not understand the First Amendment right of free speech very well, so they dragged that in, too. What has resulted is an outpouring of hatred and contempt for all things female, including some truly upsetting remarks by male members about various female members, one of whom at least has done a lot for this organization. The outpouring has, in my opinion, nothing to do with the First Amendment and everything to do with insecure men who see women as threats and, worse than threats, competition.

We need to remember that this pot wouldn't be boiling over if the heat hadn't been applied. The heat is a victory, even though there's been backlash.

If good people refuse to join an organization, then the bad people get to keep control. So I'm staying. Others' milage may vary.

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Katharine B Kerr

April 2017

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