Elizabeth Moon

SF3 has withdrawn the invitation to Elizabeth Moon to attend WisCon 35 as guest of honor.

Comments concerning this statement can be left below or sent to info@sf3.org.

Comments are also being collected at WisCon’s Momentary Taste of WisCon blog, at http://wisconnews.blogspot.com/2010/10/elizabeth-moon.html

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188 Responses to Elizabeth Moon

  1. Gloria Stein says:

    Moon should still attend.

    I hope she does.

    She can be there as Guest of SHAME!

  2. Susan Shwartz says:

    I think you’ve created the wrong sort of “teachable moment.” You could have created such a dialogue with this situation, same as we do every day (I used to work two blocks from where the new community center is going to be built). That is the real FAIL, and I think it’s your loss.

    I think you’ve made a mistake.

  3. Timwi says:

    Ms.Hurley- Could you email links to me of all of the Jewish little girls being raped and married off to old, disgusting men, and the pictures of the Christian girls having their vagina’s cut out, and Buddhists hanging gays- oh- sorry- that only occurs in the Muslim religion. Your ignorance is astounding if you don’t see that Muslim women, who live in traditional societies, are under the dominion of the men and that they are horribly abused. Women like you are in some ways responsible. That you refuse to speak up for them is reprehensible and speaks much for your morals and values.

  4. Mo says:

    What was racist about what she said? First, she wasn’t talking about race, she was talking about a religion. Moslems can be of any race.

    Secondly, what exactly did she say that was wrong? Where was a single fact wrong? What was so horrible about her opinions?

    It is a fact that thousands of Moslems literally danced when they saw the towers go down. Thousands dead, and initially, NO one knew just how many; the estimates went into the tens of thousands. But Muslims danced. Cheered. Not all Moslems. But thousands.

    It is a fact that almost all terrorist actions across the world have been perpetrated by Moslems. We can be politically correct and say, appropriately, most Moslems are not violent, but it’s asinine to ignore the identity of terrorists, including those of 9/11.

    What heinous crime did Ms. Moon commit? Did she call for mass expulsion of Moslems from the United States? Did she call for a ban on Moslem immigration here? Did she ask us to hurt, boycott, discriminate against or do any harm to Moslems?

    All she did was make an observation, give her opinion that there is a problem with some Moslems here, as well as those non-Moslems who would bend over backwards, to the point of insanity, to protect Moslem “rights” and advance Islam here. This is a completely legitimate idea, and any SANE group that believes in freedom would give her a platform to speak, rather than ban her from speaking (and folks, come on, saying she has the freedom to show up even if she’s been dis-invited from speaking, as an attendee, is really stupid).

    You might not like her message, you might not agree with it, but it’s a horrible intolerance to ban her because she doesn’t toe the politically “correct” liberal line of the day.

    By the way, if you think she is wrong, take a gander at Ahmadinejad’s wife, in her eyes-only-showing burka, with her 1940’s style glasses and no make-up on…I know, I know, it’s just Islam and they can do what they want. Go to Iran and be a feminist. Or a practicing Christian.

    How many churches or synagogues are there in Saudi Arabia? Zero and none. Yes, the Moslems here are more tolerant…some…but 4 Christians were arrested in Dearborn for peacably handling out religious literature near a Moslem festival. Very tolerant.

    All Moon seemed to be saying was…return the tolerance and adopt the underlying creed of America, which is NOT compatible with Sharia, which advocates ignoring or taking over secular law. It is freedom AND responsibility. Moslems showed no brains and no responsibility in their desire to build the Grand Mosque, and very little after 9/11. For this sin, that Moon points out FACTS, for this you will be ban her from speaking?

    Disgusting.

  5. Kelly says:

    I am sure that this was a very difficult and long-considered decision. I’m also willing to take it on faith that SF3 made the decision after private discussions with Ms. Moon. We may never get the whole story about why they made the decision, but I’m sure they didn’t make it lightly.

    I think they did the right thing.

  6. QM says:

    “but I think one of the big problems was that when she shut down and deleted comments from her post, she was proving that she isn’t interested in a debate. ”

    I think this was the big problem that led to her being excommunicated from the Real Women Sisterhood. Ya’ll couldn’t scream at her anymore.

    The LOL part of this is how often conservative SF fans have complained about what she has said on panels. But…I don’t recall any of them trying to dis-invite her from anything.

    And Karen, if the day ever comes when the _extreme_ portion of Islam (which Ms. Moon was speaking of) ever decides to trot you off to a soccer field because of your beliefs (which I’m sure they would object to, as well as mine) I hope you have the courage of your convictions that you speak of here.

    Nisi Shawl is a very good writer, I disagree with her, but she’s good nonetheless. And that’s how _I_ judge a writer. I guess ya’lls whole thing isn’t really about writing though, is it?

  7. Yama says:

    @Mo

    Palestinians dancing in the street is a load of fox excrement.

    And why bring up Saudi Arabia, a country that only exists because the west is propping them up? Syria and Iran, you know, that whole axis of evil thing, are much more tolerant.

  8. Yama says:

    @Timwi

    One of the worst places in the world to live is Buddhist.

  9. erriel says:

    Jacob, are you a lawyer? That’s really brilliant. I didn’t think of it that way. Maybe because no one else is saying someone is not free to do what they did. They are saying it is wrong, not illegal or against someone’s rights. Since rights are just Western poppycock based on illegitimate laws of men, though, your effort is incomplete. I’ve tried to elaborate your points so they might be more pertinent to the actual discussion and bring them in line with true theology so you won’t offend anyone too.
    And don’t whine that I am taking your eloquent words. All word is Allah’s and yours needed editing for his glory!
    So, as you say,
    Elizabeth Moon is free to have her opinions, for Allah has granted all humans, even women, free will. She is free to write them down, speak them aloud and disseminate them as she wishes. There is no fee to enter hell. Anybody can agree with her, or everybody can, or perhaps nobody at all, if they are allowed to hear her. Luckily, the holy women of WisCon have taken a step to remove this snare and temptation that might lead some to think badly of God or His Law.

    WisCon is also free to have opinions and to change their minds when they are afraid of holy vengeance. This is not only sensible but the first step to wisdom. They are free to invite anybody they want and disinvite anybody they want, for any reason they so choose or for no reason whatsoever. Just as we are free to get offended and coopt their facile language and claim that the privileged Westerners are oppressing us and voice our outrage on Allah’s behalf when their reasons are not His. Anybody can agree with SF3, or not, and face the consequences for defying the one true way, but woe to them who do not follow this submissive precedent and stand with us against all who write against The Religion of Peace and Unity.

    SF3 found itself in a frightful bind: they had invited Ms. Moon, but her statements made her a lightning rod for criticism and threatened attendance at WisCon. If she had been allowed on stage then other, more banal, repeated opinions of ordinary, conventional SF Americans (like asserting that we are all free to do what we want, even when we are in binds) would get short shrift, and that is not fair to the banal, now is it? Some Holy and Justified people who have devoted years to serious study of God’s very word were going to complain if she was there; some people (who are closed minded absolutists and sinfully think along with Satan that civility and offense – even offending the pious whom God made the proper stewards of all – can be combined) were going to complain if she was disinvited as GoH.
    Other conventions have faced this problem. Guest of Honor means that you want to honor somebody. It would be beyond the pale to honor someone who was so offensive to so many who believe so fervently. Yes, you primarily want to honor them for their work, but you also want people to see just how nifty the guest is. If they were to elevate someone who had spoken ill of serious faith in the one true salvation of mankind, no matter how great a craftsman of worldly goods she is, how could they ever make that up to God? How could honoring someone who feels so free and liberated as to express satanic sentiments and fears be made right before God. Her statements made her, in some eyes, like those that see clearly thanks to God’s perfection, Not Very Nifty. Who are we to question their convictions? White? Westerners? Worshipers at the false gods Tech and Prog? Sure we are free to be so mistaken, but we are also always free to reconcile to God, renounce the wicked and oust them from our midst before it is too late. If no one ever changed their minds, then Allah would never gain followers, for we all start out lost and deceived.

    Ms. Moon can still espouse her views for now, but hopefully will learn that a woman’s loose tongue will lose her any respect or livelihood among men. She can still go to WisCon if she so desires to hear what is still acceptable speech that does not taint men’s honor with injustice. However, from where I am sitting (Mecca-ish) SF3 has shown that they do not consider those statements of hers to be nifty and do not want to appear to support them. Clear as day: there is absolutely no basis to criticize them if they are not breaking any laws. Sure they are cowards and seem not to want to offend believers out of the discomfort of being on the same side issue as those who are threatened and called names, and of course they are free to encourage others to lie to themselves that the empty symbolic gesture of disinviting a speaker has something to do with some fuzzy principle about the speaker not allowing an open forum for kneejerk group-thinkers like them to post whatever they want on her bandwidth in the comments she’ll never read; but, despite their deceitful, incoherent justifications, which they are afraid to actually explain in an open forum, lest they have to use their withered, Western, sin-soaked brains; they are still holier for not tolerating speech that might lead to discussions on topics that are of eternal importance for our souls and limiting it to mundane themes that will not offend anyone who believes in the one true God.
    Allah knows man’s reasons are imperfect, he just demands your submission.

  10. Tom Francis says:

    Even though I don’t care for the fantasy genre much, I just bought every Elizabeth Moon book I could find on Amazon in support. I’ll probably end up giving them away, but I will try and read them before I do.

    Scifi should be about the free exchange of ideas, concepts and above all, the wonder that the universe presents with all the attendant possibilities. To restrict the participation and free speech of one individual is an abomination and WISCON should be ashamed of itself.

    Perhaps a boycott would be in order.

  11. Gustavo says:

    Ah, overreaction under the pressure of a loud but vocal minority. Over the screaming of the few, SF3 has failed to hear the silent voice of the many. Hysteria wins again.

    Not surprising, really.

    BTW, I found most, probably all, of what Moon said in that post objectionable, and some off it off the deep end (I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the Arab world, and some of what she says simply rings untrue). But I can’t condone the lack of courage shown by SF3 in standing up to the people pressuring them. Most of the attendees will be disappointed at the change, and aren’t following “the Moon controversey”. You have allowed the genre’s tempest in a teapot to undermine the real fans, who don’t care about any of this.

  12. Grant says:

    This does appear to be a total all-round fail by both Moon and Wiscon. Right now it does seem like Moon’s failures of controversial opinion and censorship of dissent (in reportedly deleting over 500 comments) were matched by Wiscon’s failure of disclosure (no reason given, no explanation, no justification, no discussion, no defense to be replied to) and Wiscon’s own implied censorship. Yes, Wiscon undid the GoH invitation and did not ban her, so you can claim non-censorship on a technicality, but I believe the objective observer will see that in doing the next best thing, that by telling her she was unwelcome, that you mostly just opted for censorship.

    What an opportunity for discussion you have just lost. You could have hosted the conversation big and bold, whether she agreed to attend or not. You could have used this as an opportunity to tackle this head on, through discussion and counter-argument. This is a woman whose opinions in blogs, articles and books, so strongly aligned with yours until this blog entry that you gave her your highest honor. If you cannot reason/debate with someone with whom you mostly agree, who can you debate with? Instead you took what appears to be the second-most extreme position you could take, second only to banning her from the con.

    Whatever it was, it is hard to see your action as courageous, open or honest. Maybe you had good reasons. Maybe you plan to have these discussions. Who knows. Like Moon you are not engaging in discussion and you are not offering any justification. Either party might remedy some/all of this in the future, but as of now it all seems to be just a total and embarrassing collection of failure from all involved parties.

    Meh!

  13. Wodun says:

    It is interesting that the leftists in the Sci-Fi community are eating their own. It is also interesting that there has been zero comments on Moon’s characterizations of conservatives.

    It is a disturbing trend when comments about one group are considered the height of intellectual progress, superiority, and purity and comments about another group are considered as racist, sub-human, and regressive.

    Had the signers of the Declaration been as wedded to personal liberty as the right wing today, there would have been no successful Revolution. For these men, who pledged their “lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to the cause, did not want total freedom for themselves–they did not demand that others bear the burdens so they could ride in the well-sprung coach.

    It would be helpful for them to show more understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship in a non-Muslim country. (And the same is true for many others, of course. Libertarians, survivalists, Tea-Partyers, fundamentalist Christians, anyone else whose goals benefit only their own group. There’s been a huge decline in the understanding of good citizenship overall.)

    Liberals might agree with what Moon is saying but they also must come to the logical conclusion that they are derogatory and are blanket statements that cover a large group of people.

    And there have been no comments about her claim that white people sending their kids to private or charter schools is because they don’t want their kids to associate with black people.

    Refusal to send children to public schools was once considered a refusal of the duties of citizenship (this changed in the ’60s/’70s, with the white flight from public schools as an attempt was made to create racial balance.)

    I disagree with Moon’s politics but I don’t want her silenced. I also enjoy reading her books. Her thoughts on conservatives and Muslims wont change my opinion of her writing.

  14. Tattersoul says:

    I’ve never been much in favor of boycotts. This isn’t a “first amendment” issue – WisCon is a private entity and can invite (and disinvite) anyone they please. The amusingly horrifying part is that they chose to throw one of their own (oh, I know, she’s not REALLY one of them because she thinks differently) under the bus to appease a misogynistic and homophobic religion – all so they can feel good about themselves being all morally superior. And, from a business standpoint, there’s no doubt they made the right call – it would probably cost them more to keep Moon on the agenda than to dump her – so the moral calculus becomes quite easy when it’s supported by the financial bottom line. The blazing hypocrisy and idiocy of their position from a feminist perspective becomes a lot easier for them to overlook when they make a profit .

    I do, however, believe in supporting artists I like, regardless (because?) of their personal beliefs (unless they insist on foisting those beliefs off on me in their work – but that would probably exclude them from being artists I like). I already own several Moon books. But, like Tom, I see this as an opportunity to improve my collection while supporting an artist that I think has been treated unfairly. I enjoyed her earlier fantasy works, and like her military scifi even better. If you’ve never read her, I would suggest that now is a good time to start.

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  16. Disgusted/American says:

    “but woe to them who do not follow this submissive precedent and stand with us against all who write against The Religion of Peace and Unity.”

    Peace- only when someone bows his head to a religious nutcase. I won’t bother going to a convention of cowards.

  17. Karen Swanberg says:

    “And if that had read “many Christians/southerners/conservatives…..”, I’m equally sure the GoH would not have been rescinded.”

    And now you’ve either completely misunderstood everything we’ve said, and everything Wiscon stands for, or you’ve dropped into troll-dom. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, please re-read the thread.

  18. Rosemary says:

    Thank you SF3 for making the right decision. I fully support this decision and am relieved that it was made. Let’s get ready to honor Nisi Shawl at WisCon 35!

  19. Shira says:

    Thank you for doing the right thing, and for making a stand against racism and bigotry.

  20. Karen Swanberg says:

    Some general comments:

    Many people seem to be taking this action as equivalent to supporting the most horrid atrocities that take place in the name of extreme Islam.
    This is an illogical conclusion, and completely inaccurate.

    I say “we” with respect to Wiscon. I am not a member of the ConCom, just a long-time guest.

    @QM

    “And Karen, if the day ever comes when the _extreme_ portion of Islam (which Ms. Moon was speaking of)…”

    No, she wasn’t. She was saying (among many, many other things) that moderate Muslims should apologize for the extreme Muslims. And be grateful we tolerate them.

    @ Susan Shwartz
    The problem is, the “teachable moment” would be on the backs of the Muslim and other minority attendees. They get enough of that in their daily lives. They are not responsible for educating us.

    @ Mo
    Your point that Islam is not a race is a good one. However, I doubt anyone supporting SF3 believes it is. But if you go back and re-read Moon’s post, you’ll see she takes a swipe at all brown people, as well as a significant proportion of other minorities. In total, she is racist.

    Others have responded to the other inaccuracies of your post, so I will let those stand.

    @ Gustavo
    No one has been silenced. That argument is illogical and irrational.

    @ Grant
    “What an opportunity for discussion you have just lost. You could have hosted the conversation big and bold, …”

    See my response to Susan Shwartz.

    “If you cannot reason/debate with someone with whom you mostly agree, who can you debate with?”

    It is Moon who had declined the debate. She shut down the comment thread on the blog, calling it “slag.” She is still welcome to come to Wiscon and continue the debate. She has NOT been banned from the con.

  21. Opportunity for dialog lost. The appearance of bigotry under the false name of “political correctness” gained. The false appearance of feminism as requiring lockstep agreement gained. True feminism which says that women are capable of learning and forming their own opinions based on their own observation lost. Incredibly bad manners gained. An insult to the convention membership capable of reasoned disagreement gained. An appeasement to a loud minority gained. The reputation of science fiction and fantasy as the literature of ideas lost, or at least demeaned.

    Nothing good has come of this.

  22. Helen Girllover says:

    The only REAL question here…

    Why is Ms, Moon scared to sit next to Juan Williams on an airplane?

  23. Fred Davis says:

    if the day ever comes when the _extreme_ portion of Islam ever decides to trot you off to a soccer field I hope you have the courage of your convictions that you speak of here.

    The primary association I have between muslims and football pitches is the movie Bend It Like Beckham, So I would like to second the suggestion that should extremist muslims ever trot you off to a football pitch Karen I hope, as QM does, that you keep your strength of convictions and show those boys who think that you shouldn’t play football because you’re a girl that they are very very wrong.

    I fail to grasp how what QM is talking about is necessarily relevant to anything, but it’s a nice enough sentiment anyway that it deserves to be seconded just because.

    Scifi should be about the free exchange of ideas

    Even the ones that are explicitly about how certain ideas need to be heavily restricted and suppressed before they DOOM us all? (or should sf stories about the need to suppress free speech for the common good be suppressed for the common good? The Gor novels aren’t SF are they?)

    *le sigh* it probably does bear pointing out (again) that, despite the misconception of many of the commenters here, one of the key differences between Elizabeth Moon and a Samurai is that being dis-honoured (for want of a better word) does not require her to commit ritual suicide – she has not had her speech caged by this action, her ability to express herself is not in anyway limited by this action, she has not had things she wants to say censored by this action, she has merely not been give a special seat of honour at a convention that does not want to make their convention actively hostile to everyone else who isn’t Elizabeth Moon that attends it – This seem to be, in no possible sense of the word, anything that could be described as “censorship” or “fascist”, unless Hitler killed a lot of people through the systematic inviting of people to cons as GOH followed by the systematic revoking of said status just because he didn’t like them.

  24. Jackie M. says:

    “Ms.Hurley- Could you email links to me of all of the Jewish little girls being raped and married off to old, disgusting men, and the pictures of the Christian girls having their vagina’s cut out, and Buddhists hanging gays- oh- sorry- that only occurs in the Muslim religion. Your ignorance is astounding if you don’t see that Muslim women, who live in traditional societies, are under the dominion of the men and that they are horribly abused.”

    Timwi, your ability to generalize a number cultural practices, some of which aren’t even actually specific to Islam, to a population of 1 billion very diverse people is what I find actually astounding.

  25. Just Clampit says:

    Stop arguing with the wind Karen. Even it and your imaginary strawmen don’t believe you. No, no one is equating sf3’s cowardice to radical muslims – you are much much worse. Cowards don’t kill or stand for anything. They cave when the right groups put the right pressure on in the right way. That’s all. Why can’t they own it?

    Why are they even afraid of the truth that they are cowards? Why try to resort to principled stands or grasp at consistency where there is none.

    Are you really saying that SF# stands against any and all statements that might offend? Must be a boring conference. What sf writer is there that abides by wiscon’s unwritten, unspoken code of decency? Certainly none of the good ones. If WisCon’s standard is that no one ought to think someone owes something that they do not agree with, they deserve dishonor (you know, yanking someone’s honor away to shame and disgrace them).
    You really think comment threads are sacred, huh? That is weird. Maybe she took down her comment thread so that the indecent trolls (your name for others) would not offend the one true religion, believing she was just thinking out loud and exploring her sincere feelings in public, in an open-minded country (what a fool, right?). Would that make it alright? Doesn’t that vindicate her – she just wanted to respect others’ sensibilities. No. She doesn’t realize that “Congress shall make no laws” pertains to her site and not to the hyper-sensitive cowards at WisCon.
    Tit for tat, I guess. I better turn my answering machine back on lest I violate the holy spirit of open-ended debate and am rightfully condemned and shunned by my colleagues and “peers” in a grand symbolic show of acceptance of others (oh I hope they notice how righteous and obsessed with race and identity we white girls can be) by turning on one of their own for trying to say that any other culture but ours is fundamentally different or flawed in some way – that would violate the hegemony of blind equality that pretends all those inferior writers as legitimate as Ms. Moon. If anyone questions this core of the American dogma, be you Rushdie or van Gogh, we will shake our heads and make our official disapproval well known.
    I’m glad you’re okay with this policy of non-offense and soft enforcement of women’s mental allegiance to the myth of sameness, as long as no rights have been violated and no one has been silenced. But how do you know when someone has not been silenced if you don’t hear or listen to them anymore? Dwell on that brain teaser instead of preaching submission as tolerance and cowardice as heroic. Everyone is tired of hearing the ignorant try to teach us what we learned in 2nd grade.
    No one cares about your perverse sense of justice, sanctity, and free speech (or the nonsense of cursed but useful women) – certainly not the God she offended, and he can defend himself if he so chooses.

  26. Just Clampit says:

    please, moon is no samurai. SF is not fascist, but simply trying to maintain some uniformity of personal opinions and feelings among its members. I mean, come on, Moon has no honor to take away, because she is an American like us and so has no dignity or reason for strong opinions, and so should respect the sensibilities of all those who do have strong opinions about things that seem foreign and strange to us.
    We should stop using such charged words. SF3 was just scared and acted accordingly, like little girls and didn’t want the other girls to associate them with the misunderstood comments of their best member (cuz, you know, girls are kind of dense and easily misconstrue and take things too far if something sounds “mean” or “impolite” or “offensive” to those we think can’t handle criticism or thinking or nastiness without screaming and threatening, rarely understand the truth of things and end up causing violence cuz they speak out of turn without understanding, cuz they were not made in God’s image) and risk not being liked by the other girls – so they changed their minds and rescinded the public honor they had lined up for her.
    It’s called rational priorities of a calculating coward. That’s all.

  27. Karen Swanberg says:

    “No, no one is equating sf3’s cowardice to radical muslims.”
    They’re saying that Wiscon’s actions support the actions of radical Muslims. That’s what I’m disagreeing with.

    “But how do you know when someone has not been silenced if you don’t hear or listen to them anymore?”

    I’m listening to you. I’m listening to Ms. Moon. She has responded to Wiscon’s actions: http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/350314.html

  28. Karen Swanberg says:

    “You really think comment threads are sacred, huh?”

    Most of the thread has been reconstructed via screencaps. Please go read them yourself. They were as a rule very respectful.

    You are simply showing your unfamiliarity with this event.

  29. minz says:

    First and foremost, this has absolutely nothing to do with my place of employment; in fact, I’m virtually certain my boss would tell me to keep this to myself. But as a longtime supporter of both Wiscon and the Tiptree Awards, someone who was attending Wiscon when it meant braving cold Wisconsin winters among the wilds of the Beltline rather than the current posh digs, who baked for Tiptree Bake Sales and both donated and spent a fair amount of money (at least by my budget at the time) at early Tiptree Auctions, I cannot remain silent, and I refuse to be anonymous.

    I have not been able to attend Wiscon in the past few years due to other travel commitments, but I always assumed I’d get back to having another good 13 or 14 year run of attending Wiscon every year. So I cannot begin to express the utter depths of my sadness to know that I will never attend another Wiscon. Ever.

    http://wiscon.info/downloads/W35eCube3.html

    What’s changed? If it’s a question of not wanting to “Honor” Moon for her offensive statements, then call her a “Special Guest.” But this is a discussion worth having, and it’s just the kind of thing I loved about Wiscon: “discussion, debate and extrapolation of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class.”

    Apparently this is no longer true.

    And I weep…

  30. Bruce Lewis says:

    So much for that “diversity” shit, eh, girls?

  31. Steven Schwartz says:

    like little girls and didn’t want the other girls to associate them with the misunderstood comments of their best member


    At the risk of offering beef stroganoff to the under-bridge-dweller, I’ll say this — your choice of epithets and examples is rather telling in a comment thread about WisCon. If you were aiming for subtle critique, you’re about 180 degrees off.

    Aside from that, I shall simply say, in agreement with Karen and others, that I think the ConCom made the right decision.

    I’ll also add:
    They cave when the right groups put the right pressure on in the right way.
    Ah, overreaction under the pressure of a loud but vocal minority. Over the screaming of the few, SF3 has failed to hear the silent voice of the many.
    An appeasement to a loud minority gained.

    I find it intriguing, and sad, that every one of the above comments presumes that it was a minority of people who “imposed” this, or demanded it.

    I haven’t polled all of the (at least 1,500 people) who make up the core WisCon community — recent members, long-term members, etc. But I have seen reactions and polls of subsets — and if this is a “loud minority” it’s because it’s also much closer to a majority than people think.

  32. Steven Schwartz says:

    Argh. Italics-close fail; my apologies, all. (no preview button)

    It should read:

    like little girls and didn’t want the other girls to associate them with the misunderstood comments of their best member

    At the risk of offering beef stroganoff to the under-bridge-dweller, I’ll say this — your choice of epithets and examples is rather telling in a comment thread about WisCon. If you were aiming for subtle critique, you’re about 180 degrees off.

    Aside from that, I shall simply say, in agreement with Karen and others, that I think the ConCom made the right decision.

    I’ll also add:
    They cave when the right groups put the right pressure on in the right way.
    Ah, overreaction under the pressure of a loud but vocal minority. Over the screaming of the few, SF3 has failed to hear the silent voice of the many.
    An appeasement to a loud minority gained.

    I find it intriguing, and sad, that every one of the above comments presumes that it was a minority of people who “imposed” this, or demanded it.

    I haven’t polled all of the (at least 1,500 people) who make up the core WisCon community — recent members, long-term members, etc. But I have seen reactions and polls of subsets — and if this is a “loud minority” it’s because it’s also much closer to a majority than people think.

  33. Fred Davis says:

    It’s called rational priorities of a calculating coward. That’s all.

    I am not a member of the insular USian far-right subculture you hang around in, and thus I do not know the texts that have provided the very carefully positioned semiotics that render whatever the hell you just said at all comprehensible to speakers of the english language, let alone allow me to grasp whatever daft point you are trying and failing to make.

    I am also slightly alarmed that you took a remark declaring Elizabeth Moon to not actually be a samurai as an insult – the romanticised image of samurai is that they were all about blindly following the orders of their lords, and I would hazard a guess that the reason why Elizabeth Moon was given the GoH title in the first place was because her writing gave the impression that she was strictly opposed to blindly following the order of authoritarian figures for its own sake, and her writing reflected that view point.

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  36. TinaB says:

    Um. Who is Nisi Shawl?

  37. Grant says:

    @Karen, thanks for your response and for being a part of a conversation. I can’t say I agree or disagree with you because there’s no formal clarification. For that reason I also didn’t really expect a full answer, so I’ll not raise that. I don’t doubt the decision was a tough one and that none involved is happy. This was always going to be a lose-lose, no matter what. I’m guessing an awful lot of volunteer hours were sucked into this and away from other things, and that there were sleepless nights for some.

    And to be clear, I certainly sympathize with you. You were put in a very difficult position and do not appear to have been given any visible help from your ex-GoH in a situation where you needed help from her.

    Further, on the flip side, you’re being awfully tolerant of a number of blatant trolls right here. I’ll note the contradiction inherent in so may claims of cowardice on Wiscon’s part being made by people posting anonymously. Way to go on having the courage of their convictions! I’d also bet really good money that many saying they’ll never go to Wiscon have no idea what Wiscon is about (or any all-volunteer-run con) and would never have been in attendance anyway. This issue was always going to bring the trolls out.

    I’m also guessing that few/none of the trolls have read your About page ( http://www.wiscon.info/about.php ) and I think some of it bears restating, perhaps for both sides:
    “WisCon encourages discussion, debate and extrapolation of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class. WisCon honors writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes and whose voices have opened new dimensions and territory in these issues.”

    Which ties to my initial comments about shying away from the tough debates and on having common ground. Clearly, Elizabeth did not live up to this in this case, but can you blame us for asking, did you? It’s unfair, I know. We’re not the volunteers. But there’s quite the buzz in fandom on this one, so we pipe up.

    There’s also this bit:
    “And, oh yes, we also like to have fun while we’re at it.”

    Sadly, I suspect there will be a big dent in the fun this year, and what a great pity that is for all involved. I do not envy the position you were put in, or the storm you are dealing with. Best of luck to you.

  38. Karen Swanberg says:

    @TinaB: Google.

    @Grant:
    I can’t tell. Is your post directed entirely to me? I am not on the Wiscon ConCom, nor represent it in any way other than as a long-term member. My unfortunate use of ‘we’ makes that unclear. By ‘we’ I mostly mean the Wiscon community.

  39. Bruce Lewis says:

    Gender is a term of grammar, not biology.

  40. Margaret Middleton says:

    I have no idea who “erriel” is, but I most sincerely hope zir comment was meant sarcastically!

    I’ve tracked-down and read Ms. Moon’s post of 9/11.
    I think she’s got some things wrong and some things right.
    That’s normal for me reading her posts.

    I didn’t happen to read that post immediately after it went up.
    I just wish I could have read some of the responses before they got deleted.

    As someone who isn’t pre-registered to attend WisCon 2011 in any event, I still agree with the posters here who regret the lost dialog opportunity.

  41. Helen Girllover says:

    I’m. Confused.

    Why did NPR fire Liz Moon?

    Why is Juan Williams no longer guest of honor??

    Plz help!

  42. Karen Swanberg says:

    @ Grant
    Rereading, it seems to me you’re discussing ‘teachable moments’ and why de-GoHing Moon misses an opportunity to make this a teachable moment.

    Full disclosure: I’m a middle-aged, middle-class white female, who grew up Christian but is now mostly agnostic. I know very little about the deep tenants of the Muslim faith, although I am reading the Qu’ran at the moment. I am fairly new to the concept of White* Privilege, and apt to make mistakes.

    Making this upcoming Wiscon, with Elizabeth Moon intact as the GoH, a teachable moment makes all sorts of assumptions. Namely, it assumes that someone is going to be the teachers. Who? Me? As much as I can, as a white, middle-class …
    But I do not have the knowledge or the authority to speak for fans who are Muslim, or POC, or any of the other minorities insulted during this whole bruhaha.

    So, not me. The fans of color who attend Wiscon? Should they be the teachers?

    A) They totally already have. Wiscon has an ongoing tradition of discussing these privileges, and many of those discussions spilled over into the blogosphere. Google “racefail,” “mammothfail” and “cultural appropriation.” All of this is happening in a vast, long running context of race/class/religion discussion in the Wiscon and the larger SFF community.

    B) Why is it their responsibility to educate anyone, including me, but especially someone who has insulted them? Why should they pay to travel and attend Wiscon to educate yet another bigot?

    C) A paragraph from MKL’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail keeps coming up in this discussion regarding “King’s thoughts on the uselessness of a certain kind of white liberal, who

    …is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    (I copied the MLK letter section from N. K. Jemisin’s blog, here

    The Wiscon community is a very unique subset of the SFF fandom. There is no doubt in my mind that the upcoming Wiscon will approach these discussions head-on. But we have to respect that most of the educating is being done by people who have done it a hundred times before, and want to come to Wiscon to see their friends, to enjoy themselves in an accepting environment, and who DON’T want to be Othered for the sake of educating Yet Another Bigot. They’re out of spoons.

    * and male, Christian, Hetero and many other privileges.

  43. Rosemary says:

    OMG, there is no lost opportunity for dialog here! If anyone thinks we won’t be spending a LARGE portion of WisCon 35 on these subjects in panels and in the hallways and at the parties and at lunch down a few blocks on State St. and in the airport terminals on the way to and from the con, etc., then they’ve clearly never been to WisCon. We will be dialoguing about all of this. And Elizabeth Moon is certainly welcome to come as a guest and be a part of that dialogue if she so chooses.

    Many of us who wished her GOH-ship would be rescinded are hoping that she does come and she does talk with us about these issues. No one is saying she can’t come to the con. No one is saying she doesn’t have a right to her opinions. No one is saying she can’t speak freely about her opinions on her blog, in her books, at WisCon panels, on the street, at any other public speeches she’s been invited to at places where they’re okay with her publicly expressed opinions.

    It’s merely that, WisCon itself, and it’s parent organization SF3, are NOT okay with her publicly expressed opinions. They are contrary to the values that WisCon holds and therefore they do not wish to publicly honor her anymore. That is their right. They are not calling for her to be punished in any way. They are not saying we shouldn’t read her books or her blog anymore. They are not saying she is evil. They are not saying anything beyond that they simply do not wish to publicly honor her anymore due to opinions she has expressed that are contrary to their stated values.

    There is nothing fascist about deciding not to honor someone whom you deem to be un-honorable for publicly stated and published opinions that go against one’s core values. No one is being censored. No one is being dragged through the streets. No one is being hunted down and killed. Someone was merely dis-invited to sit in a place of honor at a convention. That’s it.

  44. Karen Swanberg says:

    @Margaret Middleton

    Many of the comments to Moon’s “citizenship” post are available as screencaps, here:
    http://maevele.dreamwidth.org/357675.html

  45. Carrie says:

    I’m glad to see this finally happen. I’m sad for the ConCom and the troika that they were put in this very tough position, but happy that a con explicitly devoted to social justice did the right thing and chose not to honor someone who made statements that hurt so many people.

    Also, wow, a lot of people need to look up the word “censorship.” It doesn’t mean freedom from criticism; it means freedom to say what you like without government suppression or interference. Wiscon is not the government, so it cannot commit de jure censorship. It is also not the only place in the world to talk about scifi or fantasy, so it can’t even de facto censor someone. Moon is welcome to say what she thinks about Muslims/immigrants/brown folks anywhere she likes, even at Wiscon, should she choose to attend. The Wiscon ConCom is simply choosing *not to name as GoH* someone who said some really hurtful things, repeatedly refused to respectfully engage with the people she hurt or to learn when called on it, and then literally shut down dialogue entirely by closing comments. So how, exactly, is the ConCom the entity that is responsible for maintaining dialogue here? “Teachable moments” are only useful if the person in need of teaching is still willing to listen and learn. If Moon isn’t listening, despite dozens of people patiently, respectfully, and repeatedly explaining what was hurtful and bigoted about her remarks, then all that can be done is what has been done – acknowledgment on both sides that Wiscon is not the right place for Moon.

  46. Pingback: Not being honoured is not the same thing at Feminist SF – The Blog!

  47. William Dix says:

    I do not support the WISCON convention committee decision to withdraw the invitation. As far as I’m concerned this decision is an appalling example of political correctness carried too far.

    Also as far as I am concerned this is a first amendment issue the only reason for this was the calls from a group of very vocal so called progressives to punish Elizabeth Moon for daring to hold and express views contrary to what they hold acceptable. I may not agree with Elizabeth Moon’s views but I will defend her right to hold them and to express them.

    Also I will be buying her books in the future regardless of the calls to boycott her writing. Finally let me state that it will be a cold day in hell before WISCON or SF3 receive any support from me after their actions in this case.

  48. Joe says:

    Joe and his family has withdrawn their plan to attend WisCon. (Thanks but no Thanks).

  49. Maureen S. O'Brien says:

    Wow, what an amazing moment of sisterhood. Not.

    And then, you say that Elizabeth Moon is still free to come to WISCON, on her own dollar, all the way from Texas or wherever she lives, just to be insulted yet again by your wonderfully hospitable, openminded convention!

    I intend to run right out and buy some more Moon books tomorrow. I’m sure they make lovely gifts. I also intend to keep track of which writers have such lack of sisterhood that they guest for your convention, so that I may be sure never to buy their books, ever. I will buy from my own people, the people who believe in fandom. Now there’s some social justice for you.

  50. shinetheway says:

    Elizabeth Moon expressed some of the most Islamophobic comments I’ve ever read online. She essentially said that the actions of a tiny minority justified treating the entire Islamic world with suspicion, that their religion made them “unfit for citizenship”, although she generously concedes that some Muslims “have all the virtues of civilized persons”. She also called the US a non-Muslim country, apparently forgetting the fact that we are a *secular* country, and her particular brand of Whatever is no more American than any other religion. She complains that “Muslims fail to recognize how much forbearance they’ve had”–in America allowing them to exist without being subjected to harassment, violence, and vandalism, apparently.

    Her blog post saying all this, by the way, is here: http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/335480.html

    I’m glad to see that this is not the kind of speech and speaker that Wiscon wants to honor.

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