Update: This is a hard update to write. To start: an apology that I fully expect many will not accept. But that is the way with apologies, so here goes: I apologize for the way in which I showed disdain, even contempt, for the WisCon decision supporters in my blog post of 10 years ago. I have changed and learned, and grown, but change and growth don’t eliminate the hurtfulness of my language.
That’s it. Full stop. No buts.
I look back at that time, and I understand where I was coming from, and where Elizabeth Moon was coming from, and I cringe at the basis of her argument and my support. I suppose I could lay it out again, but it’s right there. (Points down.)
I thought about a lot of different ways to address this post. Delete? Boy, was that an attractive idea, but I’m foolishly brave and quixotic about some things, so I’m keeping it up. I’m a warts and all kind of person, so here I am. Warts and all. Also, people who commented took the time to comment, and so, deleting the post would delete their comments, which is additional rudeness.
So what do I still believe about the decision to disinvite Elizabeth Moon? The truth is, I am not sure. (Remember, warts and all, right?) I have grown to respect the WisCon board’s decision and judgment even if I disagree. I also continue to have admiration for the career and tremendous personal journey of Elizabeth Moon. She was a hero of mine – a writer I looked up to as I began my career, whose books and stories I enjoyed. But I no longer support the opinion she laid out ten years ago, and whether or not she has changed her opinion is up to her, not me.
What it comes down to are my words and my post. And for that, I can say without any equivocation that I am sorry. I was hateful and insensitive and wrong, and my rush to judgment caused pain to others.
The word has gone out that Wiscon 35 has rescinded its invitation to Elizabeth Moon to be guest of honor. The decision is the result of the uproar over Moon’s essay on citizenship and the rights and responsibilities of immigrants, especially Muslims.
Wiscon’s decision to withdraw the invitation is childish, unprofessional, and wrong. Rather than encouraging discourse, they silence it. Over and over again I am struck by way the blogosphere erupts in these vast tizzies of outrage every time bloggers are confronted with uncomfortable ideas. Rather than engage, livejournals light up with a collective case of the vapors. These people call themselves feminists and humanists, but they can’t even take on and discuss uncomfortable ideas. I don’t call that feminism. I call that hysteria.
When the Wiscon community is ready to engage in civil discourse in which big ideas are debated with light and little heat, maybe then I can take the convention committee seriously. For now, I say to you this — you aren’t feminists. You aren’t humanists.
You are a bunch of weenies.
Additional note to commenters: I welcome all opinions. I ask people to refrain from attacking other commenters but we are all adults here and can take strong opinions. There might be a delay in approving comments by people who’ve never commented before, but rest assured, I will read all the comments and post them.
Thanks for entering this discussion.