Or: the most hilarisad thing I heard this weekend.
So, this ties back into the SFWA thing from last year. You know, the bulletin cover that made me sigh profoundly and roll my eyes? And then the wanksplosion that caused me to write a post to specifically say “Fuck you” to Malzberg and Resnick? It is the gift that keeps on giving. Only this time it’s just funny, in the same way watching a cat fall off a desk is funny.
There is apparently a petition circulating in regards to the SFWA bulletin because…censorship! And first amendment! And freedom! The petition is courtesy of David Truesdale. If you’ve never heard of him, read the review he did of Apex Magazine #55 and that’ll basically tell you what you need to know. He’s also, it’s important to note, not a member of SFWA, which makes the entire concept of this petition extra wtf-y.
The link to Radish Reviews really covers most of the mockery that immediately springs to mind. Holy double bonus fuck you asshole points to David Truesdale for his super gross allusions to slavery! Because not being able to belittle entire groups and enjoy scantily clad women courtesy of a professional organization is totally same as the injustices and crimes perpetrated upon countless people throughout history!
But three points.
One: While there is arguably a “female gaze” in operation in movies like, say, Twilight, “men get objectified too” is a bullshit argument. Particularly when the objectification being cited involves the big muscular manly man ideal. I’d argue most of the time, that stuff isn’t made for female consumption; it’s created as the manly ideal men are supposed to want to meet. (Another mention here, and a succinct summation here.) Which is, yes, still incredibly fucked up, but send your thank you note to the patriarchy and its ridiculous love of over-emphasized sexual dimorphism and gender roles.
Two: At this point, the moment I see the phrase “politically correct” I automatically roll my eyes. Because it is invariably a whiney, impotent asshole defending their supposed right to not only aggressively be an asshole, but to aggressively be an asshole in a sandbox over which they have no control. Here’s your “you tried” gold star.
Three, and by far the most important: SFWA is a professional organization. And it’s not the only professional organization of which I’m a member, so don’t even try to blow smoke up my ass on this one.
I’ve also been part of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) for years (far longer than I’ve been part of SFWA, actually). During those years, not once has AAPG sent me a bulletin that contained pictures of scantily clad women draped on rock formations or pretending to study seismic lines while sticking their pert bottoms in the air. Not once has AAPG sent me an official communication that included dismissive discussions of “lady geologists” and how hot the first wave of women in petroleum geoscience looked in bikinis. AAPG, I will also note, has an online moderation policy for its content that reserves the right to delete racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive comments.
(I suppose this must be because as much as they love oil and gas, they hate freedom. Or something.)
Now, this could be because I just haven’t been reading the bulletins carefully enough. And it’s not because geology as a science managed to completely avoid historical sexism. And it’s not that the G in AAPG actually stands for “gynocracy” because trust me, if you’ve ever been to the national meeting, you’d know that there are still way more men in the field than there are women.
So I’m just going to throw this out there: maybe there aren’t bikini babes in the AAPG bulletin because, I don’t know, AAPG is a fucking professional organization that has women in its membership and wants to maintain its credibility as an organization in the public eye.
How fucking hard is that to figure out?
I don’t give two shits if the historic legacy of an industry is one of
bikini babes codified sexism. You know what? One way or another, that’s how it is in most industries! There is a difference between understanding the roots of one’s industry, and perpetuating and celebrating it. There’s a huge fucking difference. Particularly when those historic roots being perpetuated in a modern context are insulting to a big whack of your membership and the public.
The publications of an organization are its face to both the public and its membership. Effectively, what is in those pages is viewed as being in line with the organization’s values and vision because the organization fucking paid to put it there.
SFWA members don’t pay their $90 annual dues to be told what to think or how they should express themselves in the pages of the Bulletin, nor do they want their own thoughts (through their articles or columns) to be deemed “acceptable” or “right thinking,” or adhering to some jumped-up (always subject to change at whim) PC style manual by some hootenanny “advisory board”” of boot lickers. [from here, pdf from main post]
Yeah, you know what I don’t pay $90 for? Being belittled by the professional organization of which I’m a member.
Go fuck yourself.