Monday 1st January 2018
One of my plans for this year is to do more on twitter. I left after it got all political and negative but decided I would return and just be… well, fun and witty and post memes. This would mean deleting negative people but I was fine with that. It seemed like a good plan.
It lasted less than a day.
Now admittedly, I am suffering a major hangover after a great night last night, but something got me really riled up.
As you know, I used to write for Fantasy Faction. I know the people there and I really, really like them but events yesterday left me… well, very disappointed in them.
Someone started a thread in the Facebook group asking about favourite gay authors. I thought it was a great thread, and as I want to be more involved in the genre community in 2018, I jumped in, realising just how many great authors I like (Clive Barker, Chuck Palahniuk) are gay.
But, of course, there was the usual bullshit of people feeling they needed to tell everyone that they don’t need to know an author’s sexuality and asking why there’s a big fuss when it’s them making the big fuss.
The original poster started by responding to the positive comments but after the same bullshit was posted time and time again, they reacted. Good for them, I thought. This is 2018 and surely we’re beyond this bullshit.
Except… the original poster got banned.
Now on the great homophobia scale in the sky, straight white guys feeling the need to jump in and say, in effect, that the thread wasn’t needed, doesn’t rate very highly. But it’s still bullshit low-level homophobia. It’s still privilege in action. It’s telling minorities that they should stay invisible and not raise their head above the parapet. And I get that this bullshit gets tiresome after a while and causes some people react angrily.
From Fantasy-Faction’s point of view, I understand that this was a dumpster fire waiting to happen, and that they feel the original poster started this knowing it would become one. It takes time to moderate the Facebook group and so they all felt the impact of this personally. They have every right to feel pissed off about this.
But the conversation became about what a shit the original poster was for raising this. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t… but this is still victim blaming. It didn’t need private messages posted and his publisher copied in telling them how unprofessional he was. This is turning an eye away from the actual problem and saying that the minority should just behave.
What annoys me is that people are dictating how a minority should feel. As much as I like the people concerned, I think they were massively wrong here. Yes, be pissed off about the amount of moderating this needed… but don’t blame the original poster.
I have a good friend who’s basic response to homophobia is to respond by being as hateful as the comments are to them. It’s tit for tat but I don’t think it’s calculated… it’s the “Ow!” to the punch in the arm. And they’ve got to the stage where they are now a social recluse because they think something is wrong with them for responding, because they don’t stay silent or behave.
If this episode has taught me anything it’s a better understanding of why minorities get angry when faced with prejudice. It’s easy from a position of privilege to say they should act a certain way, but when the conversation becomes more about how they responded instead of the actual event that triggered the response, I can see why some people might say “fuck this shit” and just dish it back. Because this shit is really tiresome whether you are directly impacted or not.
And this folks, is why I keep away from the genre drama!
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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Past Years: 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive