Thoughts arising from this.
ETA: Seems some people – friends of Cat Valente – are terribly sad at me calling their precious nice white lady a gaslighter. Too bad. It is simply not credible that Valente did not know what RH was up to, since it was brought up to her face several times, not least by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Valente has been running cover for/dodging criticism over RH for at least two years, if not longer. She also knows directly that Kari Sperring’s attempted suicide was triggered at least in part by vicious harassment by RH and her chums.
Thowing her hands up now and going “who farted?” is not only dishonest but really stupid.
2. To see Racefailing superstars like Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Kathryn Cramer all over Laura Mixon’s report makes me sick. Especially when their amnesty doling friend K Tempest Bradford dismissed Elizabeth Bear’s thoughtful post on this matter because of Bear’s somewhat less racist and hateful behaviour in Racefail. If Neilsen Hayden can be forgiven for her absolutely revolting provocation and hatefulness, Bear can be forgiven for stupidity.
Neilsen Hayden is still banging on about the evilness of pseudonyms too. Gee, I wonder why people use those on the internet with trolls like RH around?
ETA: One of RH’s stans (Asymptiotic Binary, who was all over James’s Nicholl’s post on RH using another name which is again different from the two names she uses on Twitter ETA – removed. I was wrongly informed) is doing her best to smear Bear. Gee, are RH and her chums rattled by Bear’s post and the attention it’s getting?
ETA2: Asymptiotic Binary has made her agenda pretty obvious in her latest comment.
3. Seeing Emma Bull – W*ll Sh*tterley’s wife – in comments on Laura’s post is also sickmaking. Is she utterly unaware her husband is only microscopically less toxic than RH?
4. I am glad to see people of colour speaking up about this, on both sides. I wish we could see more of it. They’re caught in the middle of a largely white person fight, again. And they will pay for the actions of RH and her white supporters. Every time they speak out against racism, they will get this thrown in their faces. Every time they try to break into western publishing, they will have this mentioned. It’s wrong.
5. Too many people are categorising this as being about reviews. It’s not. Too many people are not seeing that a harsh review is fine, a dozen on them slamming the same POC female author as a person in the most violent, vicious terms, is really not. It also doesn’t matter what gender or race the person is.
Having said that, the people mistaking the wood for the trees are white, and there’s a whiff of butthurt starting to appear. Stop that.
ETA: Perfect summation of my position by commenter Kris on Laura’s Report:
Interestingly, and encouragingly for humanity, I think most of the commenters on this report are acknowledging that wild and crazy epic takedowns have their place. It’s about addressing the work, and not always having to do that in a strictly professional way anymore. I really do not see this page devolving into a witch hunt or a call for an end to bad reviews. (Does anyone else?)
That said, I see a pretty clear line between an epic takedown, or a negative review with transgressive language or even a series of such reviews, and the kind of poison that RH engaged in. You can write a review, you can specialize in bad reviews even, but you can stop short of following certain authors around the internet or harassing their supporters or tweeting your negative words into their mobile phones hundreds of times per week or mobilizing other people to harass them.
I think if this person had written bad reviews and left it at that, the situation would be a bit less sickening and we wouldn’t all be having this conversation. And I think RH’s own attempts at cleanup reflect that she herself has a sense of this, too.
6. The people describing Laura’s report as over the top or obsessive are shitheads, or completely unaware of the extent of the harassment and online intimidation RH and her enablers have mounted to protect RH from criticism. The report needed to be thorough. Even now people claim there’s not enough evidence. Well, there’s the reason for the long report.
7. Unsurprisingly toxic doxxer and troll W*ll Sh*tt*rly is making hay over this. He hates social justice. He hates the people who’ve criticised him. He’s treating this as a victory for his views. It’s not. It’s a victory for people coming together against people like him and exposing their behaviour to the cleansing light.
You should be next, fuckface.
ETA: 8. Calls for the police to be involved in this are, in my personal opinion only, ridiculous. Criminal law, the situation in the UK not withstanding, is a stupidly blunt instrument deal with something this complex. I hope this doesn’t happen because I don’t think it will help any victim whatsoever and may make them less safe.