Peter Watts is not a very smart person.
This I have learned from his overly long screed
in which he does his damnedest to other Benjanun Sriduangkaew and deny her personhood. Because what this clusterfuck needed was more incoherent racism. woo.
Especially wonderful are the bits where his basic ability to understand how percentages work just falls off, like so:
Go, if you haven’t already. Look at Mixon’s figures. See for yourself. The fact that RH occasionally went after the Bakkers and Bacigalupis of the world let her claim that she was Speaking Truth To Power, but in fact People of Color were four times more likely to be targeted than us privileged white boys.
For the record, if you DO go and look at Mixon's figures you find a small issue; The actual pie charts show that of the sample population she examines more than half are white, and more than half were straight (though the queer piechart is an abomination unto statistics; Never. Ever. Present your data as saying something when more than a quarter of your sample data is "unknown"). Only when you look at "gender" that kyriarchally dominant groups stop being picked on by BS, with less than a quarter of the people BS fucked with over the years being male sexed, and the majority being female.
(Mixon unfortunately mixes up gender with sex in this one case, hence the quote marks because it's a quote, not a statement on transgender politics)
Mixon of course points out that such a demographic spread amongst BS's victims are still disproportionate when compared to... US published children's book authors... and despite that being a nonsensical thing to compare Sriduankaew's victims to, I can see what Mixon is trying
to get at there and while I disagree with the precise
methodology she uses, I'd be utterly unsurprised if, should someone figure out how to obtain even rough demographic data for the various communities in which BS was being a complete fucking asshole within (which is obviously the ideal thing to use to work out the true proportionality of attacks, i.e. potential victims vs. actual victims), it would likely be found that she was still disproportionately
attacking POC... because there was a period when she pretty much appointed herself as grand sheriff of Skiffy POC and was doing lots of "authenticity" policing, like it's the 80s and she was a fucking punk groupie.
But that's speaking in proportional
terms, not absolute ones, and Peter Watts goes and fucks his own gnarled and inbred feet by not bothering to talk in anything other than absolute numbers. Even though if you do look at what mixon's brightly coloured pie charts say in terms of absolute numbers then yeah, if you were a person attacked by her then you're statistically more likely to be a straight white lady from the US while she herself is, no matter how you cut it, a queer POC from Thailand. Kyriarchal power dynamics ain't exactly on her side there and pretending that she wasn't doing a lot of uppercutting in amongst her bullshit is disengenous and a huge fucking lie.
And those last points are kind of a big one when you're a scrotumfaced american buffoon who is amazingly beardhurt about having his fiction criticised. Especially when you look at a legitimate problem in our community and see an opportunity to advertise your work AND to exploit a rare opportunity to practice you best othering skills on a POC, now that he's got a black president.
So to start with, Benjanun Sriduangkaew is, according to Peter Watts, a changeling. She's also an artificial hive mind entity Watts dubs the "Winterfox Colony Creature". Hell, he ends on a fucking quote referencing the fucking holocaust, for is not Sriduangkaew like the entire vast edifice of Nazi germany?
Why? Because on several different social mediums she used different names.
Watts, and a lot of other people for some reason, are treating this as highly abnormal.
Why the very idea of having a different name on livejournal than on some old BBcode forum, another on your main wordpress blog and to use a different one on twitter!?... Okay, to be fair it is for Charlie Stross who's been Autopope/antipope since the early 90s and a lot of the other USEnet folks, but for everyone else, especially the fucking anonymous people who need to look up what irony is in the dictionary, that's just how most people who have been on multiple different internet forae over the years have operated - they change as people as they shift from forum to forum, they choose different names when migrating often to reflect specific interests unique to a particular forum, and while some people may settle into one or two pseudonyms and try to keep them between services, often times people just pick new ones when they migrate or someone else already had that name so they have to.
She did not, or at least I have seen no actual evidence to show otherwise, use multiple account on a given service. Which is what you kinda have to do to sockpuppet and I see you fuckers referencing Cassandra Claire so I know you know what actual sockpuppetry looks like. So everyone pulling ANY of that nonsense:
Go fuck yourselves.
And I can say that with a fair bit of confidence that I'm not telling actual victims of Sriduangkaew to go fuck themselves because for the most part they're not the ones trying to make fucking mountains out of molehills just to score cheap internet points.
is primarily who I'm talking to here, not the legitimate victims but the vultures, the wankers, and the scum who are hovering around this thing and trying to turn such cheap point scoring against Sribuangkaew into a weapon they can weild against anyone else they just don't like.
Which brings us neatly back to Peter Watts being a not very clever person:
I was a minor target for a while, but only because I spoke out in defense of a colleague. RH didn’t even know who I was until I mentioned her on my own blog. I was, as they say, asking for it.
Mr. Watts, actually lets not dignify you with your chosen name you sanctimonious pus bucket, I'm calling you Petey from now because fuck you;
Petey, you did not
just appropriate the post-assault societal victimisation of rape survivors with that "I was... ...asking for it." line? Did you? You didn't just scrape that shrivelled walnut you call a brain and decide; "Am I like a rape victim in all this? Yes I am."
That's where you decided to take this? When the SFF community is fucking knee deep in actual rape victims at the moment, you really
It pissed me off to see Valente blatantly misrepresent what I’d said, it pissed me off to get a lecture on the power imbalance between Powerful White Authors and Poor Vulnerable Fans in a world where five minutes with Google reveals my home address to any anonymous darling who wants to take a rusty meathook to my scrotum. (Being called a racist by someone who publicly rhapsodizes about “killing all white people”, on the other hand, was just funny.) Caitlin will attest that I wasn’t very nice to be around sometimes.
What Cat Valente "misrepresented" in this particular case was that whole thing where he called Sriduangkaew a rabid animal - what he of course meant
was that she was like a broken fire hydrant, or a raging wild fire, or a machinegun with a stuck trigger.
But he, as a writer, chose "an animal who should be killed because it is a danger to real people" as his metaphor. Which is totally reasonable, you see, because Petey is part of that darling bit of SFF fandom that shares a single braincell amongst themselves, and when he said that particular thing someone else was trying to button their shirt.
He's now choosing this particular clusterfuck centering around a person using way too much eliminationist hyperbole, as an excuse to whine about how unfair it that he, a professional writer, should be expected to not use eliminationist rhetoric that also involves calling a POC an animal.
Petey here isn't even making the childish argument that "she did it first"; He's straight up playing his privilege cards to say that because Sriduangkaew has since been found to have been an even larger doucehcanoe than he, he is therefore retroactively immune from all criticism in relation to himself being a douchecanoe to her.
This is a grown ass man claiming: "no backsies!"
So let me try to break it down so all the little Peteys out there can understand this:
Sriduangkaew is an asshole.
She is also a Person of Colour, and please note that first word; Person.
She is not an animal, she is not an amorphous thing
or a fucking robot
. PoC are just as able to be collosal assholes as white people without being animals
, without being super-scary criminal geniuses
who are planning their asshollery out 5 steps ahead of everyone. PoC are as capable of sincere hypocrisy as white people, as capable of telling people "do as I say, not as I do", without it all somehow being an elaborate decade long scheme to keep her potential rivals down so as to ascend to the dizzy heights of... being published.
I think she attacked Cindy Pon because she hated her book. I legitimately think she said Silver Phoenix had rape apologetics in it because that is her opinion
. I think she attacked other PoC in various communities because she is an asshole without any regard for decent netiquette
. I do not buy that she planned much of anything out. This is a wholewheat, dolphin friendly, kale enhanced, organic, free range, farm fresh clusterfuck if ever I saw one.
We can have a conversation about what the reasonable limits of employing violent and eliminationist hyperbole and rhetoric are within the context of a society in which real eliminationist actions
are a thing people have legitimate fears of because it is a common tool to keep people down, and how the mere rhetoric can create a chilling effect even should the eliminationist hyperbole be employed as an obvious and conscious act of comedic irony, and even when it's all pointed towards kyriarchally domineering groups and does provide the highly addictive immediate gratification in the form of lackwitted arses like Petey getting roiled up and digging a tunnel to the earth's core because their fee-fees got trod on.
(Which is not to say that "it was all just hyperbole guys!" ala Nick "doxxes you for your own safety" Mamatas, it's just there's not much conversation to have about the inexcusable stuff; It's inexcusable, duh.)
Maybe as a community we need to take this as yet another of life's lessons on how we need to treat each other as friends rather than enemies, while also getting better at telling the obnoxious fuckers at the back of the cinema to shut up because we're trying to watch the goddamn picture.
But the starting point for that conversation, or indeed ANY conversation, is simply this: Benjanun Sriduangkaew is a person, not a dog, not fu man-fucking-chu, any more than I'm magically one of her "minions" or her "horde" because I think this stuff is more complex than Petey's poor little brain can fucking handle.
Sorry about not having anything more productive than that to say; Go read Mixon's report
if you haven't already, Keep an eye on Safe
, also The Radish has some productive links
in the form of ways to support authors affected by all this shit... though don't buy Liz Williams' stuff because she's an ableist little shit and her books are shite too.
Wistfuljane is also an intelligent person with a fair counter-point to Mixon's report
with other good links.