Update 10/20: RequiresHate has posted an apology for the actions of her RH blog. However, she's also disclaimed responsibility for threats given out under the Winterfox brand. She claims that some, such as threatening an Asian woman with being raped by dogs, was the work of an impostor. I haven't been able to find any earlier mentions of an impostor, but large swathes of both the RH blog and Winterfox's backlog of comments remain deleted, so that's probably impossible to verify unless a witness wants to speak up. She's also apologized on A Bee Writes, her professional bog.
There's a theme of "I was an asshole but I've gotten better as the years have passed," which is something most of us have probably lived through ourselves -- however, Winterfox harassed a rape victim for six months as late as last year, so any decrease in assholery is going to be a very recent phenomenon. Intentionally or not, these apologies seem to further the narrative that the controversy is primarily about RequiresHate's book reviews rather than Winterfox's decade-long troll campaign. They also repeat assertions that all of Sriduangkaew's bad behavior was in the distant past, despite her harassment continuing into 2013 at least.
An open question to pro sci-fi: since Sriduangkaew has admitted she was wrong, can we stop arguing it's okay to threaten women of color with rape and assault if someone we like is doing it?
I had to stop following this wank for a couple of days to meet some RL deadlines. I wished someone had made a roundup post to summarize what's going on -- so I'm making one. If you're not interested in seeing some of your favorite sci-fi and fantasy authors make excuses for abusers, enable trolling, and belittle women of color who have received rape threats, stop reading now. It gets ugly.
This post is a work in progress and the wank is ongoing. Please feel free to comment with updates, corrections, and discussion. Anon comments are turned on, but I will delete with extreme prejudice at the first whiff of trolling.
Here's a timeline of events for this most recent blowup.
( Who is Benjanun Sriduangkaew? )( What the hell's happening? ) ( Where discussion's taking place. ) ( Who's siding with whom. ) ( Rumors, Distortions, and Lies (with the Occassional Truth) )
The long and short of it is that there are two sides in this wank. One side, Sriduangkaew's side, thinks it's cool to threaten women of color with being raped by dogs. The other side thinks that's bullshit. Let me make it more explicit: Sriduangkaew is a racist, misogynistic bully, and those people defending her are of necessity defending racism and misogyny.
Think about that for a minute.
Sriduangkaew isn't the worst asshole in sci-fi. That means that sci-fi has a problem with assholes, not that it's okay to threaten women with rape and murder. When your best defense is "but little Timmy did it first" you're thinking on the level of a particularly spiteful five year old. When you want abuse victims to stay silent because speaking up might hurt their abuser's career you're contributing to abuse.
Many of the people currently defending Sriduangkaew and trying to silence her victims are people who spoke out loudly against James Frenkel and Rene Walling, two recent abusers whom the sci-fi community harbored and enabled for years before finally rejecting. Just goes to show that it's all in who you know -- exactly the same things that were said in defense of Frenkel, Walling, and every other abuser in history are getting said now, by people who know better. Sriduangkaew's friends are trying to spin this story to make her the victim and make the victims afraid. To hell with that.
Crossposted at Dreamwidth.