Tag Archives: racefail

Addendum to the Racefail post and an apology.

Please, if I’ve said anything offensive/clueless, and you are willing to take the time to help someone you don’t know on teh interwebz, let me know and point out what it was. I don’t want to be a Clueless White Chick, or Clueless Straight Chick, or Clueless in general.

I’m trying to become aware of the stupidity that my own privilege is resulting in. I hate the idea that my ignorance could lead to other people being offended or hurt.

Also, to clarify, the ‘mess’ that I was referring to was referring to the name-calling, the disrespect, and general flip-flopping and flailing going on. There have been a number of posts that really made me open my eyes and realise how damned ignorant I’ve been, but there have also been plenty of posts that made my mind boggle.

ETA: I realise now how incredibly me-centric my previous post was. Unfortunately, it took someone else pointing it out for me to see that. It just goes to show how bloody ignorant I am, despite my hopes that I had at least  a smidgen of insight. 

I even mentioned people making it about themselves. Big fail on my part.

It was also pointed out that I didn’t make any clear reference to RF for people who haven’t been following it. I use the link list complied by rydra_wong here.

The post that pointed out how egocentric and essentially stupid my post was may well be the most important thing I’ll ever read. I really did think I had a grip on the subject, but I made it about me, and put my foot in my mouth on a massive scale. If I’ve upset or offended anyone, I’m sorry.


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RaceFail and assorted interweb fuckbiscuitery

Sooo, RaceFail. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. In a nutshell, it’s a huge debate going on, mostly on LJ, between people involved in SF/F. It seems to have turned into an industry vs fans thing, but I’ve given up trying to label it. 

It started off being just about ‘writing the other’, then it turned into a giant mess with valuable bits of insight here and there. Mostly it’s just a mess, though.

I’ve been wanting to post about it for a while. It started in January, and it’s still going on. For a long time, I wasn’t sure what to say. Racism is bad? Duh. Racism is really bad and it sucks that half the time, people don’t even realise they’re discriminating? That’s better, but it’s still got a worryingly high duh-quotient.

What really opened my eyes was an entirely different debate I got involved in. It was regarding mental issues, and I got extremely angry. I hardly ever get angry nowadays, so yeah, this is something that really gets under my skin. 

The part of the discussion that really opened my eyes, was when someone tried to equate the suffering of someone with these issues to that of someone without these issues. Of course, these people can suffer the same amounts, but not in the same way. I didn’t feel I was able to make that clear to other people.

Then it dawned on me. That’s exactly the point that I wasn’t getting in the whole RaceFail thing. 

There were plenty of posts and comments in that giant crumbly fuckbiscuit that essentially came down to, ‘Hey POC, stop whining because other people suffer too’. Sure, other people suffer too. There’s a whole lot of suffering in the world, and it’s not limited to people of a specific ethnicity.

But you know what? If you’ve got the privilege of being white, you’re never going to know what POC feel when they’re discriminated against just because they don’t look white enough. You might have experiences that are just as awful, but they won’t be that experience.

With that realisation came another: this is what was meant when people said that some individuals were trying to make it about themselves. The discussion is about people not being treated with respect, it’s not a competition to see who’s suffered most. It’s about combating discrimination, not trying to tell those who feel discriminated against to stfu because omg, this privileged person has suffered way more than you.

Because of how I felt last night, I’ve become extremely aware of my own privilege, as a straight white woman living in a Western country. I think that’s an extremely important step towards becoming a fairer person. When you have the privileges I do, it’s easy to forget that hey, there are people with different experiences, and not everyone has it as easy as this. 

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s ignorance, especially when I’m the one guilty of it.

ETA: I’ve made it about me, I’m an idiot. My apologies to anyone I may have offended with this short-sighted and frankly stupid post.


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As you may or may not know, I am a total ho for short stories. I think S.King’s short stories are far superior to his novels, and I’ve also gone through periods of addiction to Chambers, Lovecraft, Conan Doyle, Gaiman, and a load others.

So I’m completely over the moon with my extremely late Christmas present from Marijn: SHADOWS OVER BAKER STREET. It is amazing, fabulous, brilliant, wicked, rad, and other adjectives as well.

As an aside, I was surprised to see that it had a story by Elizabeth Bear. That reminded me that I might post something regarding the recent RaceFail ’09 debacle over on LJ.


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