Seanan McGuire (seanan_mcguire) wrote,
Seanan McGuire

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The nopetopus rides again.

The current SFWA shouting match about sexism and harassment and "OH MY GOD I AM BEING OPPRESSED BY FEMINISTS" is leading to a lot of the very predictable "Help help bad people are trying to take away my freedom of speech."

Here's the thing: No one involved in this fight is saying "you should never use your freedom of speech." Not to anyone, not at all. We are, after all, not the government. What we are saying is "you didn't buy the 'freedom from consequences' expansion pack." And really, that's what's being requested here: not freedom of speech, but freedom from the consequences of speaking.

"Sure, I called another professional in my field sub-human because I dislike their race/religion/choice of ice cream flavors! But I'm allowed! I have FREEDOM OF SPEECH."

"Sure, I told that fatso urban fantasy author to lose some weight and brush her hair so that we could take her seriously as a writer! But I'm allowed! I have FREEDOM OF SPEECH."

"Sure, I misgendered another author for funsies, refusing to acknowledge the reality of their existence! But I'm allowed! I have FREEDOM OF SPEECH."




If someone chooses to say sexist, racist, bigoted shit, that's on them: that’s theirs to deal with. I will not restrict their ability to say it. But there will be consequences. Maybe consequences as minor as me not wanting to have a conversation with them; maybe consequences as major as an editor choosing not to work with them, or an agent declining to sign them, as they would be bad for the agency’s image (and hence bottom line).

These "rabid weasels" (term coined by Mary Robinette Kowal, the voice of Toby and a glorious voice of reason) are HARMING SFWA AS A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION. Not just by taking time and energy away from writing—which, gods know, is a thing we all need to be doing more of—but by making us look, in public, like this is what all believe. They’re very loud, those weasels, and while they have the right to say whatever they want, we’re the ones choosing to allow them to do it inside our house.

I use my freedom of speech: I use it to say "that ain't cool" about a lot of things. For my trouble I am called a bitch, a whore, a slut, a cunt, a stupid cow, a pig, too dumb to rape, and a lot of other things. Those are the consequences of my speech. And the consequences of those words are simple:

I refuse to stop pointing out the people who use them.
Tags: cranky blonde is cranky, don't be dumb
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