Aug 26, 2009

Alternate Perspectives Requested...

If anyone who found this blog over the weekend is still around, I'd be curious to know what you thought about this post over at World in a Satin Bag. The author is essentially making the same point I was trying to, but not failing quite as hard as I did. Where I tried to be ironic, the author took the more direct approach.

Go over there, have a read, let me know what you think.


  1. I thought that the post was pretty funny, in the sense that angrily taking people to task for being so angry in the way they take people to task is HILARIOUS.

    I think that there's a lot useful being said in these conversations, and almost all of it's being lost in the ways in which it's said.

    These issues are already so raw for so many people that escalation is very hard to avoid. And once we've escalated far enough, it's just a shouting match and kind of boring.

    There's actually this book I like. It's called Nonviolent Communication, and it's hard as hell to read because the language that the author uses comes across as the most touchy-feely, candy-assed crap in the world, but what he's saying with it is actually really hardcore. It's a set of strategies for encouraging conflict in ways that you *can't* escalate out of the conversation.

    Marshall Rosenberg. That's his name. I recommend it, with the caveat that you have to get past the candy-ass presentation to grok the deep cool within it.

  2. His argument impresses me not one iota.

    "Oooh, stop it, you're harshing my mellow!"

  3. If I had wanted to impress anyone with my argument, I probably wouldn't have written it.

    And, actually, yes. I've stopped listening to the people who can't act like civil adults. Take a page from Martin Luther King, Jr. The guy did a lot of great things without resorting to the more extreme approach. I think it's time the SF/F communities start taking things on in a more civil manner.

    Thanks for the link Mr. Yeti. I'm sure more like Stella will miss the point of my argument entirely, but what can you do?

  4. @S.M.D.

    Thanks for the comment. And people like Stella make a good point regarding the unconscious bias that a lot of people have and how without people speaking up about it, it might never change.

    But at the same time, there are productive responses and not so productive responses. Engaging the editor in a rational dialogue is constructive, leaving a comment that just says "OMG you are a sexist pig" does not. I, like you, would like to see less attacking based of assumptions of sexism (that aren't there most of the time) and more constructive dialogue.

  5. Patrick: I agree, but that wasn't my point. Several people have misunderstood me to say that people should shut up. I never wanted people to shut up, just calm down. The unconscious bias may very well be there in a lot of people, but that's an enormous assumption that I refuse to make about people. Sometimes things just happen and there's no rhyme or reason.

    We're on the same page.


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