shweta_narayan (shweta_narayan) wrote,

The latest SFPA fail (mostly a link roundup)

So, Star*Line published yet another majorly racefailtastic thing, this time with extra added homophobia, transphobia, and pick-your-bigotry. And that's the fourth in what, a year? (ETA: more like two years, my bad, the illness has screwed with my time sense. Still not good.)

Of course, there's been the predictable "but you're CENSORING the poor wee bigot by OBJECTING!" rhetoric. Again.

And, of course, if only a few people speak up, they don't count and nobody's really objecting, but if multiple people speak up, then they're a mob. Again. There is simply no original thought involved in the pro-bigotry rhetoric here. Is there a generic-privilege-and-fail-denying bingo card? Cause they win it.

Anyway. Not feeding the trolls by linking, but here are some excellent responses, which give enough context to go on (and quote enough terrible "poetry" to require brain bleach, fair warning).

time_shark on growing disappointment with the SFPA, with follow-ups to address egregious misinterpretations of his words.

(Though, personally, I'd say the consistent, repeated inclusion of material like this in the SFPA's official zine, and the predictable subsequent defense of it, is not "could be read as hostile". Is is hostile. Allowing and supporting bigotry is inherently an act of marginalization.)

cucumberseed's excellent takedown of the ridiculous rhetoric around this.

tithenai's excellent takedown of the 'poem' itself.

samhenderson on what censorship actually isn't. Twice, since the first time wasn't enough.

ETA: mariness just made a thoughtful and nuanced post too.

I don't have the spoons for an awesome post of my own, and if I did, frankly, I wouldn't spend them on petty bigots and piss-poor poetry anyway. But I do have a couple things to add.

1) Sadly, they will never get the simple point that Sam's making so well; they're too invested in the privilege-defense mechanism of yelling censorship to care about what the word actually means.
2) When something is mired in bigotry, "I found it funny" is self-indictment, not a valid response to critique. But y'know, those of you who made the same-old "humorless feminist" comments? Thanks for letting us know where you stand.
3) I don't think it's a coincidence that several excellent poets who have been involved in the SFPA stopped writing poetry; it is exactly the sort of toxic environment that saps one's resources for creative work. I really hope you all get fully out, and get back to writing your awesome stuff.
4) I'm going to say this because it seems to me that other people are tiptoeing around it: it's nice that editor Marge Simon apologized, and all. But when it's the fourth offense in not that many issues? Apologies are insufficient. It is well past time to stop fucking up. Either by learning a hell of a lot, or by resigning.
Tags: bigotry, fail, homophobia, links, racism, sfpa, star*line, transphobia
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