I owe the second pseudonymous novel I’m working on by Friday.
But I had to weigh in.
This is my own opinion, as are all things on my blog. Obviously.
Chuck Wendig already has a great blog post covering much of what I’d like to say.
Irene Gallo made a statement on her private Facebook page (note those words: “private Facebook page”) that said the following when asked to explain the Sad/Rabid Puppies phenomenon:
“There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, sexist and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.”
This, of course, made the assholes angry. Because when you call assholes assholes, they tend to flail around and make louder asshole noises — it is the asshole’s natural defense mechanism.
The result was that the publisher of Tor, Tom Doherty, felt the need to pen a public letter of apology to the other spurned authors and readers (translation: the Sad and Rabid Puppies) assuring them that this has been dealt with because Irene Gallo is a naughty, naughty editor (/clucktongue). You can read that message here: “A Message from Tom Doherty.” You should note that someone thought it was a very good idea to leave the comments open (!) and there are now 100+ comments gurgling in that septic system. You can read them if you care to remind yourself what sometimes gets clogged in the pipes below this here Internet.
That letter ends with the following two paragraphs:
“In short, we seek out and publish a diverse and wide ranging group of books. We are in the business of finding great stories and promoting literature and are not about promoting a political agenda [sic]
Tor employees, including Ms. Gallo, have been reminded that they are required to clarify when they are speaking for Tor and when they are speaking for themselves. We apologize for any confusion Ms. Gallo’s comments may have caused. Let me reiterate: the views expressed by Ms. Gallo are not those of Tor as an organization and are not my own views. Rest assured, Tor remains committed to bringing readers the finest in science fiction – on a broad range of topics, from a broad range of authors.”
The first thing I thought was, “where was the public post for Jim Frenkel serially harassing women all throughout many cons for how long with public apology or note regarding how editors should behave?”
Chuck calls this is a triple standard, and I have to say, I believe much the same thing.
I’d like to tell you there’s no solution to it, and corporations are corporations, and this is how it is, but one can write a politic letter reminding people that a company’s employees are not speaking for the company on their personal social media pages (which the Neilsen-Haydens have been doing for YEARS without public reproach) without calling out one particular person who simply explained on her personal page in simple terms the politics of a handful of people who hijacked an award ballot, the politics of which have been well documented in pretty much every major news piece (including one I wrote!). Funny, isn’t it, that nobody was publicly castigated by their employer for comments related to RaceFail or FrenkelFail but my god a woman said some dudes are sexist bigots because they have said sexist bigoted things and pushed a slate that resulted in fewer female nominees for the Hugos than in recent years past and OMG:
TRUE THINGS WERE SAID BY A LADY ON THE INTERWEBS AND HERE WE ARE.
If you’re an employer faced with a mob of bigots because a female employee said a true thing in public, maybe take a step back and ask how you’d have responded (if at all) if they came after one of your top dudes for saying the exact same thing. You may not even have to think very long because they probably already have.
Editor serially harasses: no public letter. Contracts person attacks woman on public blog. No public letter. Woman comments on personal FB?
— Tobias Buckell (@tobiasbuckell) June 9, 2015