Courtney Milan Comments About Mixon Report on Sriduangkaew

THE UNEXPECTED. Not counting the times she was nominated for literary awards, Benjanun Sriduangkaew hasn’t been in the news here since 2017. It’s not clear she’s done anything newsworthy even now, but the fact that she’s been mentioned so often on Twitter in the past week has made people wonder why.

In 2014, Laura Mixon published a report identifying Sriduangkaew as the abusive blogger Requires Hate (among other handles), a piece which earned Mixon the 2015 Best Fan Writer Hugo.

D Franklin tweeted in this thread that the increased discussion of Sriduangkaew in the past week was specifically in response to another thread, however, yesterday there was a kind of “crossing the streams” when Elizabeth Bear tweeted, “Just so you all know, an unknown actor who is possibly Requires Hate is just about to launch a really fucking big disinformation campaign about @scottlynch78 and me. If a whole bunch of accounts you’ve never heard of start launching really wild accusations, don’t be surprised.”

Alexandra Erin tweeted a skeptical response: “Last night I blocked Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch, who both had followed me for some time after she did the equivalent of detonating a tactical nuke as a flash bomb to distract the audience, blaming all emerging accusations against her on someone her community will accept.”

While paging through the allegations, defenses, and comments from the parties’ friends and critics, something else emerged that did warrant a story.

COURTNEY MILAN. A Google search shows people have known for several years Sriduangkaew and Courtney Milan are acquainted, but this past winter Milan’s profile grew more visible after her unjust treatment by Romance Writers of America triggered member protests that led to a complete turnover in RWA leadership and a great deal of media coverage. And last week when Milan started to speak out on behalf of Sriduangkaew, and criticized the Mixon report, the connection became more interesting to people active in sff.

Milan made a general comment:

Then, responding to the last of several non-public tweets from Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s protected Twitter account, Courtney Milan threw shade on the Mixon report:

D Franklin responded:

Milan added more commentary about the Mixon report. Thread starts here.

Courtney Milan signed off the exchange with this apology:

47 thoughts on “Courtney Milan Comments About Mixon Report on Sriduangkaew

  1. Looking at the people liking her first tweets so I know I should never trust anything they say. Will also have to be more careful about trusting Milan in the future.

  2. I’m disappointed in Milan for this. Her question about “what did she do that was so bad people keep bringing it up when she’s mentioned” (I paraphrase) seems disingenuous. If I had done what Sriduangkaew did, I would expect that every introduction for the rest of my life (and my obituary) would include some mention of “was a notorious hate-blogger who engaged in harassment and brigading”.

  3. Sriduangkaew is still getting books published.
    I don’t know how many of the people attacked have quit writing, or quit submitting to publishers.

  4. I’ve done my little part to revive awareness of RequiresHate and all because in the last couple months I’ve seen an uncomfortable number of my friends reviewing and discussing recent work by Sriduangkaew without showing any awareness of what a vile person she is. Attention given to her could have gone to any of a zillion other writers who aren’t abusive scumbags.

    She’s been in at least one Story Bundle collection, and otherwise promoted lately. Hence the reaction.

  5. The whole shrug “I see no evidence against my friend in this report” came off WAY flippant, considering the report included Mixon’s statement that she had reviewed forwarded e-mails from others regarding BS’ behavior as well as what she could link to directly regarding threats. She’s basically either calling a Mixon and/or the people who told Mixon their experiences liars, without presenting ‘evidence’ herself for such a statement. It’s good that she apologized for it – it remains to be seen whether she will actually listen. “It’s not mine to forgive what she did – but it IS mine to complain that people keep remembering it and pointing it out when I don’t want them to!” is not a good look.

    It looked worse when she first blithely stated that the evidence in the report didn’t hold up to examination and then later admitted she hadn’t actually read it all because it had scathing book reviews in it and she finds bad book reviews triggering due to her own traumatic experience with such.

    https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/1277124603098193921

    I DO think that linking BS to the current scandal without any proof that she was involved is doing no one any favors. Saying “Why are you so hard on X? Y has done so much worse!” proves nothing about either…regardless of who you designate as X or Y in this equation.

  6. @Lexica: If I had done what Sriduangkaew did, I would expect that every introduction for the rest of my life (and my obituary) would include some mention of “was a notorious hate-blogger who engaged in harassment and brigading”.

    Especially as there’s no evidence that she has changed in the slightest, as opposed to mounting a PR campaign to change her image.

  7. I’ve always taken the fact that Sriduangkaew called herself “Requires Hate” as an admission of who she really is as a person.

    @jayn–Bear was voicing her suspicion that Requires Hate is behind this. I’m not sure why she is not entitled to express that suspicion–and she may have more basis for that suspicion than she felt belonged in a tweet.

  8. It looked worse when she first blithely stated that the evidence in the report didn’t hold up to examination and then later admitted she hadn’t actually read it all because it had scathing book reviews in it and she finds bad book reviews triggering due to her own traumatic experience with such.

    Also, there is a difference between profanity in book reviews and book reviews calling for the author to be shoved facefirst into a blender or have acid thrown in their face. Swearing about a book you don’t like is still within the realm of acceptable behaviour, openly fantasizing about murdering the author is not.

  9. The most bizarre thing about this entire weird situation is Elizabeth Bear’s statement that Sriduangkaew is behind the accusations against her and Scott Lynch. Lord knows it’s easy to be paranoid about what RH is up to or capable of, and easier to jump at shadows, but the initial accusations against Bear were by Alexandra Rowland.

    It makes it all smell look like Bear’s trying to deflect attention, and this is going to be something RH’s fans can point to and say “Look! She IS being unjustly persecuted.”

    Then again, maybe in a few days we will get a flood of anonymous attacks against Bear. Or something else. I mean, evidently something is going on with the Sriduangkaew fan club. Its kinda dismaying to see people who have been subjected to harassment campaigns supporting her and gaslighting her victims . It makes me think that probably six years or so from now people will be asking things like say… “Why are they persecuting Zak Smith for something he did as a teen with PTSD”?

    Or maybe it’s another shadow.

  10. @Rose
    She isn’t, actually. She’s saying that it appears to be something RH would do. And is getting a bunch of trolls visiting. (I took the time to read her twitter thread on this. And Scott’s.)

  11. So will this learn her that there are some issues with enough history that she can’t just read a few excerpts and have an informed opinion — especially when the parts she’s skipped (from what I can follow in the mess of tweets) are the crux of the matter? Even better would be if she learned that there are some things that loose tweets, or even a succession thereof, can’t handle; maybe pointing out that it’s the favorite method of the Cheetoh would be a learning experience.

  12. So, when I was trying to figure out the Rowland/Bear/Lynch thing (current conclusion: ?????) I saw a few tweets along the lines of “well, I’m not surprised, Bear was abusive to Benjanun Sriduangkaew” – which I’m not clear on the context for, but didn’t make me any less uncomfortable about the whole thing. I would not be surprised if those tweets are part of the instigator for Bear’s assumption.

    (Also faintly surprised no-one ever said anything to Courtney Milan about Bear’s history with Racefail; it usually comes up every time she does, in my experience! However, as far as public knowledge went Bear massively screwed up during Racefail, whereas Sriduangkaew was an abusive – and racist, her attitude towards the diaspora is vile – monster for years on end. They’re not really… equivalent, as missing stairs go, until recent events.)

    Milan’s clearly been listening to people with a vested interest in proving Sriduangkaew Did Nothing Wrong, if she’s pulling out that line about how Sriduangkaew was only a teenager when she was being a terrible person for years on end (she was not). I remember that one from the last couple of goes around. I expect she just started from “Sriduangkaew is being ostracised for writing mean reviews!” and related a bit too heavily to really hear what was meant by “mean” (hint: not just swearing!) or what else Sriduangkaew got up to, while also getting an earful of misleading information from the Did Nothing Wrong crowd. Perhaps she’ll be able to research a bit more carefully now.

    I hope Milan keeps herself safe, too.

  13. I have to admit that I didn’t pay close attention to Racefail. I had just gone through an SFF reading slump, was ready to come back, saw that whole drama and thought, “Nope. What a bunch of jerks! I want nothing to do with such people.”

    But while I do remember Bear’s involvement and some of her posts, I don’t remember RH/BS tangling with Bear at all. Unless she was using another pseudonym at the time. I also don’t remember Bear being particularly prominent, when BS was outed as RH.

    As for the rest, almost twenty years ago, I knew Lynch quite well online, when we frequented the same forum, before he he was published and long before he got together with Bear. In fact, he was married to someone else at the time. I eventually left that forum for reasons that had nothing to do with Lynch and lost touch over the years. I’ve met both Lynch and Bear exactly once in person, at last year’s Worldcon. To my knowledge, I’ve never met Rowland. I also don’t know what to make of this whole drama. All I can say is that Lynch has never hit on me.

  14. This was brought up to distract from the Rowland/Bear/Lynch thing, and it did so rather well. Amazing how whiteness works. Let’s punch down instead, and pick on someone who writes small press books, lives thousands of miles away, has a few twitter followers and isn’t bothering you.

    I got on that train before, and I’m off it, thank you very much. Y’all should be ashamed.

    Note: Not accusing Courtney Milan of that, since she’s also a woman of color who called a book racist and had a backlash that basically had the RWA implode as she was a board member at the time. She was trying to analyze the text, being the former Supreme Court clerk and awesome person that she is.

  15. I read the mixon report in 2014 and I wasn’t too impressed with it, some of the stories conflicted with what I had actually seen happening and playing out at the time particularly around R Scott Bakker, but others as well though this isn’t to say that requires hate is a nice person, she obviously isn’t.
    Still, invoking her name any time something bad happens is dangerous to the science-fiction community, because now the accused can simply say that they’re accusers are allies of requires hate, they already have a villain to take the hit.
    And Milan is right in one respect, would the anger we see directed at requires hate be the same if she was right, we will never know for sure of course but I have a feeling That it wouldn’t be.

  16. “Anthropologists have recently dug up a collection of ancient human skulls, teeth, and bones. The bones bear ink stains, and the teeth and bones have matching patterns indicating that these people seem to have gnawed on each other. Based on that evidence, the scientists have concluded that they have found the remains of twenty-first century science-fiction writers.”

  17. Can anyone explain to me the continued obsession with Requires Hate’s status as a marginalised person of colour when she’s from an incredibly privileged economic background in her country and entirely different ethnic context?

  18. rob_matic: It’s very unhelpful for you to enter this discussion using language like “continued obsession”, and showing you don’t really want the socioeconomic discussion you call for by throwing out an assumption that a person of color working in the literary field in United States publications must be immune from racism here because of whatever their situation is in their home country.

  19. Defenders of Bear and defenders of Sriduangkaew should consider that, without a doubt, there are people who are defenders of neither, who have malice towards SF&F communities and stated interest in maintaining existing inequities of power around race and gender, really want the current attempts to have powerful men held accountable for their action, framed as being about “Requires Hate”.

    People do strange things, so I won’t say that neither Bear nor Sriduangkaew hasn’t intentionally used the situation for cynical ends…it’s just it really doesn’t help either of them and that makes me doubt the premise. Both Sriduangkaew and Bear are having their past raked through publically. If Sriduangkaew was hoping for a gradual rehabilitation back into the community then this runs counter to her approach. If Bear is trying to ‘distract’ from other accusations then again…this wouldn’t be a way of doing it as it has put the focus on her relationships and past. So…just thinking about their respective, basic interests…makes me think that this isn’t really about either of them.

    Whereas…there are plenty of sh-t stirrers in the world, within our community and outside of it. I know at least one prominent Sad Puppy has presented the actions taken against Myke Cole as being an example of ‘Requires Hate’ culture (specifically citing her) despite it manifestly not being either specifically or generically. Nor is the malice restricted to Puppies. We’ve seen this year a significant trolling campaign launched by a group disconnected to the Puppies, aimed at multiple authors and figures in our community.

  20. Camestros, now that is a really good point, thank you for making it. I actually hadn’t thought of it, and I should have given some of the side issues going on in the backlash against police departments (that may be relevant in Myke’s case).

  21. Lis Carey: Bear was voicing her suspicion that Requires Hate is behind this. I’m not sure why she is not entitled to express that suspicion – and she may have more basis for that suspicion than she felt belonged in a tweet.

    Deirdre Saoirse Moen: This was brought up to distract from the Rowland/Bear/Lynch thing

    I don’t think so.

    Right after the Rowland post broke, I saw a tweet (which I can’t find now, it may have been deleted) that said something along the lines of “Reminder that Racefail Elizabeth Bear was one of the instigators of the the attack on Benjanun Sriduangkaew”. Another person had reply-tweeted something like “You know that isn’t what happened, Bear had nothing to do with the Mixon report, and BS actually did all the things she was accused of”.

    So clearly there is at least one BS supporter who was very early on trying to pretend that Bear was involved with the outing of Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s decade-long campaign of harassment and abuse against other marginalized authors, and there may have been more of it going on that I just haven’t seen.

    I am rolling my eyes at the people defending BS with “she was just a teenager!” A decade of harassment and abuse starting at the age of 19 is a decade of harassment and abuse by an adult who should have known better at the start, and should certainly have known better by their early 20s. Given the fact that BS has never apologized (she claimed that she had, but numerous of her victims have said they’ve never received an apology, and the public one she posted was a fauxpology) and apparently has still been engaging in similar shitty behavior since then says to me that she’s not sorry, and I don’t know why people keep insisting that it should be let go as if she apologized and made amends, when she did not.

    The correct response is not, as some of BS’ supporters are arguing, “White people have gotten away with it, so BS should be let off the hook”, it’s “We need to start holding everyone accountable and not letting anyone off the hook”.

    And wow, I am so disappointed in Courtney Milan, who appears to have allowed herself to be sucked in and fooled by BS’ manipulations. 😐

  22. JJ: Here’s the tweet:

    Reminder that years ago, to deflect from criticism about her racism, Elizabeth Bear and her friends dogpiled on Benjanun Sriduangkaew, insisting she couldn’t possibly be an Asian woman from Asia because nobody like that could write well.

    I don’t know if it was that tweet that brought in BS, but before long her supporters (which somehow still exist) were out in force harassing people. Rin Chupeco is the one I saw get the brunt of it, but I’m sure there are others.

    The whole thing is a mess. Perhaps other accusations have emerged against Bear, but Rowland’s initial post claimed Bear somehow groomed her into having sex with Lynch, when it appears (also from her post) Bear was upset she was sleeping with her husband (who seems awful). But all that has, understandably, been overshadowed now that BS and her fellow harassers are involved.

  23. Shao Ping: Here’s the tweet

    Thank you for locating that. I am relieved that my memory of the two tweets was reasonably accurate.

    My assessment of Bear’s role in her Racefail post was that she, as an established author, got cocky and posted from an “authoritative” point-of-view that was actually beyond her remit, and when called out on it, she doubled-down instead of stepping back and saying “I’m listening”.

    As far as I have been able to determine, Bear was not involved in calling out BS on her decade-long campaign of harassment and abuse.

    My assessment of Bear’s role in this latest round of allegations is that her worst acts have been to defend what was undoubtedly egregiously-bad behavior on the part of her spouse. She was clearly never on board with Rowland being involved with Lynch and is trying to save her marriage, so I get why she’s doing it, but Lynch needs to own his shit here, and she needs to let him do it.

    Conversely, while Lynch must be held accountable for making the choice to engage in an extramarital relationship and pretty clearly lying about his wife’s feelings on the issue, Rowland’s attempt to portray herself as a child who was groomed is extremely manipulative and lacking in any sort of the self-accountability which it is reasonable to expect of a 25-year-old.

    And holy shit, the fact that Rowland picked up and moved a considerable distance to be close to Bear and Lynch while making it sound as though they moved to be close to her is just incredibly creepy and stalkerish. She was pushing to be involved with them, and her story of being an innocent victim here has all sorts of holes in it.

  24. @Annie:

    And Milan is right in one respect, would the anger we see directed at requires hate be the same if she was right, we will never know for sure of course but I have a feeling That it wouldn’t be.

    Right about what? That writers should be physically abused for writing books that RH disapproves of? (Going by @Cora Buhlert’s comment above; I’m not diving back into that particular cesspool.)

    @Deirdre Saoirse Moen:

    She was trying to analyze the text, being the former Supreme Court clerk and awesome person that she is.

    Hasn’t Milan acknowledged not reading all the text? ISTM that would suggest that she’s left her SCOTUS experience behind and/or made it irrelevant.

  25. @ jayn
    re:

    she hadn’t actually read it all because it had scathing book reviews in it and she finds bad book reviews triggering due to her own traumatic experience with such

    The language was ambiguous, but (having followed Milan’s RWA experiences) I believe it was referring to Milan having been slammed for using “profanity” in her review of a racist book, and therefore having a different reflexive reaction to the charges that BS used profanity in reviews of books that she was criticizing.

  26. As for people bringing up the Mixon report/Racefail whenever BS and EB are mentioned anywhere, people also bring up the fact that he used to grope and harrass women whenever Isaac Asimov is mentioned and he has been dead for 28 years. There is no statute of limitations on bringing up past bad behaviour and everybody must decide for themselves whether past bad behaviour matters to them or not.

    Regarding Scott Lynch, there were several problematic people, some of them published writers, on that long defunct forum where we were both members, which was also the reason why I eventually left. However, Scott Lynch wasn’t one of them at the time and I have no idea what went on in his marriage(s).

  27. @Chip, she was reading through it in public and asking questions while going through it. She was getting piled onto. Having had a very similar experience with larger legal potential legal consequences that was far more recent, it was understandably upsetting for her. (Jesus, was that really last year? Time dilates.) Anyhow, she’d been the head of the RWA Ethics Committee. And then…wasn’t. Because racism.

    https://www.claireryanauthor.com/blog/2019/12/27/the-implosion-of-the-rwa

    She stopped because she understandably triggered people and had not intended to do so, as she details in this series of tweets. But, yes, she wasn’t clear enough that her issues with the text were with the text.

    https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/1277434211528437760

    I wasn’t following the byplay closely due to a migraine.

  28. Deirdre Saoirse Moen: In the interests of keeping the record straight, Milan made conclusion-driven statements like this —

    Even though I read the damned report that Mixon wrote about her. And checked the footnotes. And NONE of the footnotes I checked supported the text. ¯\_(?)_/

    My post inludes as many of Milan’s recent tweets on the subject of BS that I could find. None of them contain analysis of the Mixon report. It’s not her (Milan’s) capability that’s in question, it’s whether she did the work at the outset, rather than after people started sending her links to other supporting testimony.

    After someone pointed her at Zen Cho’s detailed analysis of the topic (from 2017) and endorsement of Mixon’s report, Milan stopped trying to critique the history and tried to steer the discussion back to her original argument that the treatment of BS is disproportionate.

    I need someone to explain to me like I’m two, what in this post justifies ostracizing her to the extent that years later, any time someone says something positive about her, that person gets flocked with dozens of people saying that she’s a monster.

    Which is the opposite of exhibiting deeply analytical understanding, both on its face, and because Zen Cho’s report begins by explaining that very thing:

    I am writing this for two sets of people. One set is the people who were targeted by RH/BS and friends or were otherwise made to feel that fandom was a hostile place because of her conduct and that of her friends and supporters.
    The second set is the people of colour/non-white people who continue to interact with RH/BS. Those who participate in roundtables with her, include her stories in their anthologies, and boost her work and opinions as though she is a totally normal, OK person who has never indulged in public, worryingly detailed fantasies of violence against other human beings in her life.
    To this second audience: you can talk to and work with anyone you want. We need to talk to people we disagree with, and hanging out with a person online doesn’t of itself mean you condone their behaviour. However, I want you to make sure you have thought carefully about what you are doing…

    And Mixon herself had written in a 2015 follow-up:

    Here’s the thing. Our community doesn’t kick people out. Ever. People can decide to leave—and part of my distress last fall was learning that numerous talented writers, editors, and engaged fans had decided to leave the field rather than face further death threats and stalking by Requires Hate et al. But if a person decides to stay, however controversial and destructive their actions have been, they’ll nearly always find someone ready to listen to them.
    It’s a salient trait of our community to be tolerant—to a fault—of difference, of clueless behavior, argument, and dissent. It can be a bad thing, when we find ourselves tolerating abuse. But tolerance can also be a good thing, when it’s used to give people we disagree with the benefit of the doubt and to create a space for debate and reform.

  29. I do know Scott and Bear socially, although I am not an intimate. I also, more than 15 years ago, went through a disastrous poly drama with an abusive young woman which looks an awful lot like what Bear describes. All of this informs my opinions. It looks to me like Scott has a bit of an overactive savior complex and that Rowland leveraged that to create a truly fucked up disaster, which she then DARVO’d with great skill. I’ve had that done to me, and there is this level of desperate fury in its immediate aftermath which makes one say incredibly intemperate things.

    In terms of personal experience, I have seen Scott in numerous social settings, drunk and sober, and he has never been remotely sexually inappropriate. If Scott were in the habit of fucking groupies ..well, he’s good-looking enough that he’d have had a lot of opportunity, and there would have been a lot of stories floating about before this happened.

  30. Two things I’ve seen recently, and a couple things I’ve been thinking:

    There are still people- notably PoC- hurt from Racefail, even given how long ago it was. And the fissures it exposed are not even close to being bridged. There’s even less excuse for the “ignorance” seen by white authors in Racefail, but we still see people arguing over basics like “what is racism”.
    It is really hard to actually get any information about the stuff that was going on around the self-destruction of various progressive LiveJournal communities. Or even that they fell apart. It’s an obscure chapter of history that’s mostly been forgotten except by the people who were there. But the damage remains.

    Which leads me to think of how much history is a spiral, never going back to where it was before…. I hear people talking about how Tumblr communities are failing , and people asking what the hell is going on with the 17-25 year-olds, and I’m thinking “Close to the same thing that happened in Livejounal.”

    I also think about how for the most part the abusers and harassers and racists really don’t go away. Vox Day still has his publishing firm and fans, there’s a Foundation series coming out, Card and Rowling have their careers intact. Mixon on the other hand hasn’t published anything in 9 years. So, if history is anything to go by, Bear will be fine, and Rowland will have her career harmed. And whatever is going on will probably not affect Sriduangkaew’s writing career- and maybe will hurt a couple other people. Going public is a dangerous thing, after all.

  31. @Chip Hitchcock,
    I meant to say white instead of right.
    I completely get the argument being made, that we should hold everyone to a higher standard regardless of race and in a perfect world, that’s exactly what would happen but we live in societies which are to a greater or lesser extent highly racist so to me that argument seems like a copout.
    I think part of the way we can deal with it is by acknowledging that white people in fandom come from a privileged position, if George are are Martin writes a blog post about any topic, that topic will suddenly get a lot more interest, much more than a person of colour but about the same thing so I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all need to be aware of how much power we have and how we are responsible.

  32. I think its quite interesting that whenever a story like this comes out about a powerful person, there are always people in the comment section who say that they know the individual personally and he, and it usually is a he, would never do something like that.
    To which the response is usually, just because the person hasn’t been inappropriate with you that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened and you only know that individual in a particular context.
    And yet when someone we know personally is accused, suddenly were the ones who feel like we have to defend The person in question.
    I’m not saying I’m any better if someone I knew was accused of indecency or inappropriate behaviour, my first reaction would be to jump to their defence, I think it’s a natural human trait, after all no one wants to believe that they’ve been friends with an abuser.

  33. @Annie
    If you’re referring to what Lydia Nickerson and I said, we both explicitly said that we never witnessed Scott Lynch do anything inappropriate, not that nothing ever happened.

  34. Cora:

    Respectfully, Lydia saying

    If Scott were in the habit of fucking groupies ..well, he’s good-looking enough that he’d have had a lot of opportunity, and there would have been a lot of stories floating about before this happened.

    isn’t simply relating her personal experience with Scott Lynch; it’s an argument that he has generally behaved well. She also argued that if there’s a mess, it’s due to Rowland, not Lynch whose fault seems to be that he cares too much (“overactive saviour complex”).

    Perhaps he is (largely) innocent–though it seems fairly clear he had an affair with Rowland–but I’ve seen similar reasoning used often enough in cases where it soon became clear there was a pattern of bad behaviour that it’s not reasoning I would be comfortable standing behind. So I have to, respectfully, disagree with Lydia as well.

  35. @Shao Ping
    Scott Lynch hasn’t denied that he had an affair with Rowland. He’s apologized sincerely, as far as I can tell, and to everyone that was hurt by it.
    So I think I’ll take Lydia’s word.

  36. My current opinions:

    Courtney Milan just stuck her foot in it bad, spoke from ignorance, tried to learn better. She may have a redemption arc coming, her apology has many of the right markers but we’ll see how future interactions go before declaring it done.

    BS was a terrible person, I have her muted on twitter – but as far as I can tell (and I freely admit that not being or having been a target of her ire, I am not in a position to know) has not done any new harassment campaigns since the ones she was outed for in the Mixon report. I know Bear and Mixon run in the same circles but do not know that Bear was particularly a part of outing BS.

    I was a direct witness/participant in Racefail. I was also a really big Bear fan at the time, and at the time, felt she was getting more vitriol than she deserved for how it blew up (I made similar excuses for TNH with similar reasons). I Have been having to visit, several times in the years since but most definitely right now, how much my reactions then were Nice White Lady reactions, not only too ready to give my idols a pass, but much more willing to give white people one, even as I started reading and linking more and more black people and PoC to learn.

    My opinion of the Bear/Lynch/Rowland thing is that Rowland isn’t a total innocent, she was looking at this to advance her career and she persisted in pushing for a relationship after she learned she’d been flat lied to… but she’s not the villain. Bear is definitely downplaying her actual power, and making excuses for her husband in ways that are not indicative of a healthy relationship or an objective view, but she isn’t the villain either.

    I do think that keeping BS out of convention fandom and distrusting her is she appears to target anyone is the minimum she deserves, but I don’t any longer see how it makes things up to her victims if she’s denied publishing opportunities for any reason besides story quality and market power. (Market power can definitely include everyone choosing not to read or buy her books! I have made that exact choice.)

    I suspect that a good idea how to handle Bear and Lynch especially is to keep them from any mentoring positions, especially of BIPoC, and think really hard about convention appearances. But I don’t any longer see how it makes things up to her victims if she’s denied publishing opportunities for any reason besides story quality and market power. (Market power can definitely include everyone choosing not to read or buy her books! I haven’t been reading Lynch for unrelated reasons, and I am ages behind on Bear, so my market choices here are ambiguous.)

    I could keep going on feasible consequences, but I think you can likely extrapolate. (I’d make exceptions on denying publishing opportunities for books that are themselves hate crimes or acts of bigotry, but I don’t even have that much influence.)

  37. @Shao Ping: You are correct that I don’t know, for sure, what Scott’s behavior is like when I’m not around. Possibly I should not have included that last paragraph. It does sound a lot other defenses of the indefensible. While it plays into why I, personally, am doubtful that Scott is badly behaved towards other people, it is by no means proof of anything at all.

    As we work our way through dealing with abusive people in our community, we also have to work our way through DARVO. Some times, it’s blindingly obvious. Some times, it’s really not. I think that the Bear/Lynch/Rowland situation is not blindingly obvious, and I find the situation concerning and painful. I remember all my friends who, when my ex-girlfriend was accusing me of rather extravagantly bad behavior, kept on insisting that “the truth was somewhere in the middle” and how painful that was for me. There are still people who mistrust me based on lies that were told more than a decade ago. It is distinctly possible that my experiences cause me to lean more to Bear/Lynch than I should. That is why I mention them, so that my biases are on the table, and people can apply appropriate windage.

  38. @ Lis
    You are right. The tweet Shao Ping linked from June 26, accusing EB of having engineered BS’s original exposure, with an apparent lie (I truly doubt that EB ever said an Asian woman from Asia can’t possibly write well; and the tweeter certainly doesn’t cite any quote), tweeted by a person who is tweeting conversationally to BS’s protected twitter in apparent friendship, is certainly a plausible reason for EB to believe a new flight of BS’s harassers is incoming.

    Camestros’ theory that the tweeter is someone outside both circles who is engineering this fight between the two groups is also possible. But the fact that they took the trouble to befriend BS before starting that fight shows that the shit-stirrer would be playing a surprisingly long game, if so.

    @Heather Rose Jones
    Good point. Reading again, I see Milan doesn’t actually say why she didn’t read all the footnotes – I inferred a reason from her explanation that she found angry book reviews triggering, which I may have been mistaken about. But she definitely DID say she hadn’t read all the footnotes.

    https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/1276963494886117376

    Which contradicts her earlier flat statements, “Even though I read the damned report that Mixon wrote about her. And checked the footnotes. And NONE of the footnotes I checked supported the text.”; “I specifically stated that I had looked for evidence and it didn’t hold up under examination.”

    These are both worded as unequivocal statements that she had read the evidence and found it wanting…not that she had given it an incomplete reading and what she read seemed unconvincing. As others have mentioned, she has an entirely deserved legal reputation as the Supreme Court clerk and the justly celebrated confronter of RWA abuse. So she speaks with more authority in fandom than some schmononymus. IMO, she therefore has a greater responsibility not to swing that authority round carelessly – not to use it to issue what SOUNDS like a considered, complete exoneration when what she really meant was, “I read part of the evidence but decided to go with my gut feeling that my Twitter buddy COULDN’T have done the things people accused her of.”

    Speaking of that…this person tweeted what they SAY is a screencap of a conversation on Twitter between BS, CM and someone else on June 25th. I don’t know if it’s what it purports to be, and I’m no IT expert, but it looks real to me.

    https://twitter.com/HatchMel/status/1277926903609880581

    In it, BS describes her original harassment thusly: “Yeah there were pie graphs about how I mostly targeted minorities but it was white male authors I was most vitriolic about (and JKR, to be fair). Didn’t know GRRM was a woman of color, I guess. The rest was like: ‘an anonymous witness said she told them to get raped by dogs'”

    If real, it seems like she’s not merely minimizing and downplaying what she did – she’s heroizing it. It certainly doesn’t read like she’s particularly repentant of her original behavior.

  39. @Lis

    I’m not sure why she is not entitled to express that suspicion–and she may have more basis for that suspicion than she felt belonged in a tweet.

    Somewhat circumstantial evidence supporting Bear’s suspicions:
    Yesterday, I made numerous tweets replying to both BS’s critics and her supporters/stans. Quite a while later, I discovered Bear’s thread on the issue, and tried to reply to one of her critics, only to find I was blocked. I’d never heard of this person before, never communicated with them, and had not previously tweeted about the Bear-Rowland thing.

    Could be pure coincidence, but it seems possible that this person had blocked me because of my BS tweets, which would suggest that they were a BS supporter going after Bear.

    And I heard reports that Ann Aguirre had posted an apology to BS in which she claimed that since all this showed how terrible Bear was, and since Bear was associated with the exposes of BS, this must mean that BS had been unjustly accused. I can’t verify this, since when I followed the link to Aguirre’s tweet, the account had been deleted. But it certainly might have caused Bear to believe that BS was getting involved in the Rowland thing.

  40. @Lydia: thanks for the clarification and, although I don’t know any of the parties involved, I think we broadly agree.

  41. @annie: I hadn’t thought one consonant would make that much difference, but in this case it does; I agree with much of your argument, although from the scraps I’ve seen of RH’s writing it went beyond even the usual white-Puppy poo in terms of supporting physical violence. (I do not claim this is accurate or complete; I argued with one incipient Puppy but was a combination of fed up and busy for the worst of the outburst.) ISTM that GRRM specifically comes not just from white privilege but from a lot of hard work; the work might not have been recognized at the first had he been not-white, but would not have led to his current recognition if it weren’t remarkable. (The history of SF is littered with few-hit wonders.) But there are probably a lot of authoritative figures who could stand to remember that, like it or not, they started with an edge; not recognizing this is a failure not limited to various strains of libertarian. We could call it “Shrub syndrome”, after the man who was described as born on third base believing he’d hit a triple, but that’s such an extreme example it would be too easily sloughed off by less-remote cases.

  42. jayn on July 2, 2020 at 6:09 pm said:
    Camestros’ theory that the tweeter is someone outside both circles who is engineering this fight between the two groups is also possible. But the fact that they took the trouble to befriend BS before starting that fight shows that the shit-stirrer would be playing a surprisingly long game, if so.

    I was thinking of a specific account EB had circulated as screenshot where she had speculated that Requires Hate might be behind the account. Now, yes that’s not beyond the bounds of reasonable speculation and I can see why (and empathise with why) EB might make that speculation but the range of possible people involved is larger than BS. And there are definitely people who would like this situation to become more of a BS v EB fight with its own self-reinforcing momentum — which would be bad for both of them.

    Sorry, I keep being very elliptical in what I’m writing to avoid adding more fuel on the respective fires myself.

  43. The problem with having such a small, relatively speaking, online community when it comes to science fiction and fantasy is that everyone knows everybody else, either personally or in a professional context.
    That’s great because it builds a sense of camaraderie and friendship but when someone questions a person who is more powerful than them, suddenly it becomes about who’s on which side and defending the people that we know personally rather than trying to get at the truth, and I don’t think Twitter is particularly helpful in this regard either, neither is baseless speculation from either side.
    The only thing I would say is that it’s very difficult for a person to call out someone who is more privileged than them on the same axis, because society tends to reinforce the narrative of the privileged and call in to question those who are less powerful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.