Dublin 2019 Answers Engholm’s CoC Complaint About Ng’s Campbell Acceptance Speech

Ahrvid Engholm recently published Dublin 2019’s determination that “We do not consider Jeannette Ng’s speech to be a breach of our Code of Conduct.”

As reported in the August 21 “Storm Over Campbell Award” roundup, Swedish Fan Ahrvid Engholm filed a complaint that Jeanette Ng’s Campbell Award acceptance speech at the Dublin 2019 Hugo Awards ceremony violated the convention’s Code of Conduct. His complaint has since appeared in a letter to Locus, (screenshot at the link). The text of Ng’s speech is here. The award has now been renamed the Astounding Award.

Engholm posted the full text of Dublin 2019’s letter to him along with his own comments in response here.

Dublin 2019’s letter says:

Hi Ahrvid,

Thank you again for reaching out, and apologies for the time it took to get this response to you.

We do not consider Jeannette Ng’s speech to be a breach of our Code of Conduct.

From our perspective Ng was speaking to Campbell’s part in shaping the sci-fi landscape, which was notably exclusionary of minorities, people of colour and women at the time during which he was a part of it and which has had knock on effects to this day. Our Code of Conduct was, in a large part, designed to ensure people who have previously been excluded from fandom were safe and included at our convention – not to punish people who speak out against its exclusionary past.

We do not believe her words were targeted at anyone other than Campbell and his actions. There is no issue with being male or white, and unless a person also identified with Campbell’s more problematic beliefs and actions, they have no reason to feel attacked. Additionally, being a fan of Campbell’s work does not mean you need to stand by his beliefs; it is possible to appreciate his contribution to the community whilst also understanding some of his viewpoints were problematic.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns – I hope this helps clarify our position on the situation.

Kind regards,

Sarah Brennan, Listener and Code of Conduct Area Head Dublin 2019

Engholm, in his commentary, says he believes the Code of Conduct has been applied inequitably, whether judged by past precedents, or on its own terms.

Thanks for a reply, even if it took two months…

But the reply is not very satisfying, and I’ll explain why. A basic principle for acceptable ethics is that it applies equally to all. If not, it’s unethical, immoral – in crass terms, evil.

In 2016 Dave Truesdale was kicked out from the Worldcon for talking about “snowflakes” – a rather mild expression – not pointing to any person or ethnic or social group. But in 2019 it seems perfectly OK to accuse a named person for being a follower of one of history’s most evil ideologies, on the worldcon’s biggest stage.

It becomes clear that this does not apply equally to all. You – ie all responsible for the CoC – even openly admit that not being applied equally was what “Our Code of Conduct was…designed to ensure”. Thus the CoC loses its legitimacy. It’s a set of made-up private laws that allows the intimidation it pretends to protect from.

Engholm disagrees with Sarah Brennan’s evaluation of Ng’s speech (“There is no issue with being male or white…”)

As for Ng’s racist slurs, you seem to simply ignore them, the charges about “whites” being “sterile” and “haunt” the genre. You just falsely claim it’s “no issue” – but it is. You can’t even follow your own instructions that “We do not tolerate harassment of convention attendees in ANY FORM”. That’s what it says, but obviously you do tolerate harassment if it is in the form certain people like. People have reason to feel attacked!

“I certainly did. As a white male writer who goes back to the Campbell era I felt directly under attack, as well as being angered by the inaccurate slander being directed at Campbell, and I was so upset by her statements and the obvious audience approval of them that I left the ceremony as soon as I could appropriately get out the door “

That was a a testimony from a well-known longtime sf professional whom I shall not name.

Engholm asserts that what people complain about in Campbell is the byproduct of his “intentionally provoking intellectual style.” He also tells why in his view (and that of Harry Harrison) Campbell was not, politically, a fascist, therefore Ng was mistaken in calling him one. The complete text of Engholm’s commentary is here.

110 thoughts on “Dublin 2019 Answers Engholm’s CoC Complaint About Ng’s Campbell Acceptance Speech

  1. Ahrvid Engholm: In 2016 Dave Truesdale was kicked out from the Worldcon for talking about “snowflakes” – a rather mild expression – not pointing to any person or ethnic or social group.

    Nice attempt to palm a card there.

    No, Dave Truesdale had his Worldcon membership revoked after he hijacked a panel which he had been entrusted to moderate — and it wasn’t done on impulse, he actively planned ahead of time to deliberately violate the role with which he had been entrusted. As moderator, he then abused his position of privilege to denigrate marginalized persons, turning the panel into a direct criticism of its audience.

    And since Truesdale, by his own admission, spent the remainder of the convention hiding in the Puppy suite, he essentially experienced no negative impact from the revocation of his membership.

    Also, if Engholm is so direly insulted by accurate complaints about Campbell’s racism and problematic worldview, he might want to spend some time on introspection as to why he takes criticism of such beliefs so personally.

  2. I can’t find in myself any interest on the complete text of Engholm’s remarks, despite feeling that it’s good it should be available. He’s too much of a disingenuous fool. And he clearly can’t hear anything other than what he wants to hear.

  3. Aw, c/mon, tell us what snowflake felt attacked by Ng’s comments! We all want to know who’s forgotten (or is hiding from) the facts about Campbell!

    No, I’m not going to bother with the full text either. I’ve got enough tsuris without adding an ignorant whinge.

  4. “Intentionally provoking intellectual style” is just a nicer way of saying “troll”. I’m tired of people defending trolls. We don’t need trolls playing “provocative” while defending slavery.

  5. OK maybe this isn’t the best place to ask for medical advice but you know what? I trust the people here to steer me right and I know you’ve all got a wide wealth of experience. So my question is this: if I roll my eyes a lot, like REALLY just roll them around and around like REALLY a lot and at the same time I’m trying to read something and each time I read another bit I just KEEP rolling my eyes…then is it best if I roll my eyes clockwise for one sentence and then anti-clockwise the next sentence so that my optic nerves don’t get wound up really tight OR should I just roll them in one direction until my nerves get so twisted that eventually my eyes can’t stand the tension anymore and they just go WOOOOSSSSHHHH and spin around real quick like propellors?

  6. Does he seriously not understand that three adjectives in a row describe a noun, not each other? “Sterile. Male. White.” does not mean all males are sterile, nor that all whites are male. It means the particular noun in the preceding sentence (the tone set by Campbell) is describe by the compound of these three things.

    Does he seriously not understand this? Or is he lying?

  7. JJ claimed:
    “/Truesdale/ hijacked a panel which he had been entrusted to moderate”.
    That’s wrong and an impossible claim. As a moderator, you define your own panel, and you can’t “hijack” anything that is already yours!
    As you are leading your panel you are supposed to make an intro, preferably throwing in a torch or two so the discussion can get going. That’s what Mr Tusedale did with a ca 4 min intro. A recording of the entire panel is av available here, so anyone can hear who incredibly silly it is to claim any “hijacking” went on. “A good panel” someone commented, wishing he’d been there.
    JJ’s attempt to justify that it’s right to claim that Campbell was a follower of fascism is more than desperate.
    Worldcons’ “Code of Conduct” is biased, and should be abolished.

    –Ahrvid

  8. Ahrvid Engholm: That’s wrong and an impossible claim. As a moderator, you define your own panel, and you can’t “hijack” anything that is already yours!

    Incorrect. The panel was not Truesdale’s; it was MidAmeriCon II’s panel, and they are the ones who defined what the panel was about. Truesdale was entrusted to moderate it — to facilitate the discussion among the actual panelists, of which he was not one — not hijack it for his own ends, and his hijacking lasted a lot more than 4 minutes. While the actual panelists repeatedly tried to get the panel back on track, he continually kept trying to launch back into his diatribe.

    Truesdale had been entrusted with a position of responsibility by MAC II, and he abused that position of trust by launching into his own political agenda with a lengthy, prepared speech — this is not what a moderator is there to do.

    Even Moshe Feder, while ostensibly defending him, referred to Truesdale’s speech as “the unpleasant and hostile things Truesdale said”.

     
    Ahrvid Engholm: “A good panel” someone commented, wishing he’d been there.

    A great many people who were actually there found his speech offensive and completely off-topic from what the panel was supposed to be about. The opinion of someone who was not there certainly does not take precedence over the opinions of the attendees who went to that panel expecting a discussion on short fiction and instead were subjected to an abusive tirade.

  9. Dublin:

    Our Code of Conduct was, in a large part, designed to ensure people who have previously been excluded from fandom were safe and included at our convention – not to punish people who speak out against its exclusionary past.

    Engholm:

    You – ie all responsible for the CoC – even openly admit that not being applied equally was what “Our Code of Conduct was…designed to ensure”. Thus the CoC loses its legitimacy. It’s a set of made-up private laws that allows the intimidation it pretends to protect from.

    Oh well. Just like laws against stealing loses their legitimacy when they are applied differently to people who steal than to people whose possessions get stolen, I suppose.

  10. @Ahrvid Engholm: The irony that you’re still clutching your figurative pearls over this, years later, due to an event in which Truesdale was mocking others by clutching at literal prop pearls, is evidently still lost on you.

  11. “As a moderator, you define your own panel, and you can’t “hijack” anything that is already yours!”

    This is a very, very wrong view of what the role of a moderator is. The role of a moderator is to moderate the panelists according to the subject of the panel and in accordance to the rules of the convention. They are not “owners”, only people performing an agreed upon role. That role is not to steal the panelists and the audiences time to hold a long speech on a totally different subject.

  12. I have moderated a few panels in my time (at a few different conventions), and my basic guideline is, If I have strong opinions or a lot to say here, I shouldn’t be moderating.

    The first time I moderated, I was on a panel and stepped in because one of the other panelists was hijacking it, trying to make it into the hour-long Her Opinion Show. I did so by asking one of the other panelists her opinion. And then spent the rest of the hour calling on the panelists and the audience, and otherwise shutting up. My impromptu decision was that an actual panel discussion, not including me as a panelist, would be better than the alternative.

    Also, there was nothing stopping Truesdale from, before the con, suggesting a panel on his hobbyhorse topic to the con. If they’d said yes, he could have had other panelists who were prepared to talk about that, and an audience that was interested in that subject.

    By Ahrvid’s logic, it would be reasonable for someone who had been hired to teach American history to instead spend every class period talking about integral calculus, because “she defines her class.”

  13. JJ claims:
    “The panel was not Truesdale’s; it was MidAmeriCon II’s panel”
    No. As one who has been on many con committees as well as being panel moderator many times, a concom will only regard the topic as a loose framework and the moderator is free to fill it with contents. That’s all. JJ’s claims are invented just to desperately defend a bizarre CoC that allows outrageous personal attacks, while it pretends to protect from it.
    BTW, as you can hear in the recording here http://www.deathisbadblog.com/truesdales-worldcon-panel-recording/ Dave Truesdale’s intro lasts from ca 1:30 to 6:00, ie ca 4:30m.

    Hampus:
    You’re wrong. As one who has been on, I think 20+ concoms since 41 years back, a panel topic is just a loose framework. We never try to tie the moderator down in details. In practice a moderator owns the panel.
    Look, problems that turns up with panels isn’t strong opinions! That’s just good and makes a panel interesting. The opposite, everyone murmurs in agreement, makes listeners fall asleep. That someone talks too long and too much IS – as Vicki R notes – a problem. But not what he/she says. BTW, Truesdale DID talk on the panel subject and a 4:30 intro is quite normal.
    I think fandom just got a new proverb: TO STRAIN SNOWFLAKES BUT SWALLOW FASCISM.

    –Ahrvid

  14. @Ahrvid: I’ve been on a lot more than 20 concoms and I’ve never seen one that defined the moderator’s job your way. Why do you think panels have précis as well as titles? Or is that not done in your neck of the woods? @Vicki Rosenzweig points to the way it’s usually defined: facilitation, and suppression of immoderation by the panelists — not immoderation by the moderator.

    I promise you there is no pony at the bottom of the hole you’re digging; just put down the shovel.

  15. Ahrvid Engholm on October 23, 2019 at 7:40 am said:

    JJ claims:

    “The panel was not Truesdale’s; it was MidAmeriCon II’s panel”;

    No. As one who has been on many con committees as well as being panel moderator many times, a concom will only regard the topic as a loose framework and the moderator is free to fill it with contents.

    Wrong. If that were really the case, there should never be anything other than single-person panels, and the only description should be “Listen to X talk about anything X wants to talk about.”

    What color is the sky on your planet?

  16. “– the sci-fi landscape, which was notably exclusionary of minorities, people of colour and women at the time during which he was a part of it and which has had knock on effects to this day.”
    Flat false. JWC brought more women into ASF than any other magazine. This is well documented; see latest book on ASF that was on Hugo ballot.

  17. @Gregory Benford: I don’t doubt that’s so. He also brought more men into ASF than any other magazine. He was in the right place at the right time to discover and develop talent. He had a good eye for talent and a good ear for fiction. He deserves credit for that, right along with blame for the bad things.

    I figure if Robert Heinlein had to rejigger Campbell’s idea for Sixth Column to take out what Heinlein himself called racist about it, there’s fire under all this smoke.

  18. Truesdale does not matter. Trying to drag him into the conversation is just an attempt to muddy the waters. The Dublin 2019 and Worldcon 76 are run by different people and different legal entities. Codes of Conduct are not mentioned in the WSFS constitution, the only shared authority for both Worldcons. What San Jose did, or did not do, has absolutely nothing to do with Ng’s comments or Dublin 2019’s response.

  19. @ Ahrvid Engholm:

    As a panel attendee, I go there based on what’s in the convention programme. I expect that it will (mostly, although perhaps not in all particulars) be adhered to. I mean, if it isn’t, I am probably just going to leave.

    If the moderator is sufficiently lacking in moderation skill(s), I might take it up with the moderator afterwards, or try to feed it up towards the concom.

  20. Christopher Hensley :
    No. It’s the CoC’s claim that it won’t accept harassment “in any form” that muddies the water!
    It’s correct that a “Code of Conduct” isn’t mentioned in the WSFS constitution. But maybe it should be mentioned! And that mention should be:

    “Worldcons are banned from setting up their own Code of Conduct.”

    Period. The Law of the Land already decides how people may behave. A private “law” in for form of a CoC that lies about that it protects from harassment, that strains snowflakes but swallows fascism, is unethical, tasteless and unacceptable.

    –Ahrvid

  21. The Law of the Land has nothing to say about calling people ethnic slurs (White, btw, is not a slur) or gendered insults, and shockingly little about inappropriate groping or stalking or general harassment unless conducted on a much longer duration and as a much greater threat than can be practiced at a convention over a weekend. Yet when I am at a convention, I fully expect people practicing those things to be ejected. Therefore the law of the land is not the sole solution.

    When I was about 18 or 20, I was at a con, and there was a guy lounging around in the middle of a hallway making it clear he was a foot fetishist looking for people to indulge him, and if they didn’t, he sometimes took matters into his own hands. People were giving warnings about him, but the halls weren’t that big. When I walked too close in sandals, while talking to someone else and minding my own business, he licked my foot.

    He was ejected from the convention that same day after numerous complaints, and summarily banned form all future cons.

    Take that complaint to the police, and they would maybe tactfully say it wasn’t a legal issue. More likely they would skip the tact and literally laugh in your face.

    And with no code of conduct he’d have recourse to complain the con was at fault for ejecting him. With no code of conduct but the disclaimer “We can chose to revoke any membership at any time at our discretion” he wouldn’t have any recourse — but neither would a person who was repeatedly sexually harassed and groped who was ejected when they complained, even though ejecting the victim is obviously totally inappropriate.

    So far, codes of conduct are the best next solution we have found. Inconsistent application can be an issue (it certainly was for Wiscon before they got their own mess straightened out), but perfect consistency across Worldcons is not to be expected UNLESS you enshrine the code of conduct in the WSFS constitution, and a code of conduct, even one noticeably different form the one two years previous, is still generally better than no code of conduct besides “If it’ illegal, don’t do it.”

    And even after that, one decision that didn’t go your way also does not prove the CoC is wrong or inconsistent, especially when so many people of equal or greater experience with cons are telling you you are flat wrong.

  22. Ahrvid Engholm on October 24, 2019 at 3:24 am said:

    It’s correct that a “Code of Conduct” isn’t mentioned in the WSFS constitution. But maybe it should be mentioned! And that mention should be:

    “Worldcons are banned from setting up their own Code of Conduct.”

    You are of course welcome to introduce such a proposal to the next WSFS Business Meeting and attempt to convince a majority of the attendees at that meeting and the one after it to vote for it. Somehow, I think that may be a hard sell.

    If you wish to tilt at that particular windmill and can convince at least one other WSFS member to endorse it, I’ll compose it in proper technical form for you if you wish. Show up at the Business Meeting and you’ll even (probably) get at least two minutes to speak your piece as you defend your proposal against a (probably) move to Postpone Indefinitely.

    (Incidentally, as I am not an officer of either of the next two Worldcons’ business meetings, nothing I say here should be taken as official doctrine of any sort. I am working on both meetings as assistant videographer, so if you have questions about the recordings of those meetings, you can come to me about them. My wife, Lisa Hayes, has agreed to record both meetings, and I’ll be her minion, as I was at Kansas City. Lisa doesn’t do e-mail, so questions to her have to route through me.)

    Note the following portion of the WSFS Constitution:

    Section 1.6: Authority. Authority and responsibility for all matters concerning the Worldcon, except those reserved herein to WSFS, shall rest with the Worldcon Committee, which shall act in its own name and not in that of WSFS.

    It may not be obvious to some folks, but the Worldcon Committee is not WSFS, although all of the members of that Worldcon are the membership of WSFS for that year (by definition). Worldcon Committees are authorized by WSFS (through a defined mechanism) to organize a Worldcon. There are things they must do, and things they must not do (all defined in the Constitution), and the rest is up to the committee. For example, Worldcons must conduct the Hugo Awards, but there is no requirement that they hold a Hugo Award ceremony; the decision to do so is totally in the hands of the Worldcon Committee of that year.

  23. What Kevin said. If you can convince people to support it, go for it. I’ll try my damnedest to convince people to oppose it, for the same important technical reason I’d oppose a motion to mandate a Code of Conduct.

  24. And of course if that proposal survived the Motion to Postpone Indefinitely it would be subject to amendment, which need not be sympathetic to the proponent’s intent. One can certainly imagine, say, an amendment to strike “banned from setting” and insert “required to set” in lieu thereof.

    I am not necessarily advocating such an amendment. But be careful what you wish for — you might get something germane that you dislike instead.

    Martin

  25. @Goobergunch: I was enlightened, flabbergasted, and amused when that happened before my very eyes in Dublin. I didn’t know until then that parliamentary procedure was so similar to Magic: the Gathering.

  26. Lenora Rose:
    “The Law of the Land has nothing to say about calling people ethnic slurs (White, btw, is not a slur)”
    That a certain race or dito gender is “sterile” and “haunting” is certainly a slur. But generally, real laws (as opposed to unethical private ones) do have things to say about this and much more. It’s just that they also have to be balanced, so real laws has to weigh what should be banned against what’s unreasonable to ban. For private “laws” there seem to be no requirement of being reasonable and they are based on a narrow private perspective which usually includes bias and intolerance. As we have clearly seen, you’re free to load private “laws” with any bias, anything unreasonable – like that it’s OK to claim that people are follower of an evil ideology, when they aren’t.
    Tha con incident you mention is certainly against the Law of the Land. The Police may be too lazy and/or have too little resources to handle everything but it is against the (real) Law. One can act on those grounds, no artificial CoC needed.

    I’m not sufficiently involved in Worldcons or WSFS to engage in any motions. But it’s worth mentioning the idea that the WSFS in fact can act against the abuse called “Code of Conduct”, and if others want to do something they have my moral support.
    It is obvious that the idea of a CoC does not work as it strains snowflakes but swallows fascism. That’s undefenable. A CoC is a set of rubber paragraphs that the people behind stretch and bend and use as they wish, to oppress some (bloody fascists eh!) and outlaw criticism of their own favourite ideologies (if you say snowflake you’re expelled!). It’s an instrument of intolerance and oppression.
    In fact, a “Code of Conduct” very much resembles…fascism. *

    –Ahrvid

    Wikipedia on fascism: “forcible suppression of opposition”.

  27. “That a certain race or dito gender is “sterile” and “haunting” is certainly a slur.”

    Thank god no one did that. What was called “sterile” was the tone of SF, and I tend to think that was a fitting description for Campbells baby “Cold Equations” and SF of the same kind. I guess you have to attack those windmills, otherwise there wouldn’t be a use for the tinfoil helmet

  28. I can’t speak for Irish Law, or EU Law more broadly. In the US he law of the land is pretty straightforward. Except for a select few categories protected by law a group can define the criteria for membership however they please, from strict rules to completely arbitrary to anything in between. That includes revoking membership in said group. That is actually protected by the very first Amendment of the US Constitution. WSFS could set limits on that in their own constitution, for the same right of association, which limits the third-party entities administering Worldcon but it is, as I mentioned, a bad idea for the same reason that mandating a CoC is a bad idea. WSFS is an unincorporated entity. That means in common law countries, like the US and UK and presumably Ireland (though as I said, not an expert on Irish law), that the legal and civil liability of WSFS falls on the individual members. Banning CoCs would open up individual members to law suits by people who where harassed or assaulted at Worldcon.

  29. Is anyone else starting to get a sinking feeling that Arvid’s “Law of the land” might involve details about the fringes on flags?

  30. Ahrvid,

    That a certain race or dito gender is “sterile” and “haunting” is certainly a slur.

    That is NOT how English works.

    There is my cat. White. Sterile. Foolish.

    I am calling my cat “white”. I am calling my cat “sterile”. I am calling my cat “foolish”.

    I am not calling myself, who is white, either sterile or foolish.

    All of this bluster is because you don’t understand how adjectives work in English? Seriously????

  31. Even if ‘sterile’ (or ‘haunting’) had referred to an entire race rather than a tone of writing, I disagree that it’s a slur. Unflattering? Sure. Uncomplimentary? Obviously. But not every negative word is a slur, and ‘sterile’ hasn’t been used (nor has any other word, at least not for white folks) to dehumanize and oppress an entire class of people. Sterile is not remotely comparable to words that have been flung at African-Americans, the gay community, or intellectually disabled folks.

  32. @ Christian Brunschen:

    I prefer the Swedish translation of the rules. Well, specifically, I prefer the rules that Anders Sandberg helpfully put on-line here. I think it’s now 30, if not more, since I finished that translation.

    I’ve even tried it with the tournament rule-set active. Works pretty well.

  33. Hampus:
    And that tone was “Male. White.” – ie, it’s a racist, gender-based slur.

    Christopher H:
    Sure, the law permits you to set your rules. However, it doesn’t mean it’s ethical or reasonable. Ethics demand everyone is treated equally, which isn’t the case if you strain snowflakes but swallow fascism. (Allowing CoCs also opens for law suits, eg for libel if you claim someone is a follower of fascism.)

    Cassy B:
    You seem not to have seen Ms Ng’s slur. The adjectives point to what is “haunting” sf and that is a certain race, a certain gender whish she also claims to have the property of being sterile.

    Becca:
    You seem to argue that is Y has uses slurs on some group, Y may throw slurs at another group, as…well, revenge, or what? But neither X or Y should do it.

    Ingvar:
    🙂

    –Ahrvid

  34. I’m arguing that you were not subjected to slurs at all, because male and white are not slurs. Neither is sterile (which, as someone pointed out above, was not a descriptor of a population but rather of a writing style, so it’s super extra not a slur in this context).

  35. Ahrvid:

    “And that tone was “Male. White.” – ie, it’s a racist, gender-based slur.”

    No. It is an observation of a lack of diversity. Of discrimination. A lack caused by Campbell refusing to have coloured heroes as an example.

  36. Patrick Morris Miller on October 24, 2019 at 11:41 am said:

    @Goobergunch: I was enlightened, flabbergasted, and amused when that happened before my very eyes in Dublin. I didn’t know until then that parliamentary procedure was so similar to Magic: the Gathering.

    This is one of the reasons you hear me say, in an increasingly exasperated tone, “There is no such thing as a ‘friendly amendment.'”* Once a motion has been made, seconded, and stated by the Chair, it no longer belongs to the persons who made it. It belongs to the members, who can amend it in any way they like as long as it is germane to the subject and doesn’t merely invert the motion’s sign so that adopting it has the same effect that rejecting the original motion would be.

    Example: The motion on the floor is “That this meeting endorse X for the office of…”

    Someone moves to amend by inserting “not” in front of “endorse.” The Chair should rule this out of order because “not endorse” has the exact same effect as rejecting the motion to “endorse.”

    Someone else moves to amend by striking out “endorse” and inserting “oppose.” That’s a legal motion. Despite the fact endorse and oppose are antithetical to each other, both are “positive actions,” as opposed to “negative actions” that can be done by simply rejecting the original proposal.

    Incidentally, Westercon, which is of course a different convention but shares certain organizational similarities and a lot of overlap in membership, authorizes (without using the exact words) codes of conduct but does not mandate them. (Section 1.3.3. Restriction of Memberships. But the fact that WSFS doesn’t explicitly authorize such things does not prohibit them, either, due to WSFS Constitution Section 1.6.)

    Ahrvid:

    I think you’re better served by running your own convention, where you make all rules and are Absolute Ruler. Then you can’t possibly be unhappy. Unless you’re unhappy being alone. Anyone who wants to run a Worldcon does so under WSFS rules, and has to face a political process of winning an election. For some years now, a fairly standard question has been, “What sort of Code of Conduct are you going to have?” I suppose could could form a bid committee that announces that you won’t have a Code of Conduct. Based on the current political climate, I rather expect it would be difficult for you to win your election. In fact, I suggest that even if you were running unopposed that such an announcement would generate at least one additional bid in reaction. You may not like this, but I don’t like when I lose at playing 21 (blackjack) when I draw a face card to an opening 13, either; however, nobody is going to listen to my complaining that they should change the game to 23.

    *Exception: under some circumstances, someone can gain the floor after a motion has been made and/or seconded but before the Chair has put it before the meeting, suggesting that the maker modify it in some way. Such changes are usually small because otherwise it gets too confusing. If the maker agrees to the change, the motion is immediately changes, but anyone who seconded it has the right to withdraw their second at that point.

  37. Ahrvid Engholm on October 25, 2019 at 9:12 am said:

    Hampus:
    And that tone was “Male. White.” – ie, it’s a racist, gender-based slur.

    Nope. I’m white, male, cisgender, and straight. None of these things are slurs, despite repeated attempts by some people to say that (for example) “cis” (i.e. “cisgender”) is somehow a slur. But my guess is that for you personally, you don’t think any of those descriptors should be used, because in our world that just means “normal.” You certainly wouldn’t be the only person do so, but if so, you’re wrong.

  38. And, that is moving the goal post. You wanted the “Law of the Land” to be followed, and it is being followed. You want to make an ethical case, that is a completely different issue and it’s on you to lay out your evidence on the table.

  39. I’ll freely admit that “boring,” “pedantic,” and “prolix” are probably accurate descriptions, too. I still won’t take them as slurs: “Fair cop, guv.”

    Note that a lot of things are held to be slanderous or libelous that are not. I’ve been getting a bit of an education reading certain legal documents references here, mostly in regard to a certain lawsuit that I choose not to reference despite my name and that of the other directors having been removed from the case and therefore me no longer being personally a party to the suit.

  40. Ahrvid: “And that tone was ‘Male. White.’ – ie, it’s a racist, gender-based slur.”

    Ng’s quote was, “Through his editorial control of Astounding Science Fiction, he is responsible for setting a tone of science fiction that still haunts the genre to this day. Sterile. Male. White. Exalting in the ambitions of imperialists and colonisers, settlers and industrialists.”

    So you’re claiming that by using the W-word and the M-word to describe the tone of Campbellian SF, Ng was making a racist, gender-based slur?

    I’m very curious, now. When I took a course on Native American literature in grad school, was “Native American” as a description of the literature in question a slur? Is Penguin’s catalog of Women’s Fiction a slur? If I describe someone as Black and/or Female, are those also slurs?

    I’m also curious, though this is a minor thing, about your line, “Thus the CoC loses its legitimacy. It’s a set of made-up private laws…” Could you help me out and provide an example of a law (in the legal sense) that isn’t made-up?

    Sincerely,
    Another White Male

  41. strain snowflakes but swallow fascism

    This phrase has been repeated a few times now and I’m still none the wiser as to what on earth it means.

  42. Becca:
    “Sterile” and “haunting” are slurs.

    Hampus claims:
    “It is an observation of a lack of diversity. Of discrimination.”
    First of all, it’s not mandatory to have “diversity”. You must be free to have whatever mix you see fit. Second, to accuse someone of “discrimination” – as you admit the phrasing does – is a slur.

    John A A:
    “A Specter Is Haunting Science Fiction”
    Indeed.

    Kevin S:
    “Sterile” isn’t “just normal”. And when you describe some as “haunting” you use a negative word.

    Christopher H:
    “lay out your evidence”
    Already have. We see how CoC expels someone or talking about snowlakes, but allows the infinitely much grosser slander of accusing someone of being a follower of one of history’s most evil ideologies.

    Jim CH:
    “/Is/ ‘Native American’ as a description of the literature in question a slur? Is Penguin’s catalog of Women’s Fiction a slur?”
    It would be if described as “sterile” and something that is “haunting”.
    Also: “Provide an example of a law (in the legal sense) that isn’t made-up?”
    Oh, all laws are made up (except Natural laws in science). The point, though, is that some laws are legitimate becase they have been made up in an acceptable way.

    Meredith:
    “Strain snowflakes but swallow fascism” points to the illegitimacy and contradition in punishing the negligible but accepting the gross violation.

    –Ahrvid

  43. Accusing someone of discrimination is not a slur. It may be true, as in this case, or false, but either way it isn’t a slur. I don’t think you know what the word slur means.

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