More About ArmadilloCon 41 Code of Conduct Violation

Yesterday the ArmadilloCon 41 committee published an “ArmadilloCon Incident Report” about their disposition of a code of conduct violation by “a program participant who had gone significantly off-topic on a panel subsequently laid hands on another attendee.”

K. Tempest Bradford, one of the convention’s Regional Guests, today wrote that she was on the panel and witnessed what happened there. Bradford also gives an account of the “laid hands on” part which she gathered secondhand. The thread starts here.

Update 08/09/2019: Bradford subsequently tweeted that her identification of the Twitter URL for Burkheart is wrong:

82 thoughts on “More About ArmadilloCon 41 Code of Conduct Violation

  1. Horses. Wow. And could not be pried off that topic, or off the young audience member. Ugh.

  2. I do not know this Becky person, and I sincerely hope she never sets foot in a con near me. That’s not the kind of behavior that I have hopes education can fix.

    I’m glad ArmadilloCon kicked her out.

  3. The person talking about animals would have pissed me off. If I want to write a space opera with people from all parts of earth on a space station and it is near enough to present that the cultures have not gotten too messed up (actually the information from this panel may have inspired me to figure out a reasonable way for the cultures to evolve) The idea of autobiographies was excellent. I can make up my own animals and aliens, I cannot make up human cultures. I probably would have spoken up as an audience member that I came to the panel to hear about writing about human beings who are different than I am so I just don’t write middle class white people who happen to be black or Asian or whatever.

  4. A quick search online brought up enough hits (with images) for her books that I know I’m not interested in them.

  5. “Becky” is a racist slur. Not surprised to see it at the beginning of a racist tweet thread.

  6. I’m glad she got kicked out, and I hope other Texas cons take heed and vet her before adding her to another panel. I’ve met her/run into her several times at cons and her behavior was so bizarre I actively avoid her.

  7. Berryclothe: “Becky” is a racist slur. Not surprised to see it at the beginning of a racist tweet thread.

    Referring to an author by their real name is not racist. Pull your head out of your nether regions. 🙄

  8. I see one of her books is The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Horses. Not joking.

  9. White woman named Rebecca here. Becky is not a racist slur, the fuck is wrong with you?

  10. Mistake 34: trying to promote your horse books in an inappropiate panel. (Maybe that should be #1.) I kinda wonder why anyone thought she was going to be a good fit for this panel.

  11. I moderated a panel on reviews of SF/F stories once, and one of the panels was there because they had experience in software reviews. Now a software review is when you look over a program someone else has written and look for problems with it–it has no connection to reviews of literature whatsoever.

    And yet this person started off by trying to take control of the panel from me.

    So I guess I’m not surprised that someone who’s big into writing from animal POV wound up on a panel about writing from different perspectives. In an abstract sense, I might even be interested in hearing about that, but she was obviously on the wrong panel. A charitable interpretation would be that she simply tried to make the best of it but inadvertently ended up offending people.

    The bit about getting drunk and assaulting other people (assuming KTB’s account is accurate) is just inexcusable. I can’t see any way to defend that, no matter how charitable I’m trying to be.

  12. Is Hampus the only person who researched “Becky” as an epithet before jumping in? I know I did before I gated the comment.

    And — since this evidently needs to be underscored — it’s the “(yes BECKY)” addition that is provoking the response, not the mere use of the person’s given name.

  13. I’ve only heard it as “Barbecue Becky” – after the [white] woman in Oakland who wanted [black] people arrested for barbecuing in a section of park that was, actually, posted no grilling. It isn’t a felony, though, and she took it way way past any reasonable level.

  14. I’ve heard it as regarding a particular stereotype of white woman (including but not limited to the Barbecue Becky thing), just as I’ve heard Karen and Chad used in similar ways. It’s an epithet, I suppose, but not a racial slur.

    In an effort to lighten the discussion, my favorite Becky-related quote of all time: “Someone pointed out that “oh my god, becky, look at her butt” passes the bechdel test and I haven’t stopped laughing for a week.” (from twitter user krinkle8)

  15. Kind of impressed that people managed to avoid the popularisation of the term after Beyoncé sang “Becky with the good hair” to be honest. It was everywhere for awhile. And I don’t even listen to her stuff! But there were BBC articles written about it and everything.

    General rule: Don’t grab people. Being a bit of a twit on a panel which you apparently badly misunderstood the purpose of (I’d like a look at the description that was given to prospective panelists) is one thing, assuming the worst thing you did was be a bit of a twit rather than, just for example, sexually harass attending fans, but grabbing someone is quite another.

  16. Yeah, ‘“Becky” is a racist slur’ struck me as such an odd statement that I googled it and came up with the same link as Hampus. I guess technically it is a racist slur, since it applies only to white women and is derogatory (the definitions talk about ignorance and/or cluelessness)? In any event, KTB’s thread is in no way racist, but rather calling out what may or may not be unconscious racism on behalf of Becky. It seems clear to me that KTB’s ‘yes BECKY’ parenthetical bit is her pointing out the irony of someone with that name behaving in exactly the manner the slang describes.

  17. Beyonce is a rich diva with a big ego. Of course she fills her songs with insults directed at other women. It’s her job to make up things like “Becky with the good hair”.

  18. “Of course she fills her songs with insults directed at other women. It’s her job to make up things like “Becky with the good hair”.”

    The lyric is about the infidelity of her boyfriend.

  19. Cliff: KTB’s thread is in no way racist, but rather calling out what may or may not be unconscious racism on behalf of Becky. It seems clear to me that KTB’s ‘yes BECKY’ parenthetical bit is her pointing out the irony of someone with that name behaving in exactly the manner the slang describes.

    I was already aware of the slang usage of “Becky” so I didn’t bother Googling it. This was exactly my reaction to the tweet — it’s pointing out the supreme irony of the name. The Puppy saw the name, immediately assumed that KTB was using it as pejorative slang, and didn’t bother reading the rest of the tweet. 🙄

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  21. @John A Arkansawyer

    I don’t recognise that description of Beyoncé’s work at all. The song isn’t aimed at Becky. The song is aimed at the cheating man.

  22. Beyonce was no more saying something nice about the Becky who slept with her husband than K. Tempest Bradford is saying something nice about the Becky who filled her panel with nonsense. As the owner of a first name which signifies a prostitute’s client, a toilet and a jilted lover, I’m well aware of how the name game works.

  23. JJ: I was already aware of the slang usage of “Becky” so I didn’t bother Googling it. This was exactly my reaction to the tweet — it’s pointing out the supreme irony of the name. The Puppy saw the name, immediately assumed that KTB was using it as pejorative slang, and didn’t bother reading the rest of the tweet.

    If it’s too much to expect people delivering moral criticism to refrain from using epithets about any race — I expect it anyway.

  24. @John A. Arkansawyer–

    Beyonce was no more saying something nice about the Becky who slept with her husband than K. Tempest Bradford is saying something nice about the Becky who filled her panel with nonsense. As the owner of a first name which signifies a prostitute’s client, a toilet and a jilted lover, I’m well aware of how the name game works.

    I’m not sure I understand why you would think a woman whose husband is cheating on her should be allowed to say or think bad things only about her cheating husband, and not also about the woman he’s cheating with. Both the man and the woman are adulterers, and both contributing to the wronged wife’s unhappiness, after all.

  25. I don’t really see the usage of “Becky” as a name epithet of a race, as much as of a person with a specific behaviour in a specific context: “A white anglosaxian woman who is clueless about her own prejudice and about life is about people for people who are raceified.

    It is not about being white, it is about prejudiced people who don’t care about others and who also are white.

    But I agree with not happy using names like that. It is one thing with saying “barbecue becky”. Another just “becky”.

  26. Hampus Eckerman: I don’t really see the usage of “Becky” as a name epithet of a race, as much as of a person with a specific behaviour in a specific context: “A white anglosaxian woman who is clueless about her own prejudice and about life is about people for people who are raceified.

    And yet to explain how you do see it, you had to include a racial description.

  27. @Hampus, exactly, white people have and do use “Becky”. Are they racist toward white Beckys, or are they saying it in the context that @John mentions, that certain names have been associated with unfortunate things?

    If I get a penny for every time people think they are the first one to crack “So you are a rich man, eh?” But those are NOTHING comparing to if I were to use my birth name. The irony of all these is of course thinking that this is reverse racism. Sure real racism is bad in any form, and anyone can be a racist, but let me tell you the time I was told “to go back to your country”. Every PoC has a story to tell.

  28. “And yet to explain how you do see it, you had to include a racial description.”

    Yes? Is that something strange? I thought it was ordinary usage of language. If I explain Charlottesville marchers and say “white supremacists”, I have used a racial description, but it hardly means that I think all whites are supremacists.

  29. When you linked to the Wikipedia entry for “Becky (slang)” I supposed you accepted the part that says, “In 2019 the dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster wrote that: ‘Becky is increasingly functioning as an epithet, and being used especially to refer to a white woman who is ignorant of both her privilege and her prejudice.'” Now I understand that you don’t.

    The ArmadilloCon program participant is just as problematic with or without the cute aside — adding it tells me something about the writer, too.

  30. @Mike “The ArmadilloCon program participant is just as problematic with or without the cute aside — adding it tells me something about the writer, too.”

    Honestly I wasn’t going to participate in this thread, but Mike, I know people that know you, and I know you are a “good person”. In that light, I would encourage you to examine your statements carefully.

  31. “Now I understand that you don’t.”

    If you want to understand things that aren’t true, that is of course up to you.

  32. Richard Man: I just don’t see why Bradford would think it’s going make me, the reader, more receptive to a report of a code of conduct violation by indulging in that kind of aside.

    However, I also know the limits of my own self-restraint. (And I bet my readers know it even better than I do….) 🙁

  33. Hampus: You’re taking a position that disagrees with the definition quoted in the Wikipedia.

    (When was I cast in “The Argument Clinic” sketch?)

  34. @Mike, if you follow certain news, you would know that BBQ Becky, Karen, Permit Patty etc. are a thing… and remember what those things are: white people harassing PoC when the PoC is doing normal people things. If you didn’t know them, I encourage you to visit other news source or social media more. This is why YOUR line of questioning is getting uncomfortable. I am open to discuss this here, or on my FB wall, or via email.

  35. @Mike Glyer

    Given that it is used both ways, I’m not sure we have enough information to know which one K Tempest Bradford intended to reference.

  36. I take it in the same spirit as women who say “Men!” when some man has acted cluelessly entitled. It does not mean that all men are clueless or entitled, any more than Becky means that about white women. But it certainly implies that a subset of them are, and that it is annoying and unpleasant to deal with.

    As far as I know Karen doesn’t necessarily imply race, but I could be wrong. I took it to mean any female customer who, again, is acting entitled.

    I have not figured out what idea the name Felicia represents in “Goodbye, Felicia”.

    I think all of these are like using the term “mundanes” or “muggles” (or “orcs”, as my college Tolkien society sometimes did). It’s coming from a smaller and usually less powerful group, and applies to people in the larger, more powerful group who are disdainful about the smaller group. It’s not nice, but reactions to bad behavior are not always nice.

  37. @Lenore Jones: “It’s not nice, but reactions to bad behavior are not always nice.”

    Exactly, regardless how problematic the term Becky, Karen etc. are, to accuse PoC being racist when they use such a term is the “You hit me back first” defense. And remember, literally the OP is in the “you can’t make this shit up” category because her name is Becky.

  38. The way I took it was along the lines of –Yes, her name really is Becky. I’m not just calling her that.

    I think there is subtle difference between that and actually saying she is “a Becky.” But I suppose it wasn’t really necessary to emphasize the name at all.

  39. “Bye Felicia” is a reference to a movie, define below by urban dictionary

    “When someone says that they’re leaving and you could really give two shits less that they are. Their name then becomes “felicia”, a random bitch that nobody is sad to see go. They’re real name becomes irrelevant because nobody cares what it really is. Instead, they now are “felicia”.
    “hey guys i’m gonna go”
    “bye felicia”
    “who is felicia?”
    “exactly bitch. buh bye.””

    Becky and Karen etc are VERY SPECIFICALLY referencing a type of entitled racist white woman who uses her social capital to bring authorities (whether store managers or the police) around to their side and prey upon POC or others with lower social capital (such as the stereotypical middle aged white woman who harassed store employees and then tries to get them fired or get a discount for the “horrible service” they received). This is particularly gaining national stage after a series of high profile incidents of white women calling the police on black people for doing normal everyday activities such as barbecuing in the park.

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