WisCon 40 Chairs Resign

WisCon 40 co-chairs Andrea Horbinski and s.e. smith both resigned October 6.

Andrea Horbinski gave this explanation:

I’m sorry to say that my co-chair s.e. smith and I have resigned as Wiscon 40 chairs and as members of the Wiscon concom, effective immediately. This is a really unfortunate decision to have had to make, and we very much regret placing the con in this position. That said, it seems clear that we are a poor culture fit for the concom, and we feel the need to prioritize self-care rather than further risk our own mental health and well-being. Another reason we are leaving now rather than later is that at this juncture there is still potentially time to find replacement chairs to bring Wiscon 40 to fruition. We really appreciated the opportunity to work on Wiscon, and we wish the convention all the best.

WisCon’s official announcement expressed appreciation for the work the two had done:

In their months as Concom chairs, Andrea and s.e. were enacting exciting ideas for WisCon 40, starting with inviting back a previous guest of honor as a special guest.  They also showed great commitment to placing the concom on firm, sustainable ground by pushing forward an internal documentation initiative proposed by the outgoing WisCon 39 chairs.

Andrea and s.e. stepped up as chairs during a very transitional time for the Concom and the Concom and Board are deeply grateful for their work over the past year.

We are sorry to lose Andrea and s.e. as chairs and from the Concom and we wish them nothing but all the success in their future endeavors.

Interim Chair for WisCon 40 will be Jackie Lee, SF3 Board President.

[Thanks to Darrah Chavey for the links.]

66 thoughts on “WisCon 40 Chairs Resign

  1. Oh, I think you can snark at people for deliberate stupidity.

    danah boyd’s reasons include:Protests against English convention and vanity, which is the only major language to capitalize the first person singular pronoun
    Thinks that a name is no different from any of the other adjectives that can be used to describe a person, and also that capitalization does not add more value to herself as a person

    bell hooks reasons include:She decided not to capitalize her new name to place focus on her work rather than her name, on her ideas rather than her personality.–of course, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of attention to what they’re saying.
    And, of course, I’ll give a pass to some people–k d lang is a performer and I like her work; bell hooks I just think ‘Whatever’ and then read what I find interesting; e e cummings is dead anyway.
    Referring to someone by the preferred gender–no problem, right up until something stupid. Like advertising yourself as “the pregnant man” or creating a new gender because you’re just that special.
    Doesn’t bother me if people don’t like my name–the only people that get a say in my life are related to me; sleeping with me or paying me.

  2. I always assume that somebody who uses lower case for their name is in a lifestyle D/s relationship.

  3. In sweden, this thing with lower case at beginning of names or upper case at end of names as markers for submissive or switch, disappeared when people moved away from chat programs to specialized forums.

  4. In sweden, this thing with lower case at beginning of names or upper case at end of names as markers for submissive or switch, disappeared when people moved away from chat programs to specialized forums.

    Learn several new things today.

  5. Regarding the idea of a pregnant man: It’s kind of a watershed, isn’t it? Do you believe and respect what somebody tells you about their gender identification, regardless of what their physical anatomy is, or do you assume that you have the right to tell them who they are and how they should identify?

  6. Do you believe and respect what somebody tells you about their gender identification

    I understand that the correct thing is to use the pronoun of their choice. (Even if it means calling someone who’s pregnant ‘him’. Maybe especially then.)

  7. Harold Osler on October 10, 2015 at 10:28 pm said:
    @lexica–
    Or, as my grandmother would say, you can put lipstick on a pig and call it Petunia, but it’s still a pig.

    That seems rather offensive. Of course it’s a pig. And it cannot put lipstick on itself and call itself Petunia. But if it could, what would it cost you to call it Petunia?

    Or to make a more relevant example, if your sentient ship tells you it would rather you referred to it as “she”, would you understand the reason why and call it “she”, or laugh and tell the Presger it’s just a piece of equipment and your property?

  8. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan:

    That seems rather offensive.

    I thought it was offensive, too. In fact, I struck it off. But I suppose that’s a quixotic gesture — a copy will have been sent to everyone signed up for a feed.

  9. I know a man who was pregnant some years ago. It actually wasn’t hard to keep the pronouns straight then; visually he just read as a fat man. The hard part for me, was when he was nursing. I fumbled pronouns a lot then. Fortunately, he was very understanding.

    No, I’m not making this up. He’s a really nice guy, and his child is precocious.

    Cassy

  10. I suppose that’s a quixotic gesture

    It’s a much-appreciated gesture. I’d guess there are more people who read File 770 via the site compared to via the RSS feed or ticky box notification, plus what remains on the site winds up being the discussion of record. I think things are more constructive in the long run without that kind of toxicity.

    Maybe I’m showing my age here, but it’s my impression that many of us came to SFF and fandom because of the sense of acceptance: we don’t care what you look like or who/what the people around you say you “should” be, we’re interested in your thoughts and ideas and what you’re passionate about. The idea of policing whether somebody is or isn’t who they say they are (short of some using-it-as-cover-for-abuse situation) seems entirely inappropriate to me.

  11. I use lowercase because I started on ASR33 teletypes, and got tired of UPPER CASE AL THE TIME. This was, of course, well before the interwebs and people having problems that made them shout.

    At this point “bandit” vs “Bandit” is an affectation. Also easier to type because I don’t need to hit shift (with one hand).

    And – who am I to complain what people choose to call themselves? (With a *very* few exceptions, and this is not the appropriate forum for *those* rants.)

  12. Or to make a more relevant example, if your sentient ship tells you it would rather you referred to it as “she”, would you understand the reason why and call it “she”, or laugh and tell the Presger it’s just a piece of equipment and your property?

    Beyond that, would you accept “it” as her cousin despite the different pronoun (and it wanting to throttle you)? Or would you insist it was also just property even though it isn’t yours and hasn’t had any owner or captain for three thousand years?

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