WisCon developments and my breaking heart

WisCon developments and my breaking heart

For those of you who haven’t heard, the SF3 organization that is the parent org for WisCon passed a resolution at their Oct 3rd meeting recommending to the concom that they rescind Elizabeth Moon’s guest of honor invitation. This is just a rec, though. It’s still up to the concom — I assume the troika, actually — to follow through on it. Based on this post by Karnythia, there seems to be a lot of discussion going on within the concom about following this rec, with some strong voices opposed to doing so.

Karnythia’s post is a must read, but even more so the comments. She is not the only one stating that she does not want to attend WisCon but will probably come to Madison. There are even some saying they will not come to Madison at all. The people saying this are people whose contributions to WisCon — both on the concom and the community — are so valuable. They are awesome people, exactly the kind of people you’d want to spend a weekend having conversations with.

That these people may not show up to the con is breaking my heart. And I am so, so angry and hurt by those who are seriously attempting to brush aside the bigotry of Elizabeth Moon so that she doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable and be sad.

Fuck that.

These people are pouring acid over the best part of WisCon, the community. A community that will be diminished if this foolishness doesn’t come to an end. I want to go to WisCon and honor Nisi and have a fabulous tine. Damn you people for putting that in jeopardy.

As Nora succinctly states: A con that honors a bigot is not feminist.

Comments

  1. says

    Along with the importance of Nora’s and Karnythia’s posts, your point about the diminished community is really important–I hadn’t been able to figure out that part of my feelings about it but you got it spot on. Thank you.

  2. Darrah says

    You said there were “some strong voices opposed to doing so.” Of 24 people present, there was one voice opposed to rescinding the invitation. (There may have been abstentions; I didn’t keep count.) What there IS considerable discussion about is the process to follow to get there. For example, a particularly bad scenario would be if the prior verbal agreement had enough legal force that after rescinding the invitation, we were legally required to give Moon the cost of what would have been the flight, guest room, etc. That would not be a pleasant outcome, and probably not worth the advantages of an immediate decision. As such, IMO the troika needs to have a consultation with the lawyers and make sure that the disinvitation happens in such a way that they don’t open themselves up to such an outcome.

  3. says

    The near dead silence and unwillingness to engage the people who they’re hurting by conchairs is yet another layer of shit in this shit sundae. Even if they had some sort of non-related reason for *having* to keep Moon on as GOH, I can’t see that they’re helping anything by just being quiet about it.

    We’ll see what happens over time, I guess.

  4. says

    For example, a particularly bad scenario would be if the prior verbal agreement had enough legal force that after rescinding the invitation, we were legally required to give Moon the cost of what would have been the flight, guest room, etc.

    That money is spent no matter what. It’s not “lost” if they rescind the invitation. They’re loosing a lot more memberships by keeping Moon on as GOH, plus at least one con-com member has quit, and damage has been done to the con’s reputation that certainly will keep Muslims away.

    Are you saying that, because they’d have spent some cash and not gotten Moon as a guest, they have to keep her on? That’s not true.

  5. Darrah says

    No, that money is not spent yet. WisCon has certainly not given her anything yet. If they don’t bring her in, and don’t have to give her a settlement for breaking the verbal contract, than that money becomes available for other purposes.

    Depending on the legal status of the verbal contract, the money may be “lost” if they rescind the invitation, and have to pay a settlement for breaking the contract. And whether the money is lost or not might depend very precisely on the process by which it’s done. Which is why the Con chairs have to be very careful about what they say now, and why they really shouldn’t say anything without clearing it with a lawyer first.

    As you say, damage has already been done. But imagine how much more damage would be done if they dumped her, and then had to give her a $5000 check anyway. Do you really think the WisCon community would be very forgiving of them having to hand over that money for NOT coming?

    And I am certainly not saying that they have to keep her on because “they’d have spent some cash”. I’m saying that it would be far preferable to find a way to drop her as GoH WITHOUT having to spend any money on her as a consequence.

  6. says

    From Nora’s post here:

    On the WisCon concom’s mailing list, I was honest with the folks there about my feelings… For this, I got verbally slapped by several other concom members with accusations of being abusive, unreasonable, too emotional, hysterical, and worse. I got into a particular battle with one woman who, when I pointed out that second-wave feminism was inadequate for dealing with this issue and it should be considered from a third-wave intersectional perspective, proceeded to try and inform me about how much second-wave feminism had done for me, and the poor black, Irish, and American Indian women who are my immediate ancestors.

    also:

    …at yesterday’s concom meeting… the decision was made to… do nothing. Scratch that: to wait some more.

    —–

    Thus, I stand by my statement.

  7. says

    And I am certainly not saying that they have to keep her on because “they’d have spent some cash”. I’m saying that it would be far preferable to find a way to drop her as GoH WITHOUT having to spend any money on her as a consequence.

    Ah, I’m sorry then. I thought you were arguing that keeping her on as GOH was important because they might loose cash. My apologies. I misread what you had to say.

  8. says

    I totally am with you on the heartbreak. A wiscon with no Nora? And I am so damn pissed that this fail may interfere with the celebrating of nisi’s fabulousness, and fuck up the actual progressive sub-community that has been building the last few years at wiscon. I am going to raise some actual hell this year, I tell you.

  9. Karnythia says

    Darrah,

    You state that there is only one person in favor of keeping her as GOH. That’s not totally true. There is one person unequivocally in favor, but there are others hoping for a sudden change in Moon’s views.

  10. Darrah says

    That’s a good point, and you’re right about it. But I don’t think those people really believe it. The person who was holding out the most hope for her reformation even said, essentially, “But I’m probably being unrealistically optimistic. A month ago I thought there was a real chance, but now that seems unlikely.”

  11. Darrah says

    I also was surprised by her defense of second-wave feminism. My opinion of second wave isn’t as negative as yours — I think it was a useful first step (er, second step). And I have seen second wave defenses by other feminists who have been at least slightly convincing. But it would seem to me that most progressives by now would have realized the limitations and narrowness of that phase. And her attempts to tell you why you other groups should be grateful to second wave just seemed painfully patronizing.

  12. Deanne says

    I was very happy to see that announcement this morning. Now to rethink what I’m doing next year…

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