SeasonalPun · @Pixelfish

1st Mar 2014 from TwitLonger

A number of points re: Ross and Loncon:

1- I'll start by saying that I'm pleased that he has stepped down. I hope Loncon will take this opportunity to highlight somebody in UK fandom who might bring a new voice to the table.

2- I don't necessarily think Ross is ill-intentioned in his humour. The impression I have is that he feels he's likely been matey, it's a laugh among friends. What I do think is he is privileged and hasn't always thought about the ramifications of his slut shaming jokes, his ableism, and racially iffy remarks. Much like the purveyors of "ironic" racism/sexism/homophobia, he is unable to see how his brand of humour punches down and provides cover for folks who are absolutely ill-intentioned. Intent isn't magic.

3- I do think it's great that he offered apologies on past behaviour. But that doesn't mean that the slate is wiped clean or that the Hugos should be a spot on his atonement tour. Given that we've spent the year debating people's safety and harrassment in con spaces, choosing a man who was complicit in what was basically a sexual harrassment case -- ie. the Andrew Sachs phone calls, where he and Russell Brand* left increasingly obscene messages to Sachs re: his granddaughter, Georgiana, divulging information to Georgiana's family about her sex life she hadn't wanted disseminated -- well, that's kind of a slap in the face to the people who worked hard on promoting Loncon as a new paradigm for cons. To invite somebody to speak who is known for crossing these kinds of lines, exactly while we're trying to clean house, so to speak....mrfl. Not the greatest choice.

4- I personally won't police Ross's fandom levels. I feel like he qualifies as a fan. That's never been my issue.

5- I've only seen two people doing this but let's not make fun of Ross's speech impediment either. That's not on. Criticise on his actions and words, not his physical traits.

6- If you're going to talk to me about my problems with Ross, please get them right. I don't care about his language, except when it devolves into language harmful to groups of people, or slutshaming women and the like. I don't care about the Daily Fail's issues with him. I do care that he slutshames and says problematic things and used his position to harrass people. He can be lovely to his mates and super into science fiction and I won't deny that, but he also did these other things that hurt people. And there's loads of folks in the UK science fiction community who haven't and could give us something new.

*Russell Brand is another person I'm all up and down about. I like what he had to say about addiction, I think he's got some great points about fame, I adored seeing him take on the vacuity of US news but he often disappoints me when it comes to his attitude towards women and the things he will say about them.

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