Here is what nisi_la
is a Wiscon 35 Guest of Honor.http://nisi-la.livejournal.com/29006.html
Meanwhile, I want everyone who was hurt or offended or puzzled or appalled or angered or infuriated or stymied or worried or threatened or in any way negatively affected by Elizabeth Moon's post to attend WisCon 35. Because when I was asked to be a Guest of Honor for that convention, you were the ones I was expecting to see there. And because I want to dance with you, and sing with you, and talk about smart stuff with you, and admire how beautiful we are, and flaunt it!
That's what I want. You do what's right for you, though. I don't always get what I want. I will miss you if you don't attend, but I love you unconditionally.
I don't know if I'm going to Wiscon, but my attendance or failure to attend isn't likely to have anything to do with Elizabeth Moon's offensive statements about immigrants and Muslims (my post about that is here: http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/688989.html
). Basically, I plan to attend if my life circumstances permit.
I will attend because I know people on the concom and I care about them and want to support them. Because I see many friends there I don't see anywhere else. Because there are always interesting conversations (many of which, for me, are in the lobby rather than at the panels or speeches). Because there's so much going on that for me it's possible to ignore some of the stuff and people I don't like or agree with. Because I think the Tiptree Award is cool and important. Because a number of important organizations have been born at Wiscon (including the Carl Brandon Society and Broad Universe) and I want to support an environment that gives birth to such organizations. Because people who make Wiscon happen have been trying hard in a number of ways to increase inclusiveness for oppressed and marginalized people at Wiscon.
The inclusiveness efforts that affect me personally are: Wiscon people have acted to oppose fat hatred and promote fat acceptance. Wiscon people have tried to accommodate people with mobility difficulties. Wiscon people have tried to accommodate people who have social interaction limits. Wiscon people have not done a perfect job of implementing/supporting these things, but they've tried hard and have made real improvements, from my point of view.
I've tried to form an opinion about whether the Wiscon concom should (have) ch(o)ose(n) to rescind Elizabeth Moon's guest of honor status. I haven't settled on an opinion. I'm aware that my circumstances—as a white person, born in the US to parents born in the US, with a flexible religious affiliation (atheist Buddhist)—afford me the privilege of not having to form an opinion.
Following are some of my thoughts that didn't coalesce into an opinion:
She said something that's deeply contrary to Wiscon's policies of inclusiveness, and she has not shown in public any inclination to change her mind or apologize for hurting people by making these statements. As such it's contradictory for Wiscon to be sending the message that it honors her.
She said it after she was chosen as GOH. To what extent is Wiscon responsible for things that GOHs say after they are chosen as GOHs?
She has said similar things before, although they didn't garner the same amount of attention. To what extent is Wiscon responsible for researching the prior public statements of prospective GOHs to find out whether they've said stuff that's contradictory to Wiscon's policies?
I value the idea of responding to speech that we don't agree with, with more speech.
I value having events that are dedicated to certain viewpoints, at which people can discuss the finer aspects of those viewpoints (events with some room for non-"viewpoint-101" conversations, if you will). When people attending those events feel obligated to spend time defending and explaining the most basic elements of our viewpoints, that space loses some of its value.
When someone we invited to our event says something so threatening and hateful that people we want to be part of our event no longer want to attend or feel unsafe to attend, our community is weakened.