watershoes: (Default)
[personal profile] watershoes
ATTN: This post is going to be public for a week or so only, since my paperwork is going in for the big move soon. But I don't want to be accused of wanking in private or anything.

Just a hint: one post, talking about the issues the poster has with a story, in the poster's OWN JOURNAL, in order to let the member's of that LJ-er's flist know about issues in a fic that may be triggering or offensive, is not in any way "a fucking gang-rape." (Direct quote from the link. Warning: the following paragraph at that link contains language that may be triggering.)

I'm going to c&p here, in case of deletion. A lot of deletion has happened already, and [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany has disabled comments on the post I'm linking.

There is such a thing as 'wank' in fandom, okay, but this is not wank. This is a fucking gang-rape.

...Yes. Attacked from behind, without warning, by a mob of angry and violent people, and being violated for a perceived 'offense' that I had not known I was committing. Sorry to anyone 'triggered' by that comparison, but it is precise, and correct.


This is in response to ONE POST by [livejournal.com profile] sinous_curve. There is no mob here. There was one post by one person who was personally offended. I am also personally offended. I am cis-gendered, but I am also a human. I too started reading that fic and could not finish it. I did not comment on the post, because I didn't want to spend any more time dealing with that issue, or that fic. But Being able to walk away and not deal with it is a level of privilege I need to address. So I'm saying: that fic was problematic, to say the least. The assumption that [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve a) had a responsibility to alert [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany to hir post on the fic and" b) had a responsibility to tell [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany all the ways in which the fic was offensive.

What about [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany's responsibility to do some research first? What about [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany's responsibility to avoid using misogynistic situations and characterizations in order to propel her plot, without properly ensuring that she does (and the reader is meant to, as she says in her post) indeed view those situations and characterizations as problematic? What about [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany's responsibility to ensure that she takes the criticism of her betas and her readers to heart, and tries to learn and grow?

Now, as to the language used in her post: WHAT THE HELL. That is so far out of line. There is never ever any time when you should compare ONE POST (at the time of that post, as far as I know, and please correct me if I'm wrong) addressing LEGITIMATE CONCERNS to being violently sexually assaulted. End. Full stop. I don't feel like I need to say much more, because THAT IS WRONG. You are WRONG and OUT OF LINE, [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany, and I am personally offended. Often on LJ and during these type of discussions, people (and I include myself in this) tend to take an objective position in order to present reaction without emotional attachment. Well, I don't think being emotional or personal about this makes my reaction any less valid. I am personally offended. This is an offensive thing to have said. You, personally, [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany, have done something offensive.

ETA: In the interests of full disclosure, I did let [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve know about this entry before it went up but as [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany says in her post that "An email to me@randomepiphany.com may reach me, but I doubt I'll answer. Meanwhile, I'm out of here.", I figured I wouldn't waste my time. Just FYI.

Date: 2010-06-24 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chica-go.livejournal.com
I agree with everything you've said. Nicely put.

Date: 2010-06-24 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Thank you. I rarely do stuff like this, so I'm glad it's coherent and not just key-smashing rage.

Date: 2010-06-24 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] googlebrat.livejournal.com
... Actually I have to disagree with you.

Having read the full discussion, this isn't someone who hasn't done the research but someone who was trying to portray something that maybe wasn't coming across. Which, if, they've reacted defensively about, but on the other hand, they've been compared to the Haiti fic of doom. Which has been dogpiled all over fandom. I'd be a bit defensive if I was worried that I was about to get that response too.

Later on in the discussion, when the author calmed down, she seemed to be to explain herself a lot better.

Date: 2010-06-24 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] googlebrat.livejournal.com
(if any of my sentences don't make sense, I apologise. I'm having to use a dictation program which is still learning me)

Date: 2010-06-24 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Well, leaving aside her authorial ability to portray what she wanted to, her language in response to [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve (which, like I say, was the only post at the time of [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany's post) was horrifying and out of line.

And whether or not she was able to get her point across, it was offensive to me, so I don't know that there was anything wrong in [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve's post. I agree that the reference to the Haiti Fic of Doom was over the top, however.

And thank you for replying! I hadn't thought deeply enough about that comparison; thank you for bring it to my attention.

Date: 2010-06-24 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] googlebrat.livejournal.com
I think part of the problem might be that from one of the comment she's put in response to someone on there I believe the author may herself be trans. (I'm not sure on that, and I sure as hell don't have the right to ask, but I think is implied at one point.) While, I would agree, her first response is a bad one, I can also see how if she is writing from her own experience, a bunch of people going "is offensive to us because we don't think it is how being trans should be experienced" could, yeah, get that kneejerk.

much as I would like to claim I always keep perfect language when I lose my temper I have to admit I've had too many tantrums myself when truly furious to get righteous over it.

Date: 2010-06-24 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
I just can't ever excuse using rape as a metaphor or comparison, unfortunately. It minimizes an issue that is too often ignored and downplayed, and to compare it to one post addressing valid concerns is way out of line.

I haven't seen that [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany is trans, however [livejournal.com profile] sinuous_curve is.

Date: 2010-06-24 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] googlebrat.livejournal.com
http://sinuous-curve.livejournal.com/355668.html?thread=5145428#t5145428 would suggest to me that she is.

(Not even try to do link HTML through this thing)

Date: 2010-06-24 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
(ahaha, good call. html through a dictation program would be tricky)

If [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany is trans, I stand corrected and apologise. But that doesn't mean that readers (including myself) can't take issue with her fic, nor does it exempt her from being called out on using truly offensive language. No matter how angry one is, part of being a compassionate adult is learning what sort of language is appropriate, using it correctly, and learning from mistakes. I have seen little of this from [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany

Date: 2010-06-24 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] googlebrat.livejournal.com
(you have no idea. I'm a coder. Still trying to work out the wayto force Dragon NaturallySpeaking to let me do some PHP work while resting my right arm. Avoid tendinitis if you can.)

I'd agree with that, but, I find myself very uncomfortable in any argument where someone feels they have to come forward and say "actually, I am trans" in order to defend themselves, whether they're happy to do that or not. I'm a woman in IT and it reminds me on a much larger scale of when in abstract discussions over sexism at work I have to step forward myself and say "actually, no, I'm not just talking about what women in general deal with I'm talking about me, I have dealt with this, this is why I know it's a problem" whether I like it or not. and I realise that a problematic story may be an entirely different thing if it is a badly researched story by a cis writer which makes it hard avoid the necessity, but still, I am uncomfortable.

Not certain at all whether I'm expressing myself well, help?

Date: 2010-06-24 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Well...I don't think [livejournal.com profile] randomeiphany DOES have to come forward as trans, if she is? And (and I'm not trying to be rude, here) honestly, I am a little uncomfortable speculating about someone else's gender identity. I believe she uses female pronouns and ID's as female (and again, if there is other knowledge/info other than that one comment, I am happy to be educated further.)

The thing is, Randomepiphany, no matter how hshe identifies, wrote an offensive story on multiple levels, including paternalistic and misogynistic ones, even if we ignore the trans issues in a fic about a trans character if the author is trans. And then her responses have contained offensive language, including comparing it to a gang-rape.

I judged the story on the words I read, and I'm judging the reaction of the author by what has been posted as her reaction.

(AUGH tendonitis. NO FUN. I had a shoulder injury a few years ago tht took forever to heal and i couldn't turn my arm, like rotate it, or write with a pen without pain for probably eight months)

Date: 2010-06-24 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] googlebrat.livejournal.com
I need to step out of the discussion if that's okay. Mostly because I have to actually say all of this out loud, and when I say it out loud I'm losing trackof whether my sentences actually make sense any more. I have a suspicion I'm starting to talk nonsense spaghetti.

(do not dare threaten me with months, I'm hoping to be back at work in a few days)

Date: 2010-06-24 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
(you will heal very quickly! i assure it)

No, not a problem! thank you for engaging me, you helped me clarify things to myself. Feel better soon! Eat some spaghetti tonight, maybe.

Date: 2010-06-27 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quiet000001.livejournal.com
(Completely OT, but - If you think this might be a recurring issue, maybe look at the TrackIR or similar hands-free mouse systems? My late husband had muscular dystrophy and got fed up with being limited to how long his hands would tolerate typing, and he eventually decided the TrackIR combined with an on screen keyboard was more effective than battling voice-recognition stuff. Though that was a few years ago now.)

Date: 2010-06-24 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] listedheart.livejournal.com
what the actual shit, how on earth could anyone think that's an okay thing to say about an lj post?

Date: 2010-06-24 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
You know, you would think I'd stop being shocked about this stuff, but instead I keep being shocked that people react this way

Date: 2010-06-24 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] listedheart.livejournal.com
yeah. :\ and i think it's like - not worse because there's not really any situation where a comparison like that is appropriate, but it's especially tactless considering one of the issues people have with that fic is its misogyny and gender issues. idk, it's just really gross.

Date: 2010-06-24 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com

Date: 2010-06-24 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauralovesnaley.livejournal.com
I was appalled as well. Struggling through self injury and depression as I have, I now view the world through different eyes.

I know how I feel when someone calls me a "stupid emo" or "fucking insane" or an "attention whore". And often times, I'm not directly called it. It's people making comments about self-injurers.

I watch my words more carefully than ever because I wouldn't wish the feeling I felt on my worst enemy. But do you have to experience those kinds of comments to know not to use them? It seems like common sense that you wouldn't say those things.

This is yet another case of people saying things on the internet they wouldn't dare say in real life. And that's what's most frustrating. People can sit in front of their computers and type this shit and not have to see what damage it causes. This may sound like an After School Special but I think it's really cowardly what [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany did.

Great post. If I had made this post there would've been much more profanity.

Date: 2010-06-25 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
I think a lot of it comes down to people not remembering that other people are people too, if that makes sense. Like, only me and mine are really people, so if this doesn't upset me and mine, it's not upsetting! And learning that that is NOT ON seems to be really hard for a lot of people.

Date: 2010-06-24 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impertinence.livejournal.com
ilu. I can't even...aaaaaaaaaaaugh jesus christ what the actual goddamn hell.

Date: 2010-06-25 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com

Date: 2010-06-24 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roadmarks.livejournal.com
Word. Fucking word.

Date: 2010-06-25 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
High five! Of anger and annoyance!

Date: 2010-06-24 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blindingsight.livejournal.com
I agree with everything you've said here. I really do not understand [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany's reactions.

Date: 2010-06-25 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
It is so incredibly a) over the top, for the level of vitriol being spewed and b) RIDICULOUSLY FUCKING OFFENSIVE.

Date: 2010-06-25 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blindingsight.livejournal.com
For Serious. How does Your fic is offensive to a large number of people because A, B and C. equate to being violently assaulted. Oh, IT FUCKING DOESN'T. >:(
Edited Date: 2010-06-25 02:39 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-06-24 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spuzz.livejournal.com
Great post and I absolutely agree.

Date: 2010-06-25 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm just glad this wasn't all me going FUCK FUCK FUCKING FUCK. There comes times when I have to be willing to be articulate for the cause, you know?

Date: 2010-06-24 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Going anon for the obvious reasons, but, just, yes. I was actually on [livejournal.com profile] randomepiphany's side and did honestly believe she had no ill intent in writing that story. I even respected her engaging in dialogue and putting up a warning on her story and then she just kind of... went totally over the top. Seeing "it's gang rape" was bad enough, and as someone who's been gang raped it was enough of a punch to the gut all on its own, but that edit. Wow. No it is not an accurate representation and it damn sure does 'trigger' me. Know what is an accurate thing to compare gang rape to? Being gang raped. Know what's not? Everything else ever. To even begin to think it's okay to compare public crit of a fic to violent sexual assault is baffling and honestly hurtful. I sympathized with her in the beginning and gave her the benefit of the doubt, but now I say good riddance. Great god damn, how can anyone think that is okay?

Date: 2010-06-25 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
The scare quotes around 'trigger' are another thing -- she wrote a whole fic about Jon Walker's ~tragic abusive past~ and had a whole section devoted to him being triggered. She obviously is aware that words and situations can legitimately trigger people. Yet she uses offensive language, graphic description and scare quotes. Not. On.

Date: 2010-06-24 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pearldrop.livejournal.com
I was going to make a post about this when I got home, but you beat me to the punch and you were far more detailed and eloquent then I could be. I'm really glad you wrote this. It's important to be said and to be seen.
Edited Date: 2010-06-24 10:17 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-06-25 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Thank you! I am glad it came out eloquent. I'm so often so lazy when it comes to things like this and I need to stop being like that.

Date: 2010-06-24 10:38 pm (UTC)
ext_84761: (Default)
From: [identity profile] fallintosilence.livejournal.com
Thank you for this post, I fully agree with what you've said. That comparison is incredibly hurtful and completely inaccurate, and I can't believe someone would say such an awful thing, no matter how much they don't like their fic being criticized.

Date: 2010-06-25 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Whatever mean things are said about fic, whatever criticism is tossed ones way, it is still SO not equatable to rape. I don't know why people still use that as an analogy. It is so destructive.

Date: 2010-06-24 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyo.livejournal.com
Thank you for making this post.

Date: 2010-06-25 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
You're welcome!

Date: 2010-06-25 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cool-rain-kiss.livejournal.com
Have I mentioned that ilu and your brain today? Cuz I do. Thanks for making this post, bb. ♥

Date: 2010-06-25 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globalfruitbat.livejournal.com
Ilu and your brain, too! Thank you

Date: 2010-06-26 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kasuchans.livejournal.com
THANK YOu. Now, take your pile of WORD home to its rightful owner. I was actually sympathizing with hir, and I can somewhat (SOMEWHAT) see where zhi was coming from, to a point — that point being hurt by the comments and blocking them. And I ignored the original gang-rape quote, for a reason I cannot recall. But now, zhi has crossed the line into PURPOSEFULLY offensive, and EXTREMELY hurtful.

In short, IAWTP.
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