kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Laura J. Mixon is the only person on the Best Fan Writer ballot for this year's Hugos who wasn't on the Sad/Rabid Puppy Slate. I want to urge people not to reflexively vote for her, that is, to consider no-awarding the entire category.

I assume that she is nominated on the basis of her lengthy post about Benjanun Sriduangkaew / Requires Hate / Winterfox / etc. I did not discuss this at the time—I found the entire topic disproportionately upsetting because RaceFail [*] (speaking of which, do NOT!!! read the comments)—but that post has serious issues. Yes, it managed to get widespread attention to genuine instances of threats; but it also places people on the "target" list for being called "misogynist" ("Anon, MOC Writer") or for criticizing their writing only (Kress, Adrienne; Lord, Karen). There might be more, because I haven't been able to make myself closely read the accompanying text, I just looked at the Appendices; I recall from back in November seeing criticisms of the framing of the post, but I went back through my reading list of the time and couldn't turn up anything linkable.

(ETA 2: I have now read all the text, see comments for a little more discussion.)

As a result, I have serious doubts whether this post ought to garner its author a Hugo. I encourage those voting to carefully consider the question.

(Anon comments are screened; be polite and sign your comment with a handle for continuity of discussion and I'll unscreen you. If you're new here, note that I moderate comments for gross incivility, anon or not.)

[*] ETA: It has come to my attention, in a genuinely friendly and caring way, that this could use unpacking for people not on my access list. I was upset because I believed, and continue to believe, a number of the first-person accounts of Sriduangkaew's harassment and threats, and because I believed Sriduangkaew's apologies—lousy though they were—were going to work, she was going to get a pass: every time I see, for instance, Elizabeth Bear or Teresa Nielsen Hayden lauded as being especially clueful on questions of oppression, or put on a con panel about codes of conduct (for fuck's sake!), it's like being poked in a bruise, and they never made even lousy apologies for their behavior during RaceFail. My opinion of any of the people who came forward has not changed from what it was, I do not put credit in Sriduangkaew's statements, I do not believe we interacted before her identities were revealed, and I have not interacted with her since.

Date: Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 06:45 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
Hi. I'm a PhD student in the physical sciences. I made my comment with that as my background.

One doesn't get to use "disproportionate" without defining and justifying a baseline; I consider the baseline the report chooses and uses disingenuous and unhelpful given its other flaws. It's pretty classic How To Lie With Statistics stuff. It is not possible to robustly argue from the data available that WF/RH/BS deliberately read more books by WoC for the purpose of targeting WoC (as opposed to any other reason), which is what the phrasing in question implies; and, to reiterate, in combination with the report's other flaws I consider this choice of phrasing and statistical approach at best sufficiently infelicitous that it is not deserving of a Hugo on its own merits.

Date: Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
colorblue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] colorblue
One doesn't get to use "disproportionate" without defining and justifying a baseline; I consider the baseline the report chooses and uses disingenuous and unhelpful given its other flaws.

I don't.

I can see where Kate is coming from in this, in saying that the statistics do not support the implication that Sriduangkaew's motives were targeting vulnerable populations and professional competition. I do believe those were at least part of her motives, but this hasn't been proven statistically.

But whatever her motives, the fact remains that this is what she actually did. And what you are doing, is seeking to discredit that claim entirely, on the basis of bad statistics.

You: (1) first dismiss Mixon's claim that woc were disproportionately targeted (I note that the other thing that bothers me about that assertion is it's assuming the wrong population, which is just bad statistics.), because it doesn't support your own baseline. And although your baseline might've been necessary to support her other conclusions/implications*, using it to discredit the claim that women and woc were disproportionately targeted is still the statistical equivalent of setting up a strawman and whacking it.

When I countered this, (2) you claimed that the baseline Mixon used -- that of women and woc in SFF -- was disingenuous and unhelpful, and therefore classic How To Lie With Statistics.

But that's the one part of Mixon's report I actually find rather helpful, because it proved what I saw happening behind the scenes -- that WF/RH/BS's actions had a chilling effect on women and especially the woc in SFF, that they were being disproportionately bullied and abused and silenced, that because of hierarchies they were unable to hold her accountable. That WF/RH/BS's actions affected vulnerable populations disproportionately, caused them to suffer disproportionately, that she needed to be stopped.

I also don't see why disproportionate should be in scare-quotes, when it could not be statistically clearer that women and women of color in SFF were disproportionately affected. That you feel this is a disingenuous and unhelpful baseline and bad statistics -- imo, might say more about what you consider important, than the book you imply you've read and understood.

Hi. I'm a PhD student in the physical sciences.

I'm really happy for you.

Kate, apologies for doing this on your journal. I'm bowing out of this argument after this.

ETA: For clarification. I also think other aspects of Mixon's report, and some of her subsequent actions/inactions, are awful. I wouldn't go as far as to say that her report doesn't deserve a Hugo, but that's only because I have a very low opinion of the Hugo awards in the first place, and don't see winning it as an honor.

*2nd ETA: Apologies for the multiple edits; realized that I'd implied you had no grounds for choosing that baseline.
Edited Date: Friday, April 10th, 2015 10:29 pm (UTC)

Date: Sunday, April 12th, 2015 05:46 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
[I see and acknowledge this comment but will not be responding further because my understanding is that you would prefer I not. I'm possibly getting autism everywhere and misinterpreting, but, in any case, acknowledgement.]

Date: Sunday, April 12th, 2015 05:53 pm (UTC)
colorblue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] colorblue
I've felt rather awful ever since I wrote my previous reply to you, tbh. I was very dismissive -- apologies for that. You're right, I would prefer not to continue talking about this, and agree to disagree. So yes, apologies for my rudeness, and thank you for your consideration.

July 2017

23456 78
91011 1213 14 15
16 171819202122

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Page Summary