I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that almost no one would say, “I am on this side of the issue, and therefore it is all right to harass, bully, and abuse anyone on the other side.” We wouldn’t say that, but sometimes we act like it. It seems to me, right now, that Mary Robinette Kowal is being bullied, and that pisses me off. I think Malzberg and Resnick were victims of bullying, and I don’t care for that, either. And I don’t believe there is anything to do about it. When a certain person made an idiotic (and insulting and degrading) comment about Mary, how can those who are either her friends or supporters of her position not object? But then, at some point, the person who made the offensive comment finds the entire fucking internet coming down on his head until one wants to say, “Enough, already.”
Yeah, yeah, I know. Cause and effect and actions and have consequences and blah blah. I get that. If you’re going to be an asshole in public, you should wear your flack-jacket. And it seems to me that part of being a decent human being requires objecting, loudly, when women are shouted down, bullied, abused, and threatened for daring to suggest they ought to be treated as people. BUT.
Isn’t there a point where we should say, “People on my side of this issue are getting abusive”? I don’t know. It’s hard to do. I mean, it isn’t like there is some central organization that can put out a memo saying, “Okay, we’re done now.” I know that when someone pisses me off (such as the recent attack on Mary, or certain offensive comments a while ago on “women sf writers”) I want to say something.
It is easy to decry bullying and abuse when the bullies are on the other side of the issue from you. But I wish that, earlier, I had said, “I disagree with a great deal of what Malzberg and Resnick said in the Bulletin, but I think we’ve piled on them enough, and we ought to stop now.”