The dark side of Quinn (is someone else)

CAVEAT: This is only partially related to the GamerGate affair, in the sense that it’s specular but not linked, if not because of the bigger themes of racism, misogyny and everything. So, Quinn is not involved, games are not involved, yet we see the EXACT same thing that happened on Quinn, yet this time the situation is specular in the sense that the supposed “feminist” target here is found “guilty”, instead of rising shields on her defense.

This requires to step slightly outside gaming and into literature, in particular the fantasy/sci-fi subgenre.

As in the Quinn case, but in much smaller proportions, this thing in propagating across forums and blogs. They even named it “Benjanungate”.

Two forums threads going on:

The gist is that a famous feminist blogger who used to write extremely vitriolic reviews of books, calling out the authors in kind of Sarkeesian way, if only a thousands times more bluntly and aggressive, was outed as being also a writer who’s now starting to get published. The two identities online were kept well separated, with the writer’s blog being instead extremely mild.

The point is: in this one case the smear campaigns were initiated by this supposed feminist, instead of against her.

Why is this important? Because it highlights the terms of the discussion, where this feminist battle crosses over to WRONG territory. For me it’s extremely confusing to differentiate where are the good arguments, and which battles are actually worth fighting. So seeing the mirror image of the ambiguous Quinn affair can help see where things that started good become instead very wrong.

Consider also that even if she’s considered on the “wrong” side pretty much universally, I still think there was a whole lot legitimate and interesting about what she used to write. Yet she falls in the category of “feminists we don’t need”. In the sense that she is the living proof that you can do a lot of wrong even if the principles were good and sound (just one, as an example, she often pointed to the “whitewashing” of book covers, where ethnic people were still made white to sell more books).

So she had merits, if you understood her angle. Yet she made everything possible so that you wouldn’t understand. This is the problem with these kinds of feminists: they do everything possible to be misunderstood and be vitriolic. They antagonize. So these become gut (legitimate) reactions to otherwise complex problems. Yet a legitimate act isn’t automatically a good one. So is “feminism”, good principles that sometime only produce setbacks.


(probably more)

Why are you posting this here? This is not a gaming controversy. Moreover there is no point to going on and on about it in this forum. There’s an infinity of more appropriate places to do so. The key reference is Laura Mixon’s, your third link.

Oh God no.

Who gives a fuck?

I thought about it and decided this interests the same audience of the other conversation, and that putting it somewhere else is less pertinent, since this is a broader theme, and it doesn’t matter if it’s games, or books and so on.

I just decided to write the post. So if it’s considered too off-topic or whatever, close it, move it, ignore it, do what you decide. I’m fine with whatever choice.

Whatever happened to Livejournal? It used to keep this kind of drama-llama bullshit safely contained. The internet was so much nicer then.

Go away.

She sounds like an angry, bitter, manipulative and despicable person. The world is, unfortunately, full of them. Feminists or not.

As far as linking Quinn and this person, why bother? It’s only as important as you make it. Go outside, get some sunshine, play with your dog and save yourself a few grey hairs by never bothering with this shit again.

Because before this thing blew up she was actually rather well regarded, had lots and lots of fans and caused quite a bit of problems to some writers. There was a lot of support behind what she was doing, so it’s not just a “bad apple” case. Also, as I said, plenty of worthwhile stuff in what she wrote too.

I’ve read Requires Hate before, what a crazy story. People are so strange once you get them in groups. I wonder if this will all end up being a good career move for Requires Hate… she makes a name and a following for herself being nasty, breaks into the publishing game, and then does a personality reset once that starts looking good for her.

Well, I learned something. I learned that “specular” means “of, relating to, or having the qualities of a mirror”. I totally did not know that.

Nah, she’s toxic.

How long do you think she would have lasted if she was on these forums? Not bloody long and that’s part of the reason I like it here.

I see you are trying to provoke a thoughtful discussion about feminism, myself I don’t see this about feminism at all.

If you like other things she has said about inequality my advice if find someone else who is also saying them. I guarantee they exist.

Well, see here a 2+ years old post by HUGELY respected writer who defends her rather passionately:

Now everyone dogpiled on her, but in 2012 she was hugely supported by basically the majority. It’s just a thing that the pitchforks are fast to swap sides.

And, as an update to the story, it seems the whole thing blew up because some writers/victims like Kiernan, who discovered who she was, have been telling editors and publishers about her fake internet persona, and so try to discourage publishing her stuff.

So only then she was publicly exposed by her friend, who did it as an attempt to avoid the worst when it was obvious the whole thing would blow up anyway.

It’s also interesting because it turned into a debate about whether or not it’s legitimate to like (or buy) the writing of someone you know is such a bad person. They linked to some supposedly good stuff, saying it’s really good:

Those saying it’s good are coming from people I respect. Yet for me that’s actually rather bad prose, regardless of who’s the writer. It’s, like, boisterous.

I’ll be honest, I have nothing to do with these people or their circles. I hope they all live happily ever after. If I’m looking for drama I can find it in RL so I’m bowing out.

Peace :)

If approval of a writer/actor/mime’s personal life was a prerequisite for success in their respective field, I suspect we’d have just Paul Newman and Weird Al Yankovic to entertain us.