An Open Plea

I just got another absolutely sick hate-mail, and I’m done. I’m just damn done. So I’m writing this little ranty diatribe which I may or may not take down soon.

Re: The endless author-critic commentary debate raging. 

While I think that a lot of what is being during this endless discussion is important, and a reflection of how the Internet is changing publishing, fandom, and whatever else, there are some things that are happening that are really revolting me.

Here’s the deal: 

There’s no reason for people to be assholes. People agree and disagree all the time. It’s a fact of life. Disagreements, in my opinion, are important because they cause those involved to challenge their thoughts. It’s fine. How do you expect progress and change to take place if no one is willing to examine the way things are? Adults disagree all the time. It happens. In fact, I’m pretty sure I basically disagree with everyone alive on one thing or another. That’s just how I roll. I don’t take this stuff too seriously. I say what I need to say, and move on.

The simple truth is, this discussion is enlightening, and yes, my viewpoint has changed and evolved a bit since Sunday. There are some fantastic points being made by concerned parties. It’s also really interesting for me to see just how much publishing and fandom is changing, and the challenges that face us all, despite what side of whatever line we are on.

I wrote my Authors Welcome post, because that’s how I feel/felt. This whole issue, and watching it get hashed over day after day, truly is expanding my understanding of the concerns people feel in the genre community. This discussion started out from one thing, and has now graduated into something much bigger, and much more important, that effects everyone who loves SFF. The internet is changing the face of publishing, and allowing author-critic relationships to change. That’s an interesting topic, and a valid point to explore from all angles. And all of these angles are truly enlightening me, and broadening my perspective.

I’m getting sick of it, but at the same time, it’s fascinating.

Then, I started getting some truly disgusting email which I won’t go into detail with here. I’m not the only one. I know others have received disgusting comments, as well.

The point is, discussion stops being valid and useful when people start with the sexual and insulting comments. It’s ridiculous.  People disagree, doesn’t mean anyone deserves that kind of talk. Period. I might not see eye-to-eye with a lot of people, but I recognize the fact that they are people, they contribute to the genre I love so much, and their viewpoints are just as valid as mine, for all that we disagree.

No one needs to be talked to, looked down on, pushed aside, marginalized, brow beaten, or sent sexually explicit email that makes me want to take a shower with bleach. No one. Period. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care how much you, or I disagree with (insert person/point here). No one deserves this crap over one issue that will be talked about for a few weeks and forgotten when the next uber-drama comes up.

This is an open plea to the genre community. 

I realize that there will always be disagreements in such a passionate community. I also realize that I will probably piss a few people off before I die. That’s okay. I’m sure you will piss a few people off, too. But please, for the love of (insert whatever here), keep it adult. Realize that disagreements aren’t actually insulting, they are challenging thoughts and preconceived notions and are a valuable tool to societies and people everywhere. They can be uncomfortable, but being uncomfortable doesn’t mean you get to lash out at someone. Disagreements are important and they are bound to happen frequently in such a dynamic, changing world. Just because someone disagrees, doesn’t mean that they are inherently an asshole, nor do they need to have their inbox flooded full of sick, vile, disgusting email.

Basically, what I’m saying is:

Can we please all grow up and act like adults now? 

Let me make this clear. You don’t have to like me. You don’t have to like anyone. I’m not asking for you to like people, or think everyone is amazing. I’m asking you to realize that people, no matter their viewpoints, are just people, and we all deserve respect. 

Hey, for what it’s worth, if I’m a reason anyone has been hated at, then I truly apologize. Here I was thinking we were just expressing ideas, challenging thoughts, and exploring a changing world. I guess all we were doing was having an important discussion so people could find reasons to send other people disgusting hate mail.

Silly me.