The rules for the Nebula Award have changed over time but at the point of time we have reached (the middle of the first decade of the 21st century), the process to select the finalists included both a nomination phase by members of the SFWA and also a jury. Each category had a jury which had the power to add an additional work to the list of finalist, so that works of note that might otherwise have been missed could be part of the final vote. The juries were drawn made up of SFWA members appointed by the President.
In 2005 Vox Day (as Theodore Beale) was included in a Nebula Award jury for the second time having previously served on the jury for Best Novelette. Coincidentally, over at his World Net Daily column in February 2005 he also touched on his thoughts about science fiction in a column provocatively entitled, Why Women Can’t Think. Day’s target in the column was feminist academics but also suggests women are weaker academically:
“As everyone who’s ever attended an elite university knows, a shocking number of women there are academically cauterized into intellectual brain death. While men are listening to professors lecture on history, economics and engineering, far too many women are yammering on and on about their feelings in Women’s Study classes. The less academically rigorous a subject, the more women you’ll find in it – there were 20 times as many women in my political geography class (40) as my computer science engineering class (2).”https://www.wnd.com/2005/02/29022/
I don’t know enough about US universities to say whether Day’s alma-mater Bucknell University (a private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania) counts as an elite university in an academic sense. Day also appears to be trying to lever in a STEM versus Arts/Humanities prejudice into the misogyny and yet Day’s own academic background and abilities have not been in the maths and sciences.
Day’s essay later wanders into the field of science fiction:
“The mental pollution of feminism extends well beyond the question of great thinkers. Women do not write hard science fiction today because so few can hack the physics, so they either write romance novels in space about strong, beautiful, independent and intelligent but lonely women who finally fall in love with rugged men who love them just as they are, or stick to fantasy where they can make things up without getting hammered by critics holding triple Ph.D.s in molecular engineering, astrophysics and Chaucer.”ibid
Day is still framing things initially as if modern feminism is the cause of a kind of cognitive obstacle rather than him suggesting an innate difference between men and women cognitively. However, his next statement veers closer to a claim of innate differences. In the WND article he doesn’t cite any examples but he did have a particular book in mind, which we know from the Nebula post on his own blog.
“The winner in 2001, The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro, is a mediocre romance novel in space. I tossed it aside after being introduced to the third consecutive strong, beautiful, intelligent, independent, but lonely woman in the book. It was as if Maureen Dowd was writing science fiction, and the results were about as good as you’d imagine. Meanwhile, neither Neal Stephenson nor JK Rowlings has ever won the award.“see note 
Asaro’s novel had won the Nebula in the same year that she won the election to become SFWA President. In a series of ironies, she was also President when Day was writing this and technically had appointed him to the jury. She is also a very clear counter-example to Day’s thesis. While she certainly has been very successful at melding science-fiction with romance (to the extent of being a finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s own awards) she also has a Phd from Harvard in chemical physics and has written ‘hard’ science fiction. Day (as Theodore Beale) on the other hand was writing Christian fantasy and studied undergraduate history, economics and Japanese at what is probably a fine university but which was not Harvard.
So we have two Vox Day’s. Firstly the WND columnist and blogger Vox promoting quasi-libertarianism on a paleo-conservative news site. Secondly, Theodore Beale the writer of Christian fantasy and SFWA member. Vox’s motives for joining the SFWA and volunteering for the jury do not appear to have a hidden motive or sinister intent.
Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (both editors at Tor books) were also people with a strong online presence in 2005. At Patrick’s blog Electrolite, he posted a short post linking other blogs commenting on Vox Day’s WND essay on Why Women Can’t Think, as well as posts by Day on anti-Semitism, some background on Day and then finally pointed out that he had served on the Nebula award jury for 2005. A discussion ensued.
At the heart of the discussion was the on-going discussion about who gets to be part of science-fiction as a community and in what role. Day’s WND essay implied a lesser role for women. That essay in itself raised the question of whether somebody with Day’s views could reasonably serve on a jury for a science-fiction literary award. The broader question being part of that on-going question of whether science-ficition communities can exclude people from particular spaces — a question at least as old as the first Worldcon’s expulsion of the Futurians or the later expulsion (for the safety of fans’ families) of Walter Breen.
The comment thread is a long and interesting one, however what would develop eventually as a consensus appears very quickly. Patrick Nielsen Hayden comments about twelve comments down:
“Mind you, SF has always been full of people with nutty opinions. Ray Palmer, for years the editor of Amazing, believed whack-job author Richard Shaver’s contention that malign “disintegrant energy robots” hidden in caverns beneath the Earth were using ancient pre-human technology to control the planet’s surface dwellers and make war on one another. Not only did Palmer publish multiple Shaver stories expanding on this theme, he and Shaver also promoted it as actual non-fictional true-type truth and recruited other writers to expand on it. By comparison, garden-variety misogyny and Jew-baiting seem almost prosaic.http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#75538 
This being the case, arguably SFWA is wise to make sure the crackpot demographic is represented in its deliberative bodies. (And Cloud Atlas is certainly an unexceptionable jury choice.) As with so many aspects of SF’s subculture, one is left saying, on the one hand, hurray for our fine and broadminded tolerance; and on the other hand, eeuw.”
Other commenters struggled to make sense of how Vox Day projected himself. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan noted that
“But what kills me is that he has kind words to say both about Pat Wrede and Lois MacMaster Bujold on his site. Not to mention praising Charlie Stross and Umberto Eco. I don’t know. Just doesn’t compute.”http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#75555
Charles Stross himself also noted
“Oh dear. I’ve had email correspondence with Mr Beale; all I can say for sure is he didn’t sound like a loon — a Christian conservative, certainly, but that’s not a hanging offense in my world. Patrick’s diagnosis of his public pronouncements as being “an exercise in “look at me, I’m outraging your sensibilities” very plausible. On the other hand, he’s been asking for an interview, and this fracas isn’t exactly encouraging me to say “yes”. And on the gripping hand, I’ve been known to give credit where none is due. (I wonder if he already knows that my father avoided Auschwitz by coming down with a summer flu, and that I’m married to a feminist?)”http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#75764
John Scalzi also entered the discussion to argue that Day’s politics should not be a reason to exclude him, particularly when the evidence pointed to him doing a reasonable job as a juror.
“Not to be blandly practical-minded about this, but inasmuch as Mr. Beale and the rest of the Nebula novel jury members seem to have discharged their duty by selecting a novel that most would agree is of overall Nebula finalist caliber, and have done so with an apparent minimum of fuss, does it matter what his politics or personal opinions are, particularly in relation to being a Nebula jury member? The jury did make a reasonable selection, in my opinion.”http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#75573
But others pointed out the inherent problem of Day’s views in his role as a juror.
“Depends, how do we know his mysogyny didn’t tip the scales one way or the other? Sure the jury made a reasonable selection, but can we be sure he didn’t vote against someone because they were a woman, liberal, a feminist, or Jewish?”http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#75575
Several broader themes also arose in the comments. Firstly, what kind of message the SFWA was giving to women members (or potential members) putting Day in a significant position. Secondly, did Day’s role contribute to “ongoing degradation of the prestige of the once-coveted Nebula Award”. Thirdly, that it was impractical and unethical for the SFWA to have political criteria for membership or political background checks for jury membership.
More than eighty comment deep into the thread, Vox Day himself turned up.
“As usual, one finds oneself swooning in awed wonder at the famously open minds of the liberal literati!http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#75895
Christian? Yes. Conservative? No. I note with amusement that no one has bothered disputing my actual statements, as the two examples given would amount to a “few”, wouldn’t they? There’s no shame in not wishing to wrestle with arcane mathematics when one can simply wave a wizard’s wand instead; four extensive pages of critical notes from Pat Wrede was all it took to convince me to switch from writing mediocre science fiction to marginally less mediocre fantasy.
The reason I volunteered for the Nebula juries was to try to do my small part to rectify a situation where unreadable dreck is winning awards while far more noteworthy authors such as Neal Stephenson and others go unnominated. As for my having kind words to say about Bujold, Eco, Stross and Wrede, that should hardly come as a surprise as they are all very good writers and I am acquainted with everyone except Mr. Stross. “
Along with Vox’s own comments came others supporting Vox’s claims. The comments shifted from discussing Vox’s role as juror to directly engaging with Vox over his views on women with continuing comments from people like Elizabeth Bear and Laura J Mixon. Interestingly, John Scalzi still attempted to chart a more moderate course. When Charles Stross described Day’s views as a “a career-limiting move”, John Scalzi pushed back on the comment, leading to a further exchange between himself and Laura J Mixon and Charles Stross.
The comments extend long after that with multiple back-and-forths but with little progress in the discussion. Some posts by Day’s supporters cross the lines and are subject to moderation using a technique known as “disemvoweling” – removing the vowels so as to retain the message but making it difficult to read.
On March 8 the thread is still going although many people had left it. On March 9, Catharine Asaro added this comment:
“The following is from myself and the Board:http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#76515 
The views expressed by Theodore Beale are his and only his and do not in any way represent the views of SFWA, its Board of Directors, or the Nebula coordinator who selected the jury. None of us were aware of Mr. Beale’s views at the time he volunteered for the jury over a year ago, nor did we become aware of them until these past few days, after the 2004 jury had finished its deliberations.Mr. Beale is not a member of the 2005 Novel jury.
She followed that up with a longer personal comment which included a link to her paper “Complex speeds and special relativity” from the American Journal of Physics.
Day would later declare that he had emerged unscathed from the encounter and in October 2005 suggested that he would run for President of the SFWA.
“As for the Electrolyte uproar, do you seriously think it bothers me? Do you think that’s why I happily provide links to it. It bothers me so much that I’m planning to run for SFWA president and as part of my campaign I will cite issues raised in it. Do you truly believe that I am the least bit concerned about what that group of would-be TOR authors think? They didn’t do any stomping, indeed, many of them embarrassed themselves with their illogic and hypocrisy.”https://web.archive.org/web/20140618180409/http://voxday.blogspot.com/2005/10/mailvox-determined-to-see-what-is-not.html
In 2012 Day was still replaying aspects of the same argument. In his role as ‘Theo’ on the fanzine BlackGate he was still citing Catherina Asaro’s Quantum Rose as the “the most egregious example” of an undeserving Nebula winner.
There’s a common assumption (which I’ve held myself) that the comment thread marks the start of what would become a long running feud between John Scalzi and Vox Day. It certainly is the first substantial argument but in the immediate aftermath there was a degree of peace. True, Scalzi did coin the term ‘A Sphincto-Cranial Event’ to describes Day’s performance. However, Day did post a recommendation on his blog for people to read Old Man’s War and compared John Scalzi to Robert Heinlein. In 2008, Scalzi included a promotion for Vox Day’s book ‘The Irrational Atheist as part of his Big Idea series .
The big feud was yet to come.
Next time: Coincidentally (I swear) a look at Baen books, Tor and the growing power of Amazon
-  https://web.archive.org/web/20060614130807/http://voxday.blogspot.com/2005/02/nebulous-nebulas.html His ‘verified’ bio on Infogalactic says he was a Nebula juror twice: for the 2004 awards (ie 2005) and 2007 but not the earlier time.
-  http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#75509 shsilver (Steven H Silver) ‘He was on the short fiction jury with me a few years back. He didn’t seem like a loon in our e-mail discussions. That year, we added “The Pagodas of Ciboure” by M. Shayne Bell and “Little Gods” by Tim Pratt.’ – The book mentioned was a finalist in 2002 https://nebulas.sfwa.org/nominated-work/the-pagodas-of-ciboure/
-  https://www.wnd.com/2005/02/29022/ content warning for misogyny — although, it is less extreme than future statements by Vox and closer to more mainstream anti-feminist right wing punditry. The underlying beliefs are clear though.
-  https://infogalactic.com/info/Bucknell_University this is the entry on the university from Day’s own version of wikipedia. However, it is just the 2017 version of the actual proper Wikipedia page.
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Asaro#Awards eg “The Misted Cliffs,”, finalist, Rita Award, Paranormal, 2006
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Asaro#Biography
-  the hard/soft distinction in science fiction is debatable at best but for Day’s hypothesis it needs to be more than an aesthetic one. Taken to mean that the fiction includes deep concepts from maths, physics and chemistry as central themes of the work (i.e. requiring knowledge of the field by the author and interest in those fields by the reader) then Asaro has written hard science fiction.
-  And I don’t want to get caught in the same intellectual snobbery trap – I don’t have a Phd and I went to a non-descript North of England uni. No shame in that in itself.
-  The post doesn’t state an author but it was written by Patrick Nielsen Hayden. However the moderator for the comments was Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Electrolite was later folded into Teresa’s blog Making Light which became a group blog.
-  http://www.nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html
-  The book Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was the novel added to the list of finalist by the jury that included Vox Day.
-  for example http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006122.html#76060 an explanation of the term here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disemvoweling
-  The 2005 Nebula Awards here refers to the awards that would be given out in 2006 for works from 2005.
-  Complex speeds and special relativity https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/10.1119/1.18258
-  https://www.blackgate.com/sff-corruption-part-i/
-  https://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/03/06/a-new-euphemism-for-you/
-  https://web.archive.org/web/20140619151609/http://voxday.blogspot.com/2005/04/john-scalzi-channels-robert-heinlein.html
-  https://web.archive.org/web/20081207020938/http://whatever.scalzi.com/2008/04/08/the-big-idea-vox-day/ since deleted
-  There was this indirect exchange https://whatever.scalzi.com/2006/09/09/dont-piss-off-krissy/ followed by a response by Day https://web.archive.org/web/20070709002008/http://voxday.blogspot.com/2006/09/tale-of-two-women.html