Debarkle Chapter 26: Sad Puppies (Season Two) crosses the streams

January 2014, somewhere in Utah…

Larry Correia had learned a lot from his three previous Hugo campaigns[1] and Sad Puppies 2 had a lot more structure than his earlier attempts. Correia’s initial posts were lighthearted attempts to get readers of his blog to sign up for the 2014 Worldcon as associate members. The location would be London, so unlike Nevada (2012) and Texas (2013), it was less likely that many of his fans could easily attend. Correia did have fans in Europe, but Baen Books were not well distributed outside of North America and were not well known as an SFF publisher.

The second post contained a funny cartoon complete with a jovial Larry Correia and a moose and some practical information about the advantages of a Worldcon membership even if you couldn’t actually attend the convention.

“But wait. There’s more! Normally all of the voters are sent a packet of all the nominated works to read, so you get more than your membership costs worth of eBooks. Sure, most of them are screeds about corporate greed, global warming, dying polar bears, or whatever the left wing cause of the day is, but that’s why we need to nominate some works that are actually entertaining.”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/14/sad-puppies-2-the-illustrated-edition/

Correia couldn’t know it at the time but the Hugo Packet for 2014 would turn out to be a marvellous deal (at least for fans of the Wheel of Time saga[2]).

This stage of Correia’s campaign gained more publicity than previously. In some cases, he was cited as just an additional example of authors engaged in Hugo Award promotion[3] but his post was also picked up by Mike Glyer at File 770, who had some mixed feelings about but agree on one point:

“Along the way, Correia called on people to nominate his editor at Baen, Toni Weisskopf. Now that’s something I can agree with – Toni Weisskopf should be competing for a Hugo. She’s a terrific developer of talent.”

http://file770.com/larry-correia-makes-vulgar-blog-post-his-word/

Weisskopf added a comment to the File 770 story saying that she was glad to see that people were taking Correia’s post in the way it was intended. However, the pricklier side of Larry Correia came out a bit more in a reaction post to the File 770 coverage. Some of it retained the good humour but Correia also recounted what he saw as the Worldcon reaction to his 2011 Astounding Award nomination:

“Then my name showed up on the shortlist so they looked me up… Hoo boy. It was the end of the freaking world. Most of them didn’t actually read my book to know they needed to vote against me. They found out I was an outspoken, right wing political blogger, and gun rights activist. Critics came out of the woodwork. Smofers actively campaigned against me. If you voted for Larry Correia, you were a bad person. I was accused of misogyny, racism, hatey-hate-mongery, and why wouldn’t I keep my Jesus out of their uterus! My favorite post however was from a British blogger who said that “if Larry Correia wins the Campbell it will end literature forever”.”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/23/some-reactions-to-sad-puppies-2-rainbow-puppy-lighthouse-the-huggening/

If critics had come out of the woodwork in 2011, what they said and wrote has become nigh on impossible to find since, nor does this account match his reactions at the time and the quote from the ‘British blogger’ appears to be made up[4]. The emotion expressed appears genuine though and Correia’s memories of his experience with the Reno Worldcon had grown more negative over time.

Correia also conceded that some Baen authors had gained Hugo recognition in the past but still felt that Baen was being unfairly excluded in part because:

“average Correia/Ringo/Kratman/Hoyt/Williamson fan would rather set themselves on fire than sit through a WorldCon, especially when it is competing with DragonCon”

ibid

This post had more allusions to politics than the earlier ones but it was not the primary theme of any of these initial posts. Correia was applying his other skills to the campaign though. He had tracked the number of fans who had told him they had signed up in 2013. He put this figure as 100 of his fans[5]. Because of the way nomination rights work, those 100 fans would be eligible to nominate in 2014.

Meanwhile, in the comments to Correia’s reaction post, “VD” suggested that forty-thousand words was a low bar as a word count for a novel. Another commenter speculated if “VD” was (perchance) Vox Day[6] and if so maybe they should campaign to get him a Hugo? Correia was amused by the idea:

“So many heads would explode at SFWA that astronauts could see the crater from space.”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/23/some-reactions-to-sad-puppies-2-rainbow-puppy-lighthouse-the-huggening/#comment-34016

An idea was forming…

Phase one of Sad Puppies 2 was to get Correia’s fans to sign-up before the deadline for eligibility to nominate closed at the end of January. Phase two was to get them to nominate things. Two things were established for the beginning. Correia wanted people to vote for his novel Warbound and to vote for Toni Weisskopf as Best Editor Long Form. That left a lot of other categories to play with. To that end, Correia started to crowdsource suggestions on his blog. In the comments, Vox Day[7] made some suggestions about which works might be suited. In the end, he picked out two candidates for Best Novelette: Opera Vita Aeterna (from his collection The Last Witchking) and Qalabi Dawn (from his collection The Wardog’s Coin) — both of which were set in the world of Selenoth from his attempt at a Game of Thrones like Christian fantasy, A Throne of Bones[8].

Correia would continue with multiple reminders to his readers about the campaign into March. On March 25 he had a provisional slate together.

  • Best Novel
    • Warbound, the Grimnoir Chronicles – Larry Correia – Baen
    • A Few Good Men – Sarah Hoyt – Baen
  • Novella
    • The Butcher of Khardov – Dan Wells – Skull Island Expeditions
    • The Chaplain’s Legacy – Brad Torgersen – Analog
  • Novelette
    • The Exchange Officers – Brad Torgersen – Analog
    • Opera Vita Aeterna – Vox Day – The Last Witchking
  • Best Fanzine
    • Elitist Book Reviews – Steve Diamond
  • Graphic Story
    • Schlock Mercenary – Howard Tayler
  • Best Editor Long Form
    • Toni Weisskopf
  • Best Editor Short Form
    • Bryan Thomas Schmidt
  • Campbell Award
    • Marko Kloos
    • Frank Chadwick
  • https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/25/my-hugo-slate/

The list was mainly people he had befriended such as Dan Wells, Howard Tayler and Brad Torgersen. Marko Kloos he knew from their old gun forum days and Sarah Hoyt was a fellow Baen author. The main impact of Correia’s crowd sourcing was the inclusion of Vox Day in the Novelette category.

Vox Day endorsed Correia’s slate, blaming John Scalzi for the development in campaigning:

“It should be interesting to see how this all turns out. But after John Scalzi – how entirely unsurprising – laid the groundwork for the open politicization of the Hugo Award, it was inevitable that what had always been done quietly behind closed doors would come out in the open.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20140330041659/http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-sad-puppy-hugo-slate.html

Day also had some additions to Correia’s list:

  • Best Short Story
    • Port Call – Michael Z. Williamson – Baen
    • The Krumhorn and Misericorde – Dave Freer – Baen
    • Dog’s Body – Sarah A. Hoyt – Baen
    • Failsafe – Karen Bovenmyer – Iron Dragon Books[9]
  • Best Related Work
    • Writing Down the Dragon – Tom Simon – Bondwine Books
    • On Training for War – Tom Kratman – Baen
    • A Terrible Thing to Lose: Zombie Science and Science Fiction in John Ringo’s Under a Graveyard Sky – Tedd Roberts – Baen
  • Best Professional Artist
    • Kirk DouPonce

Prior to this, Vox Day had shown little interest in the Hugo Awards. He had made legal threats at the SFWA but with his expulsion settled, there was little he could do in that arena any more. However, the Hugo Awards were something that were also valued by people he regarded with deep antipathy: Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Tor Books and John Scalzi.

On March 31, Correia warned people it was the last day to nominate and also stated:

“If you have registered and not received your PIN, then there are shenanigans afoot. I already know of people who registered before the cut off, but were not given their PIN because “we didn’t process your registration in time”. You might think that’s bad, but us trained auditors calls that evidence. 🙂 If that has happened to you, I’d really like to know about it.”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/31/today-is-the-deadline-for-sad-puppies/

In the first quarter of 2014 Larry Correia had been engaging with fandom beyond Baen in other ways as well.

At Tor.com, writer Alex Dally MacFarlane posted an essay entitled Post-Binary Gender in SF: Introduction which was to kick off a series looking at gender in science fiction. The essay started with an objective and a definition:

“I want an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories.

What do I mean by “post-binary gender”? It’s a term that has already been used to mean multiple things, so I will set out my definition: Post-binary gender in SF is the acknowledgement that gender is more complex than the Western cultural norm of two genders (female and male): that there are more genders than two, that gender can be fluid, that gender exists in many forms.”

https://www.tor.com/2014/01/21/post-binary-gender-in-sf-introduction/

Larry Correia decided to write a long post in response. Much of it involved knocking over strawman arguments of his own making that had not been arguments McFarlane had made[10] and, in an unintended irony, mistakenly decided that Alex Dally MacFarlane was a “he”. His reply also included his own ideas about how he imagined the Hugo Awards worked:

“The typical WorldCon voter, when presented with 5 nominees for a category, and their clique’s personal favorite writer isn’t on there, and not having actually read any of the works, will go through the authors and rank them according to the order that best assuages their hang ups. Oooh, a paraplegic transsexual lesbian minority abortion doctor with AIDS who writes for Mother Jones?  You’d need a wheelbarrow to carry all the Hugos. Quality? Popularity? Staying power? Influence? Isn’t that what makes something a classic? Not to the modern literati. We have to elevate works by people according to what they checked on their EEOC form. Meanwhile, hatey-McHatertons like me read books and like them, even when we don’t know anything about the author. I didn’t know what sex Lois Bujold or Wen Spencer where the first time I read one of their books, but I knew the writing was good. I couldn’t tell you what writers are gay or like to cross dress either, but I can tell you who I enjoy reading.”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/28/ending-binary-gender-in-fiction-or-how-to-murder-your-writing-career/

Jim Hines decided to engage with Correia’s fisking[11] with his own counter-fisk: picking through Correia’s counter-argument with his own counter arguments, creating what Hines called “fiskception”.

“Cismale gendernomrative fascist? Whatever. What Correia is displaying here is his awareness that he’s making an assumption, his awareness that the assumption might be wrong, and his unwillingness to do 30 seconds of research to verify his assumption. Or just read the bio at the end of MacFarlane’s article. Either because he’s lazy, or because he doesn’t see any need to treat people he disagrees with respectfully. Or both.”

http://www.jimchines.com/2014/01/fiskception/

Correia then responded with a further stab at both MacFarlane’s essays and Hines’s response. Neither set of Correia’s responses cast him in a good light beyond his normal audience.

In April, The Guardian newspaper carried Damien Walters regular column on science-fiction. Walters’s topic that Friday, was “Science fiction needs to reflect that the future is queer”. He discussed the role of sex and gender in science fiction. In one paragraph, Walters discussed the recent set of posts by MacFarlane, Correia and Hines.

‘When author and historian Alex Dally Macfarlane made a call earlier this year for a vision of post-binary gender in SF, her intelligent argument was met with predictably intractable ignorance from conservative sci-fi fans. For writers and fans like Larry Correia, whose virulent attack on MacFarlane was excellently dissected by Jim C Hines, sex is a biological imperative and the idea of gender as a social construct is a damn liberal lie! But Correia boils it down to a much simpler argument. However accurate a queer future might be, SF authors must continue to pander to the bigotry of conservative readers if they want to be “commercial”.’

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/11/science-fiction-needs-to-reflect-queer-fluid-gender-identity

By now, readers may have spotted a pattern. Larry Correia often starts something with humour but makes use of put downs, bold assertions & partial quotes, and stretches a point or sometimes wholly misrepresents what has been said (perhaps through not understanding, perhaps deliberately). Responding in kind or even with much milder criticism is met with an even more aggressive response. So it was with this article.

Correia opened his response with “So I got slandered in the Guardian last Friday” and later continued with:

“Anyways, my name showed up as the poster child for hate mongery and villainy in the Guardian (a liberal tabloid that passes for a major newspaper in Britain). I’ve been in a lot of American news things but this was a first for me, so on Friday afternoon I had to discuss with my fans on Facebook what I should put on my new business cards. We finally decided on Larry F. Correia, International Lord of Hate. Almost went with The Hatemaster because of the 70’s super villain vibe, but that looks too much like The Hamster when you’re reading fast.”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/15/larry-f-correia-international-lord-of-hate/

The whole post is over 2,600 words long, in response to two sentences in an article that in total was less than 700 words. It was in a style that his readers enjoy, a mix of insults and a few counterpoints and colourful language but the thrust of it being that he (Larry Correia) had in some way been defamed. Walters may well have missed some of the nuance of Correia’s original argument but Walter’s made a better effort at summarising what Correia had said than Correia had made of MacFarlane’s original piece, Hines’s counter-fisk or Walters’s column.

In the gradually forming coalition, writers connected with the Mad Genius Club also joined in. Dave Freer stood up for gender roles:

“To which I reply in tones redolent of the fragrant effluvia of cows I have been working with: ‘You’re smoking your socks, Sunshine. Somewhere in a future so remote that present readers would have little to identify with, maybe technology will do away with men in the role they always have occupied. But if sf (particularly sf set ‘near-future’ – like the next 200 years) wants to reflect any form of plausibility, men will still be the ones doing the cows. The fishing. Or the plumbing. The crew on the salvage tugs. Probably most of the bleeding and dying, most of the jobs that require a long neck and strong back, mental and physical flexibility. Any number of other jobs which attract little or no interest from the vast majority of women, because they’re dirty and hard. Yes there will be women doing them. There are now. But damned few. Gender roles are not fragile, and Damien Walter and all his ilk better hope they aren’t in future, or they may have to find out just how hard those hard men are for themselves. I’d pay good money to watch them slither around the cattle yards.”

https://madgeniusclub.com/2014/04/14/cow-manure-and-truth/

Sarah A Hoyt joined in:

“But there goes some critter named Damien Walter, in this outmoded tabloid that Brits seem to think is a newspaper – something called Al The Guardian though heaven only knows what they’re guarding and if they think it’s the right to say who’s the world’s worst person, I want them to tell me they and whose army – calling Larry all sorts of things, accusing him of hate, and furthermore putting words in his mouth that Larry didn’t say.”

https://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/04/13/i-need-a-secret-lair-and-minions-and-piranhas/

However, it was Amanda Green who drew a connection between Walters’s column and the Hugo Awards.

“I’ll start by noting that the germs for this post were planted earlier when a so-called “journalist” writing for the Guardian called out Larry Correia, putting words into Larry’s mouth that Larry never said. I’m not going to defend Larry here because he can defend himself much better, and much more entertainingly, than I can. However, it was interesting that the article, with its attack on Larry, came out around the time the Hugo slate was being narrowed down. Hmm, if I believed in coincidences — or conspiracies — I’d say someone had an agenda he was trying to further.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/11/science-fiction-needs-to-reflect-queer-fluid-gender-identity

As it happens, the 2014 Hugo Award finalists were announced a few days later. Correia’s slate scored 7 out of the 12 items listed[13]. Some of the ‘misses’ were due to a lack of homework on Correia’s part: Marko Kloos was not eligible for the Astounding Award because of past published work. Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary was of dubious eligibility for Graphic Story as he hadn’t released a new volume. In the comments at File 770, Tayler himself expressed some unease about being on the Sad Puppies slate:

“I’m not sure why Larry put me on his Sad Puppies slate. It’s certainly not something I asked for, nor is it something I’ve EVER asked for. I like it when fans read and recommend my work, but I don’t campaign for that. I certainly don’t think that Schlock Mercenary not winning a Hugo (five times in a row!) is somehow a sign of Great Injustice somewhere. Because that’s just ridiculous. Not winning means it’s not good enough. That’s okay. I can keep making it better. And other people will keep making other excellent graphic stories, and thank you, Hugo Awards, for encouraging an ever-raising bar.”

http://file770.com/somewhere-puppies-are-smiling/#comment-217888

The nomination statistics would later show how the other items on both Correia’s and Vox Day’s additional slate had performed. The campaign certainly had made an impact but not a consistent one, with voters picking between the choices.

Correia himself had 184 nomination votes for his novel, the third most voted for[14]. Others got fewer votes (at the nomination stage) than that but success was dependent on which category they were in. Vox Day’s novelette received 69 votes which were 23 votes less than Brad Torgersen’s novelette. Sarah Hoyt’s short story Dog’s Body came fifth out of the nominees in its category but fell foul of a rule that required a work to receive at least 5% of the nomination vote to qualify (the story only got 4.4%).

We will return to the 2014 Hugo Awards in a later chapter. At this point, Larry Correia was very happy with how his campaign had proceeded.

“Thanks to the Monster Hunter Nation and other caring individuals a great victory was struck today in the war against the scourge that is Puppy Related Sadness!”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/20/a-blow-has-been-struck-against-puppy-related-sadness/

However, Correia was quick to spot a downside:

“Already there is all sorts of outragey outrage coming from the usual suspects, with allegations of, I kid you not, “ballot stuffing” 😀 For everyone who has been involved in this process, you know how especially ironic and hilarious that actually is, since behind the scenes I’ve been collecting counts of Sad Puppies nominators the whole time to see if the process was rigged because there have been some really suspicious things that have happened in the past to other author friends of mine. Can’t help myself. I’m a retired auditor. But the London committee appears to be totally honest. Great.”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/20/a-blow-has-been-struck-against-puppy-related-sadness/

At this point Correia wouldn’t have had access to official numbers but claiming voting irregularities with this level of success would have been a stretch. Also, it was actually true that people had mentioned “ballot stuffing” in connection to the Sad Puppy results. There was a single comment at the io9 announcement of the results saying:

“It is HILARIOUS* that Vox Day got a nom. Can you say “ballot stuffing”? *When I say “hilarious” I mean “awful” and “frustrating” and “insane”.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/1565148661

More substantially, Natalie Luhrs had summed up the Sad Puppies campaign using the term.

“What I agree with, even less, is the campaign that went on to stuff the ballot box on the part of Larry Correia and Vox Day.  They each wrote a post, shortly before the nominating deadline, exhorting their readers to submit a particular ballot… I would be extremely interested to know how many ballots match that list in all respects. I would also be interested to know how many supporting memberships were bought for spouses, children, and extended family who did not actually submit those ballots.  It would be ridiculously easy to game the nominations that way. Ridiculously.”

https://www.pretty-terrible.com/obligatory-hugo-nomination-reaction-post/

It was a reasonable question, although look at the final nomination statistics suggests that the potential number of identical ballots would have been low. Luhrs had good reason to suspect that both Correia and Vox Day might indulge in brigading tactics. Outside of book fandom, a newer, different but related fandom was in uproar in 2014 and Vox Day was in the middle of it…

Next Time: Opera Vita Aeterna

And after that: Vox Day (with a guest spot from Larry Correia) plays with Gamergate.


Footnotes

120 thoughts on “Debarkle Chapter 26: Sad Puppies (Season Two) crosses the streams

  1. I really, really doubt many memberships were bough for spouses, children, their companion canines or whatever given that they’re not cheap and the Puppies never struck me as being free in the purse with their coin. It’s an interesting idea but not one that I think happened in actuality.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Watching the ignorance with which these people discuss the Guardian is definitely a thing. (Hell, they don’t even realize its legendary nickname the Grauniad, based on a now ill-founded reputation for typos.) But then, they don’t need to learn about things, they just need to sneer.

    On Selenoth–Beale was not, at this point, waving his fist at G.R.R. Martin’s work, save in the most general of fashions. That would come when he decided to turn this from something he wrote about occasionally into an epicly epic fantasy series and thus felt the need to pretend it was about taking on the biggest guy presently in the room. At this point, Beale seemed to be aiming more at writing Generic Fantasy for Born-Agains, filling what he imagined to be a hole in the market.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I may be wrong but I think I saw a 2013 quote from him saying that part of his motivation for Throne of Bones was that he decided he could write something better than the last volume of GRRM he’d read.

      Like

      1. Oh, he was definitely starting to pretend to take on GRRM when he wrote up Throne of Bones–it’s the earlier stuff (of which Opera Vita Aeterna which he seems to have written for a Christian basement press and then sat on for years after they were rejected before self-publishing that I’m talking about.

        To clarify my point–while Beale may very well have been insisting that this series was written to take on GRRM at the time, most of the earlier stuff very clearly is not. (To be fair, the later stuff isn’t really either, it’s just Beale pretending he’s dealing with GRRM’s series, while writing very bad Generic Fantasy.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I got from the impresion that i got from the plot, that at last the first novel tried to copy a lot of thinks that are typical for Martins work, but didn’t understand why they worked in A Song of Ice and Fire. (Multible PoV, characterdeath, including the maincharacter at the end of the book)
        Combined with Beales worldview, exspecially his views about women, that very much did shine trough the readalong, his dream was doomed from the beginning.
        (And I know that we can talk about the problems with ASOIAF but is there any part, where Beales work is not worse?)

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Throne of Bones makes a very shallow attempt to deal with ASOIAF. As usual for Beale, it is an exceedingly superficial take that doesn’t understand what it’s dealing with and essentially cargo cults elements of GRRM’s approach.

        And then his hideous politics are on display. This is even worse in the second novel, which has Beale openly stating his ‘women working is white genocide’ beliefs through the characters at several points. Among other awful things.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. The “who ever heard of this obscure tabloid” stuff is performative, same as how every time our recent president whatsisname mentioned the New York Times in a context unfavorable to himself, he had to call it the “failing” New York Times that no one reads.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There’s certainly a performative element to it–I won’t dispute that–but I strongly suspect there’s some real bone-deep ignorance involved here as well. These are people with limited worlds, and little desire to expand them.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Which shows again his narrow worldview.
      One Point is that we can’t be sure, how much the individuel writers on the list, were aware of what was going on (Without some research).
      The reason I say this is Taylers Statement above. From it it is clear that he at last wasn’t involved. (The Fact that Slock Merchant wasn’t elligatable that year and that Tayler knew it makes that very clear)

      On Point that I want to make, as catholic, that what the official position of a church is and what the members do believ in, can very widly. I don’t know much about Mormons, but I hope that not all members hold the views that the church official does or did in some cases. Going against churchdoctrin can be sometimes hard.

      Not to defend Correia or Torgersen, but I try to be fair to the other mormons.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, my point was just that Correia was doing the same sort of Family & Friends nepotism that Torgersen did a year later, not that the religious beliefs were baked into the campaign.

        My admittedly vague recollection was that, like Tayler, at some point this year or following, Wells indicated that he was not keen on the Puppy campaign; not really a denunciation, more of an “include me out, thanks” sort of thing. But I can’t swear that my memory is accurate.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Just a small correction:
        I don’t thin Tayler was ever in, based on his statement and logic. He was unaware of it.

        Other points more tangent to the post:
        For me Sad Puppies 2 is in a weird way somethink were you can allready see the way it becomes later but it is hidden enough that I don’t exspect everyone to see it at the time.
        Counterpoint is of course the inclusion of Beale, where the anger was focused.
        And to make use of the last chapter, including someone because you are angry, that believes falsly accusing someone of a horrible crime, is a great tactic, tells you everythink you need to know about Correia and Beale.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. StefanB: Just a small correction: I don’t thin Tayler was ever in, based on his statement and logic. He was unaware of it.

        Tayler was “in it” by virtue of having been put on the 2014 Puppy slate by Correia. My recollection was that when he found out what Correia was doing, he did the equivalent of raising an eyebrow and saying “include me out, thanks”.

        Everything I’ve ever heard from people about Howard Tayler is that he’s a great guy: smart, has integrity, and is humble and kind (in other words, exactly the opposite of Correia and Torgersen).

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Much appreciated, StefanB. I do, in fact, know a lot about the Mormons, and the history is a lot more nuanced than folks realize. I’ve come to realize that the way people spin their faith has a lot to do with local culture- while I am troubled and embarrassed by the antics of folks like Correia and Torgerson, I am liberal because of my religion, not in spite of it, and any Latter Day Saint holding onto racist beliefs is doing so against the explicit guidance of their religious leaders. Correia and Torgerson are products of a local hyperconservative culture that more often than not directly contradicts the beliefs they claim to follow. I am well aware of the history, but I am talking about now. No question there are a lot of LDS folks entrenched in problematic views, but that is changing, and the effect is tied to local culture. LDS folks globally are just as bemused by Correia and Torgerson as I am.

        I am deeply annoyed that anyone might think they are representative of their faith, when they are in fact relics of a diminishing subculture.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Kloos made a positive comment at Larry’s blog. Wieskopff was aware. I assume Hoyt was and Torgersen. And VD obviously. Not sure of the rest but it was mainly people Larry had backed before.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. To be fair, Tayler and Wells didn’t hold with this crap, but we know they weren’t Rabid Weasels of SFWA because they’re friends of MRK.

        Utah/Idaho Mormonism is its own thing entirely. Extremely devout Mormons from other places go there and think “um… wow… seriously?”

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Correia: “average Correia/Ringo/Kratman/Hoyt/Williamson fan would rather set themselves on fire than sit through a WorldCon, especially when it is competing with DragonCon”

    It’s almost… as if… he walks right up to the reason why Correia, Ringo, Kratman, Hoyt, and Williamson aren’t getting nominated for Worldcon’s awards… and then takes a sharp right-turn, just before he gets to Self-Awareness City. 🙄

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Advertising “getting the Packet” as a part of the Worldcon membership is a problem – it’s nice that the publishers and writers often make the works available, but Worldcon can’t guarantee that publishers and authors will continue to do so (and having people explicitly advocating getting membership to get the packet might sour the publishers on the whole idea). If the 2014 Packet had not materialized due to any number of circumstances we could have had another crisis, as people who had relied on Correia’s advertisement became angry not at him but at WSFS.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “Quality? Popularity? Staying power? Influence? Isn’t that what makes something a classic?” And it’s so easy to determine staying power and influence in a novel that’s come out within the past year or so, of course.
    “I didn’t know what sex Lois Bujold or Wen Spencer where the first time I read one of their books” While I wouldn’t know a Wen, the odds are good that Lois was a woman.
    “Gender roles are not fragile, and Damien Walter and all his ilk better hope they aren’t in future” If the dude believed that, he wouldn’t freak out so much at the suggestion they can shift so easily.
    And of course they can. Secretaries in the late 19th century were almost all male. Coding was female-dominated until the mid-1980s. Now that women are being allowed in combat jobs, some of them are seizing the opportunity.
    “Any number of other jobs which attract little or no interest from the vast majority of women, because they’re dirty and hard.” A non-insignificant percentage of men have little or no interest in that kind of job either.
    Apropos of knowing the gender of authors, at what point was it commonly known Andre Norton was a woman? I’m fairly sure I was aware of it when I started reading her books in the early 1970s.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. About Norton, I wasn’t aware in the ’70s, but I was a kid and didn’t have any contact with fandom or other commentary on SF. But Norton is a great example of why Correia’s comment is laughable bullshit: she used that name (and two other male-sounding pen names) because the market didn’t like female writers. If readers and publishers evaluated books in a purely equitable spirit with no regard for who wrote them, then Norton, Fontana, Sheldon, Cherryh, etc. etc., wouldn’t have had to bother. Correia was basically saying—to the extent that he’s even trying to say anything, rather than just blustering—either that these legendary writers did this for no reason because they simply imagined a social bias that wasn’t there (if only they’d taken advice from a real old hand like Larry Correia!), or that everything had improved so much in that regard that it’s no longer relevant now (even though he clearly considered every social change since 1950 to be negative, and even though plenty of more recent examples like J.K. Rowling and Robin Hobb exist), and in the process, he was himself serving as a perfect example of the kind of sexist schmuck who created that situation.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Any number of other jobs which attract little or no interest from the vast majority of women, because they’re dirty and hard
      Try to get a man to change diapers, clean the bathroom, wash the dishes, do the laundry or vacuum and clean the house, and then come back and talk to me about dirty and hard.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. My husband will wash dishes and do the laundry most of the time.

        The rest of it, he’d run away screaming from.

        And neither of us are woman enough to birth, attend to, and raise children.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Lurkertype: And neither of us are woman enough to birth, attend to, and raise children.

        Yeah, I’m pretty sure that I’d rather have a full-time job driving a flatbed truck and dropping off, servicing, and picking up porta-johns, than I would giving birth and raising children.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. ” mental and physical flexibility” to boot. Citation needed on those. It doesn’t say physical strength, but flexibility. I guess you need men to do all the “real” work.

        Like

      4. Mr angharad worked a blue collar job back when he still worked. He lost it just before we had our first child so we decided he could stay home and look after the baby. He often said he wished he could go back and tell the guys he used to work with how wrong they were when they complained about how easy their wives had it at home with the kids.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Only someone who has never had to deal with a small child exploding at both ends at 4am could think so.

        Also children are heavy. The average human toddler weighs about twenty kilos (twenty extremely squirmy kilos). I burst the arm seams on my tudor gown after I had my first kid because suddenly I had biceps.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. I was aware of Norton, but remember *nobody* knew about James Tiptree Jr. until 1977.
      Whereupon the women she was pen pals with welcomed her, and many of the men stopped corresponding.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. A couple of typos …

    Novellete category -> Novelette category

    Larry Correia … makes use of put downs and bold assertions and makes use of partial quotes and stretches a point or sometimes wholly misrepresents what has been said -> Larry Correia … makes use of put downs, bold assertions and partial quotes, and stretches a point or sometimes wholly misrepresents what has been said

    In the gradually forming coalition that was forming -> In the coalition that was gradually forming

    LC’s pattern of starting with good humour and moving quickly to outrage and whopper-telling would seem to indicate that he (a) has the world’s thinnest and most delicate skin or (b) isn’t used to people disagreeing with him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. also (c) his fans like it when he gets all verbally aggressive. I think all three. He’ll say otherwise but he doesn’t cope well with disagreement unless he’s built up a lot of trust with someone (at least on the internet)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. But aren’t displays of dominance in argument more successful if the arguments are accurate? Can volume and loutishness replace accuracy? Perhaps the latter depends on the audience for the display.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. But aren’t displays of dominance in argument more successful if the arguments are accurate?

        Oddly, no. One of the common elements in this sort of performative display is the inaccuracy – because if you can get your audience to go along with your lie, your dominance is all the more powerful.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. If critics had come out of the woodwork in 2011, what they said and wrote has become night on impossible -> nigh on

    (“Night on Impossible” is the name of my next Emo band)

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I just looked again at the old Hugo debate blogpost you linked and it’s 90% about things Adam Roberts, John Scalzi and Scrivener’s Error (whatever happened to that place anyway?) said. Larry Correia is only mentioned once in parentheses.

    It’s also fascinating to see how Correia interprets even the mildest of criticism and disagreement as a personal attack. When he was nominated for the then Campbell Award, the overwhelming reaction was, “Who is this person?” Very few people even bothered enough to criticise him.

    Just as the reaction to Alex Dally-McFarlane’s piece was mostly “That’s interesting. I shall think about it”, until the proto-puppies decided to take it as a personal attack on their gender identities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to work with someone like that for a couple of years. She took any disagreement with her opinions as if the other speaker had appended “you stupid bitch” to their statements. Probably my rock-bottom working experience.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. All it takes is literally a sentence. Notably, once people ACTUALLY started writing longer pieces specifically about him (and also people just being rude about him for a being a dick), he was less clear about how to respond. He’d dialled himself up to 11 already in early 2014.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. We need the “Choose Your Own Debarkle” version

      “Do you want to read about a sad elf story (turn to the fifth Chapter 5) or do you want to read about misogyny (turn to Chapter Aleph-null-1”

      Liked by 7 people

  9. If critics had come out of the woodwork in 2011, what they said and wrote has become nigh on impossible to find since, nor does this account match his reactions at the time and the quote from the ‘British blogger’ appears to be made up[4]. The emotion expressed appears genuine though and Correia’s memories of his experience with the Reno Worldcon had grown more negative over time.

    There you have right-wingers in a nutshell: it doesn’t matter what actually happened, only how they’ve decided to feel about it.

    But if sf (particularly sf set ‘near-future’ – like the next 200 years) wants to reflect any form of plausibility, men will still be the ones doing the cows.

    Um – okay? Is that really the kind of thing Freer wants to claim for men? (I actually checked the original post to make sure that was what he’d actually said.)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Also, having grown up in a rural area with cows literally next door (and sometimes in the garden, if they somehow got through the fence) and neighbours keeping geese on the other side, I can assure you that women are just as likely to take care of farm animals (and also slaughter them, if necessary) as men. Though no one ever did cows or geese, as far as I know. And indeed my equally rural best friend and I were quite shocked when we heard that someone somewhere apparently did it with a chicken, because how would that even work and how would you keep the chicken still long enough?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. At one point, we lived in a brand-new housing development on the literal edge of town. The cows which had previously wandered in the area of our street now lived on the other side of a not-very-good barbed wire fence. Posts were rickety and easy to knock down if one was a determined cow.

        And thus the cows reclaimed their ancestral land, eating all the nice lawns and flowers the people had planted, strolling up and down the streets going MOO.

        After this had happened a few times, and particularly after my mom and a couple of the other housewives had driven the cows back into the pasture after bedtime, the farmer agreed to keep the cows in a more distant field.

        Please note that there were NO men involved in this; they were tucked up in bed while the moms were out in robes with brooms to shoo the beasts. My dad the WWII veteran and country boy was in bed while ex-ballerina mom was out; the neighbor who was a former NFL football player was in bed, while his city-bred cheerleader wife was out. Girly girls did the work, macho men snoozed.

        (The cows were replaced by a couple of well-behaved horses.)

        Liked by 3 people

  10. Coincidentally, I just this afternoon listened to a podcast entitled ‘You’re Wrong About’ in which a couple of journalists analyze pop culture events from the last 30 years in order to set the record straight (highly recommended). Anyway, in the latest episode they look at the rise of the phrase ‘political correctness’ in the 90s, and show that to a very large extent it was completely based on fabricated tales of SJW oppression of elite white folk. The main takeaway was the manner in which mostly older white guys claimed all sorts of oppression based on their bullshit opinions being challenged by younger, often browner and/or female people. Reminded me of this episode since many of the stories of said oppression, which were endlessly repeated by media who refused to fact-check the same, were just not true.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Excellent podcast on an amazing variety of topics. The episode on the murder of Harvey Milk and the “Twinkie defense” was also fascinating.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Political correctness is an Orwellian attempt to conceal inconvenient truths through forcing changes in language. It’s not cancel culture per se, although often the advocates for the replacement terms will try to punish people for using the old ones.

      The poster child for political correctness is the attempt to replace “illegal alien” with “undocumented immigrant” (which has now come up again in Biden administration directives). Non-citizens are aliens; that’s one of the main definitions of the word. And there are aliens present in this country in violation of the law, hence they are illegal. But those who don’t want illegal aliens deported would rather that people not be reminded that the aliens are here illegally, and they think also that people will find the word alien alienating. Instead, they are to be called immigrants, which which perhaps raises pleasant associations with our immigrant ancestors, and are merely undocumented, as if they just forgot their papers at home.

      Like

      1. The poster child for political correctness is the attempt to replace “undocumented immigrant” with “illegal alien” (which has now come up again in Hyman’s comments). Non-citizens are immigrants; that’s one of the main definitions of the word. And there are immigrants present in this country without proper documentation, hence they are undocumented. But those who want undocumented immigrants to be not just deported but demonised would rather that people be reminded that they can be called aliens who are here illegally, and they think also that people will find the word ‘immigrant’ to humanising. Instead, they are to be called ‘aliens’, which perhaps raises unpleasant associations with invaders, and are ‘illegal’, as if their very existence was a breach of the law

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Most ranting about political correctness is a weaselly attempt to duck accusations of racism and sexism. E.g., people who complain that having to say black or African American instead of the n-word is because of “political correctness.” Of course they can say the n-word as much as they like, their issue is that then they’d be (shudder) CRITICIZED for it.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Yeah, any time someone uses the term “political correctness” without irony, I always think, “Thank you for letting me know straight up that you’re a bigot who deeply resents being expected to treat other people with basic human decency, so that I don’t waste any of my time giving you the benefit of doubt you don’t deserve”.

        Liked by 4 people

      4. Gaaaah. Funny you should mention that right now. Just today I finished a discussion (“finished” as in my conversational partner deleted the whole thread) with someone who kept insisting that when Jemisin made her well-known quote to the effect that “If your first thought is to cry ‘political correctness’, there’s a very good chance you’re part of the problem” (I’m on my phone, so I’m not going to look up the exact quote), that Jemisin actually meant that it’s the people who POINT OUT racist language who are the problem.

        And I’ve actually found that interpretation on a few RWNJ blogs, too.

        RWNJ always gonna project!

        Liked by 2 people

      5. It is not often that someone points out the racist origins of complaints about “political correctness” and then you have someone pops up to be racist in public and prove the original point quite as starkly as Hyman has done here.

        Liked by 4 people

      6. Actually, I’ve always hated the US legal use of “alien” to refer to non-citizens. Because to me, “aliens” were always extraterrestrial beings. People who are not US citizens are foreigners or immigrants, but they’re not aliens, because they’re human. And like Camestros, I also view the term “illegal aliens” deliberately dehumanising. “Undocumented immigrants” or – if you must – “illegal immigrants” is much better, because it reminds us that regardless of their immigration status, we’re talking about people here and not about the monster from Ridley Scott’s movie.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. Whenever the National Enquirer used to use headlines like “space alien baby found on moon” I’d wondered why they needed space — like someone would think it was an illegal Mexican immigrant otherwise?

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Thank you for that excellent own-goal demonstration for why language matters and why progressive people strive to change the words regressive people use to dehumanise others.

        Of course, that’s now what you thought you were doing, but you accomplished it just the same.

        Liked by 4 people

      9. @Cora

        Alien as Auslander is an older usage in English (it was borrowed from French several hundred years ago) than alien as Außerirdischer. It’s the technical legal term in (at least) UK, US, Canadian and Australian law; I suspect it’s also used in the rest of the anglosphere.

        The English cognate for Auslander is outlander, but that’s not a much-used word. Incomer is more common, but that’s associated with narrower (regionalist) bigotries.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. @camestrosfelapton

      By Jove, I think you’ve got it! Political correctness uses words to conceal truth and to give the speaker’s preferred spin. Another example is confkating “the homeless” to refer to addled bums as well as to people who have lost their homes through poverty or family breakup.

      Like

      1. “words to conceal truth and to give the speaker’s preferred spin” hmmm, by Jove! You mean like how you use the word “political correctness” to mean “people using words in a way I don’t like”?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It was just political correctness when people got mad about Jesse Jackson’s description of New York. After all, he was just “revealing the truth” with his remarks.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So it’s tragic if they lose their homes through poverty but not through mental illness?
        When “politically incorrect” people shit on the homeless (verbally that is) I’ve not noticed them worrying about that distinction (“We’re going to clear out the homeless, but not the DESERVING homeless.”).

        Liked by 2 people

    4. Yeah, political correctness was an old Lefty activism term that meant trying to change the culture so that politicians then had political incentives to be for equal civil rights and democracy rather than anti-civil rights and democracy. Cishet white guys who were making their bones as libertarian contrarians in the 1990’s picked it up and changed it to mean essentially language policing. So they were the rascally rebels saying naughty (discriminatory, violently threatening) words and claiming progressives were powerful moms scolding them. It let them pretend that discrimination wasn’t going on while at the same time insisting on their privilege to discriminate while marginalized people could be silent or at least try to appease and excuse them personally. It was a massive posturing whine of you are being mean to me but I can upset you, so ha ha. It set the stage for Internet trolls. Most of it was aimed at women and feminism.

      Bill Mahr made his bones on using it by having a discussion show titled Politically Incorrect that ran through the 1990’s. He’d use the model now imposed on us for shows like The View and have a mix of celebrities, comedians and Dem and Repub political figures talking about various issues. But the term mostly fell out of use for others because it was easily countered with facts, so Mahr changed the name of his show and revamped it a bit for HBO. SJW, woke, snowflake, cultural Marxist, etc. have all been terms tossed into the ring against civil rights advocacy. Most of the terms are “borrowed” from civil rights advocates, particularly Black and feminism circles, and then repurposed with new meanings to paint such advocacy as unreasonable and problematic.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. “… it was less likely that many of his fans were likely to attend.”

    Maybe one fewer likely. Perhaps “…less likely that many of his fans would attend”

    Like

  12. “But if sf (particularly sf set ‘near-future’ – like the next 200 years) wants to reflect any form of plausibility, men will still be the ones doing the cows.”

    As someone who grow up on a farm, I always roll my eyes whenever I see Freer proudly proclaiming his tough manly salt-of-the-earth farming credentials. The dude’s basically a hobbyist.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, both sets of my grandparents raised livestock, including cattle, as a profession – and you wouldn’t catch them referring to “cows” unless they were invoking the well-known idiom “doing [X] until the cows come home”.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Depends where you live — where I grew up, they’re all “cows” and saying “cattle” is highfalutin’. But it’s still called a cattle ranch. “Cowboys” work with the beasts, “cattlemen” make the money off them.

        Family farms have always required all hands on deck, down to the littlest ones looking after the chickens.

        I wonder who Dave thinks dealt with the livestock while the manly men were off killing other manly men in wars?

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh, and by the way, both of my grandmothers were out there doing the same “manly” hard, dirty work on the farm and my grandfathers were.

      Freer is such a precious little thing, isn’t he?

      Liked by 5 people

    3. I remember during one of the big hurricanes a couple of years back, religious misogynist blogger Matt Walsh was tweeting out photos of First Responders and declaring This Is What Women Want, not metrosexual wimps.
      No question, some women want that, but if that was all women wanted, Walsh wouldn’t be married. He’s a perfectly unremarkable, unheroic dude (which is perfectly okay in itself, of course).
      I’m often reminded of George Orwell’s comment about chickenhawks who never fight themselves, but figure their bellicose rhetoric is just as good as boots on the ground.

      Liked by 5 people

    4. I’m not sure exactly what part of farming the phrase “doing the cows” is supposed to refer to, but I’m pretty sure “milkmaid” is not, traditionally, a title used for male farm workers.

      Liked by 3 people

    5. Guys like Freer have so little historical knowledge. They think the “manly man” version pushed by their small subculture is the one that has been dominant through history, but the reality is that the requirements expected to be “manly” through history have changed considerably many times.

      Vikings and Spartans, for example, shared the cultural idea that men should have fancy hair. In many places, “manly men” were expected to write and recite poetry, or to be able to sing, or dance, or do all kinds of “non-macho” (in the modern sense) things.

      Freer talks about 200 years. Well, 200 years ago in Europe, manly men were into powdered wigs, high heels, and showing off their shapely calves while dancing. I suspect that 200 years into the future, what is regarded as “manly” will be unrecognizable to people like Freer.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Even within my own lifetime things have changed. When I was born the idea of a father being present in the maternity ward would have seemed completely WTF (I wonder what Kids Today make of scenes in old films where fathers are pacing up and down in the waiting room). And changing stations in men’s restrooms? Not on a bet.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. um, a lot…and they are all horribly racist ones so far… I’m not making this sound very appealing am I? I’m changing tack now…onto horribly sexist quotes now…so, how are people feeling about a post that is really long and peppered through with appalling racism and sexism? yay!

        I’m going to have to do a post that’s just Tim sniffing flowers or something to make up for this.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Flowers, hmm? Now I’m imagining Tim stoned out of his mind on catnip singing ‘Tiptoe Through the Tulips’…

        (Likely followed by Tim shredding your music collection and anything else available once sobered up.)

        Liked by 2 people

    1. You have my sympathy, because damn it, it’s such a bad story, filled with such sloppy world-building, and such shitty philosophy.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I will always be thankful to a tipp I got, even if you are a Hugovoter, you only primise to tried to judge a work fairly, you don’t promise to read it all the way through.

        Like

      2. Gene Wolfe is, alas, referred to in the passed tense.

        The anniversary of his 2019 death was a week and a bit ago: April 14.

        Like

  13. “So many heads would explode at SFWA that astronauts could see the crater from space.”

    And sadly, that seems to encapsulate the entire opinion of Larry and friends in a nutshell. It’s not about building anything. It’s about knocking other people down. It’s about ‘trolling the libs’. It’s about ruining other people’s fun because if you aren’t having fun you’ll make sure nobody else is either. Screw ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, they’re going to put a hole below the waterline on somebody else’s boat so their half-rotten rowboat will be the one floating the highest.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. So Larry lied about what people in fandom were saying about him, exaggerated the amount of attention he was actually getting from people so he could be the victim general of an imaginary right-wing defense army with his own special title, pretended that the Hugo Best Novel nominees weren’t commercial big sellers and most of them bigger sellers than himself, and totally freaked out about Jim Hines analyzing his actual words (fisking,) claiming they weren’t his actual words. (I remember that one as it was the first time I ever heard anything substantial about LC’s blatherings other then him writing a comic urban fantasy series.)

    Pretty much a standard performance for someone of his ideology, which is an obsession with status and authoritarianism to preserve that status quo. (Of course, bigoted authoritarianism can pop up from someone of any ideology, from anarchism to theocratic fundamentalists, it’s societally ingrained in us all, but the further right you go, the more it’s central.) Larry used both Hoyt’s method of pretending that systematic discrimination isn’t actually occurring and people talking about it or dealing with it in their work are thus being controlling tyrants, and Beale’s method of declaring groups to be innately inferior such as queer people and that they should be controlled from having their work win awards. (Given to them by voters who flock to the girly tea party of WorldCon instead of the manly Dragon Con, no less.)

    The funny thing is, is that Larry agrees with both MacFarlane and Walters that gender roles are social constructs and flexible/changing between people and over time. He points out that he didn’t know the gender of Spencer and Bujold — that they were gender fluid, non-binary, Schrodinger’s gender. Neither author in their work fits the arguments that Larry tried to make in the Puppies rhetoric. Spencer’s work is pretty feminist and often deals with gender, in particular the novel A Brother’s Price. She also won the Campbell/Astounding Award in 2003, the period of time the Puppies claim the SJW cabal controlled the Hugo awards and the Campbell. Bujold has a lot of feminism in her work and has talked about it as an influence, has some queer material and tackles issues of gender roles and identities both directly and through indirect symbolism (clones.) And Bujold also won/was nominated for Hugos during the supposedly cabal controlling time era. But Bujold is the star of Baen Books who brought them Hugo wins, a bigger star than Larry. And since part of the imaginary narrative is that Baen is a safe haven for conservative authors, no matter how many conservative authors were published by Tor, Orbit, Del Rey, etc., and that Larry is a general in the Baen preserving army against SJW’s, Bujold has to be made to fit by pretending she’s an acceptable (“cool girl”) author who isn’t a mean feminist harpy — flexible.

    The difference in orientation is that MacFarlane is talking about individuals controlling and forming their own understandings of gender for their own identities and having that become part of culture — the equal civil right of bodily and personal autonomy. Whereas Larry sees gender as forced on individuals by culture without autonomy or choice, gender controlled in rigid norms by authorities who are the superiors. Larry is young enough to view it as acceptable for women to be novelists, even bestselling ones in SFF, and to recommend Hoyt’s work as well as his own for the Hugo. But women being novelists and being so openly as women is a cultural change that took a few hundred years of feminism to achieve — and only partially in some parts of the world and still comes with boatloads of discrimination. The gender roles/identities changed rather than stayed viewed as innately restricted, which Larry accepts because he’s used to that change — he does understand that cultural norms can change towards equality. But further cultural changes, women and others having more autonomy and equality over their gender identities and behavior, are threatening to his cultural identity and status and therefore are unreasonable and should be dismissed and blocked as the imaginary, controlling opponent.

    And that’s because Larry and others playing the man game of toxic masculinity again see gender as flexible and cultural, not innate, because they see their gender as performative and insecure. You can only be a man, masculine, if society — if other men, the superior dominant ones — continue to view and respect you as such, if you do the right behavior, appearance, beliefs, etc., if you have the authority status in the culture. As the early dregs of the men’s assholes movement explained it in the 1980’s, real men don’t eat quiche. Women are inferior by necessity in that view of performative gender. Men who don’t support a rigid authoritative hierarchy — such as Walters agreeing that MacFarlane had some points about the cultural fluidity of gender — are declared inferior, not masculine, losers of the man game. Being performative and cultural, those declarations are always flexible, which is why they are so often contradictory. So Larry can advocate for rigid roles of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation as being acceptable and “non-political” values for SFF — the authoritative values — but still ignore those values when talking about Spencer, Bujold or Hoyt as needed.

    Freer’s comment shows this flexibility. Women have been fisherfolk since the start of human history, worked mines, construction, dug ditches and wells, tanned and dyed hides. Women have been in the majority of cultures in charge of livestock — cattle, horses, goats, pigs, chickens, alpaca, sheep (see shepherdess and milkmaid) and that includes owning ranches and/or working cattle drives historically in the American Old West, Canada and Australia. And women, as others note, have always been the mainstays of farm labor — that’s why men bought women slaves from other families. Even today, as many here have noted, women are the lynchpins of family farms, ranches and dairies that don’t use migrant labor. (My sister bred and trained horses, was a barrel racer and her large animal vet and blacksmith were both women.) And when farms and agricorps do use migrant labor, a large chunk of those laborers are women. My relative was bright and got a scholarship to college in the 1930’s, but the Great Depression hit and so she had to drop out of school and pick cotton, as well as forage for dandelions and other edibles along roads for greens. And of course less than a lifetime before her in the U.S., enslaved Black women picked cotton in even worse conditions for no pay while being whipped and starved (and often raped and pregnant).

    I’m not sure how tugboat captains came into it, but there are several tugboat captains who are women. They had to work three times as hard as the men crewing boats to get those opportunities because the men discriminated against the women to avoid losing cultural status. Once women can increase education, financial pay and cultural status, authoritarians will try to block them from that as much as possible to preserve dominant status for men. They call the women unnaturally uppity for trying and innately inferior from being able to handle such opportunities. They will point to the lack of women that they engineered or pretend women aren’t there/didn’t really do anything as proof that women are innately inferior to do those things they want to reserve for their own status.

    If women do make headway, or, having been kicked out of a lucrative area, make headway back in, the culture changes. More recent authoritarians may then flexibly accept that areas they claimed were innately only workable by men are actually not that while still trying to claim that men are innately superior in other areas where women have made less headway. So women can be teachers — and are the majority of teachers — and doctors and dentists where before it was claimed in those societies that innately their gender could not handle it. But women still are innately inferior in engineering and construction or tugboat captaining supposedly, with the evidence that there are “few” of them or a false claim that there are or have been none of them.

    If you call them on the contradiction, well it’s flexible. The important thing for someone like Freer or Larry is shoring up their own status as a real — superior, authoritative, winning — man, status which is always insecure, in danger of being lost to the machinations of women and the non-binary and the disapproval of other men. That includes insisting that masculinity is tied to jobs of physical prowess coded by culture as manly and thus higher status, such as the bigoted myth that only cishet men work with cattle and that this is somehow biological.

    So really we’re seeing that Beale might have taken over the Puppies by 2015 but all the main players were using pretty much the same playbook from the beginning.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t know why the pups picked Dragon*Con as their avatar of manliness. I went to DC for many years, often with my wife and young son, and we always had a fabulous time, but that’s because the con was full of happy (OK, sometimes chemically assisted) people enjoying themselves, and there were a million things to do. Granted I’m not all that observant, but DC never seemed to me to be insistent on “traditional” gender roles. Given how young the attendees skewed, I’d venture to say that there were probably more non-traditional folks (in various ways) there than the entire WorldCon membership combined.

      Meanwhile, it’s WorldCon that hosts the Prometheus Award for best libertarian skiffy. I think it’s just that the two conventions were held at the same time, and the pups just picked the one that wasn’t WorldCon to laud. The cons weren’t enemies. At least one year, DC simulcast the Hugo presentation.

      Like

  15. ” Correia also recounted what he saw as the Worldcon reaction to his 2011 Astounding Award nomination:”

    This is confusing — in 2011, it wasn’t called the Astounding Award. You also call it the Astounding Award for 2014, but then there’s: “Campbell/Astounding Award in 2003”

    Maybe call it “Campbell (Astounding) Award” for those instances before 2020, and just “Astounding Award” for 2020 onwards? Maybe footnote that there was a name change, and reference that footnote each time?

    Hm.

    Like

      1. “Campbell (now Astounding)”.

        Racism and sexism aside, since there were at least 2 awards named after Campbell, changing to “Astounding” is a good idea as far as clarity goes.

        Like

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