luciazephyr: Book of the Still, the time traveler's lifeline (Default)
Lucy ([personal profile] luciazephyr) wrote2011-07-06 11:05 pm

Okay. So. I just got into a racewank fight with Jim Butcher on Twitter.

That was one of the stupider things I have ever done in my life. Now I have a ton of people on Twitter rather... upset.

But I figure I'll share anyway, because ya'll may want to know this about Mr. Butcher.

Tonight's tale begins over here on Jim Butcher's Twitter account when some readers took extreme umbrage with what they saw as whitewashing of crime issues in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.

There's your background. Let's begin.

JB: Why do some people not understand than I'm the real person, and that the fiction I write is... well, fiction? Fiction means make-believe. I'm not a goddamned socioeconomic historian.

Lucy: .... Wow, Jimmy B. Stand down, you don't have the high road on this topic.

JB: Gotta disagree, since I'm a bit more familiar with my fictional Chicago than anyone else.

Lucy: ... I... Oh wow. I'm pretty sure if you set your novels in a real location with a real living history, you should respect those familiar with the city when they take issue with what reads as apparent whitewashing of extremely serious issues.

JB: I did respect them, actually. Up until the "fuck you Jim Butcher" part. I take that back. Up until the part where they play the racist card. :)

Lucy: Sir, please don't bring up the tone argument. They have valid complaints. Don't delegitimize them for daring to be angry. What you did read as racist. It may not be fair to call *you* a racist, but they have the right to level that to the text. You are a white man. You do not get to tell a marginalized group what they can and can't be offended by.

JB: OH, okay. Now I get it. I'm white, so I need to have that kind of hate thrown my way and STFU.

Lucy: Mr. Butcher, do not take criticism of your text as criticism against you. You have editors, no? You should have thicker skin.

JB: I have no idea who this writer is, their gender, their color, their anything. But it's too much to expect an inkling of humanity? Or courtesy?

Lucy: Again, avoid the tone argument. It's not a valid counter and makes you look unaware of your privilege.

JB: "Fuck you Jim Butcher" is neither criticism, nor criticism of my text.

Lucy: No, but it sounds like the reaction of a person who has had their history and pain erased over and over and is tired of it. It was not aimed at you, you realize? These people don't know you and have likely never met you. They are angry at a society that repeatedly belittles and underrepresents their struggle and suffering.

JB: The "fuck you Jim Butcher!" was NOT aimed at me? Are you serious? :)

Lucy: Yes, I am. I am deadly serious and cut out the smilies. This is a serious issue and instead of engaging meaningfully you and getting caught up in a tone arguement and a perceived attack on you.

JB: I DO perceive "fuck you Jim Butcher" as intentional hostility. Yes.

Lucy: Random people on the internet you, as you say, don't know anything about. People who are simply *venting*. I said "fuck you, Joss Whedeon" every time he killed off a character I like. It was NOT an act of hostility.

JB: I feel that I can at least partly speak on JW's behalf by saying this: IT STILL HURTS.

CyprinellaJ, who is awesome: I hope you get over your kneejerk response to being insulted &actually read what the post is about. Protip: It's not only you.

Lucy: Yes, but you are an author. You should be receptive of criticism (especially legitimate crit) and stop taking it personally. It's not about you, it's not about you, it's *not about you*, it's about a systemic marginalization and whitewashing of real and serious issues. These people mean you no real harm, and I think(/hope) you are aware of that.

JB: Legitimate criticism, in my professional experience, rarely comes with personal invective and F-bombs.

Lucy: That criticism from professionals. This is not, but that does not invalidate it. Please, for the love of god, put aside you personal hurt and realized your (I imagine) inadvertent whitewashing is not an isolated incident.

Lucy: Mr. Butcher, I love your worldbuilding and your characters. I do. But your text has issues, just as *every* text does. Sexism and racism do appear to pop up, though I do not think *you* are yourself sexist or racist. But I sure as hell understand why someone who is faced with these issues *every day of their life* would get so angry.

(@HarriedWizard: Someone's gotta figure out that the Chicago where they live and the Chicago where I live ain't the same goddamned place.
Lucy: Jesus christ, Harry, don't. This is not about that.
Cyprinella: Sigh.
@HarriedWizard: Gonna be one of those nights.
Lucy: No, not really. At least, not from me. Now I'm just... tired. :sighs:
Cyprinella: Don't think I'm not frysquinting you right now. Just you've been a lot more reasonable.)

JB: It. Hurts. Anyway. Maybe I should have a thicker skin, but I have this weird condition where I give a fuck about others. Okay, okay. Woosah, deep breaths, moving on.

Lucy: But you have the white, male privilege of not being hyperaware of how society treats you. That's not a thing to be ashamed of but it is something you need to be aware of. I'm shaking and breathing hard myself, Mr. Butcher. But again. Please. Look at the actual issue, not your momentary hurt.

(After all that:
@HarriedWizard: So educate me now. What WAS that about?
Lucy: It was about Mr. Butcher sadly focusing more on his personal hurt than seeing a valid criticism of most modern American lit. :sighs: Thanks for the magic lesson though. [he gave a rundown of summoning magic to me earlier]
@HarriedWizard: You're welcome. And for what it's worth, Lucy, I admire your passion.
Lucy, now crying just a bit maybe: I... thank you. I don't know why but you saying so just got me tearing up. Dammit, you jerk. But thank you.)

And that's what happened. Thought ya'll should know.

:takes a long, deep breath:

ETA: Okay, I'm sorry everyone, but I'm turning off the email comments option on these posts. I respect you all have opinions, but I'm at the point I no long care because this entire incident is stressing me out. I regret having done it regardless of how decent my intention and cause was. I'm done arguing about this, I no longer care, and this is not worth the stress. Thank you everyone for your comments, supportive or otherwise, and feel free to continue discussing what happened. I will not be monitoring unless one of my friends pokes me to or something.

I'm just done.
aeleolus: (Default)


[personal profile] aeleolus 2011-07-12 12:07 am (UTC)(link)
JB, you disappoint me a little. *sigh* Lucia, you handled that like a real trooper. I really appreciate you trying to explain such a painful series of issues. Good on you.