In Ur Media, Feedin Ur Sterrotips

Thoughts while watching today’s Channel 5 episode of Point of Entry:

– WTF is with the stereotype of the depraved, criminal Nigerian immigrant preying on local women?
– WTF is with the stereotype of the depraved, criminal gay man selling illegal sex toys?
– WTF is with the stereotype of the rebellious slut who abandons her conservative Malay-Muslim values and elopes with aforementioned Nigerian man and buys from aforementioned gay Chinese man? and her family going ‘I told you so’? Totally no agency at all, they haven’t, those wimminz. Or morals. Oh, wimminz.
– WTF is with the character of the law enforcement officer questioning a witness: ‘Was he Indian? Chinese? Singaporean? Malay?’ Is Singaporean some kind of nebulous ethnic nationality now? Perhaps there are mutant Merlions walking around whom we don’t know about.

So damning.

I can’t believe I was tempted to give this show a chance when it first aired. I admit I was biased by the fact that there was homoerotic subtext between the protagonist and his live-in boyfriend very close friend. Of course, I could but hope, because it is illegal to ‘promote or glamorise’ homosexuality on TV, and that means anything where there is a happy ending for queer folks.

(Also, it is telling that the show inadvertently caused viewers to sympathise with the human traffickers and undocumented economic migrants from the Southeast Asian mainland. Inadvertently. Because these are the villains, but look what the ‘heroes’ are like.)


WisCon allows EMoon to speak. Yay.

ETA by Thursday: WisCon has disinvited EMoon. After much dithering. It’s a start, at least :)

Folks, I am angry but not surprised that WisCon is proud to allow EMoon to continue as a GOH.

How can I be surprised? How can I be shocked? Not when the burden of proof is always placed on the marginalised community to forgive and educate their oppressors. Not when the privileged group feels entitled to forgiveness and education. For ‘no matter how bad we mess up, they’ll still give way’, or something.

Because I cannot reconcile a spirit of inclusivity and a respect for immigrants and Muslims with WisCon’s statement.

Even though we strongly disavow these elements of Ms. Moon’s post, we have not rescinded her invitation to be a Guest of Honor, nor do we plan to do so. The WisCon planning committee selected Ms. Moon earlier this year based on her past work and our feeling that she would make a positive contribution to WisCon. After extensive conversation in recent days, and having spoken directly with Ms. Moon on the subject, we continue to believe that her presence will contribute to the Con.

Contribute how? By courting controversy?

We know that opinions are not changed by running away from them, but instead by engaging with them, challenging their assumptions, sharing knowledge, seeking understanding, and by lively and candid discourse.

Yes, it’s up to you, the oppressed to engage, challenge, share, and understand. While being lively and candid. My God. What is this.

We understand that our decision to continue to honor someone who has expressed these views will upset some members of the community

No shit.

but we fervently hope that her inclusion will not lead anyone to feel unwelcome at WisCon.

Oh, right. Hey, Thursday, do you feel welcome? Cuz I’m sure not feeling any warm-hearted welcoming, and I’m not even part of Moon’s target group.

The WisCon programming committee is already accepting panel ideas dealing with Islam and Islamophobia

See above: because Islam 101 and Islamophobia 101 are the responsibilities of Muslims to speak out on. It’s not as if EMoon or those like her have any fucking duty to educate themselves and, I don’t know, not be racist. Because racism is this state that well-meaning white people accidentally, somehow fall into, and need the help of Muslim people and immigrants to get out of.

and we hope to take further steps to welcome new voices from the Muslim world, immigrant communities, and others who might feel are threatened by nativist swings of the political pendulum.

I don’t think ‘Join us, people who are complicit in your oppression!’ is a very reasonable message to send. But that’s just me.

We have every expectation that WisCon 35 will feature some intense, passionate and possibly agonizing debates.

But we’re going to go ahead and hit all your triggers all the same.

Fuck this shit.

Wednesday, the ranty one.

And Thursday thinks she comes across as angry. But hey. Angry is productive. Angry is powerful. Angry is my unrestrained, once-silenced voice being loud. Amen for that.

A little bit on the EMoon FAIL.

by Wednesday.

[personal profile] jhameia, from Intersectionality Dreaming, has come up with a comprehensive linkspam covering the Elizabeth Moon fail. I think Thursday has tweeted about the fail — Thurs. was, understandably, very annoyed (I tell a lie, for that is an understatement; thou hast never seen an unleashed, Tasmanian Devil-esque Thursday). Altogether, this has not exactly been the best year in SFF writers and race (I do not think, EBear, that ‘deathmarch’ means what you think it means), and that too is an understatement.

[personal profile] sanguinity‘s coverage of the most recent fail, especially as it pertains to Moon’s virulent disregard toward the Native peoples of America in her anti-immigrant screed.

Cat Valente of Apex Magazine has decided to respond to the EMoon fail by opening up a magazine issue that will feature only creators of Arab and/or Muslim descent:

I would like to announce that the November issue of Apex will be an entirely Arab/Muslim issue. It will be beautiful. It will showcase writers of Arab descent and Muslim writers. (I am aware that many folk not of Arab descent are Muslim, that’s why I’m structuring it this way, so that writers from either culture or both can be part of the issue.) It will show how Islam is as much a part of the human experience as any other faith or story system that writers of the fantastic draw from. It will be a small thing, in the grand scheme. It will not save the world. But it will exist, and perhaps in its own way can stand beside the recent ugliness in the SFF world as something bright and good.

I am looking for material, but most especially poetry, from Muslim authors and authors of Arab descent. Let’s make it easy: if you think you might “count,” then you do. Southeast Asian Muslims, yes. American Muslims, yes. Anybody with a connection to the cultures of Islam, yes. The subject of your works can be anything you like, but I am only looking for authors with connections to Islam and/or the Arabic world. Please do not send reprints, we have that covered.

I want to do what I can. This is a thing I can do. I believe it will be extraordinary. #

What pisses me off is how much the word I appears in that submissions call. Dear Nice Lady, it’s not about you. (And if Valente knows that there is over-conflation of Arab identity and Muslim identity in the media, why does she even have to mention it? I don’t get it. It could be phrased quite simply as ‘It will showcase Muslim writers’, or even ‘Muslim writers across cultures and national borders‘ for extra-special guilt-laden inclusivity. Please don’t feed the ‘Arab = Muslim’ troll!)

But we’ll see how it goes. Any publicity is good publicity, amirite? And at least it opens up spaces for writers who are typically ignored in global literature power-play. I think/hope.

ETA: Apex replies here. I am wondering how many of the people calling the shots are Arab and/or Muslim, still.