Sunday, February 16, 2014

Quoting Now Equals Libel?

So apparently linking to an article where someone is quoted -- with links to the original sources -- as saying something that makes him look like a sexist asshat is now libel. That sounds like fun, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.

Mr. Sean Fodera apparently thinks that any woman who wears attractive clothing can't possibly be a feminist, because (I guess?) in order to qualify for the feminist club, you're required to have nothing but army fatigues three sizes too big, or similar, in your closet. Okay then.

It just occurred to me that MRK seems to be deeply involved in this whole anti-sexism matter. I remember seeing her posing with Hines and Scalzi on one of their very scary cover parodies, and I know she chimed in with a snipe at the petition signers on the Radish thread.

I find it very funny and ironic that she would jump on this bandwagon. For a long time, her website featured an array of photos of her in a diaphanous white outfit, posing on a beach. No metal bikinis or such, but they were not innocuous writer headshots either. One of them, with her recumbent on the sand with legs exposed, made her somewhat attractive. I also recall she's fond of wearing tight-fitting gowns and plunging necklines when she attends cons and award ceremonies.

I'll have to add "phony" to "incompetent" and "arrogant" in the mental tags I've assigned her.

The Daily Dot has a screen grab of this bit from, in case it gets deleted.

The whole Dot article is about the latest wave of sexist, racist crap coming out of the old guard SFWA types. It's depressing, but at this point it's really not surprising. What's particularly eyerolly here is Mr. Fodera's belief that this is actionable libel. John Scalzi commented on this, and I see it as a public service to spread it around. Not only to point out the sexist gluteal haberdashery, but to spread the word that no, this is not libel, and threatening to treat it as such just makes one look even more ignorant than the original commentary.

Also, note the Streisand effect in action here. I've never heard of Mr. Fodera before, and I'd wager most folks who read my blog haven't either. Now we've heard of him, and the impression left isn't exactly positive. Good job, Mr. Fodera!



Charles Gramlich said...

I imagine he knows it's not really libel but is slinging the word around as an intimidation technique. of course, I have no idea who he is so I could be wrong. And I don't imagine I'll remember his name long. In fact, I can't remember it now.

Lauren said...

You can sue for whatever even if it's grounds. Unfortunately, the defendant has to go to court to prove it that the charges are bogus.

It's very sad that these authors are so upset about diversity in their genre. I read that first link, which led me on a bit of rabbit hole of awfulness coming out of sff like reviewers refusing to read female authors ( and other blatant issues of sexism (

It makes me sad.

Angie said...

Charles -- In fact, I can't remember it now.

Probably just as well for him if folks all forget him that quickly.

Lauren -- true, but you have to find a lawyer willing to take the case, and you have to pony up the cash. Unfortunately this means the rich have yet another weapon they can use to intimidate the poor.

And yeah, it's frustrating that this is even an issue in genre SF/F. [sigh] SF fans like to think of themselves as intelligent and open-minded, but the reality is we have as many douchecanoes as any other large group. :/


Suzan Harden said...

My past experience has been when a man starts calling me names, I've refused to bend over and just take (literally or figuratively).

It sounds like Mr. Fodera has some gender issues. I noticed he didn't bring up Scalzi in one of MRK's gowns.

Angie said...

Suzan -- I'm not usually one to pretend not to hear either, but then my mother despaired of turning me into a properly demure little lady. [cough]

And yes, Mr. Fodera apparently thinks Mary's an easier target than John. Possibly true -- at least John has a much larger megaphone -- but since Mary and John are good friends, that seems to have backfired. Oops! :D