This will be the last entry on this blog. You won’t be surprised.
Apologies aren’t easy to make. I’ll do my best and acknowledge that it’s not a magic word. First, I will say that I stand by the substance of most of what I’ve said on this blog. But not how I said it. I’ve gained a much better understanding of consequences and how people work, and the way I said much of what I said ignored the humanity of those on the receiving end. It’s a failure of empathy on my part. I make no excuses about this: I own up to what I said, and I own up that I conducted myself fantastically badly. I believed I was doing good and was punching up, and that my methods were perfectly fine weapons when in actuality they really weren’t. No excuses: many things in life can contribute to you conducting yourself one way or another, but generally you have your own agency.
Less broadly, I’d like to apologize to NK Jemisin, Cindy Pon and Saladin Ahmed. I can understand why they were (or are) upset. I’m not entitled to their time or forgiveness, but I wish to say, at least, that I’m sorry. I am not naming them specifically to demand their engagement. I’m naming them specifically to acknowledge my specific wrongs.
Yes, I took them apart excessively. No, I didn’t tell them to go die; no, I never contacted Pon directly. Yes, I yelled at a lot of people on LJ for liking Cindy Pon’s and NK Jemisin’s books; yes, I agree, this is pretty bad and frankly a silly thing to do. Yes, I did so to extremes in the sense of being relentless and insulting (“you illiterate fuck!” yes, “eat shit and die because your taste is shit!” no), and for this I very, very much do apologize. My behavior was inexcusable. There are far more important things than what books someone likes or doesn’t; there are greater injustices and troubles. The way I went around expressing myself around all this was ridiculous. If I ever distressed you in anyway, I’m sorry. It’s much too late and you deserve better than this.
I’m on speaking terms with some of the people who have been on the receiving end of my invective. For what it’s worth, we hashed things out a long time ago and moved on. Some of them are friends today, for which: thank you.
No, I didn’t tell anyone to get raped by dogs. Yes, a while back there was at least one person impersonating me. Probably two, actually, the first one really liked trotting out rape stuff. Those are the ones I know of.
I could talk about why I used the rhetoric I did or the source of my anger, but that’s a matter of excuses and justifications, and this is no place for that: an apology is not about the person who makes it. I was a horrendous asshole. I often assumed the worst and overreacted and jumped down people’s throats at the slightest provocation, because I thought escalating the language proved I was tougher and meaner than anyone else. If that sounds like a loser’s game, it’s because it is. If I’d met me back then today, I wouldn’t have liked me either.
And yeah, I was an asshole for years and said a lot of crap I regret, only I wasn’t big enough to own up to it and apologize then. It’s a huge accumulation of being shitty, I hurt a lot of people. I’m sorry I didn’t grow up and learn better sooner. I toned down as the years went by, but in the process of that I should have made apologies as I went along, not waited until the end. Unfair yes, shitty yes. Because I was an asshole who just didn’t want to admit she was wrong.
It’s past time for me to own up, and stop being an asshole, and stop making everything about me and my need to look meaner and tougher than everyone else.