Dear Author’s “First Page” thing is where people submit an excerpt of their unreadable tripe for the erudite readership of Dear Author to critique. This time, it’s so shitterously offensive that even Dear Author readers–normally not the most socially or politically aware lot–twigged onto the fact and went “oh hell no.”
The heat was a bitch, but it was at least natural.
Not like the animals who’d done this to an innocent child – and why? The story Kai had pieced together from the interpreter’s quick sentences was that she’d given directions to a stranger who’d stopped her while she was getting water from the village well. Since he wasn’t her father, brother, uncle, cousin, or husband, the village elders decided that she must be some kind of slut. So they’d punished her: first by a gang-rape, then by slicing off her ears, her nose, blinding her…if that hadn’t been enough, someone had laid a curse on her – Kai could feel it, simmering under her skin, keeping her alive despite her injuries. She’d lain in the dust of the village square until two slightly elder cousins had gotten up the courage to pull her into a donkey cart and drive the forty kilometers to the district hospital at Gereshk, where the MSF held an aid mission. While he wasn’t strictly a gynecologist, Kai was the closest they had, so he had been given the task of putting the shattered bits back together.
This, I’m guessing, is what the writer believes is normal in Afghanistan (and notice the donkey cart, because as you know, children, those “primitive animals” in Afghanistan don’t have automobiles–they have donkey carts!). But worry not, good readers. Kai, MSF doctor who clutches his pearls crucifix, isn’t white!
Kai is not white — he’s half Japanese and about a quarter elf/quarter “god”, though he’s in denial about the more supernatural parts of his heritage (which is why he’s super-Christian) and he’s not American. His passport is British, even though he’s not ethnically British. So he’s not going to be doing any “Whitey is Righty” restructuring of the Afghani scene. In fact, just a bit later, he commits his own atrocity in response to this.
Hear that? He’s quarter elf and quarter god. Every objection you might have with this shittery has now been rendered invalid, thank you very much. And… just what is “ethnically British” exactly?
Another commentator, Carolyn, has this wonderful tidbit to contribute:
Author, perhaps you should have had them throwing acid in the child’s face. That’s well documented. Perhaps you should have had them stone her. That’s documented too.
I agree about calling [Afghanis] animals. Animals don’t do things like that, but many middle eastern sects do, so animal is too good a name for them. It’s a tricky thing to write about: pc vs the ‘kill ‘em all’ crowd, you’ll never please them all.
I liked it, for what it’s worth.
In typical Dear Author moderation style, nobody’s stepped in and said this is not okay (and nobody paused and thought it might not be remotely fucking okay to give platform to a writing excerpt this heinously offensive). Carolyn, by the way, is this romance author. The next time you see the name C L McCullough, don’t forget to mentally append “unspeakably vile racist piece of shit” to it. That’s right, Ms McCullough, I just gave you free publicity. I bet this will be the most page views your blog and Amazon page have ever seen in a long, long time. You’re welcome, maggot.
Jayaprakash reviewed Dan Simmons’ Song of Kali, a book that–if possible–manages to be even more racist than Bacigalupi’s The Wind-Up Girl.
Simmons’ unpleasant narrator hates Calcutta; there are long descriptions of the filth and squalor of the city. There isn’t even a hint of compassion for the inhabitants to leaven it; every Indian character is either sinister, conniving, hypocritical or in some way less than human. The only Indian given any sort of a sympathetic portrayal is the narrator’s wife, who of course is safely tethered to a white penis and vents her own hatred of India frequently.
Gawker published a piece about child rape. Problem is… well, there are lots of problems with it.
A vague rape apologia runs through this piece–the implication of “men who have sex with children” as an oppressed group, the equation of pedophilia with other sexual orientations, and little to no consideration of victims. What bugs me is this is a topic that could use some mature journalism and thinking that goes beyond “hang them all.” (The talented Jennifer Gonnerman does it here.) But this isn’t it. It’s poor journalism, and an insensitive attempt at being edgy.
For more on the shitstorm resulting from Cord Jefferson, the “journalist” responsible, see this compilation of tweets. “Trying to find sympathy and new treatments for pedophiles” indeed. Appropriately, here’s some coverage about Ed Kramer, pedophile and founder of DragonCon. Yes, when you attend DragonCon, you’re funding his efforts to avoid being brought to trial.
Charles Stross is very concerned about the “anon whispering campaigns” out to “damage fandom.” You know, the terrible whispering campaigns (?) about Rene Walling, ReaderCon creep and serial sexual harasser, and those who viciously defend his right to be a creep forever unimpeded and unpunished. Something about witch hunts and how those are bad. Very bad. So, so bad. Banning and shunning a man with a track record of sexual harassment is a horrible witch hunt, you know? Interesting that Stross prioritizes “damage to fandom” over–you know–damage to women. Who have been sexually harassed. Peculiarly when K Tempest Bradford and Rachel Swirsky asks him to specify just which witch hunt he’s concerned about, he became oddly silent, probably because he can’t dismiss either woman out of hand as an “odious troll,” the definition of which seems to be “point out when Charles Stross is a shit.”
I got the initial link from Nick Mamatas’ LJ, by the way. To see more about the (still ongoing!) fuckwaddery, try these links. And read this one from Genevieve Valentine.