[ATTENTION CONSERVATION NOTICE: Insider stuff about the professional science fiction world.]
Mary Robinette Kowal is an SF and fantasy writer who recently served two terms as an officer of the Science Fiction Writers of America, an organization of nearly 1800 members. Along with her many other virtues, she is notable for her patience and unimpeachably good manners.
This is what happens when a truly patient and well-mannered person gets to the end of their rope with idiots.
I spent four years in [SFWA] office and the first year I almost quit because I got so tired of getting hate mail. Then I realized that it was coming from the same dozen people, every single time. All the other members were lovely. It was easier to shrug off being called “impertinent,” or “wannabe” (did I show you the Hugo I won since then?), or “Nazi,” when it became clear that the vitriol didn’t represent all of SFWA, just a dozen rabid weasels.It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with organizational politics, or with human beings for that matter, that almost nobody in SFWA will have any problem immediately recognizing who Mary is talking about.
However, I am sick to death of putting out the fires that you people start.
Please quit. And by “quit” I mean, please quit SFWA in a huff. Please quit noisily and complaining about how SFWA is censoring you for asking you to stop using hate speech. Please quit and complain about the “thoughtcrime” of asking people not to sexually harass someone. Please quit and bellyache about the good old days when people could be bigoted jerks. I want you to express your opinions clearly so that everyone knows them and knows that you are quitting because the other members of SFWA want you to Shut the Fuck up.