SF has managed to do exactly the same thing again!
One person - a Penwing - had a very bad experience at the British Science Fiction Association awards presentation at Eastercon this year. The talk by John Meaney (accompanied by PowerPoint slides!) went on forever, and contained sexist and ethnic 'humor' that seemed to stretch out forever. I wasn't there, but the evidence from the Twitter feed showed that many people felt more or less the same. Penwing wrote:
"The "humour" in his [John Meaney's] speech was far too in-jokey. Now, I like a good in joke. Note, good in joke. And even then they should be used with caution. Meaney's speech was one in "joke" after another which relied on you being "in" for longer than I've been alive. That is not the image of fandom I want to see. It is not the image I want putting out of any organisation I am a member of. It excludes. Worse, it reflects on non-members as well and reflects on fandom in a completely inappropriate way. It got worse. In a masterclass on sexism, he proceeded to do a not very funny sketch making great pains to point out that Lauren Beukes is "hot". It gets worse. He started railing against "political correctness", gender parity and the "new man" (meaning someone who wouldn't define women by their looks)."Penwing's blog post was followed by a comment from Martin McGrath (British Science Fiction fan of this parish) who mansplained carefully and rationally why Penwing's understanding of the situation was flawed. John Meaney was just joking, and racism, sexism, etc. didn't come into it.
As part of the explanation, in a reasonable effort to be completely reasonable, MMG comes clean about the speech.
"For example, as an Irishman, I wasn't wildly keen on the presentation of Dave Lally as a leprechaun..."Own goal! Original point proven.
One of James Nicoll's commenters found an earlier version of MMG's comment that Google has managed to cache. (Nothing you ever write on the interwebs is lost) and that includes the nice line,
Honestly, I think some of the stuff I’ve read online and some of the shite I’ve had people spit in my face in the last few hours has been hysterical.Which is especially great as "hysterical" refers to a mental condition caused by a disorder of the uterus - the quintessential sexist comment. But he edited the post, so we shouldn't hold it against him.
[*] That should have been "self-refuting" but I think I'll leave it like that. :)