Writing in the Margins, or, Patriarch’s Day, Part 4

(Trigger warning: sexual bias, harassment, assault, misogyny.)

Foreword:

This is the fourth in a series of related posts on sexual abuse and harassment, misogyny, and the science fiction and fantasy community. I think it’s the last, for now.

The first post was here (“A Clockwork Clarion”).

The second was here (“My Childhood Sexual Assault”).

The third was here (“My Childhood Emotional Abuse”).

Let’s get straight to the point.

Did I Really Have to Put You Through All That Icky Abuse Stuff?

Yeah; sorry. I did. You can’t detect the larger pattern, nor understand its importance, until you take a close look at the details.

And before we go on, I’d like you to do three more things, if you are game. In order of priority:

Take the Selective Attention Test.

Watch this short TED Talk.

Take a gender- or race-based Implicit Association Test.

They all have relevance to the broader perspective of these posts.

Continue reading Writing in the Margins, or, Patriarch’s Day, Part 4

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My Childhood Emotional Abuse, or, Patriarch’s Day, Part 3

(Trigger warning: child emotional abuse.)

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Foreword:

This is the third in a series of related posts on sexual abuse and harassment, misogyny, and the science fiction and fantasy community.

The first post was here (“A Clockwork Clarion”).

The second was here (“My Childhood Sexual Assault, or, Patriarch’s Day Part 2”).

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My Upbringing

The assault I experienced at the age of 12, perpetrated by an older male relative, was repugnant and devastating. I’d felt horribly betrayed. But the deeper damage I took as a child came from the emotional abuse my father heaped on us throughout my childhood.

My father had many good qualities. During his life he was loved by many, including me. What he wasn’t, though, was a good father.

Continue reading My Childhood Emotional Abuse, or, Patriarch’s Day, Part 3

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My Childhood Sexual Assault, or, Patriarch’s Day, Part 2

(Trigger warning, in case the title doesn’t make it clear: child sexual assault.)

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Foreword:

This post is in solidarity with Moira Greyland (daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen), Cath Schaff-Stump, and other survivors of childhood abuse and rape.

The SFF community is struggling right now to contend with accusations of sexual harassment, sexism, and abuse against some of its most prominent members. I’m finding I have a lot to say about it. I have a series of posts in progress. This is the second.  The first was here. Watch this space in coming days and weeks for more.

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I’ve been thankful for the web-boostage and words of support I received for my recent Clockwork Clarion post. But I need to be crystal clear about something: I didn’t tell my story for the sake of sympathy, and I don’t need your pity.

First of all, the incident had a limited effect on me in the greater scheme of things. It was outrageous and awful, but I had little time to ponder it afterward. My life changed radically a month later, when I left for Washington DC and began my Peace Corps training. I went on to live for two years in Kenya, where I learned how to be a grown-up, made many good friends, had many false assumptions challenged, and learned much about East Africa and its rich and diverse cultures.

Then I returned home to write and publish six SF novels and some shorter works, while managing a demanding and successful engineering career (including, if that sort of thing matters to you, five years as corporate environmental officer for a Fortune 500 firm, and co-founder of a technology start-up). I raised two remarkable daughters. I am happily married for 25+ years to a man who is incredibly supportive and loving, an equal partner and devoted father.

In other words, my life is a success. The rape skit didn’t break me. Far from it. All it did was to give me a sharp reminder that I had to guard myself around men. Even friends. Even men I trusted and loved. (Even in my beloved SFF tribe.) But that was a lesson I had been taught, as a child, by the men in my own family.

Continue reading My Childhood Sexual Assault, or, Patriarch’s Day, Part 2

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A Clockwork Clarion

(Trigger warning: rape fantasy stories, stalking, gang-rape prank, misogyny, sexism)

I’ve been reading the #YesAllWomen twitter stream (a backgrounder is here, for those who haven’t been following it), and decided I needed to share my own story. I tweeted about this earlier today under my handle @MorganJLocke, but decided to go into more depth here, because it is, yes, outrageous and appalling, and I haven’t really talked about it since it happened, except to a couple of people closest to me.

This is going to make some people—people I care about—uncomfortable. The internet might fall on my head. So be it. The #YesAllWomen thread reminds me that we don’t get past the misogyny that is (STILL! WTF!) endemic in the SFF community, by sweeping the nasty stuff under the rug. It’s time to clean house.

Continue reading A Clockwork Clarion

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Traveler seeks home; speaker seeks voice; leaper seeks faith

The spousal unit recently shared on Twitter a post I wrote back in 2007 about surveillance, privacy, governmental overreach, and Cory Doctorow’s wonderful book, LITTLE BROTHER. It got me to thinking about who I used to be, and who I am now.

image source: istockphoto.com

I have found it hard to speak publicly, since leaving the day job–both in my fiction, and here on the blog. That didn’t used to be the case, and my post about Cory’s book reminded me of this.

Part of it was learned behavior. As a consultant, you can’t afford to be noisy and opinionated. Tact is critical, if you want to keep your job. Now I don’t need tact! Yay! So I’m having to unlearn that habit.

But there’s something deeper going on, as well. To be a good writer, you have to be both entertaining and truthful about important things. Yeah; OK. But I don’t know anymore how to boil my experiences and observations down into good narrative. My thoughts feel disorganized and interdependent and nonlinear, and the twined coils of multiple humiliations and disappointments run through them. It’s hard to expose these to the air.

Continue reading Traveler seeks home; speaker seeks voice; leaper seeks faith

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First in the WAVE SF series: UP AGAINST IT

Starred review in Publishers Weekly

Amazing cover art by Donato Giancola!