What Rachel Moss Did

This past weekend I was in Wisconsin for the WisCon convention. I have a lot of posts to write about that, including some ruminations on panels and some stuff about POC at WisCon. But this post is about something that happened during the convention that is contributing to my angry blackness and making me so angry I want to hurl gendered slurs in this woman’s direction for a week.

A woman named Rachel Moss put a post on Something Awful mocking attendees not because of their politics or their feminism or their willingness to come to Wisconsin, but because they were too fat, too white, too male, or too black for her taste.

However, the problem reaches beyond just what Rachel Moss did. It’s now what other people are doing because of Rachel. And though she can say “I don’t have control over what those people do,” the responsibility for starting this whole mess rests squarely on her shoulders. Being a veteran of online snark circle jerks, I know that had Rachel not pointed WisCon out to these people, had not mocked fat people and 9 year old kids, had not put up pictures to go along with that mocking, and had not set the tone for whatever came after, others would not have attacked us in exactly this way.

Let’s start at the beginning. A few days ago the post went up on the Something Awful forums, a site dedicated to making fun of shit. Rachel Moss, the post’s author, has some serious issues surrounding fatness, her own self-image, and understanding the difference between snark and being a total asscrab. I’m going to quote extensively here for reasons I will explain afterward, but I’m putting it under a cut for your pleasure:

[WisCon] is like any other sci-fi con, except that well over half of the attendees are female, about a third of the panels are political, there is no gaming, and absolutely everybody is a huge bitch.

Thinking Ahead: Feminists thinking about possible near and middle futures and feminist responses to them
Panelists:
Moondancer – A white woman who is Native American because she wears a cowboy hat and has wolves all over her shirt. And because she calls herself Moondancer. [glad you can make that scientific determination there, Rachel! --abw]

Feminism is making progress, because Moondancer’s son is a little pussy who gets beaten up by his sister and takes it. [I'm going to give you a moment to decide if the words "a little pussy" are Rachel's or Moondancer's. --abw]

The Joy of Fat Sex
I noticed immediately as I entered the room a lot of labored breathing.

Fat is Not the Enemy
Fat activism is, in my opinion, one of the stupidest types of almost entirely online-only activism there is. I’m sitting at a computer, and I’m super fat (well, not me actually), and I can’t get a date, so therefore I AM OPPRESSED. [note how she was quick to add: I'M CERTAINLY NOT FAT, this will be important later --abw]
But I can’t tell them that [their heroes are full of shit]…because they’ll eat me.

Fighting the Good Fight with Limited Resources
Panelists:
Cynthia: A polyamorous woman in a group marriage with [the fake disease] fibromyalgia [I am so glad to know that you're here to tell us who is white, who is not, and also which diseases are real. You must be some sort of psychic doctor, Rachel! --abw]
Nabil: Seen earlier in that fat joy facillitator picture as “the skinny one.” “He” is a non-op transgendered person…a person who looks like a woman, talks like a woman, likes men, but says that I AM A MALE AND YOU WILL REFER TO ME AS SUCH. It’d be easier if he/she just drew on a beard or something. Geez. Try harder.
Marna: Another fat activist. BLEGH.

Dissecting Privilege — Let’s Look At The Guts
Boring talk. White guy #1 talks about all his patriarchally-imposed privileges, then apologizes for them. The audience gets mad at him for being arrogant enough to sit high-and-mighty at a panel and have the privilege to talk about his privileges. Audience attacks audience for being privileged enough to sit here in chairs at a convention and have the choice to talk about privilege. Panel gets mad at audience for steering the discussion away from their own stories of privilege, because we’ve only got an hour here and there are two more white guys to go. Black man reminds people that he’s black. [There are times when "Bitch, I will Cut You" really feels like an appropriate response, no? --abw]

[this bit really fucking pissed me off. --abw]
Some of Us Are Brave: Identity Intersections in an Election Year
Description: Blah blah blah Obama Hillary hiss blah.

This is what I had come to the con for, and what I had hyped here. I got there early to sit proud in the front row.

Panel:
- A sophisticated, older African American writer…Well, duh! She has to be there to prove that not all black women vote Obama.
- Two young black lesbians who organize slash conventions…Gay! Obviously pro-Hillary, on the panel to drive the point home that black women do not necessarily vote with their media-designated demographic bloc.
- An Asian man who is an elected state delegate for Barack Obama. This must be to even it out.

But, no. All for Obama. All of them.

Where in the world are all the old, dumpy women that were at the fat panels when I needed them? You’ve ruined this con! I had to hear about your awful joys of awful fat sex, and now you’ve killed the public election bitchfest I came to this thing for! YOU HAVE RUINED THIS CON. [No, honey, I'm pretty sure that was you. --abw]

Screw this. This con blows and I’m going home. Screw taking pictures of more fat people at the Fancy Dress party, and screw taking pictures of all the losers at the Livejournal party, and screw the “Gaylaxicon” party, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. The awesome post I made at SA is going to have to be updated with a whole bunch of unfunny CRAP, and there’s nothing I can do about it, so screw all of this! [if only! --abw]

Let me make sure you understand. Rachel Moss paid $45 to attend a convention for the express purpose of stirring up shit and making a nasty post on the web (not to mention leaving nasty notes). She secretly took pictures of people. She made fun of “fat” people. She decided who is POC and who isn’t. She called a 9 year old boy a pussy while naming his mother, thereby naming him.

All for the lols.

What kind of fucked up lowlife must you be to engage in these activities?

Apparently one who has struggled with an eating disorder for a long time, which goes a long way in explaining just what her deal is. And as Liz Henry points out, it is really sad for her and it comes from a place of deep hurt. But you know what? I know a lot of people who are hurting, who have disorders, or mental illness, or physical ailments that affect their mental well being. And the majority of them deal with these things without attacking children.

You can do some Googling and poke around her LJ to find out more, but if you do so you might miss her useless apology. You won’t miss her threatening to call the police because people have been making threats of violence against her person.

Now I definitely am not down with physical threats. Especially not against female bloggers. But if Rachel Moss feels scared, hurt, embattled, and like she can’t walk down the street without someone having something nasty to say about her, all I can say is: good. She deserves it. Because that’s a slice of what she did to others for no other reason than she thought it would be funny. I would not wish actual physical harm on her ever. But you know that feeling in the gut you get when you’re anxious and upset and freaked out? I hope she feels that every day for a year. It still wouldn’t be enough.

Because people found out where she worked and said they would send letters to her boss, she had the post taken down from Something Awful. Google cache of it still exists for now, but more importantly someone on a forum of people who’ve been banned from Something Awful for being too awful decided to crosspost the first half of the original post. The comments on the OP were bad enough, but these secondary dickwads took it a step further. They started pulling pictures from the WisCon flickr pool to mock the women in them. And now they’ve moved on to photoshopping the pictures. There’s even one member named Cleon who is using a picture of me as his avatar with the words 100% Nigger above it.

Again, Rachel Moss is not directly responsible for this. Also again, this wouldn’t have happened but or her. And thus my anger is tenfold.

How dare she? How dare she add to all the stuff people who come to WisCon already have to deal with in their lives by bringing bullshit like this to their space? How dare she do it in such a way that it brings us to the attention of a community of known and proven assholes who spend a huge amount of time online being cruel and stupid? How dare she attempt to disown her culpability in that? How dare she?

And though I know this is a horrible thing to say, I can’t help but think: How dare she complain about physical threats? You called a 9 year old boy a pussy you depraved sicko! You’re lucky no one knew enough to pop you in the mouth. It’s wrong, yes, but what more can you expect when you talk smack about someone’s child you don’t even know?

Here’s what I want. You can do any or all of these things or not.

Firstly, I want a bunch of people to register at SASS and start posting to that thread. But not attacks. Because attacks won’t do any good, not unless we can find some pictures of THEM to make fun of. No, instead I think we should just start posting nothing but pictures of horses and kitties and puppies and baaaaaby animals.

And some gay porn.

We need to flood them with so much noise that they abandon the thread. If they start it elsewhere, we just do it again.

[ETA: you know, it's sad but I got bored with that really fast :) I think I got distracted by all the baby animal pictures. And it actually seems less important now than the stuff I want below. I also realized just how pathetic those people were last night and, while I certainly don't feel compassion, I don't care enough to really worry over them. If only there was a way to just shut them up all at once. Ah well, who cares!]

I also want people to know what Rachel Moss did and I don’t want them to forget it. I want any Google of her name to bring up this and other posts about this issue. I don’t want to ignore it, I don’t want it to blow over, and I don’t want to moderate my feelings on the subject. What she did was wrong on so many levels.

Blog about this. Blog about why it’s wrong. Ask others to do so. Use her name. (After all, she used other people’s.) Write to her. This post has an email for her at the bottom. No threats of violence, obviously. But she needs to know just how many people know what she did.

We can’t stop every instance of this on the web, I know. But I spent a lot of time this weekend talking about the importance of having the back of other people on the web and in real life. Be that other POC, or feminist allies, or women who, because they are bigger than some random person thinks they have a right to be, are mocked, ridiculed, hurt, and harassed. I can’t fight the internet, but I can fight this shit. Will you help?

140 Responses

  1. [...] of what Rachel Moss did, I’m completely angry.  It’s not just her stupid actions, but the domino effect of [...]

  2. I’m with you, but I want to be sure we’re linking to the right Rachel Moss-the link above leads to a different person with the same name. The monster who started this is a younger person-her picture is on her LJ and doesn’t match this person oe her bio.

  3. hell yeah. i’m working on a post later tonight.

  4. I’d tell you why you’re stupid, but you’re too stupid to comprehend… so there’s not really much of a point. This is pointless and you’re a big dumb hypocrite though, congratulations!

  5. lk tht y pt “ft” n qts lk lb tb f g s smhw nl ft t ths hrrbl mn grl. Dnyng bng ft r jstfyng t s wh y’r s ft n th frst plc, y’r t lz t wn p t wht y r. Ft s chc. f ft wr ntrl, y’d s ft vgns nd thr wld hv bn th sm prcntg f ft ppl n th ‘s. Y cn’t prv m wrng, t’s mpssbl. Ft ppl lv t clm sm typ f dss r dsdr (th thyrd s ftt fvrt), th prblm s, th dss r dsrdr s prbbl rslt f thr mzng bst nt cs. G hd nd plg yr rs nd prtnd y’r nrml. Wddl dwn t yr cnvntn, brth hrd whl y t, nd mk ll f ths xcss t th thr ftts.

  6. thank you for this post, abw.

  7. Gee, trolls already, and stupid ones, too. There are times when humanity really seems irredeemable.

  8. I love the irony in holding a fat-acceptance friendly con, then turning around and dragging someone elses eating disorder out in public to viciously get back at them.

    Good job. Your ridiculous catty infighting and mean spiritedness is why women will never be taken seriously. Thanks for shitting it up for the rest of us, you obese drama whores.

  9. As cynical as I tend to be, I’m still naively surprised that such bigotry continues to breed and diffuse.

  10. I second the thanks, and am linking this post from my own about the issue. It’s just awful to me that anyone would go so far out of their way to hurt someone else with no provocation whatsoever, and here we have multiple people doing it. What happened to equality? Barring that, what happened to minding your own business and doing something important with your life, instead of dicking around on the internet insulting people for no reason?

  11. I’ve known several fat vegans, as a matter of fact.

  12. [...] Is enough to make a person vomit. May she get that sick to her stomach feeling just as ABW suggests. Filed under : Uncategorized | [...]

  13. [...] Other good posts on this: What Rachel Moss Did, Rachel Moss and the Situation She Created, Two Quotes on the WisCon Drama, and A Modest Invitation [...]

  14. Bill-

    Thank you for being such a breath of fresh air! Your words of wisdom! Your enlightening attitude, does wonders for the people reading this post. You know, you may have a job in career counseling or psychotherapy! Honestly, you dont have a clue, being fat is not a choice. Yes, of course, if you have a certain body type and only choose to eat not healthy food, than yes, your chances of becoming obese are extremely great. However, we all do not have a choice in all of the god damn preservatives and hormone inducing chemicals they put into the food we buy, now do we. So when you feel like you know everything about the human body, you need to check yourself, and go read some more books….and stop talking for people who have no voice in this matter.

    Mary-

    Who died and made you lord of opinions! If you have something to say, you should it back it up with some substance, and quit calling people stupid and dumb. This is the angry black woman’s site, for her to discuss issues that she feels angry about. mmK!!

    ABW-

    There is certainly a fine line between subject matter that is funny, and subject matter that is downright offensive. And quite often, it blends together. I often like being right in the middle of that line, if only to recognize that it is there, as to not take things for granted, and to remember that I have a brain, and that you know, its easy to get brainwashed. So, whatever misery this Rachel person is experiencing, if she needs to get it out, she should channel it in a way that works.Calling people out because they are fat and ugly to her standards, just for the sake of doing it, would be her problem. But now, because unfortunately she is smart enough to use the internet, she makes it everyone else’s problem. And that, I think, is the issue at hand. If you have a problem with what “fat” people say that has nothing to do with you, than it is your problem. Calling people out online because they look a certain way is, juvenile, taudry, and just plain rude. It sucks when people have immense issues, and the only thing they can do about it is to resort to public humiliation. As soon as I get the best pictures, I will totally retaliate on behalf of those who are tired of bullies always getting their way!

  15. Discussion made it to Jezebel.

  16. Hey Bill, people in the 1800s only lived to be about 20 or so, or about the age you’ll be in 10 years or so (not that I want to insult 10-year-olds). Most people didn’t even have, y’know, potable water then. But at least they weren’t “fat,” right?

    I know plenty of fat vegans and gym rats and health food nuts, yes some even 350 pounds. I’d rank their physical self-care way ahead of yours any day of the week, and I will not even get into comparing their mental self-care to yours, since yours does not actually exist. Oh, and P.S. I also know thin people who did everything “right” and are battling life-threatening illnesses. “Health” is a lot more random than anyone wants to believe.

    Speaking of insulting 10-year-olds, she has apparently apologized for the “pussy” remark but for nothing else. And it’s perfectly fair game, when someone lashes out in such a hatefully fatphobic way, to wonder if it’s tied to her own ED. I would not mock anyone’s anorexia and bulimia in and of itself ever, but seriously, acting out your shit all over other people who never did anything to you leaves you way open for people to make that association.

    But she does not have to worry about being eaten by FA activists. I, for one, do not knowingly ingest poison.

    And this:

    There’s even one member named Cleon who is using a picture of me as his avatar with the words 100% Nigger above it.

    WTFFFF?

  17. Teri –

    actually, I didn’t drag anyone’s eating disorder “out in public”. Rachel has, in fact, been open about her eating disorder, seeing as how she put it on the internet in non-locked posts in open communities with her name/username attached. I would definitely disagree about “exposing” her if I’d learned this information from someone who happened to know her. As it is, the information is freely available via a quick google.

    and you know what, I have not said anything nasty about her BECAUSE of her eating disorder. In fact, I mention it because, for some, that might gain her one iota of sympathy and understanding. But if you want to paint the mere mention of having an eating disorder as something akin to calling someone a baby rapist, you go right ahead.

  18. Also, to Mary, I suggest curtailing calling people stupid until you can form an argument that makes sense. sentences that hold together are a good place to start.

    To everyone else: I turned off the moderation for an hour. This is the result! Moderation back on, woo!

  19. I actually wanted to e-mail her, reach out to her as someone who’s had similar happen, and was shunned by a community for my shenanigans. It was about seven years ago, I was an asshat, and I think (and hope) I’m a better person now.

    It was never this magnitude for me, but I bet it was just as embarrassing, and probably just as enlightening in a way. Mine was scene drama more than race snark, and ultimately, in the end, it taught me some things I had to learn about myself and attend to.

    Don’t get me wrong, what she did is fucking deplorable. But as an aspiring ex-asshole, this incident also reaches me in this way, and I thought it important to note.

    But the most important thing I think people should come away with is that people will fuck with you for any perceived flaw they see. This should not stop us from trying to screw up the bravery to be ourselves. In other words, I hope this horrible incident will not have a silencing or shaming effect on the Wiscon people affected. I hope they will be back next year, and I hope they will feel and be safe.

  20. Thats bullshit and you know it. Its thinly veiled tit for tat. Think about what you’re doing for a second.

    While what she did was appalling, you are picking on, despite your claims to the contrary, despite saying Hey I’m just doing this so you guys, uh, have some sympathy for this troubled young woman! picking on a vulnerable young woman, with self confessed eating disorders and an obviously maladjusted attitude.

    Smearing that around like some petty form of revenge is not constructive, it is as meanspirited as anything she wrote about the con. I feel ashamed of both sides of this already.

  21. I know I already linked here, but excellent post. I’m still just… stunned.

  22. again, you talk about mentioning she has an eating disorder as if it’s a smear. I don’t see it that way at all. You can get on your high horse about ti all you want, but it seems to be that if you see the mere mention of it as an insult and a degradation, then that’s YOUR problem, not mine. I did not say “Oh, she must be awful because she has an eating disorder,” I said “she brought the bullshit and she has an eating disorder. that might explain it, but it doesn’t excuse it”. and if you want something deeper than that, you should read the fucking post i linked to. this is the internet, honey, and I need not explain everything when others already have and I tell you about it.

    I am not, nor would I, pick on someone FOR having an eating disorder. But her having one, and me mentioning it, does not mean she gets a pass for what she did.

  23. oh, and can I just point out that it’s attitudes like yours — wherein saying that someone has an eating disorder is the same as smearing — is part of the same problem and source of utter bullshit as the SASS thread. eating disorder =/= horrible being that must be shunned.

  24. *sigh*

    Ooooooh, boy.

    Teri, what part of

    “Rachel has, in fact, been open about her eating disorder”

    seems to have escaped you?

    And what part of your rather vivid

    “you obese drama whores”

    strikes you as constructive dialogue?

    As you belittle others for failing to engage in constructive dialogue?

    Now I have a sinking feeling the “pot/kettle” metaphor may not get by you; so, assuming that you’re not just a troll, how about we start with “glass houses”?

  25. Teri?

    Get off the cross. Someone else needs that wood.

  26. You’re vicious hypocrits, quite frankly. Trawling through her livejournal for incriminating evidence you can throw around to smear her with is ugly, mean behaviour. oh You must have just stumbled across it, how CONVENIENT.

    But hey, you have to live with being you. Good luck with it. I no longer want anything to do with you, or WISCON if this is the sort of thinly veiled attitude just waiting for an oppurtunity to pop up.

    Take a step back from your computer and think to yourself “is what i am doing constructive?” hint ;

    it isnt.

  27. Teri,

    What? You went to WisCon too? All I can ask is: why? Why would someone who feels free to call others “obese drama queens” even WANT to attend a con full of “obese drama queens”?

    Please, DON’T come back to WisCon. We don’t want you there. Oh, and please get off this comments thread. No one wants you here, either.

    PS: It’s spelled “hypocrites.” I know, those big words are hard to spell.

  28. Oddly, I saw the comment about RM having an eating disorder as an acknowledgement of RM’s vulnerabilities that must not be attacked. Readers who follow the links and want to learn about RM and why she might attack other women will learn about her illness, even if ABW hadn’t linked it. I feel that ABW was being extraordinarily responsible in saying that RM has an illness, and that illness doesn’t excuse bad behavior, but her illness should not be mocked. But that’s just me.

  29. Whoops, my apologies, it was “obese drama whores.” My bad. … No, hers actually.

  30. I have more to say to people who think making fun of people who are physically different because they were not born that way….There are some serious bigots out there, reading this post, and I just want to say that people need to chill the fuck out. I mean seriously. Look in the mirror, look at how you are not perfect, accept it, be proud to be alive, and then chill the fuck out.

  31. “Take a step back from your computer and think to yourself “is what i am doing constructive?””

    *snort*

    Teri, hon, you must stop talking to yourself in the mirror while simultaneously foaming at the mouth.

    Not a good look there, sweets.

  32. And to add to my last comment, if someone has seriously wronged you or violated you, you have every right to be vocally angry, its not even worth saying you have a right to be angry, because that is natural, but if you live life with anger and resentment over people you do not know, that never did anything to you, based on what they look like, than all i can say is chill the fuck out…..Please. Just take a hike in the wilderness away from people, and chill out, because I just dont know if you are useful in society right now. And anyone reading this, dont try and say that that is what ABW is doing,
    because it will not work. You know who you are.

    I agree with Melissa. I dont know what Teri is trippin about.
    P.S. Sorry for the rant and rave.
    PEACE

  33. Teri,

    Take a step back from your computer and think to yourself “is what i am doing constructive?”

    Yes. It might cause RM to realize how batshit she is, seek help, and STFU.

    Whereas doing nothing as you seem to be suggesting, or trying to reason with someone who’s already proven herself deeply irrational, just enables her crazy. I consider ABW’s idea to be the internet equivalent of an intervention. She needs to feel just how wrong she is, or she’ll just keep denying/rationalizing it.

  34. The somethingawful page isn’t “Down” btw if you go to the google cache page and scroll to the bottom and try clicking for another page (of that same post) it gives you:

    “Sorry, you must be a registered forums member to view this page. If you are already a member, login here.”

    And you have to pay to sign up so don’t bother btw. Her apology is obviously fake and she’s probably posting it there too. Just to let you know. It’s just private to the SF forums.

  35. First let me say that any person who does what she did is obviously disturbed…to intentionally go to an event for the express purpose of making fun of others…that is pure ill intent.

    I had never heard of WisCon before. I like reading SF and am working on my first SF novel as well as a romance novel.

    Now if I had attended this conference for the first time, I would be kinda taken aback by the subject matters…because in all the topics RM quoted, non of them centered around SF writing but seemed more centered on body size issues.

    Having said that, and please do not misconstrue what I am saying next…but does that convention seem to draw a certain group of body type/gender orientation/politically bent people?

    In all the pictures it is obvious that the people are of a particular size. But why does this particular event seem to draw them? Are they “big people friendly?” <—I have a friend that is 400 lbs and she refers to herself and others her size as “big people” so I use that here as well.

    How much SF writing is discussed as opposed to the other issues?

  36. Stephanie,

    I suggest you go look at the full panel list before you make the weird assumption that Rachel Asscrab Moss
    is giving a random and representative selection of panels.

    However, Wiscon is a feminist science fiction convention, so yes, there is a large emphasis on politics.

  37. OH, HOLY COW.

    I saw that picture and wondered what the hell was going on. I am so, so sorry, and I will email her my strong but non-violent disapproval.

  38. Mandolin -

    I looked all over the WisCon site and did not find a link for the panelists. I only found a page for Guests of Honor. If you know of the page please post a link.

  39. Stephanie: You’re kidding, right? I went to Wiscon and went to *no* panels that discussed body issues or (overt) politics… RM’s post completely misrepresented the con. The top genre editors and publishers were there. There were even…gasp…straight white men. Lots of ‘em.

    RM went there to do evil, and a brief glimpse into both SA and SSA leads me to believe that she knew exactly what she was doing. I mean, who wants to impress and pal around with that crowd? Pissing contests among anonymous 18-45 year old as to who can be the most homophobic/racist/misogynist…And now she’s shocked that her minions have turned on her.

  40. stephanie,

    the link to this year’s program on the wiscon site is broken for some reason. here’s an answer to your question on their FAQ:
    http://wiscon.info/faq.php#paneltopics

    i’ve found that most of wiscon’s panels jump off of SF directly, even if they don’t stay there. about 20% of the panels don’t deal with SF directly.

    please notice that the photos featured on SASS were selected for fat people … although I have to say that a lot of the later photos showed people who aren’t fat by anyone’s definition, they just started looking fat in the context where everyone is jeering.

    yes, there are plenty of fat people at wiscon. wiscon is a place that welcomes people who don’t fit in in any number of ways. but isn’t that the point?

  41. Craig -

    As I said I had never heard of the WisCon before, know NOTHING about it. I find it totally incredulous that RM even had the thought in the first place to do something like this.

    Claire -

    Thank you for the link. You also said…

    “yes, there are plenty of fat people at wiscon. wiscon is a place that welcomes people who don’t fit in in any number of ways. …?”

    See…I didn’t even know that.

    ABW – I enjoy reading your blog. :-)

  42. As far as going to the SASS site and spamming them with fuzzy unicorns, BEWARE! they have started posting really really grossout 4chan style stuff in response. You do not want to see it.

  43. My 2 cents take on this disturbed person in this era of the debased U.S. currency is that she’s a hopeful genealogical Paglia-Coulter wannabe.

    Yes, shameful.

    Coz what passes w/both of them as wit, insight and comedy is emotional toxicity, that says way more about them than their targets.

    Love, C.

  44. All that Rachel reminds me of is the lame ass Gaia kids that go to 4chan just to be cool.

    I’ve come to expect this shit out of SA . SA is not what surprises me. It’s the fact that she’s such a pussy that she has to make such an idiot out of herself so that she can be cool-for-a-day with the SA goons.

    She should ask herself – is it really worth it? Those guys will turn on her like a bunch of rabid dogs. I’m waiting for the chance for her to get a pwning 4chan style.

  45. A, they did turn on her. The SASS people started calling her nasty names and making fun of her when she asked the SA mods to take the post down. And before that, I’m told, SA and 4chan people were saying “well, you were there, too” and putting her down.

  46. And additionally, a FEMINIST who has to seek approval from fucking SA/4chan people? People who are pretty damn misogynistic (or at least pretend to be) and racist, and sizeist? Having to try to connect with people who, more likely than not, are the BOTTOM OF SOCIETY’S (or at least the internet’s) BARREL?

    She goes to a con, likely (or at least subconsciously) to seek validation from the fat women that she so mocks, then she goes to fucking SA to post this shit, to seek validation from people likely living in their grandmother’s moldy basement?

    She’s confused. And she needs to take that shit up with a therapist. Hopefully she quickly learns, other than the threats, that the internet is not a nice place sometimes.

    She could dish it out, but she better SERIOUSLY know how to take it.

  47. Just, so much. . . irredeemable genetic trash.

    No control over them sure but she still created a conduit for their shit.

  48. (and I just saw your addendum. she’s getting harassed by the internet hate machine. there is nothing more potent than a bunch of anons looking for lulz.)

  49. ABW, it is clear from your post, and from what I can learn, that Rachel Moss attacked people not because of anything they did, but solely because of who they are. In other words, she is a bigot. And she attacked a nine year old kid – well, bigots never have any class or decency, so I suppose I’m not surprised.

    I am not questioning your right to say the things you did about her: a bigot deserves every bit as much. I’m not going to say you shouldn’t be angry, either; we should all be angry whenever bigots crawl out of the sewer.

    But I do have one question – and it is a question – I don’t claim to have any definitive answers to it. Is writing in anger, the very emotion bigots love to wallow in, the best way to combat bigotry? It may be, in this case, but I’m honestly not sure. Judging by some of the comments here, and by the attention this is likely to attract, I can imagine this turning into a fight all the various camps of bigots will watch as entertainment, pointing out their own ‘pet peeves’ and making fun of them.

    I don’t question your desire to fight bigotry; I only wonder if your anger has made you handle things less effectively than you might have otherwise. And, again, I wonder, I don’t claim to know, to be sure. I just think it is a question at least worth asking.

  50. Juan, your comment that included the phrase “irredeemable genetic trash” went up while I was writing mine, above. It isn’t clear exactly what you meant by this, but I do have a serious problem with the phrase.

    If you were using it to insult bigots, well, I won’t argue with the intent – but bigots are the ones who usually like to make the judgments about who is “genetic trash”. Literally. Google the term “eugenics”. I happen to be someone the eugenicists would have chosen to keep from “breeding”, if they could have. The more extreme ones, as in Nazi Germany, would have just killed me. So, please, next time insult the bigots for what they choose to do, not what you think their genes have to do with it.

  51. Feh.

    You haven’t seen BIG until you’ve gone to a GenCon. Trust me. Any con where all the dealers sell 5X, 6X, 7X and 8X t-shirts automatically wins for drawing the most rotund attendees. Not a slam, just an observation from having worked so many of them.

    But I do have to say, although what Rachel did is mind-numbingly stupid and juvenile, it is equally juvenile to call for retaliation in this manner. She isn’t worth the oxygen, frankly and there are better uses for everyone’s time.

    Best,

    Colleen

  52. In my experience with cons, there are always a decent number of fat people. This is especially true at cons that are fan run, as opposed to professional run cons. Why? Because humans come in fat bodies as well as skinny bodies, thus fans come in those same bodies.

    WisCon has a mix of panels on topics and yes there is a social justice track. You could easily attend the con without going to a single panel that was explicitly about politics. WisCon is explicity a feminist sci-fi convention, so people want to talk about feminist issues both as they intersect sci-fi, and independent of them.

  53. Outside of the drama cause by Ms Moss (of which myself and my son were a target) and a flu (which hit my five-year old daghter) Wiscon was a blast. Please don’t let the troll spoil the idea of coming, most of the people there are friendly and fun to be around. Even after what my family went through this year, we’d not miss Wiscon next year for anything.

    Thanks for this wonderful and gripping post. It’s fun of passion and rightous rage, both of which seen justified considering the fact the safe space was voilated, a place many find at Wiscon every year where they might not be accepted anyplace else. May we come together and continue to reclaim that feeling of safety and community every year.

  54. FWIW, the program links for WisCon 32 are deliberately broken at the moment, to prevent further harassment of our members by SA/SASS folks.

  55. Teri, the only reason ABW and others have raised the issue of Rachel Moss’s eating disorder is to try to find some motive for her being so hateful so as to make her less of a cardboard villain and someone somewhat understandable.

    Frankly, I’m OK with considering Rachel Moss to be an utter asshole and run-of-the-mill internet troll and leaving the naming at that.

    ABW, it was lovely to meet you at WISCON! Hopefully, see you next year.

  56. Why bother responding to Teri? She willingly fails to pick up any valid point that you throw at her in favor of childish insults that I used on the playground in the 4th grade.

  57. actually, I wouldn’t consider keeping this issue alive as concerns Rachel retaliation. Basically I want her to understand just what she did. as for the Sass folks, that is indeed retaliation, and I don’t think we can truly be called stooping to their level if we inundate them with puppies! have you seen the puppies? but anyway, I’m bored with that now, so I’m probably not going to bother instead I’ll focus on the awesome stuff of wiscon then go back to making sure that the main issue of what Rachel did does not fade. The sass people are actually not worth much.

  58. ABW,

    A, they did turn on her. The SASS people started calling her nasty names and making fun of her when she asked the SA mods to take the post down. And before that, I’m told, SA and 4chan people were saying “well, you were there, too” and putting her down.

    And it appears they were the ones to post her phone number (it’s on p. 17 of the forums, but you have to be a member, and frankly I don’t want to link to that crap), and have probably been the ones making the threatening calls to her mom.

  59. I’m recovering from the Wischolera, and this just makes me want to vomit all over again. Once again, the internet surprises me with the depths it reveals of supposedly every-day people’s racism, sexism and general bigotry.

    I mean…”coon”? I had no idea people even used that term any more.

  60. A post I completely agree with.

    I was at WISCON and did not see you, ABW, but would have introduced myself if I had. (You may have seen me or my wife. We had the giggly 6 month old that my wife wore in the purple wrap for most of the con. I look like a slightly-saner Charlie Stross.)

    My wife and I were not only generally aggravated at this jack-assery, but were personally annoyed considering the note you have a picture of above was addressed to a very good friend of ours (she was one of my wife’s maids of honor in our wedding).

    Good for you calling her out like this. She does deserve to know how it feels to be bullied. (But not the death threats, as you said. That’s just always a bad idea.)

  61. [...] as I’ll explain in a bit. For starters, though, here’s the scoop from the inimitable Angry Black Woman: Let’s start at the beginning. A few days ago the post went up on the Something Awful forums, a [...]

  62. I posted about it on my blog (http://phonesexfeminist.blogspot.com/2008/05/wiscon-and-other-things.html). Let’s hope her name is all over the internet for a long time with this.

  63. I think she mentioned the eating disorder because it is crucial in understanding the psychology behind this strange phobia of “obese” people. She wasn’t mentioning it to smear the lady. She was mentioning it to expose the psychology behind these sorts of phobias- homophobia can very often be a cover for latent homosexuality. this phobia and the way it resulted in her nasty hate speech is obviously related to her eating disorder, i.e. her psychology about her weight and body image. I am very happy abw gave us that information. It helps all readers to see this woman as more of a fleshed out, living, human being who has issues (who doesn’t?) that contributed to her appalling behavior.

  64. I’m fine with people trying to understand this woman’s repulsive conference review (which, as far as I can tell from the excerpts, has a kind of Rush Limbaugh-esque quality) in terms of her struggle with an eating disorder. But her post seems to have not only targeted “fat” attendees, but “difference” in general: different sexualities, different ethnicities, different ways of expressing the self. I’m sorry, but I can’t feel much sympathy for someone who’s so virulently bigoted just because she’s struggling with/against her own body. There’s more going on here than just a misguided, “lost little girl” thing.

    ABW: I’m so sorry that your photo was “stolen” and abused in such a way. That is truly, truly sickening.

    Moondancer Drake: I’m so impressed with your generosity of spirit and your positivity. Not sure i would’ve been able to react the same way, were I in your place!

  65. That post about how she’ll call the police about the threats, I can understand. Nothing gives people the right to do that.

    However – Elengul on that post turns my stomach. What a contemptible bootlick he or she is. Truly, they both are.

    Rachel went slobbering at the heels of those people on Something Awful. She did this whole thing, start to finish, to win their approval.

    And then Elengul jumped into her post saying “I’m fat and I think it’s funny.” Like the offense just came from someone making fun of fat people, not taking photos without permission and posting names and attacking people’s family. And finishes off with a fawning speech about how the overweight are hurting their health – like someone risking their health is an excuse to publicly humiliate them and their families.

    I can’t get over what pathetic, whimpering little sell-outs they are.

  66. I think “Obese Drama Whores” is a great name for a band.

    Who’s with me?

  67. Too lazy/busy to read comment thread — too busy to follow this whole debacle. I’m horrified to hear this happened at Wiscon, which is like the one SF con I’d go to if I could get to cons, but in the end this whole thing just leaves me feeling exhausted and let down. I just can’t waste time and energy fighting the massive waves of stupid emanating from the big communities like SA, Fark, /., etc. I’m gonna go bury my head in Making Light.

  68. From Claire’s post on the subject:

    “But all you need to know about shame and cowardice is that every one of those losers posting in comments is hiding behind a username and icon, and every single one of the women they are making fun of is out in the open on the internet.”

    FTW

  69. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this, but trolling posts to something awful are what started the cascade of attacks on biting beaver and many other feminist sites last year. There really is not a useful way to engage with the “massive waves of stupid” and hatefulness that come from those sites. They -do- thrive on attention and get off on hurting people.

  70. [...] site with scathing editorials on each and their bodies. Read more about the details here, here and [...]

  71. Daisy: “I think “Obese Drama Whores” is a great name for a band.”

    Provided that the Obese Drama Whores go on tour with Piggy Moo (the virtual band at Shapely Prose), I’m in! :)

    Also wanted to say, I’ve been astounded/humbled/amazed at the strength showed by people who attended (including those who were targeted) and have responded. I don’t know what else to say, except maybe that this episode is so sick that it would be easy to use it as yet another reason to want to write off the rest of humanity… but then I read ABW and Moondancer Drake and purplefrog26 and… yeah, I just don’t know what to say, except thank you.

  72. Sigh. You’d think WisCon, of all places, would be free of assholery.

    Moondancer Drake – Thanks for that comment. I’ve wanted to go to Wiscon for years and this incident might very well have soured it but for your comment.

  73. The excellent comments here and elsewhere are the positive side of her destructive actions. (Because there are more than one Madisonian with her name, I’m not repeating it.)

    I’m very pleased that most people seem to understand that “crazy” or “mentally ill” are not synonyms for “evil” or “mean” or “heartless.” We’re taught that violent, hateful, or malicious acts are performed by “sick” people, but actually people with mental illnesses are more likely to be on the receiving end of violence.

    Let us work in the early days of a better society.

  74. I was wondering when I’d hear your beautiful voice on this unfortunate event.

    True words. True words.

    I hope I can make it to WisCon next year. If this fiasco has shown me anything it is that the women (and men) who attend it are incredible, strong, beautiful, and willing to fight against disgusting individuals who seek to mock others for simply being “different”.

  75. Jesse the K – thanks for making that point. I’d go back and change my use of “sick” if I could, but I’ll certainly check my language in the future.

  76. [...] to having experienced it myself on occasion. Today while signing in WordPress presented me with a “hawt post” that discusses schadenfreude. Now while I suspect that the author of The Angry Black Woman and I [...]

  77. [...] at John Hopkins. Let that name live in infamy. (UPDATE: For those who missed out on this, I think The Angry Black Woman sums up the incident quite well. I share her explanation for why I will not remove Rachel [...]

  78. [...] Conversations A Sarah on What Rachel Moss DidDaomadan on What Rachel Moss Didhara on Hillary’s behavior has left [...]

  79. Jesse,

    You have a good point, and I will try to avoid contributing to the negative stereotypes of the mentally ill. That said… while RM clearly has some Issues with an exponentially large “I”, her behavior to me doesn’t suggest so much irrationality/disconnect with reality as it suggests hate. Obsessive, violent (because I consider what she’s done to be an assault), dangerous-to-society-level hate. The fact that it’s primarily “lookism” in her case doesn’t erase the stench, and it smells no different to me from racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other form of virulent hatred (and hey, she showed plenty of those too).

    No, we should not vilify the mentally ill. But we also should not give hatemongers a pass just because part of their problem is pathological.

  80. I feel that ABW was being extraordinarily responsible in saying that RM has an illness, and that illness doesn’t excuse bad behavior, but her illness should not be mocked.

  81. I had other obligations and could not attend Wiscon. Thanks for the report and your analysis and response, ABW. Horrifying behavior by people with no sense of decency.

  82. I think the best way for Rachel Moss to think about her bad behavior and ultimately change it is to press charges.

    Did people sign confidentiality agreements at WiCon because any violation of it is grounds for action against her?

    Rachel Moss has done damage to other groups, and I for one would be happy to see us link efforts in any way possible to make sure she is stopped.

  83. Don’t get too worked up now, there will always be low lifes that tries to make themselves feel better by finding every reason to hurt others, she might feel good about herself, but she is only fooling herself by thinking that she is truely better.

    People can be swayed, but they also know a scumbag when they see one!

    As for the other internet trolls with nothing better to do then hiding behind a screen name and make fun of others, its a shame that the internet is a safe haven for people like that to exsist :(

  84. Daisy: I must play drums for the Obese Drama Whores! Or mountain dulcimer. Anything.

  85. “Now I definitely am not down with physical threats. Especially not against female bloggers”

    That seems like odd wording. If she were a male blogger you would be “down” (or down to some greater degree) with physical threats?

  86. What the fuck. That is horrible on so many levels. Especially posting pictures of attendees without their permission, that is really crossing the line.

    I wanted to mention that I know people with eating disorders who are *not* fat-phobic. That may sound like a contradiction in terms, but having a distorted view of your own body does not necessarily mean you will see other people in the same way and in fact, most anorexic people I have met are not critical of other people’s bodies, only their own.

  87. lol

    Anyone who posts on Something Awful is going to be a loser. Don’t get angry… just laugh :)

  88. [...] didn’t intend for this pontification to coincide with anything, but this just in Rachel Moss doesn’t want you to feel safe being fat in public. This past weekend I was in Wisconsin for the WisCon convention. I have a lot of posts to write [...]

  89. Can I be an Obese Drama Whore too? I can play bass.

  90. [...] you’re desperate to know more about the ConDrama I mentioned yesterday head over to the post What Rachel Moss Did by the angry black [...]

  91. *giggles* the people in the moderation basket are soooo funny, you guys! Look at them wave their little arms like T-Rexes. But unlike real T-Rexes, they are really lame… like AZTEC REX lame!

  92. ABW, I’m really surprised you would use the word “lame” like that. I was totally with you until I got to that comment. It’s ableist.

  93. Ummmmm. I think you need to punish people in the moderation basket with Aztec Rex somehow. I’m not sure on the implementation, but conceptually it is FANTASTIC.

    Of course I haven’t really eaten food in several days so I can’t be trusted.

  94. I think it breaks their SA/4chan hearts that they don’t have a say on this site! They can have a say any place else, right? Why not here?

    Oh wait…because they don’t matter.

  95. [...] What Rachel Moss Did This past weekend I was in Wisconsin for the WisCon convention. I have a lot of posts to write about that, including [...] [...]

  96. hey, i only had to post two troll ip addresses on my blog for the commenting to stop. t, i highly recommend posting ip addresses. it’s my new cure-all.

  97. Fat, white, feminist woman here. I don’t like what Rachel Moss did. I won’t like what the Wiscon community does if it hounds her into suicide, either. Just keep that in mind as the righteous indignation floods.

    Rage is addictive, and many of us lack outlets for it, so when something or someone who seems like a “legitimate target” comes along, they get a goodly share of pent-up rage from everything else in our lives. That’s no more fair than whatever they did to earn their share of it.

  98. Do i have to come get folk s for serious?!?!?

  99. You obviously do!

    and don’t you know there are other folks posting about how over the top and wrong the response has been to her. They mostly mean the threats of violence, but also think it’s just so terrible that we’re using her real name and such. meanwhile, it’s starting to become clear that the people actually making threats are most likely SA/4chan folks. *my eyes roll forever*

    As much as Rachel annoyed me with her bullshit, I’m starting to wonder if she’s regretting even stepping a toe into something awful and its environs. Not because of us, or not just because of us, but because they did not immediately think she was awesome the way she hoped and now have turned on her.

  100. Claire, the IPs may possibly be dynamic or proxies.

  101. Claire, the IPs may possibly be dynamic or proxies.

    i’m still getting record hits on my blog but nobody’s commenting, so i think the IP threat is working. that’s pretty much all i care about. ;)

  102. I’ve never even heard of WisCon until this whole mess, which is bad since I’m a feminist and I’m from Madison. But, I’m ashamed to say I go to school with this woman. Ugh.

  103. yup. we’ve honored rachel at sableverity.wordpress.com…check it out.

    And keep exposing the truth!

  104. All I’m going to say is, if certain people are going to threaten filing charges, then the ORIGINAL victims should work on filing charges, as well. We’re seeing precedent established this year behind netstalking. Which I would classify this as. Press charges, folks. I mean, everyone deserves safety from harrassment.

  105. I was at Wiscon for the first time this year, and the space felt safe; but beyond that I was amazed at how many brilliant and knowledgeable and well-read people were sharing their thoughts and insights. I know privilege is a loaded word, but I -did- feel privileged to be in there.

    I didn’t actually make it to any of the political panels, but I was glad they existed, and that we’re talking about the things we care about. Sure, it’s an SF con, but SF is a community as well as a cluster of (fictional) narratives.

    I will be going back because it was fuckin’ awesome. And Rachel Moss and her ilk will not stop me. I hope one bigot won’t keep other people away, and I hope Ms. Moss gets the help she needs. Not only because she needs it, but also because it’ll stop her from lashing out and hurting other people with her ignorant hate.

    And I’m very glad to have met you, even briefly, ABW. I’m terrible at saying this sort of thing in person, but I admire you deeply.

  106. Just found your blog! Great post. If it makes you feel any better, my blog has also been mined for posts (specifically my discussions of the physical abuse I suffered), and the posts have been put up, whole, on the SASS forums to be mocked.

    Sick people, there.

    Like I said on The-F-word Rachel’s blog, I feel sorry for Ms. Moss, but I’m way more sorry for the people she hurt. I’m tough, I can take mockery (who cares about mean schoolchildren pointing their fingers and laughing at those things they refuse to understand, anyway?) but some people haven’t come to this place yet, and they might read what was said about them and have it stick, for years. Those kinds of comments are dangerous…I’ve dipped in and out of an ED based on such simple, hateful comments (no more, though).

    They haven’t bothered attempting to comment on my site, though, they keep their cowardly sniveling to the safe hate-haven of their messageboard. lol!

  107. I am agog . It’s that special entitlement swan in . I am gonna say something evil and cruel and DUMB and hope that my ( please insert looks, power, privilege ,syncophancy, whiteness etc.etc) will garner me approval , and power to control dialogue and embarass people. If it does not I will faster than you can say ” SOMEONE COME GET THIS FOOL” plead no power , learning, inexperience while having great pride in showing credentials that meant while i could have been learning i was more concerned with ” important things” .

    oops no the geeks and the POC and the outre control a good bit of the fun important things ! HAVE FUN!

  108. bifemmefatale said: “ABW, I’m really surprised you would use the word “lame” like that. I was totally with you until I got to that comment. It’s ableist.”

    I want to know if you’re being serious or if this is meant as snarky. I can honestly not tell, and I don’t want to respond without knowing. Thanks!

  109. totaltransformation said: “Now I definitely am not down with physical threats. Especially not against female bloggers”

    That seems like odd wording. If she were a male blogger you would be “down” (or down to some greater degree) with physical threats?

    No, just that I know female bloggers get threatened more often with physical harm. It’s a subject that hits close to home with me and that I’m hyper aware of. I don’t want any blogger to receive violent threats, but I am likely to be more upset about it if that blogger is female or POC because I am female and POC. A white male blogger getting threats would not get brushed off, tho.

  110. Thanks for your thoughtful response to my question ABW.

  111. ABW, I learned about a year ago that “lame” IS indeed considered ableist. Check out Tekanji’s explanation: http://forums.theirisnetwork.org/viewtopic.php?t=437

    And we had a little discussion here: http://thehathorlegacy.com/forum/index.php/topic,29.0.html

    Re: Rachel Moss. I think it’s really interesting – and actually makes an ironic point about the need for cons like Wiscon – that the people who supported her turned on her SO QUICKLY and in such a gendered way the instant she stopped attacking people for their entertainment.

  112. [...] had what she should have known was coming … total online annihilation [Jezebel] I realise this blogger reposted the offensive comments to criticize, but I have to confess I LOLed at a few of [...]

  113. BetaCandy –

    Thank you. That’s not something I was aware of, but now I am and will do my best to not use lame in that way in the future. I’m sorry that my use of it offended some folks :(

  114. You just called out the whole 4chan, something awful, encyclopedia dramatica crowd. You so totally rock.

  115. This was the first WisCon I’d been to, and I found the environment very welcoming and accepting of all people. I’m surprised and disappointed that something like this happened there.

  116. BetaCandy noted: I think it’s really interesting – and actually makes an ironic point about the need for cons like Wiscon – that the people who supported her turned on her SO QUICKLY and in such a gendered way the instant she stopped attacking people for their entertainment.

    That’s very, very true, actually. It’s symptomatic of the combination of self-hatred and misguided vitriol of that set. I’ve always suspected SA was like Lord of the Flies. This just confirms it.

  117. Calling out Anon? I’d say it’s gutsy, but they’re rarely all that scary. Mostly they bore the hell outta me.

    Good post, though. Cheers! (Yes, THAT Kittie)

  118. Wow. What a vile, mean-spirited, pathetic excuse for a human being that woman is.

    Amusing how quickly the SA dudes turned on her, though. There is a lesson for her in that if she’s smart enough to learn it.

  119. [...] My small act in protest of Rachel Moss’s dehumanization of the women she photographed at WisCon. [...]

  120. It’s really difficult to know what to say when someone, like Rachel, takes out her self-hatred on other people. Thank you for pointing out her eating disorder; it makes it something different than simple bigotry.

    I haven’t been to Wiscon (I took my middle-aged obese white ass to BayCon, where I was a panelist), but someday I hope to go.

  121. Speaking as someone with Crouzon Syndrome, who once belonged to a Crouzon support group that had to be taken offline because of people who bear a spiritual resemblance to Ms. Moss, who grabbed children’s pictures and ridiculed them, a million thanks. Obviously Ms. Moss has never been driven to the verge of suicide over stuff like this, but many people have. This sort of thing represents pretty scummy behavior, and there’s no gentle way to respond to it.

  122. I’ve been following this. Rachel Moss is banaly evil. Looking forward to your post on harassment.

  123. [...] You may want to take a moment to catch up with the Angry Black Woman’s comprehensive explanati… [...]

  124. [...] What Rachel Moss Did « The Angry Black Woman A woman named Rachel Moss put a post on Something Awful mocking attendees not because of their politics or their feminism or their willingness to come to Wisconsin, but because they were too fat, too white, too male, or too black for her taste. [...]

  125. [...] http://theangryblackwoman.wordpress.com/2008/05/28/what-rachel-moss-did/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Jersey Mayor Doug Palmer, WTF Award recipientBill Clinton Can Kiss My Black AssTHE DAMSEL VS. THE WIMPY NOT-SO-SUPER-HEROBlogs with a Tone [...]

  126. Whilst I don’t condone Rachel’s actions in this matter in the least, I think the widespread backlash against her is extremely ill-advised. Really, the best thing to do with anonymous is ignore them. You can’t argue with them, you can’t change their opinions, you can’t stop them. Every time you mention them or respond to them in any way it’s a form of victory for them. They have no racist, sexist or homophobic gender; they simply want to get people riled and provoke amusingly indignant or outraged reactions, and these are the shortest routes to such an outcome. If you ignore them, they’ll quickly sweep on to another target of the moment, and this whole thing will be forgotten. However, if you keep trying to fight them (which is like trying to cut jelly with a chainsaw) all you can expect is to keep tempers flared, insults flying, get insulting captioned and photoshopped pictures of every single convention goer bouncing round the chans, along with the home addresses and telephone numbers of everyone involved (can I maybe mention how EXTREMELY ill advised it was to move actions against Rachel Moss into ‘meatspace’?) If you like getting harrassing phonecalls, email boxes full of spam and suddenly finding someones ordered a hundred different takeaways to your house, that’s great. If you don’t, I’d advise you to leave them alone. They hold no real animosity against anyone from the con, although posting IP addresses and phone numbers may change that. They cannot be defeated except by ignoring them. I have direct experience with this through dealing with a board invasion by anonymous. If you make them bored, you can defeat them. It sounds defeatist, but seriously, it’s the best thing you can do here. You can’t really do anything to them, legally or extralegally, you can’t make any sociopolitical gains out of them, but they can destroy your life. Remember that anonymous is a completely unregulated, unorganised, chaotic organisation. Individual anons might do almost anything. Seriously, had no one from the con found out about Rachel Moss’s post, or had found out then said nothing, then it would have been forgotten in a week. I absolutely know that this sounds like rolling over and giving in, but as a queer goth dude with long hair, piercings and a transgendered boyfriend I’ve learned both in real life and in cyberspace that there are some times its simply better to just keep on walking by. You simply have to ask yourself this question: what can I gain by this conflct? No one from Wiscon has anything to gain from this. Ignore these twazzocks. Let them chuck around some crude humour; are they really creative enough to actually be insulting? It’s hard to be strong sometimes, I know, but simply being who you are can provide its own inner strength. Rising above petty shitheads like this is as much a matter of dignity as anything. They’ll try to push all your buttons; in your case ABW, they know very well simply from a skim-through of your blog tags exactly what will make you mad. Don’t get mad. Every community that has severely suffered from the depredations of anonymous has been the ones who let themselves get outraged. At the end of the day, these bozos aren’t worth it. They’re anonymous. They’re insignificant. Ignore them.

  127. I absolutely know that this sounds like rolling over and giving in, but as a queer goth dude with long hair, piercings and a transgendered boyfriend I’ve learned both in real life and in cyberspace that there are some times its simply better to just keep on walking by

    Quietus, even as you describe yourself, you are a DUDE, which can mitigate the effectiveness of generally offering the advice “ignore it” to women and chlidren.

    There are people for whom proportional and reciprocal deterrence is the only understandable language. If you don’t fight back, they will escalate. If you do fight back, that is the only way they will back off.

  128. This isn’t some dark back alley. In cyberspace, physical factors do not apply. Anonymous are not fuelled by their hatred for you or anyone else, or even really their desire to do harm, but by their quest for sick, cruel amusement. If you refuse to provide them with this amusement by ignoring them, they will go away, rather like dermatitis. It really is as simple as that. The sad truth is, they don’t actually care about you, or anyone really, everyone here is just the target of the moment. Also, just how to you propose to ‘deter’ anonymous? Here we see the kind of factors that come into play in cyberspace: anonymous is an amorphous organisation with maybe as many as 10,000 ‘true’ members, and potentially unlimited resources to wage information warfare. You are all individuals. Named individuals. This is not a fight you want. They can silence you, and for what? Absolutely no reason. This is the reality of the situation. Ignore them.

  129. One note – I think the only people who dealt with Rachel Moss in meatspace are the sass people and not anyone from WisCon. Unless you mean the contacting of her boss.

    Otherwise, I’ve found the anonymous trolling of me to be a little pathetic when compared to recent events. (If you weren’t around for the stormfront thing, try searching the site.) They seem to think that I’ll be upset if they keep calling me “fatty” and “nigger”. They also don’t get how the moderation works around here, and I’m probably frustrating them more than they’ll admit by not allowing their comments up. I think you’re right in that eventually they will wander away and find some other shiny thing to poke at. And littlem, while I definitely get you, I think that Quietus is somewhat right in saying that you can’t fight the hordes of anonymous unless there was a way to track them all down and get them all carted off to jail, which won’t happen. Nor do I care to spend my time making such a thing happen. What I care about is making this space free of them, and I did that :)

    In the end, they don’t have access to this space. they can only do their thing in their space. And while their thing is meant to be hurtful, I just can’t find any way to be hurt by some dateless boys with mad photoshop skillz. That first day I was very angry about it, then I woke up the next day and realized that I have a life and actual awesome things going on in it. Am I going to go on living that life or am I going to worry about them?

    answer is clear.

  130. The great thing is that, even though right now we’re all angry and upset that our safe space and trust was violated, next year we will all be together again, talking, laughing, dancing and yes even eating the way we always have. On the other hand, she will be stuck with herself and her viciousness for the rest of her life. The best revenge is, indeed, living well. My love to everyone who has been hurt in this incident, and I hope to see you happy and confident at WisCon 33!

  131. That first day I was very angry about it, then I woke up the next day and realized that I have a life and actual awesome things going on in it. Am I going to go on living that life or am I going to worry about them?

    U R a roll moddle. :-)

  132. i think that quietus is right, too, except that”how to get back at them” thing is pretty obvious: out them. they are “anonymous,” so make them UNanonymous. post their real names on the internet.

    you really don’t have to do it to all of them, just a couple of ringleaders, plus the explanation that you could have done it to everyone, but didn’t have the time or the inclination.

    the point is, they’re afraid of only one thing, and that’s being outed. all i had to do was post two ip addresses on my blog for all outright sass comments to stop. they even stopped harrassing me on the sass board (as far as i can tell. i did a quick sweep. although i do have to say i was never one of their primary targets.)

    i’m not advocating doing this, i’m just saying: it’s not that hard, and these really are cowards. they don’t want their real names on the internet.

  133. Claire,

    I am offended by threats of outing. Post my IP, it won’t help you bring me under control. It won’t even anger me because it won’t work. The same goes for most anons.

    If you think anonymous can be stopped by outing the ringleaders ask yourself this: Why haven’t the scientologists, who have millions of dollars, excellent lawyers and an army of fanatics at their disposal, done this?

    Quietus is right. You can’t fight the anonymous hydra. The best way to assure that Wiscon is forgotten by the internet goons like so many other internet fads have been is to ignore them. Because they’re either kids or arrested development cases their attention span is limited.

    However, if someone who identifies themselves with Wiscon outs even one of their less anon friends and causes them trouble in meatspace it will keep their attention for as long as the ‘battle’ rages and the convention will reap the whirlwind.

  134. [...] What Rachel Moss Did « The Angry Black Woman “I can’t fight the internet, but I can fight this shit. Will you help?” (tags: assholes wiscon feminism blogging) [...]

  135. re: Cleon’s avatar

    totally off topic but…

    you=beautiful

  136. She was doomed from the moment she posted. SA/channers love to make fun of ANYTHING, most often in outrageous, horribly offensive, and shocking ways – but that’s just marking time for when they get to REALLY let go on a deserving target. A few examples would be pedophiles, white supremacists, and self-hating people generating drama who try to turn the forums into a personal army for said individual.

    Not excusing; just sayin’.

  137. Claire: Your idea on outing as a tactic is not going to do much. Anons are outed *all the time,* especially in Internet Fites like this, and trying to go after “the ringleaders” would literally be like playing the largest game of whack-a-mole ever.

    It won’t scare them; the equivalent reaction might be “heads up, we’ve got a live one!”

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