This post is about the blackmailer, harasser, bully, and maker of death threats known by the remarkably apt name of Requires Hate. She has a ridiculous number of other socks and pseudonyms, such as Winterfox (her former LJ handle), Benjanun Sriduangkaew (her pro writer identity), Lesifoere (spewer of repulsive transphobic slurs), and at least four or five more. There may be others which are still unknown. It would not surprise me in the slightest if she had a second career threatening people in, say, the hamster fancier community, under twenty different vicious sock identities.

She harassed me for years and is still doing it; she carried on elaborate campaigns to destroy the careers of other pro writers in her genre; she befriended people and then blackmailed them; the list goes on. As far as anyone can tell, she's devoted her entire life to being horrible, online and off, for a minimum of twelve years now.

I have encountered a lot of mean people in my life. But Winterfox is the only person I've ever known who makes people miserable as a full-time job. I literally do not know how she finds the time to bully as many people as she does, as constantly as she does. She could afford to bankroll organizations protecting human rights or rescuing orphan kittens. She could create her own publishing house. She could go on really awesome long vacations. But no. She just hunches over her computer 24-7, spewing vitriol in all directions.

I think we need a word that means "pathetic and a little bit darkly funny, but also genuinely harmful." I suggest "winterfoxy."

So why am I posting now? What's new?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Winterfox is still doing everything she used to do, as far as I can tell. She still makes death threats. The people she blackmailed are still being blackmailed. She still harasses me in the exact same way she always did: I review a comic book about gay men in Iran, she accuses me on Twitter of being a child abuser.

At least, I assume she's still attacking me. I have asked (and still ask) people to not inform me if they see her saying anything about me. Since I don't do Twitter anyway, this means I miss about 99% of her activities and so only randomly and occasionally hear about it when she lies about or abuses me. Last time was about six months ago, so I imagine I'm due. Bring it, Winterfox. If you tweet about me a thousand times, I'll probably hear about one of them. I'm sure you'll find that motivational.

I am writing about her again for a couple reasons. One is to link to a surprisingly funny (considering the subject matter) essay by my friend, fantasy author Zen Cho, Being an Itemized List of Disagreements . Another is a thoughtful and heartfelt post by another friend, artist and writer M Sereno, A Letter to Apex Editors . Both were written to protest the embrace of a vicious and destructive bully, protect vulnerable people from her, and alert people who might not know exactly who they're dealing with to her past and current activities.

That's also why I posted. (So linking is fine.) Winterfox doesn't scare me any more. She's way too much of a coward to risk hiring a hit man, let alone confronting me in person. Anyone who believes I'm a child abuser or pro-rape or whatever because some rando on Twitter said so is not only not someone whose opinion I care about, they probably don't even know who the hell I am. I don't go to science fiction conventions, so she can't get me ostracized there. There's really nothing she can do to harm me.

But there are other people she can harm. There are people she is harming right now. She and her supporters make the science fiction world unwelcoming to her targets, who are disproportionately women of color. They also make it unwelcoming to onlookers who see people like them getting abused with impunity and even applause, and decide to go elsewhere. Not fucking okay, Winterfox supporters!

Sometimes life hands you difficult and complex ethical problems in which the right thing to do is genuinely unclear. This is not one of them. If you are endorsing someone whose big contribution to your field is to tell women of color that they should be raped by dogs, you are not one of the good guys.

I'm not calling for a boycott of her fiction. I'm not even saying you should stop being buds with her, though if you are, for God's sake don't email her anything she could hold over you later. What I am saying is that you should not ostracize people on her account, join in on bullying, believe anything she says about anyone without checking it yourself, brush off her death threats, or invite her to a roundtable on intersectionality. For instance.

Also, if you see someone interacting with her who doesn't know her history, you might want to warn them. I told her once to stop verbally abusing people, and I have now been harassed by her for six years and counting. Others thought she was their friend, and are still being blackmailed by her. If people know about her and choose to interact with her anyway, that's up to them. But if they don't know, a heads-up might save them a world of trouble.

If you already totally agree with me and would like to get Winterfox's goat, I have some suggestions for ruining her day.

You could donate to Outright Action International . They do stellar work in international LGBTIQ rights. I raise money for them, and Winterfox attacks me every time I do it online. So clearly, donating to them would really annoy her.

You could buy some art from M Sereno. It's gorgeous, and I bet it would really piss Winterfox off to know that people are financially supporting and appreciating the work of someone who had the nerve to speak out about her. Especially, to continue the theme of queer rights, the lovely print "To Live."

You could buy Zen Cho's awesome books, ditto: Sorcerer to the Crown, The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo, Spirits Abroad, and The Terracotta Bride.

You could buy or review books by people she harasses and whose careers she's tried to destroy, and also by people who supported them. That list is very long so I'll just link to a few: The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring, Serpentine by Cindy Pon, Glass Houses: Avatars Dance by Laura Mixon, To Shape the Dark (Feral Astrogators) by Athena Andreadis, Rosewater by Tade Thompson, The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin, Shadowboxer by Tricia Sullivan, The Red Tree by Caitlin Kiernan, Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord, Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan, and What Fates Impose (includes a story by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz).

I initially wasn't going to post more than just links to the other two posts. I'm seriously ill and didn't think I had the energy for either the writing of or the fallout from a post like this. But when I started, I realized that in fact, I'm sick enough that I really don't give a damn. Also, apparently thinking about Winterfox gives me some energy. The WTF factor alone could launch a thousand ships.

I realized something else, too. No matter how bad things get for me, I will always have one thing to be grateful for: at least I'm not Winterfox.
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qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)

From: [personal profile] qian

You've done so much more with your life than WF ever will!

Thanks so much for this, Rachel.

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twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)

From: [personal profile] twistedchick

I didn't realize Winterfox was still around; I think that even though I'm not a pro writer I accidentally brushed up against her in LJ (and then had to go take a shower). May she be irritated beyond all bounds by my purchase of Zen Cho's books. And thank you for the long and worthwhile reading list for me to keep going through.

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yhlee: Animated icon of sporkiness. (sporks (rilina))

From: [personal profile] yhlee

Thank you for speaking up, Rachel. I heard of the Apex Magazine thing almost by accident, by which time the editor had pulled the original roundtable or whatever it was. I'm so sorry you had to undergo winterfoxing.
monanotlisa: Diana as Diana Prince in glasses and a hat, lifting the rim of the latter rakishly. HOT! (Default)

From: [personal profile] monanotlisa

Sending love. I remember Winterfox; other friends had the misfortune of running into her. Happy to signal-boost.
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional

I send you calm and tea. And I send Zen Cho a thank-you note so thank you also for linking.

Also OH MAN I want a print of "When Dragons Speak" now, and ALSO I suspect thinking about This Person gives you energy because she is at least a very clear SIMPLE enemy/obstruction/whatever-word-goes-here, rather than the other shit you deal with, which is murky and full of ??? As opposed to nice clear D:< rage.

That's how it would work for me anyway!
Edited Date: 2017-02-17 09:46 pm (UTC)
mildred_of_midgard: (Default)

From: [personal profile] mildred_of_midgard

Just dropping a note to say that the "harassed me for years" link has a trailing slash that breaks the link.
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)

From: [personal profile] staranise

How unfortunate that Apex editor Jason Sizemore chose to give her a platform. I paid more attention to the magazine when Sigrid Ellis was on the editorial staff, and I can't imagine such a thing happening back then.
swan_tower: (*writing)

From: [personal profile] swan_tower

Zen Cho's post links to Sizemore's response in her footnotes. The roundtable was put together by the people organizing the Problem Daughters anthology, not Sizemore; he does, however, acknowledge that this doesn't absolve him of responsibility for having posted it.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)

From: [personal profile] vass

Sweet Jesus. (Earwormed, but it seems the appropriate response anyway.)

Why are people like that? I don't mean as a question of psychology or sociology, how they come to be like that. I mean theodicy: god, WHY?
dhampyresa: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dhampyresa

You're a great person, Rachel. Thanks for linking to Outright and the book recs (I loved Grass King's Concubine and am really looking forward to the others).
surpassingly: (Default)

From: [personal profile] surpassingly

Your last line! <33333

You have done so much, continue to do so much, and I hold so much respect and admiration for you. Thank you for this post.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)

From: [personal profile] luzula

Well, fuck. I just fell down an internet hole reading about this, and now I wish I'd un-read some of it. Nasty. I'm so sorry that happened to you (and others).
laceblade: Katara and Zuko...AS NINJAS! (ATLA: Ninjas: Katara & Zuko)

From: [personal profile] laceblade

Sorry you're sick. Thanks for putting this out there, both this post as well as your previous one. I'm sorry that you and so many others have been harmed by such a toxic person.

I admire your writing, your honesty, and your bravery. <3
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid

Thank you for contributing to this dialogue (again).

One of my simple rules on twitter is not to follow anyone who retweets RH/BS.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

From: [personal profile] lilacsigil

I ran into her a couple of times as Winterfox but was lucky not to get more than a nasty comment or two. Much sympathy for you and the others caught in the path of the Winterfoxing, and I hope continuing public posts like this provide some support and solace to the rest of the people she's attacked.

Hmm, next time I'm sick I'll try thinking of WF to see if it gives me rage energy!
pauraque: bird flying (Default)

From: [personal profile] pauraque

I didn't know she was still at it, but I guess I'm not surprised. My interactions with her were fortunately limited to the duration of the 50BooksPoC debacle, and learning via the Mixon report of her relentless campaigns of harassment against you and others shook me to the core. I'm sorry she's targeted you for so long. You don't deserve it — no one deserves what she does to them.
conuly: (Default)

From: [personal profile] conuly

How awful. And you're right - you can turn off your computer if she pops up, but she's stuck in her own head all the time. What a complete waste of space she is.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

From: [personal profile] sholio

AARGH. Thank you for speaking out about her.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter

No matter how bad things get for me, I will always have one thing to be grateful for: at least I'm not Winterfox.


I'm sorry she's still around and getting opportunities like that panel, ugh.
dolorosa_12: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dolorosa_12

Thank you for writing this. As I said to Mia, I'm very glad that you spoke up (and continue to speak out about this), but I'm really sorry that you have to.

I'm appalled that people in SFF still refuse to see RH for what she is, and continue to give her platforms.
lab: (Default)

From: [personal profile] lab

You can't ever be winterfox; you are kind and compassionate and continue to help people heal themselves even when things are bad for you. I still remember 50books_poc and how you stood up to her, and I have respected you immensely ever since.

Thank you for posting.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

From: [personal profile] rmc28

I wish there was no need to make this post, but I really appreciate you doing so. Also your suggestions for positive actions in response to Winterfox's bullying are brilliant :-)
iknowcommawrite: (Default)

From: [personal profile] iknowcommawrite

Well, this is an excellent excuse to buy some books and art and make some donations.

From: [identity profile]

I have like ....... a terrifying amount of friends (online and IRL) who are Twitter-buddies with her, and I tried talking with a couple of them about it and got nowhere. (All accusations against her are by white racists, etc.) I've blocked her and added her name to my mute filter so if they talk to/about her I don't see it, but it really bothers me. The first time I saw her name come up in an amiable conversation with a close friend of mine it jolted me super hard.

(also life is dumb and I am having to pack everything up to make room for the exterminator for the SECOND TIME since January but I owe you emails!)

From: [identity profile]

Well, you tried. I'm hoping Zen's post, which is a good overview and by someone who is neither white nor American, will get some traction on Twitter.

Packing for exterminators is the worst. I had to do it for termites once and I well remember the endless number of plastic bags.

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