Morning links: The author-as-stalker edition.
If you were online at all this weekend, you probably caught some of this circus of fun and delight (and by 'circus of fun and delight', I mean TERRIFYING HORRORSHOW OF BADNOSITY):
- First up, the essay that started it all: 'Am I being catfished?' An author confronts her number one online critic. In it, YA author Kathleen Hale recounts the story of taking issue with a one-star review at GoodReads, stalking the reviewer online, getting involved with STGRB, and eventually PAYING FOR A BACKGROUND CHECK, CALLING THE REVIEWER AT WORK, RENTING A CAR AND DRIVING TO THE WOMAN'S HOUSE. Which, WHAT. If you don't see the horror inherent in that situation, just imagine that scenario playing out with a man playing Hale's role. Not so much with the Wacky Author Hijinks now, right? Anyway, Hale's supporters claim that the reviewer is at fault for being "mean", but A) we only have Hale's word to go on there, and as she admits to both lying and stalking in her own essay, I'm not sure why anyone would place much stock in her word, and B) VICTIM BLAME MUCH?
- At Thought Catalog: Privileged. A 2013 essay by Kathleen Hale in which she regales her audience with another story about stalking AND ASSAULTING someone. So, yeah. This is a pattern with her.
- At Storify: What happens when The Guardian lets an author gloat about stalking a blogger. This collection of tweets is a decent cross-section of the support Hale has been receiving on Twitter.
- Response at Smart Bitches: The Choices of Kathleen Hale. "I don't understand why the Guardian chose to publish that essay. I don't understand the thought process of the editor who gave it the green light and effectively condoned the stalking and harassment of a reviewer. The fact that the Guardian published it is as disturbing and abhorrent as Hale's actions - to say nothing of the degree to which she and the editors at the Guardian both seem to lack understanding of how inappropriate those actions were. The fear and horror and wariness that Hale's and the Guardian's decisions have created in many people is absolutely real and justified."
- Response at Dear Author: On the importance of pseudonymous activity. "You might assume by the response of Hale to the blogger’s actions and the nearly 5000 words devoted to this response that the blogger was engaged in really terrible behavior. Certainly commenters and twitter denizens believed the blogger was “deranged” and “no angel” and “vicious” I read the Guardian piece carefully, probably five times, to ascertain exactly what it was that the blogger/reviewer had done and arrived at the above four actions. Let’s take a look at Hale’s actions." This is a great breakdown of the essay (and beyond).
- At Bibliodaze: An Open Letter to Kathleen Hale & Guardian Books: Stalking Is Not Okay. "You seem to think that having an online identity different from your real life is an act of fraud, when your actions are the perfect justification for many people doing so. It’s not a crime to draw a line between online and real life. In fact, it’s advisable to do so. Women are statistically speaking the most at risk from online harassment, and the reviewers all targeted by the bullies at STGRB were women. I’ve had to watch women receive rape and death threats on Twitter for daring to have a differing opinion, and I’ve seen a number of great journalists driven from the field because of it. Those voices were the ones we needed the most and now they’re gone."
- From Jim C. Hines: Victim or Perpetrator? "Hale’s account does not convince me that she was a victim of online bullying. But even if she was, there comes a point where she crossed a line from victim to perpetrator. She admits to stalking Blythe online. She then began stalking her in real life. She showed up at Blythe’s home, called her on the phone."
Ag. I have no doubt that the STORY WILL CONTINUE.