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Before I begin, read about neo_prodigy's greatest hits here if you haven't already.

Because it's relevant to this post and being completely transparent, here's the ONLY correspondence I had with Upkins (this concerns the inclusive_geeks post):

He wrote:

To the mods, and I realize Korinna is one of them.

This is Neo-Prodigy. I realize I'm taking a huge risk giving my email (as I've already been threatened on LJ) but I am here to file a formal grievance.

WTF is this shit?

First of all, opinions aren't facts. And a bunch of white folks not liking someone doesn't make it factual. Neither is twisting posts out of context and trying to claim an argument.

You want to talk about integrity? Fine, how about following your own rules rather than posting personal attacks under a not-so-thinned veil of anti-oppression. I'm well aware of the fact that Korinna, who I've never had any incident with (to my knowledge) is one of the people on SF-Drama, campaigning. Which by the way, who the fuck are you to go lecture anyone on integrity and false idols when you're a member of SF-Drama, one of the most misogynistic, racist, and transphobic sites on the web. Hypocrisy much? But I also find it suspicious that they had to qualify that the co-writer was a man of color like this qualifies their shit. Bingo!

You could've had plenty of discussions on the matter without bringing my name into this shit.

By your own rules, attacking members is not permitted. Make no mistake, this is a personal attack. Korinna clearly doesn't know what's been going on behind the scenes or the parties involved. I've already been threatened, I've had my family attacked and threatened and it's clear you all can't seem to give a fuck.

The reason I don't engage trolls on my blog is because of that kind of nonsense. Furthermore, you don't know who the fuck I debate or engage. As I discussed here:

I've already owned stuff on my end. So this bullshit post is already dead on arrival and so pulling posts from two years ago and twisting them for your agenda.

I am not obligated to engage people because I've already been threatened and so has my family. Did any of that shit even come to mind? Why the fuck do you think I haven't been engaging?

You don't like me? Fine. You want to post articles on personal blogs or wank sites, that's your business. But I in no way fucking deserve to get attacked on a site just because people are pissed off that I called out heterosexism in slash.

Make no mistake, I don't have a problem with people hating me. Hate me, I don't give a shit. But don't use mod authority for a community I'm a member of and make personal attacks against someone.

You've had countless white folks show their whole asses on Inclusive Geeks and I've yet to see a post singling them out. Hell, the recent atheist post is a prime example. I wonder why that is.

White folks, I swear.

If Korinna wants to have a discussion on their blog, or another site that's their business. But abusing their mod powers to attack a member of the community who has broken no rules and has been respectful of other members is 10 shades of fucked up.

And I seriously doubt this shit would've flown, if I had been white.

I would like that post removed ASAP or edited with my name out of it.

Or at the very least modify your fucking rules so you actually follow them.

My response:

Do not act like someone from the IG mod team would send you personal threats or release your email or something. 

Anyway, the rules explicitly mention that snarking things that are sexist, heterosexist, etc. on LJ are fine. The rules are being followed. And as far as I'm concerned, you're a very public blogger who's been promoted by people as big as Gail Simone; you also have a published book. You're not any different from other big bloggers who are authors and critics. And we've criticized them on the community before.  

A lot of your loudest detractors have been queer women, women of color, or both. And the post on inclusive_geeks was written by a queer white woman and queer man of color. You still don't see where the criticism is coming from because you do not have enough integrity to actually engage the people you've hurt.

I (Korinna) am part of sf_d but I've never posted "wank" there. Aren't you or some of your friends members of the community? I'm pretty sure some are. It's not as if I or my co-writer have made sexist, transphobic, heterosexist, racist, etc. comments there. This isn't any indication that I don't have integrity. On the other hand, there's a great deal of evidence that you have none. You do use misogynistic slurs, you do say really terrible things about women, you do reduce men to animals, you do think misandrony is a real thing, you do actively erase queer women and women of color and both from conversations, and you do not try to engage with anyone in good faith. You call them all trolls. 

And I seriously doubt if you were a woman you would've gotten away with saying all the things you have over the years. No woman who has spouted the same amount of sexism and offensive gender essentialism would have such an immense following on LJ. 

I'll consider removing your name, though I won't remove the sf_d links, so people will see who I'm talking about anyway.


His reply:

Seeing your behavior here, I wouldn't surprise that you would release my email Korinna.

But nice of you to dismiss the personal threats.

First of all, I've yet to see another blogger get singled out and attacked, especially another member in the past year, so I'm calling bullshit.

The rules explicitly state no personal attacks. You linking my name to SF_D and for some grudgewank is a personal attack.

"And the post on inclusive_geeks was written by a queer white woman and queer man of color." What is this, bingo? "My queer moc friend says I'm magical, so I get a pass." Sorry you don't get a pass just because you're queer and a woman.

"Aren't you or some of your friends members of the community?"

Uh no. I have friends who belong there but they aren't the ones spouting off about integrity or posting attacks under the guise of social justice. So I find it real suspicious that someone who has problems with such "oppression" is actively a member on one of the most bigoted sites on the web. If that's your thing, that's your business. But you don't get to use your ability as a mod and deciding who's real social justice and who isn't. Because you look like a fucking hypocrite.

You're so full of shit. There's a million and one different ways you could've had a good faith discussion on the matter without mentioning my name. Hell all of these so called issues that queer slash writers had, could've been discussed without mentioning my name and discussing the issues. This was never about social justice, this was more juvenile petty attacks. And you got the gall to accuse someone else of not engaging someone in good faith. And the fact that you used SF_D and Inclusive Geeks in the same fucking post, just shot all credibility on your end.

Furthermore, you don't know who I engage and who I don't engage. Just because I don't give you or your cronies the time of day doesn't give you the right to qualify that. Seeing as I've been threatened and personally attacked by your little clique, I wonder why.

And spare me your bullshit, this post would've never happened if I had been white. And I think you know that which is why you qualified that a queer male of color helped you write it to get a pass on your racism.

And why are you even replying, since you're the culprit in question. Is it policy for the mod in question to reply when members confront the mod team about grievances. Where are the other mods?I would also like to hear from the other mods as your credibility as a mod and a human being is royally fucked at this point, Korinna.


I didn't respond to his last email, though it gave early evidence of just how delusional Dennis Upkins is. One of his fellow bloggers on Ars Marginal was a frequent participant in the sf_d community—and miles more active than I ever was, as I'm just a “lurker” on all but the communities I've modded. The person who co-wrote the post is my partner, a bisexual man of color who goes by seluecus on LJ. He's not some “token.” He dislikes Upkins, and after this whole debacle he's absolutely disgusted by this man. Moreover, I did moderate the atheist post referred to in the emails. Yeah, sorry, this is all really boring... but the man is so dishonest or lacking in awareness that I feel the need to point out some of the inaccuracies in his emails.

Keep in mind that the inclusive_geeks post was about how many people involved in online social justice are not interested in thinking about the things major personalities in their circles say. We (my partner and I) used neo_prodigy as an example because he has a large presence on LJ and in comic fandom communities, and because he was using his following to market his book Hollowstone. Note that he's not just a random bloke—he's a self-proclaimed professional author who uses Livejournal as his blogging platform.

Most importantly, we used him as an example because he has a long history of being misogynistic and heterosexist. He additionally just wrote the post “How to Slash Better,” which was a very recent 'essay' that reaffirmed his commitment to being a gender essentialist man with fucked up views about women (and men).

And just as his masquerading as a queer woman indicates (see the compilation post, or just go to here; as people in the comments point out, the writing styles are the same, including their use of “misandronist”), he'll go to any length to harass and silence the women who criticize him.



I made the compilation post linked above and hosted it on my Livejournal and Wordpress. I did this mostly in response to the idea that his detractors and myself are all straight white women who are mad about being called out for writing slash fiction. (I do not like m/m or m/f and I don't write it. I'm also a queer woman. The loudest detractors have been women of color or queer women or both.) The reasons we have for calling him out are legitimate—he's been incredibly misogynistic, doesn't understand basic social justice concepts (he seriously believes in “misandrony” and the idea that women can be oppressive towards men through emasculation and shit like that), and is trying to sell a book off of his SJ-cred despite it containing incredibly offensive portrayals of and responses to female characters. Additionally, despite frequently promoting the book through sites that focus on LGBT literature, Upkins' protagonist isn't even gay—and the queer characters are bisexuals who are depicted in opposite-sex relationships. There's a gay subplot in the book worthy of a soap opera, but the subplot belongs to very minor characters. This is not Gay YA. (If you want more details about how bad the book is, I wrote a review. And no, I didn't pay for Hollowstone.) This is why my compilation post also included around 400 words worth of sentences and passages from the novel: I wanted to highlight the implicit and explicit sexism contained in the first few chapters of Hollowstone.

This was a mistake, sadly. Using DMCA, he managed to suspend my LJ and Wordpress post. I'm not sure if he realized that I would receive the complaint word-for-word, but because that's WP's policy, I saw that he claimed I was harassing and stalking him and his friends/family. Apparently, in Upkins' imaginary world, compiling links with the help of others and hosting them on my personal blogs counts as harassment and stalking.

Here's the complaint from WP: “The copyrighted work are passages from the novel Hollowstone which is written by myself. The blogger has used the passages and made inflammatory and false accusations about myself.

This individual has continuously stalked and harassed myself and other close loved ones. And while we've taken action against her on other blogs, she continues with the harassment.”

I'm mentioning this because I'm not sure if this is what he's told the 400+ people he's friends with on LJ. As you can see in the compilation post, Dennis Upkins talked about me specifically in a friends-locked post and disseminated a lot of inaccuracies then, too. I would not be surprised if he mentioned me or my Wordpress again. And here's why:

((TRIGGER WARNING: rape, harassment)) I decided to rewrite my WP entry, and I cut out a lot of the Hollowstone passages I used. I also provided a lot more of my own commentary. Shortly after this, I received a great number of anonymous comments on my WP entries telling me to die, take this down bitch, that they hoped someone raped me with a broken bottle, etc. The comments were triggering (I'm a rape survivor; I've been viciously trolled and cyberbullied by ex-boyfriend and 4chan specifically about my rape before), and I deleted the comments immediately instead of saving them.

Then I received another DMCA complaint, and my entire blog was suspended.

He abused DMCA in order to get my posts suspended three times. He has not admonished his friends for their abuse and harassment, even though he is (either directly or indirectly) responsible for that too—out of all of his detractors, I'm the only one he's mentioned by their LJ handle.

Anyway, I wrote more about this issue here. I also included links to how he treated a former co-blogger (who, when she took issue with the addition of a homophobic, pro-life male writer on Ars Marginal, was treated horribly by his friends), and another link which shows that Upkins likely reviewed his own book while pretending to be a bisexual Latina. Please, check them out as they are relevant.

He ended up responding to the “fake” review here, but he also covered a lot of other things related to this affair.

Here's the relevant bit:

They've resorted to leaving bogus one-star reviews on several websites including Amazon and have gone so low as to pull the "Big Scary Black Man OH NOES" trope.

Now some idiot apparently used my name and gave me a glowing review to make it look like as if I sockpuppeted myself. Really? Really? And you honestly think people would be that stupid to fall for it and think that was me? Really? Really?

I've contacted Amazon and apprised them of the situation because this is just getting ridiculous.
However more than that, these cowards also been harassing and personally threatening friends and loved ones simply because they're friends with me.

Why are they doing this? Unfortunately some people don't like a black man being outspoken about bigotry against women, people of color, LGBTQs, and other marginalized people in our society. And this type of hatred proves that we DO NOT live in a post-racial society.

These are cowards who hide behind fake internet handles and spew whatever bile they can because the truth is, they have nothing else going in their lives.

I had hoped the trolls had moved on at this point, but it's just getting ridiculous. And unfortunately, this type of behavior has become the norm.

That link? The title of the essay is Death Threats and Hate Crimes, Attacks On Women Bloggers Escalating. The entire post he wrote? He conflates the people who dislike him because he's a misogynistic and heterosexist man with those that hate him for being a marginalized person. He's also saying that me and his other detractors, especially those who took the time to read Hollowstone and identify its misogyny on a public site, are petty stalkers who are harassing him because we hate progressive people—but many of us are women, queer, and/or of color. We're people who are active in social justice spaces online and in real life.

And in case he's forgotten, the harassment and threats I've received from him and/or his friends is his responsibility. Will he apologize any time soon? Probably not.


I wrote this entry because I'm tired of him and his friends conflating people who have legitimate complaints with the trolls who hate everything about being “PC.” It's possible that people who are from my side of the debate are sending him nasty things—people do horrible things—but we're not doing it because Upkins threatened us with his intelligence by talking about women and queers. We are women. We're lesbians. We're bisexual. That he sets himself up as a martyr for progressive causes (and compares how he's treated to the treatment of female bloggers!) is disingenuous.

And, to be honest, the conflation upsets me deeply. I don't think it's unlikely that he's been threatened or harassed, but ever since the inclusive_geeks post my partner and I wrote, I have been specifically portrayed as an abusive person who would stoop low enough to threaten his family and friends. He is a liar. That is not debatable. The reality is that I never interacted with him personally beyond the email I've provided in the post, and I have never harassed his friends. On the other hand, he's focused on me and referred to me by my LJ handle in his own blog. He censored me by abusing DMCA and lying about my character. If he didn't leave me threatening comments in my WP, he still inflamed his followers. And he continues to act like none of this happened.

I would finally shut the fuck up about Upkins if he just apologized and instructed his followers to not threaten the people who don't like him. And seriously? None of this would've happened at all if he just left me in peace with the inclusive_geeks post my partner and I wrote.


And finally, here are some links that are relevant in trying to develop a complete picture of Upkins and the type of people he attracts. They didn't fit into the body of what I was writing, so I'm just putting them here separately.

Javan acts creepy when trying to apply for membership to a community I once moderate: here

Javan acts creepy on Amazon (you have to click “Show post anyway”): here

Javan responds to people on sf_d: a summary of that here. This includes him sending a sleazy private message to Khajiiti.

Upkins posts the entirety of a co-blogger's essay without permission; he uses her words to make misogynistic statements about women; Upkins' friends respond poorly to the co-blogger's intolerance of a transphobic post; they respond poorly again when she's not happy with the inclusion of an anti-abortion homophobe on Ars Marginal: here.

Date: 2011-11-04 01:44 pm (UTC)
apaximander: (Default)
From: [personal profile] apaximander
The more I hear about this guy, the less I like him. Good grief, is it that hard to accept that people have legitimate reasons for disliking your book? It is beyond me that he could set himself up as some sort of SJ martyr while simultaneously issuing false DMCA notices against you - that is, after all, the kind of behaviour that the 'opposing team' is so often criticised for engaging in.


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The Icewoman Cometh

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