Wow, I just got the info on this person. What a cunt, fuck.
That Wiki article is nothing. It actually looks like someone's toned it down. The one I saw over the weekend had ALL the dirt. I haven't checked, but I'm betting the same person who downplayed her activity is the same person who started the article--he's suspected of being one of her cronies. I imagine that article's edit history is extremely interesting.This is probably the first SJW lolcow I've ever encountered who has her own Wikipedia page. And, better yet, it actually mentions her online activity:
"In 2014, Sriduangkaew was revealed to have been the controversial blogger and book reviewer "Requires Hate" (also known as "Requires Only That You Hate", as well as "Winterfox"). Using these internet identities, she composed violently intimidating and harsh critiques of many writers she believed to have paid insufficient attention to racism, sexism, heteronormativity, or colonialism in their fiction; many of her targets were themselves writers who were young, female, transgendered, and/or persons of color."
This type of person is not all that uncommon on universities nowadays, from what I have seen. Plenty of educated Asian people hold similar distorted views, whine about colonialism because they learned about it in University and at the same time, the bastard hypocrites lives privileged, Westernized lives and speak fluent English. My wife had a somewhat similar friend who, on campus, would often carry around her famous novels to impress people and seem well-read, but privately confessed to her she never read any of them. She also spoke with a fake English accent, because typically the ruling classes speak English as a first language. Bunch of pretentious fucks.
She requires others to hate the same people she hates. I forget exactly how she put it, but she explained that the title of her blog meant "loving good literature requires only that you hate bad literature," which seems like a dubious argument to me. I usually just avoid bad literature, except when I'm laughing at it (The F Plus and I Don't Even Own a Television podcasts can be really funny about shitty books).So if she's a good writer, why does she "require hate?" I thought the only brilliant writer who thrived on having haters was Gloria Teach.
This has been super informative. I'm glad I was able to help.Long post is loooooooooong. I've tried not to A-Log too much but I'm afraid given the circumstances, I may be guilty of gloating a bit. I've been waiting for Winterfox to get publicly barbecued for so, so long.
Fuller disclosure: in real life, I move in some very, very low-level publishing circles. Neither I nor anyone I know have written anything you've ever heard of; our circles tend to be around a drain. Since we all tend to be older people (I'm on the low end of the scale at 36), a lot of people don't swim the same internet waters Benjanun swam in her Winterfox persona, so there's lot of underestimating and downplay of what, exactly, she did. Many professionals are under the impression that the current shitstorm is happening because Benjanun Sriduangkaew wrote a bunch of hyperbolic online reviews-rants when she was a teenager. Now that she's been published and is gaining some respect in the field, someone's dug up all her old articles and some of her online activity in an effort to undermine a young, promising writer. In other words, it's being presented as petty internet drama. BS herself has done nothing to correct this interpretation.
Going on my own experience, BS has been active online in her Winterfox persona since 2008 (remember that date; it'll be important later). Her MO is to
a) Say something inflammatory about a popular work of SFF
b) Wait until someone responds with "but I liked that book"
c) Jump on them, calling them a shitty person who liked shitty books.
d) When/if the person tried to defend their position, play the SJW card by pointing out aspects of the book that were racist/sexist/cis-het-scum and claiming that any person who enjoys this book must also be racist/sexist/cis-het-scum
e) If target continues to defend themselves, "prove" that they are racist/sexist/cis-het-scum by pointing out that they were disagreeing with her, a lesbian woman of color, whose authority in such matters is by default correct.
f) If target continues to fight, engage stalker mode.
Once she found a target from whom she could get a particularly good reaction, or someone who didn't look as if they were going to cow to her in the appropriate manner, Winterfox would research their online activity for personal information to either torment them or actually blackmail them in silence (the blackmailing is still being investigated but several people are claiming it, and their stories are pretty consistent).
Winterfox followed one rape victim to a personal journal entry where the victim said something along the lines of "I feel I'm finally recovering from what was done to me and now I want to move on." Winterfox told this person that she was a rape apologist. A male rape victim was essentially told to stop whining, as his sexual assault was nothing compared to the sufferings of women in a rape culture. A trans-woman was told "[Thai] trannies generally look much better and classier than you. Even the pre-op ones don’t look half as mannish and buttfuck-ugly." She popped up on an unrelated forum frequented by a woman who had crossed her and announced that this woman should be raped by dogs.
This went on for years. Every community in which she participated knew how she operated, and there was (in my experience at least) usually a small group of people who would privately warn newbies away from her. In several cases, when it became clear that Winterfox's goal was to dominate the community conversation, people just wandered away and let her have it because it was too exhausting to argue with her--but also, as we discovered later, she was attacking people privately through Twitter and private blogs, up to the point of organizing campaigns of followers to systematically shut down conversations her victims tried to have outside the community. In short, it was an established fact that engaging with Winterfox made you a target of the social justice machine.
This woman is smart, and she knows how to internet. She picked only venues where she had the option of deleting evidence. After a certain length of time, she would delete as many of her comments as she could and vanish, leaving the victim with no evidence and, in some cases, wondering if what just happened was really as bad as they imagined it to be. It's possible to do a little Wayback Machine magic on some of her antics, but that requires having the actual urls. (One particularly determined troll has been documenting her since around 2009/10, taking screenshots. A lot of times those screenshots are the only evidence that what happened happened.)
All of this sounds like high-school level internet politics, until it started impacting people's careers.
The Benjanun Sriduangkaew persona emerged around 2012. Sriduangkaew painted herself as a wide-eyed newcomer who stated in several interviews that she'd never even read a SFF book before 2011. (Again, Winterfox was actively vomiting up learned opinions on SFF books in online communities back in 2008, and there's evidence of her fangirling over Tolkien, Warhammer, and Star Wars since 2001) Her Twitter feed is an unending stream of only cute, friendly, supportive remarks to her follows, interspersed with pretty photographs of Thailand and girlish gushing over make-up. Almost instantly, she began to write well-received short stories and publishing them in very respected magazines and was nominated for several awards. She spoke humbly about her growing fame and gave intelligent interviews about things like gender identity and representation in sci-fi.
Behind the scenes, several people knew or suspected that BS was Winterfox, but the evidence was pretty spurious. BS was Thai, and Winterfox claimed to be Thai; BS's friends list was made up of a lot of people who had supported Winterfox over the years. Whenever someone outside her circle tried to bring up the connection, her supporters basically accused them of being racist: "Not every writer in Thailand is the same person! What, do they all look alike to you?" FORESHADOWING IS A BITCH, YO.
This all came to a head around the time BS was nominated for a Campbell Award (a.k.a. a SFF popularity contest that nevertheless looks really good on a CV). This happened at the same time Tricia Sullivan, a relatively low-tier fantasy writer, was on the verge of publishing her novel Shadowboxer.
Several years before, Sullivan sent the manuscript of Shadowboxer to Winterfox. The novel was set in Thailand; Sullivan wanted someone who knew Thailand to make sure that the book was accurate and not offensive. In a series of emails which were later made public, Winterfox tore the manuscript to ribbons, claimed everything was racist and offensive, and told Sullivan that she was better off never publishing the book. Sullivan was allegedly so rattled that she considered never publishing again, period. Eventually, she gave the manuscript to another Thai reader who helped her rewrite it, and the book went back on track toward publication.
Winterfox, who was now going by Benjanun and enjoying being the Thai sweetheart of SFF, found out about the publication of Shadowboxer. Allegedly, BS started a whisper campaign among her circle of writer and publisher friends claiming that the book was racist and that anyone who supported the book was racist--the IRL version of her old internet arguments. She tried to convince several industry professionals to contact reviewers to tell them either not to review the book, or to give it reviews that highlighted its racism. One of these professionals was Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, herself a WOC. Ruiz was horrified at the request and refused. She may have also said something along the lines of "if BS, as a Thai writer, objects to how Thailand is represented in a book, she should do the complaining herself."
BS essentially accused Ruiz of trying to undermine BS's career due to professional jealousy, as they were both WOC writing in the same field. Ruis was uninvited from several major industry conferences and deliberately avoided others when she knew that BS's supporters might attend.
After finding out how Ruiz was being treated after defending her and her book, Sullivan wrote an essay about the incident on her personal blog. However, she could not explain how she knew all this without outing Winterfox as BS, and she maintained enough professional courtesy not to do this. People accused her of lying and being in cahoots with Ruiz to ruin BS.
By then, a lot of people knew exactly who was behind all this. Some of the anti-WF/BS people were like "fuck this, I'mma out her" for several months beforehand, but many were nervous to do so due to BS's influence and the example of Ruiz's de facto blacklisting. An attitude of "I will if you will" broke out in many backrooms but no one quite knew how to go about it. Finally, publisher Nick Mamatus broke the news himself just to make sure no one else had the opportunity to do it in a way that highlighted the worst of BS/WF's shenanigans.
If you're not in these circles, Nick Mamatus is basically a troll who enjoys doing this kind of shit-stirring for the lolz. He'd be a great addition to the board if he could be trusted to keep his mouth shut. At any rate, Nick outed BS (with her consent, according to him) and then immediately jumped on the bandwagon to defend her. In the ensuing shitstorm, enough misinformation was spread to make it look like Sullivan and Ruiz had outed her out of spite. This was soon cleared up, what with Mamatus gleefully taking credit while at the same time claiming it was no big deal since "everyone" knew anyway.
But the important thing here is that while people knew BS was Winterfox, many people who knew Winterfox didn't know she was BS. When that news came out, people who had been harassed and threatened by the entity known as Winterfox were furious learn that the same person who had been shitting on SFF books (not to mention people) for years was now a major contender in the genre. In short, it looked to them as if Winterfox was being rewarded for her years of bad behavior. People wanted revenge. Stories of Winterfox began pouring out.
BS, realizing she was about to be the recipient of a decade's worth of backlash, made public apologies...in which she apologized only for the "Requires Hate" reviews, thus reinforcing the idea that the only reason people were upset was because she'd written negative reviews about them or about authors they liked.
Since then, she has locked down her Twitter and stopped updating her professional blog (even though she appears to have a story coming out next month). She has purged her former RequiresHate Twitter and her journals have long since been deactivated (please be aware that Winterfox's old LiveJournal now belongs to a perfectly innocent Canadian Doctor Who fan). People have been snapping screenshots like crazy for fear that the next step will be wholesale purging of Requires Hate.
I am told--and this is all hearsay from alleged double-agents in the BS camp--that behind her curtain of silence, BS is wringing her hands in dismay and moaning "what do I dooooooooo? people are so mad at me! I get so upset when other people are fighting!" which is rich, considering this woman used starting fights the way other women use vibrators.
However, her supporters seem to be rallying around her and may be acting on false information given to them by BS, judging by the similarities of their arguments. They may also be acting on simple misinformation, since BS has managed to successfully play down or destroy evidence of a lot of her involvement.
The only slack I'll cut the current batch of BS supporters is that unless you've been there from the beginning, it's very hard to see just what, exactly, BS has done that was so horrible. The only remaining evidence was her "Requires Only That You Hate" website, from which BS/WF had been quietly deleting the nastiest reviews ever since she decided to make a career of being BS. A lot of the doubt was simple confusion: "wait, so she wrote negative reviews? Is that a crime now?" "So the trouble here is that she maintained two online personae and didn't tell anyone? What's wrong with that?"
But there's also a small, vocal crowd more intent on refusing to admit they were duped by her sunshine-and-fluff persona. These are the ones who are ignoring the growing evidence, who are claiming the victims are just sockpuppets for white people ganging up on a poor innocent WOC, who are pushing their agenda at the expense of other people, who are saying that Winterfox was just speaking truth to power and that the people she has stalked, harassed, silenced, blackmailed, or blacklisted over the years are acceptable targets.
One of WF/BS's talents is for making people feel special. It's going to take her turning on her supporters for them to realize what kind of a person she always was.
(Further further disclosure: I've been watching all this go down for a month. The communities involved have taken a support-the-victims slant and are discouraging bad-mouthing BS personally or speculating on her motives. Which is why I am so grateful for you guys right now, because I've been dying for a space where I can call this sociopathic bitch out for the manipulative, mean-spirited, shit-stirring, disingenuous cuntwaffle she is.)
The oiled leather laces float in the wind, as her heavy steel-shrouded gauntlet hits the base ground in a cloud of dust.If Winterfox herself shows up here, I will get re-baptized and post the video as proof.
Dailydot has an article on it as well: http://www.dailydot.com/geek/benjanun-sriduangkaew-revealed-to-be-troll-requires-hate-winterfox/Holy frijoles! I heard about this on a few author and publisher blogs, but I wasn't quite caught up on what was happening with BS/WF. Glad to see it open for discussion here.
From my very, very tentative position on the outskirts of a couple small writers' circles, I'd say this is going to play into the conflict between the "be honest" and "be nice" camps. A lot of folks in the romance community, for example, seem to subscribe to the "if you can't say anything nice ..." philosophy. It'll be hard to bring the hammer down on an experienced troll with good PR.
Plus, it'll be easy to misinterpret the case and get peoples' backs up for no good reason. As The Knife pointed out (great summary, by the way!) a casual outsider might think that BS/WF is being criticized for just giving negative reviews, which is something parts of the community are struggling to become more receptive to (or do away with, depending on whether or not you're with Anne Rice and the Stop the GR Bullies nuts). And with the conflict between BS/WF's past behavior and persona she's currently projecting, people won't know what to think.