Requires Hate, aka Benjanun Sriduangkaew, is a multiple, serial & proven bully, liar & manipulator.

This is my considered opinion, formed over several years of watching her(?) antics under a variety of false internet personae, of which Benjanun Sriduangkaew is merely the most recent and, I firmly believe, as calculatedly fake as the rest.

I read the Requires Hate blog from time to time, over a relatively short period some years ago and didn’t see a single post of merit. Nothing that qualified remotely as valid criticism. I saw deliberate and targeted spite, often very carefully chosen to hit the latest SFF ‘hot button’ issues – along with a puerile glee in obscenity and deliberate offensiveness. I didn’t see anything of the ‘satire’, ‘performance anger’, ‘justified rage’ and similar excuses which her(?) apologists made to try and excuse her(?) excesses.

Every so often, she(?) would butt into a Twitter conversation I would be having or following with further viciousness and derailing abuse. I went from simply not following that RequiresHate account to actively blocking it. I ended up blocking a few other people who persisted in retweeting her malice.

I had my own run in on LiveJournal with one of her(?) many other fake personae, where she(?) came crashing into a discussion about the Celtic experience of oppression and attacked me with an argument that basically ran – White people are racist. You are white. Therefore I have proved beyond all argument that you are a racist – and will now proceed to hurl capslocked abuse at you and anyone who tries to support you.

At the time I expressed my opinion in various places that Winterfox/Requires Hate/Whoever the hell this vicious troll might be was a manipulative bully – and found that won me further accusations of racism, bullying, arrogance based on white privilege from her(?) enablers and hangers-on.

I decided to ignore all of them from then on.

Others have not been so fortunate.

Laura J Mixon has done sterling work gathering evidence on the duration, breadth and persistence of the campaigns of abuse.

Here is Rochita Ruiz’s latest post on the subject

The campaign against Athena Andreadis

There are more posts emerging as I write this one. I’m sure googling will soon find them for you.

So all this is why it is my considered opinion that Requires Hate, aka Benjanun Sriduangkaew, is a multiple, serial & proven bully, liar & manipulator. I do not believe a single, solitary word of the so-called apologies posted a few weeks ago when these two names were first publicly linked.

I don’t believe a single thing we have been told about ‘Bee’ as she likes to call herself, not least because the admission that she is/was Requires Hate makes so many of Benjanun’s statements to this point quite simply and demonstrably lies.

I am not interested in any arguments trying to excuse or defend her(?). I am not interested in reading any of her(?) work or any arguments that we should somehow acknowledge the supposed merits in her(?) writing, never mind what her(?) personal failings might be.

There is more than enough good, insightful, diverse SF and fantasy out there to be read which is written by people who are provably not multiple, serial & proven bullies, liars & manipulators hiding behind fake names.

Why am I saying this? Because one thing that has become very apparent, not least thanks to Requires Hate/Winterfox/Whoever’s assiduous habit of deleting offensive internet activity and locking down posts, blogs and twitter accounts, that a great many of her(?) victims have felt isolated, disbelieved and friendless.

Not least as so many folk within SFF have ducked the issue of tackling all this unpleasantness… not for the first time…

It’s in this situation that we should remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s words “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

I choose not to be silent. Requires Hate, aka Benjanun Sriduangkaew, is a multiple, serial & proven bully, liar & manipulator. Those who’ve been targets of her malice should consider me a friend and ally.

31 comments

  1. Until all this blew up, I had no idea of the extent of what went on. I was aware of the blog and while it was a little…strident for my tastes, she often made me think (and us bears of little brain need all the help we can get :D) When she was “outted” by Mamatas as Bees, I was a bit disturbed because, well, she’s entitled to review what she wants? Even if I don’t agree?

    But what Laura reported is a whole new ball game, and one of which I was mostly unaware, and I’m now utterly appalled at the people defending her as a “victim”.

    I hope like hell her targets can now feel that they’ve been heard, and together can feel stronger

    1. You’re by no means alone, Francis, which is a major reason why I decided it was time for an unambiguous statement.

      It’s become very clear to me since BS and RH were first publicly linked that an awful lot of professionals who are too busy and/or too poor to go regularly to conventions and/or are otherwise wary of engaging too deeply with online fandom have had no clear idea of the full extent and duration of this fuckwit’s malice.

      Especially more recent entrants to the field, as readers and writers, as RH went very quiet from 2012 onwards, since as we now know, all efforts were going into constructing this Benjanun persona.

      Even those who had some idea have not had anywhere near the full story hence recent pussyfooting around with ‘two sides to every story’, ‘there’ll always be personality clashes’ etc etc.

      It’s long past time this was all dragged into the light.

  2. i am reading her fiction for the first time. It is deeply disturbing and while I can see how people could describe it as lyrical, to me it seems like a thin veneer of calculated mimicry of sfnal language to cover an imagination mostly concerned with cruelty and a cold void where a functioning human personality should be.

  3. Add me to the group who know only of her site, not of her active social media harassment. When this first blew up I started off by defending her pretty heavy; it is her site and while often way to vitriolic for my liking I can’t say I never learned anything from it.

    But ya, the other stuff. More and more of the other stuff came out. I really enjoyed one short story she wrote but the novella I requested quietly went back to the library unread.

    1. Given the lengths this person has gone to conceal and delete evidence of malicious activity, I don’t imagine you’re alone in your reactions Nathan. Any of them, up to and including the unread book.

      There’s absolutely no blame in any of this for the very many who have been so calculatedly deceived.

      Blame lies squarely at the feet of BS/RH.

  4. “There’s absolutely no blame in any of this for the very many who have been so calculatedly deceived.

    Blame lies squarely at the feet of BS/RH”

    While I absolutely believe the blame for RH/BS/WF’s actions should be laid squarely on her, there really is some responsibility on those who played along with her when their moral compasses should have been screaming at them. There were those she blackmailed, but there were also those that got swept up under her banner because they were too eager to indulge in self-righteous anger, dehumanizing others in the name of a cause that is supposed to be about stopping that kind of dehumanization.

    We have some serious problems in our various geek cultures. And that leaves us vulnerable to the likes of RH and Gamergate, to draw two examples of toxic, harmful behavior from two ostensibly opposing ethos.

    And Anna is absolutely right about her writing. Between the casual attitude towards genocide of an other to the general sociopathic view of other people as mere obstacles to the protagonist, there is an unsettling lack of empathy in her works that I’ve read. That became even more unsettling once her online behavior came to light.

    And you are absolutely right about turning to works that are actually enjoyable. As it happens, her list of targets provides more than a few great writers who produce positive works.

    Thank you for posting this in namespace, along with all the others coming forward. It truly does mean a lot.

    1. Good points all. Many thanks.

      And yes, Rh/BS hangers on and enablers definitely need to examine their own culpability even if they were suckered by the initial deception.

  5. Thanks for writing this, Juliette. Like you, I’m not convinced BS is any more authentic an identity than RH. Moreover, there’s nothing to stop this individual from taking up another pseudonym and starting over with the hate. I don’t trust the apologies as a result of the sheer amount of nastiness that has come to light.

    1. Quite, which flags yet another aspect of this. I’m just waiting for the first ‘well everyone will simply have to use their legal names on the Net and problem solved!’ comments.

      Er, no. There are many people with very good reasons for operating online with varying degrees of pseudonym. Spewing bile and evading the consequences isn’t one of them

      This behaviour poisons the well for those in genuine need of shielding.

  6. re:your comment about “Nothing that qualified remotely as valid criticism.” — I looked through some of the archived RH stuff, and some of the criticism of Paolo Bacigalupi’s ‘Windup Girl’ — i.e., that Bacigalupi’s representations of Thai culture and language were inadequate — seemed well-placed (although RH then proceeded to wish brutal violence upon Bacigalupi).

    And her review of Catherynne Valente’s “Palimpsest” is almost wholly positive, with some valid points.

    1. I am speaking only for myself. I didn’t read every RH post because I found the prevailing tone of what I did read so repellent I had better things to do with my time. Please note that much of the worst material has been deleted by now.

      With regard to Bacigalupi, there may be a discussion to be had about cultural representation in his work but no ‘review’ that includes the personal attacks and vileness used there remotely qualifies as valid criticism as far as I am concerned.

    2. RH made a similar post praising one of Robin Hobb’s books, and at the time I simply put it down to RH not finding fault where there is none. But Elizabeth Bear’s post has caused me to re-evaluate this, because Hobb is an extremely popular writer with legions of fans. I’m not familiar with Catherynne Valente’s work, but she’s won a few awards so I think she counts as an established writer with a similarly high profile. In other words, neither of these writers could be hurt or silenced by RH.

      1. True, and there’s another point to be made here. RH/BS seems to have a sound understanding of the Halo Effect, and how to manipulate it. Nothing to do with the Master Chief, but a concept I learned about working in personnel.

        Robin Hobb, who I read and admire, and Cat Valente, who I haven’t read, have a wide fanbase, especially among readers alert to and concerned with issues of diversity and representation in fantasy. So seeing RH praising them, the casual reader of her reviews will get the subliminal message – she likes the same things as me.

        Conversely, Mark Lawrence, whose work I haven’t read, and Joe Abercrombie, whose work I have both read and discussed critically at a convention with him in the audience, have been the focus of online debate about problematic representations of women in fantasy, in particulardiscussing where the line lies between overt and unthinking misogyny etc. So that casual reader may well read RH condemning them and get the subliminal message – she finds the same things troubling as me.

        All that predisposes that casual reader to give much greater weight to a review for instance, castigating a writer like Cindy Pon or Tricia Sullivan. Writers who it increasingly becomes apparent were most likely RH’s true target, to clear the ground of competition for BS and her burgeoning career.

        In case anyone’s wondering if this really happens like that, I have already seen someone elsenet confess to dropping N K Jemisin’s Hundred Thousand Kingdoms off her TBR list precisely because she had come to trust RH as a source (with reservations about the foul language) in precisely this way.

  7. May I ask why you continually wrote “her(?)” when referring to BS/RH? Is there any reason to doubt that this person is a woman?

    1. At this point, I don’t believe there’s good reason to believe anything we’ve been told about ‘Bee’/RH. She may be a woman, this persona may be a construct devised by several people, male and/or female, or there may be a man behind it.

      I’m certainly not saying ‘oh, it’ll be some right-wing white bloke in a basement in some US state with vowels at both ends’ – there’s as much nasty and unthinking bigotry inherent in that statement as in anything RH wrote.

      I would like to know who’s responsible. When there’s a predator at loose, I want to know where it is. And if we want this crap to stop in SFF, people need to know that there are real world consequences for malicious online activity.

      1. # I’m certainly not saying ‘oh, it’ll be some right-wing white bloke in # a basement in some US state with vowels at both ends’

        That’s exactly what I thought when I first saw her. I pretty much said exactly that, because I just *knew* that she was a misrepresentation of the left, this wasn’t what the left believed, it *had* to be a right-wing false-flag operation.

        # there’s as much nasty and unthinking bigotry inherent in that
        # statement as in anything RH wrote.

        I don’t think so, myself, well, maybe a bit, but a lot of what’s in that statement is unavoidable ignorance. I’ve never moved in the kind of circles that would have someone like Ms Hate in them (these days I think this is largely a question of class). I think that what’s in that statement is a naieve belief, shared by many people, that the left stands for a better future for all. The fact that Ms Hate actually represents a growing slice of the ‘new left’, is a discovery that’s going to shatter a lot of people’s worldviews.

        1. I don’t think class comes into a naive view of the left as idealistic so much as hands-on experience of political activism. There have always been those ready to play power games and seek personal advancement by dressing up in populist/social-justice ideology just as there have been those cloaking such selfish ambition with free-market capitalist thinking.

          And similarly, there are people acting with solidly admirable motives on all points along the political spectrum. I’ve been reminded of that more than once over the years when I’ve been involved in various campaigns and causes.

          1. # I dont think class comes into a naive view of the left as idealistic so
            # much as hands-on experience of political activism.

            I think that’s kindof where I’m coming from. People from more working-class backgrounds don’t know about ‘social justice’ ideology, they’ve not spent much time in environments where they will encounter it. This is also an age issue for a lot of people, as this ideology in it’s current form is quite new, it’s only breaking out of university campuses and into the news now. So, a lot of people get in hot water because they don’t know the language. And the language keeps changing.

            # There have always been those ready to play power games and seek personal advancement by dressing
            # up in populist/social-justice ideology just as there have been those cloaking such selfish
            # ambition with free-market capitalist thinking.

            That’s true, but I think social-justice ideology (by this I mean the specific third-wave/critical-race-theory stuff, not the general idea of a more just society) is broken in specific ways, and it thus a magnet and a mandate for sociopaths. Even the name is a problem, ‘Social Justice’ is a goal, whereas ‘social justice’ ideology if a set of beliefs that promises to achieve this goal. But the ideology is just one of many promising the same thing: it can fail to deliver, it could be counter-productive, it could even be a pack of lies. However, using the term “social justice” in order to refer to a goal, and an ideology, is an underhand trick, because it makes people who argue with the ideology sound like they’re against the goal. On the flipside, if the ideology fails and is discredited (and it’s looking like that’s happening now) then there’s likely to be a lot of collateral damage: the goal can wind up being discredited too.

            The widespread deployment of ‘privilege’ ideology has created an environment where men, and particularly white men, fear to speak. Men who tried to blow the whistle on requires_hate, or stand up to her (Peter Watts, me) immediately got shot down with accusations of racism and misogyny. After the others have seen that a couple of times, they either go silent, or try to ingratiate themselves with the bully (not that it was just white men doing that, it was most everyone). Thus a large block of the community is neutralized, it’s ideological ‘white blood cell count’ is lowered, and the community is more vulnerable to attack. This isn’t going to change any time soon, I think we’re more likely to see a degree of ‘male flight’ from the SF community instead.

            Then there’s the ‘moral exclusion’ aspects of social-justice theory. The claim that “there’s no such thing as racism towards whites” or “there’s no such thing as sexism towards men”, allowed RH to do as she pleased so long as she was attacking those groups. When she wanted to attack other groups, she made them honorary white people by saying “you sound white” or “you’re not asian-asian”. (Incidentally, I think people who’ve wrapped themselves in this particular flag are really going to really regret it sooner or later).

            RH was able to put herself in a near-unassailable position by presenting as a certain demographic group. ‘Social justice’ theory gave her a platform from which she was immune to critique from other demographic groups, particularly those who were numerous in the target community.

            Free-market capitalism has big vulnerabilities too, the blind trust in ‘markets’ ignores the fact that people can structure markets to their own benefit. However, there’s bigger barriers to entry for people wanting to hack free-market ideology. In order to get in the game and make a profit, you need rather a lot of capital (not that the likes of RH are short a bob or two). It’s very tough to come up with ways to ‘hack’ this ideology in order to further your writerly career. I agree that there’s serious issues with people hacking free-market thinking, but those issues are happening at the national and international level, not at the level of fandom communities.

          2. # And similarly, there are people acting with solidly admirable motives on all points along
            # the political spectrum. Ive been reminded of that more than once over the years when Ive
            # been involved in various campaigns and causes.

            Oh, I couldn’t agree more, but then I think there’s likely some people acting with admirable motives among the Sad Puppies (the rabids is rather more of a stretch, I think they’re rather a rum bunch, but you never know) or even among the gamergate crowd. But most people on the SF left just see these groups in terms of their worst members. To be fair, some people among the puppies are returning the favor, they now see most people on the SF left as being RequiresHate footsoldiers, or they even see RequiresHate as being a footsoldier of some gray eminance (maybe Scalzi) and that the RequriesHate takedown only happened because she “got out of control”. So long as we continue to think of each other like this, then the future of the community is war without end, amen.

            But the problem is that the good people are rare. In any group you’ve got 10 percent good, 10 percent bad, and 80 percent who will run with whomever barks loudest. The deciding factor is the environment: does the group have an ideological framework that promotes good, or evil? If a community’s dominant framework is one that allows someone to assume an unassailable position from which they can attack others at will, then things are going to go bad sooner or later.

  8. I’ve had so many dealings with her over the years. I can say that BH is not her real name either. Time will tell if the SFF community will respond to the depth and duration of her trolling (since 2004 at least) appropriately, or will brush it under the rug.

    But I will say, on behalf of all the people who privately messaged me when I defended them against her vitriol, that I hope that she will not be rewarded for the massive amount of damage she has done to young, fledgling writers who may not be writing at all any more. The high-profile names of her victims are the tip of the iceberg.

    1. Everything I’m hearing thus far gives me a fair amount of hope that this time this won’t be swept under the rug.
      I’ll be doing my very best to see to it anyway, and I’m not the only one.

  9. I don’t understand why anyone needs to be so hateful,people who cyber bully are cowards in my opinion… why not show who you really are… cowards! Nonetheless, this experience reminds me of a great book, “Creating Hate: How It Is Done, How To Destroy It: A Practical Handbook” by Nancy Omeara http://www.authornancyomeara.com/. It is a very eye opening book, and one that everyone should read in my opinion… maybe the bullying would stop!

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