It's important not to walk past behaviours that are unacceptable, even if there is political fallout. So let me just say shortly, sweetly: the petition begging to let the SFWA be discriminatory because free speech wah is a load of sexist bullshit and if this is generally indicative of the author's opinions then David Truesdale is a dickhead. I will concede I don't know the fellow and he may be very nice in person, but we work with the material we have.
See, when you hear a man argue that it's ok to have women treated as sex objects on magazine covers because men are also sometimes treated as sex objects on magazine covers, you have a nice window into the kind of world where the privileged think that swapping gender roles magically inverts the cultural power imbalance too, and if they (invariable men) don't feel upset being objectified by strangers on the street then women shouldn't either.
I'd take my feminist cap off now and stop being so ranty except, oh wait, it's actually a non-removable cap.
As Natalie Luhrs explains, regarding the cover in question:
It would be one thing if this cover had any sort of relationship to the contents of the Bulletin, but it didn’t. It’s a badly done painting of a not that sexy, mostly naked warrior at severe risk of frostbite. And the Resnick/Malzberg column was about how hot some lady editors were in their bathing suits and nary a mention of their facility with a red pen. Objectifying and dehumanizing. No wonder people objected.
Just as watching politicians' voting records is important to get a read on their character, I suggest that seeing who is actually signing this petition is important too.
There, that's Literarium's colours nailed to the fucking mast.
Read and shake your head here: http://radishreviews.com/2014/02/10/oh-dear-sfwa-bulletin-petition/