Sisterhood or Sexism
I was cruising my Facebook earlier today when I came across a post from Book Riot soliciting readers to come over to their site and read a new post I Haven’t Read a Book By a Man Since 2013 (And It’s Been Awesome).
I thought; Hummmm…..isn’t that a bit sexist?
I posted on their FB page these exact words; Doesn’t that border on sexism?
My post was deleted as, according the woman who runs the page and the site, I was in violation of the Community Guidelines which read as follows:
Book Riot aims to be a welcoming and inclusive community where readers of all stripes feel safe expressing their ideas and opinions. Also, Riot New Media Group values social justice, feminism, and diversity. Comments that are explicitly or implicitly sexist, racist, or otherwise marginalizing are subject to deletion.
To support these goals, the following rules will be enforced. Users can be banned on the first offense for any of the following behaviors:
Name-calling, insulting, or otherwise attacking a contributor or another site user.
Posting irrelevant, abusive, or otherwise inappropriate content or comments.
Posting comments that question or denigrate the value of marginalized voices.
Posting self-promotional content.
Yeah…right…’inclusive’ so long as you pander to whatever BS they’re dishing out. You kowtow, bow down, kiss the ass/feet/ring, of the site owner.
Honestly, do you think that simple question was, indeed, in violation of their TOS? I certainly don’t. It wasn’t just me. The owner was deleting posts left and right most of which were simple posts expressing justified thoughts on the matter and were not ‘attacking’, ‘insulting’, ‘irrelevant’, ‘abusive’ or ‘otherwise inappropriate’. As for ‘questioning the value of (so-called) marginalized voices’, honey, don’t speak up if you don’t want feedback. That’s why you’re ‘marginalized’ you’re a wimp unable to stand up for yourself. You want to be heard but not argued with because you can’t take it when someone else offers the tiniest bit of criticism. Which brings to; Why the hell are you a WRITER? If you can’t take the heat of a few minor questions you certainly fall apart when you receive 1 bad review. I imagine that sends you crying into your lonely pillow for days on end.
But no matter.
The owner’s rather dull point seemed to be that we should all support women authors because they’re ‘marginalized’ so, in order for us (women) to get out of the margins we must buy books by women!
Yeah, that’s it. I should want to read any book by any woman simply because we share the same type of genitalia. So run right out and buy Ann Coulter’s latest blather! I’m sure you’ll absolutely adore it. After all, you just fell head over heels for “Fifty Shades of Grey”…right? You thought “Twilight” was the best thing since “MacBeth”…didn’t you? What about “Harry Potter”? Surely you thought it was light years better than, say, “Lord of the Rings”, didn’t you? While you’re at it, please, please, please, don’t forget to VOTE FOR HILLARY! (She’s a woman damnit!) Please also support Sarah Palin to the best of your ability. Send money to Anna Duggar, she’s a ‘wronged woman’ who NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT! Don’t forget about Nikki Haley or Michelle Bachman. They’re WOMEN! It is YOUR DUTY AS A WOMAN to SUPPORT them in whatever they do!
Closing yourself to the writings, opinions, and artwork of men is just as bad as closing yourself off to the writings, opinions, and artwork of women. In the end, the second you start supporting the ideals of ‘the other side’ you become what you hate. You’ve lost the battle. Turn it all in and go home where you can bury your head in the sand and cry into your Chai Tea as you bleat; “Why? Why? Why me? Why?” (Nancy Kerrigan, anyone?)
I went over to Book Riot’s site and read the meager comments there. I posted that the discussion was much livelier on FB before the owner shut down comments and outright blocked those of us who seemingly didn’t agree with her from commenting, sharing, and even ‘liking’ other people’s posts. I said her actions bordered on censorship to which she replied she ‘didn’t care about censorship’ and if I didn’t like it, I could find a site that better suited me.
This coming from someone who supposedly supports writers.
Yeah. No writer or supporter thereof should ever care about something so small and unimportant as censorship….right? I suppose we shouldn’t care about book banning or book burning either. What are those infinitesimal concepts compared to buying the works of women writers?
No matter that those who posted less ‘offensive’ things than my simple question were bonked over the head until they capitulated and those posts were allowed to stand because they favored the owner. No matter Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Expression (both concepts I’m left to assume to completely unimportant to the owner if they don’t coincide with her personal opinion….can you say ‘tyrant’? I knew you could.) I dropped Book Riot like a hot potato from my ‘liked pages’ on FB. Not that she’ll care. I don’t expect her to. I did it for myself so that I know I’m not supporting a closed-minded individual who can’t see past the blinders she wears.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read the works of women authors….of course you should! You should read the work of ANY AUTHOR that calls to you. You shouldn’t read a book, buy artwork, or go to a movie just because a woman was at the helm. (See Palin, Coulter, Haley, Clinton, Bachman, James, Rowling, and Meyer above for further reference should you need it.)
This all comes back to the burning question: Are Women Authors (somehow) Marginalized?
According to Book Riot’s owner they definitely are and for further proof please see VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Don’t put too much stock in them, after all, they are skewed toward women to begin with and they totally leave out the fact that most Indie Authors are, in fact, women.
They’re only concerned with which women get big publishing deals and are on the Best Sellers Lists.
As any writer knows, breaking into the Big Publishing Deal isn’t necessarily a Man’s World, it’s simply a royal PITA. The same royal PITA it has always been and always will be. Since most women don’t have the time to deal with such crap; we’re busy writing, working, raising families, and taking care of our aging parents…we’ve given up on such, such, well, fiction. We’ve thrown away the idea of garnering the Big Publishing Contract in favor of more important things in life. In the process, we are learning A LOT. No, not how to hate or be envious of men, the smart ones among us know far better than that. No, we’re learning web design, book cover design, book formatting, photo software, PR, AR and AP. These are real life skills we can use, not just to enhance our home lives, but our future job prospects. I wouldn’t be anywhere near as valuable to my job…nor earning anywhere near this much money on an hourly basis…if I’d never become an Indie Author. No way. No how. No….Sir. I certainly would never have the unmitigated gall to tell Jeff Bezos to Bend Over Baby!
Or maybe I would. I dunno. I’ve never had a problem telling a man where he can stick it. But, I suppose, in the end, that’s because I like men better. I understand them. I speak their language. I always know where I stand with them and they always stand with me even if it’s outside the door. Women, on the other hand, they can be quite catty. Be honest. You know it’s true. Of all the times I’ve been stabbed in the back not once has a man held the knife. It’s always been a woman. Does that make me skewed toward the company of men? It surely does but that’s because I can hold my own with Da Boyz. They ain’t so bad, really, they ain’t. In fact, they’re quite likable once you get to know them and grow an appreciation for their honesty and, yes, even their foul language.
If you want to hold your own with the likes of Stephen King and James Patterson, I suggest you grow a thicker skin and realize nothing in this life is owed to you. I don’t have to read your work just because you have a vagina. It doesn’t make you a good writer/artist/producer/director/actress. It just makes you female. So take a clue from Da Boyz Club and don’t be defined by your ovaries. If you tell a good story, produce a beautiful painting, direct an awesome movie or act in one, people will recognize you. You don’t have to be society’s ideal of ‘beauty’ either. You just have to be good at what you do. Many women aren’t that great at whatever they do and feel that things are owed to them. They’re not. Get over yourself already.
Besides, if only read books by females, watch movies by females, and buy female artwork you are losing out at 50% of the population. Same goes if you only read books, watch movies, or purchase artwork by males. It’s up to YOU to keep the balance and not tell others how they should feel, what they should like, and what they should read. If you happen to be an American it certainly isn’t up to you to censor the population.
Leave that to the government then we can all get together, with one voice, and tell them where to stick it.