Sisterhood or Sexism


counter for wordpress


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!

Bullshit.

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.

About lbdarling

Beware...the truth is spoken here. If you can't handle that...buh-bye.

Posted on 19/10/2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Lisa, thanks for this. I don’t agree with quite everything you said, but I don’t need to in a free society, which is what I do like about a core part of your post. The free and open exchange of ideas doesn’t mean the free and open exchange of only the ideas you or I agree with. We’re adults. We can listen, we can consider, we can come to our own conclusions based on evidence and logic, and we can *choose* to respectfully disagree without feeling that our personal value system is under attack. *That* is the essence of a civil democratic society.

    I also agree with the notion that two sexisms don’t make an equality. Too often, it seems that guy-bashing is tolerated to a degree that would get a man brought up on harassment charges if the tables were turned. “Everybody Loves Raymond” and other shows have propagated the stereotype of the well-meaning but ultimately hapless mensch of a husband.

    Mother: “He’s a good guy, but ugh…” (Actress throws hands in the air as if there’s nothing you can change about a man but his socks, and he needs help even with that.)

    Do not misunderstand me: women face challenges in this world that I, as a man, will never know. I’ve never been paid 75 cents on the dollar for the same work. I’ve never been harassed by strangers on the street for what I’m wearing or how I look. I’ve never been asked why I’d want to work if I already had a mate. These are just a few very real challenges that many women face every day.

    And as disarming as the Raymond-esque stereotype is, men do overwhelmingly hold positions of power and authority over women, their career opportunities, their healthcare choices, and their access to social welfare opportunities, in most developed countries and beyond. Raymond might not rule the roost, but he’s the breadwinner in his family, his wife is often shamed for being an inadequate cook, and her mothering and housekeeping skills are frequently called into question.

    And particularly in traditional publishing, there *is* an entrenched culture of sexism. I’ve worked there, I’ve seen it. Studies have proven it. And I know of plenty of authors right up to modern times who chose and still choose to write under male or androgynous pseudonyms on the advice of editors who have flat out told them that “women writers” don’t sell as well as men.

    That being said, women form the majority of decision-makers when it comes to book purchasing and reading, by an overwhelming number (as much as 60%-40%, sometimes more). And you are quite right, in my experience of independent and self-publishing, I would say that women form another overwhelming majority of writers. So it is unfair to assume that “sexism against women writers” is rampant among self-publishing women, forming a majority of both readers and writers in the industry, and it is ludicrous to think that any benefit can come to a society that chooses to neglect the artistic and creative energies of either gendered half of its population.

    So while we may disagree on a few points, thank you for calling shenanigans on the almost invisible sexism against men. Thank you for calling shenanigans on the censorship you experienced in trying to question the implicit assumptions that “feminist” must mean “emasculating.” And thank you for calling for a free and open society in which *everyone* can expect to have their voice heard, even if (or especially if) they hold a position that stands opposed to the mainstream or the tyrannical.

    In short, rock on, sister. If Albert Camus is right, and β€œThe purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself,” then I’d say you’re batting 1000 today.πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks for your comments they are very much appreciated. The whole thing started because I simply couldn’t understand how that one question; Doesn’t this border on sexism? Could be deemed offensive or abusive in any manner. If we can’t question ourselves we shouldn’t be asking questions of anyone else. Sadly, if we can’t ask questions then we can’t seek answers. If we can’t seek answers we can never solve our problems. We’ll be stuck right there going ’round and ’round.

      Although I know you’re right, I find your comment about male or androgynous pseudonyms to be disheartening. Not because of sales but because of a lack of self-esteem and true sense of self. I came to understand a long time ago that, for myself, if I have to choose between making sales and being me…I’ll be me. Others may opt for the opposite that’s their right.

      I have no idea what it’s like to make 75 cents on the dollar either but that’s because all of the jobs I’ve held are traditionally “female jobs”. There were no men competing for them way back in the 80s when the economy was good. As such, I’ve had far more female bosses than male bosses. I’ll take a male boss any day of the week.

      Even the day job I have now is traditionally a “female job”. I work for/with & take care of over 2000 union men. The women in my organization are few and far between and mostly in traditionally “female jobs”. Of all the jobs I’ve had over the course of my life I can honestly say this is the best one. I plan to be right here until I retire.

      Again, thanks for coming by and commenting on my post. I hope you’ll always feel free to speak up and say what’s on your mind when you’re here or popping around on my FB page. Have no fears of your comments being deleted.πŸ™‚

      • You’re absolutely right. If we can’t questions ourselves, if we can’t see where we might be wrong, we can never grow to become any better than we are. And a quick trip through the news, the wars, the plagues, the scandals, the inhumanities and atrocities we commit against each other, are a sure sign that we’ve got a long way yet to go on the road to “better.” But it all starts with a question, and a willingness to answer it.

        Be sure I’ll always speak my mind, and I’ll certainly be stopping back as often as I can. Cheers!

Tell Me What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: