A female writer complains

“So many of my female writer acquaintances and friends (including myself) have become known for ‘confessional’ type writing, where we are known as ‘something’, our schtick. Stripper, slut, black feminist, fat white feminist, drunk, addict, alcoholic. Even those who became known for fiction have been ‘something’. New black voice, new white feminist voice, used-to-be-mormom-voice. I don’t see men pigeonholed like this. I had to be ‘the stripper’ to find a publisher, and that really fucking pisses me off. The older I get, the more inequality I see, in everything, in every way. Just a barely coherent observation, not sure what to say or do about it aside from eat ice cream.”

[A woman on Facebook.]

A funny and possibly relevant article on careerism in poetry.


10 responses to this post.

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on September 5, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Yes. Indeed. In this case the woman writer had apparently used her feminine advantage (a nice figure) to help sell books. OK. But to then complain that men and women are treated differently seems a bit disingenuous.


      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on September 5, 2016 at 9:52 am

        The fundamental problem it seems to me is that young women are being encouraged to squander their natural advantages while resenting men for ours.

      • well, of course they are … b/c it’s ‘me me me me me’ ad nauseam. as has been said often in the manosphere … these women are going to wake up and all they’ll have is themselves cause the men are catching on and walking away.

  1. Posted by Igor Stravinsky on September 5, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    The sun comes up in the east;
    a female writer complains.


  2. Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on September 5, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I have a modest suggestion. She should write a volume loaded with references to bears. It couldn’t hurt and it may even work!


  3. Identity is so important these days. Publishers have for a long time liked a story with which they can sell their product (writers); now in the age of self-publishing writers have picked up on it as well.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on September 6, 2016 at 1:55 am

      Perhaps in the case of writing, it relates to that idea that far-off or foreign or marginal people are in some way magically able to discover and convey deep truths. For example, The Magical Indian or The Fey Irishman. This has now been extended to include The Woman or The Lesbian or The Transgender, with supposedly unique sensibilities and insights, which they can presumably bring to literature.


      • Yes that seems to be a very accurate description of the problem. And it gets worse if the writer is doing something autobiographical – or something that is assumed to be autobiographical. Fiction writers can usually get away without being seen to be uniquely experienced in their field because of their life – no-one expects a science fiction writer to have flown to other galaxies, for instance.

        I read a piece by Helen Razer a while back talking about a stalker she had once had – and the crucial mistake of her journalistic life after that – writing an article about the whole experience. After that she became seen as a one-issue writer and it’s only really in recent years that her career seems to have got back on track.

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