anghara (anghara) wrote,

Plus ca change...

aeriedraconia provides a link to this particular little gem.

If he only wrote about the state of publishing, as and of itself, and had something solid to back it all up - well and good. But the money quote is this one:

I consider myself a fairly good writer. I've had a literary agent and I'm proud (?) to tell you I've been rejected by the largest publishing houses in New York (and smaller ones elsewhere). Plenty of literary agents have requested my work but decided to pass. And I wasn't rejected because of my inability to write well. I have been complimented on my writing skills by editors of very successful, household-name authors and summarily rejected.

Count the snarks and whines. COunt 'em, please. This is a rejected writer, and these are sour grapes, and if you can't blame them on yourself, hey, find someone else to blame it on.

He's right in one way, and that is that a lot of the publishing industry is staffed by women. However, there is no "glass ceiling" - men are perfectly capable of choosing this line of work as a career. And *many do*. A rejection is a rejection, whichever gender it comes from, and a frustration with rejection is what comes across BRUTALLY in that paragraph I quoted, but I think it stings particularly hard that the rejections in question come from WOMEN. I suspect this guy is the kind who swaggers up to women at cocktail parties with a macho drink like a double shot of scotch (no ice)and feeding the "girls" a line like, "So, Honey, what would you like for breakfast?" This is a man's man, ladies, and look what else he says somewhere later on in the article:

Unless a blockbuster author like Stephen Coonts writes a tome for men, less gets written for them. Then, again, Coonts first book was published by the arm of the Defense Department (Naval Institute Press) that published Tom Clancy. His first book was rejected by every other publisher before that. He's a former Navy flyer and a real hero, most men would agree. He made hundreds of takeoffs and landings from aircraft carriers, sometimes in the middle of the night. That takes real courage or, as a man might say, balls! Men like Coonts are good. They're willing to risk themselves to protect the rest of us. I guess women prefer not to read about them. Or am I mistaken and is it the feminization of the book business that prevents everyone from reading about them in greater quantity?

Is it just me or do the two halves of this paragraph have nothing to do with one another? So what if Mr Coonts is "a former Navy flyer and a real hero". Yes, that takes courage, but screw you, sir, women do things that require courage EVERY DAY. If you're going to all macho on me, I'll go all femme on you and basically challenge you to plug yoruself into a machine which simulates the pain of childbirth without an epidural - and then I'll ask you if you wouldn't prefer to go an be a "real hero" any day. But in any event - what the frick does a man's being a pilot (or a woman's having a baby, for that matter) have to do with the quality of their writing and the reasons it was rejected? You sink or swim based on what you show, what you write, what you produce. Your CV and your resume and your life story should not be a ticket to having a book published.

I've been lucky enough to have been surrounded all my life with literate and insightful men. My granfather was a poet who read the classics and wrote sonnets and instilled a firm love of language in me from babyhood. My father surrounded me with books, and encouraged me with my own words every step of the way. My relationships have always been with guys who love to read, and whose homes were stuffed with books; and I married a man who already owned enough books for a small provincial library (you should see what became of our house after *I* moved in...) Is it possible that I am a complete statistical anomaly and that these are the only males who actually read or admitted to reading? I don't think so, which means that despite the blogger's assertions, MEN DO READ. No, really. They do.

They just happen to want to read other things than those that the blogger in question happens to have written, apparently.

Sir, the fact that your work has been rejected means your WORK has been rejected. You haven't been doing the rounds of teh publishing industry asking the agents and editors for a dinner date - and if you come on this strong when you DO ask for dates, speaking for myself, I'd be the first one to tell you to take a hike. You have been presenting not yourself, but YOUR WORK. However much you present yourself as Louis L'Amour and Stephen Coonts (and hey, while we're at it, how about some more names? Clancy, you've mentioned. Grisham? King? Patterson? Frazier? For that matter, james Frey? DO you want me to go on?) the fact remains, you are NOT those writers. You are YOU. It is YOUR work that is being put on display here. And if the professionals have rejected it for publication, might it be down to the quality of the WORK and not to your gender? Or are you seriously telling me you believe that women don't get rejected...? WOuld you like me to send you copies of my rejection letters? Have you ever attended a gathering with other writers - male AND female? Have you ever listened to the stories of these people's lives - male AND female?... Rejection doesn't feel around for cojones before it pronounces its fiat. At least not in THIS industry.

Honestly, until the day that people like this stop pointing fingers at the wicked wimmin who are the only reason that they themselves are not the great glowing successes they should obviously have been had it not been for the "power" of the female dragons guarding the gates, there will NEVER be any kind of gender equality. Until the day that a person gets judged purely as a human being, until the day that the smallest success by the woman stops being seen as a threat to the dominance of the man, we remain stuck in the dark ages.

Okay. Rant over. I'll go and get myy coffee now, and perhaps I'll revert to being the quiet gentle timid little girl that I am obviously supposed to be.

And hey, blogger guy? You yourself said that women statistically buy more books. Well, here's another statistic who's just deliberately walked across the aisle in order NOT to purchase yours. I don't need to read anything by someone this patronizing.
Tags: rant

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