piranha: red origami crane (Default)
elsenet i was linked to victoria brownworth's article in the lambda literary blog.

let me first say that i read brownworth's article and thought it was abysmally bad, so bad that it totally obscured its own central concern. that's a crying shame. it's also a shame that there was no enlightenment had from the other side in the comments, for the most part. it was typical defensive derailment, complete with the usual bingo excuses, as paul g bens showed so poignantly. but, having observed such discussions before, commenters would have derailed the thread anyway, even if victoria had done her research instead of putting more falsehood than truth out there about m/m, and being rude to everyone who disagreed with her. they wouldn't have listened even if she had been well-informed and courteous. but they should listen, because the central concern is important.

the central concern is that m/m AS A GENRE fetishizes gay relationships for the titillation of heterosexual women, and that this is detrimental to actual gay people.

i believe that concern is warranted.

i read a lot of m/m, and by "a lot" i mean around 1500 stories a year. i do not just read based on reviews; i pick a large number of books at random. disclaimer: i know that there are some actual male writers behind some of the pseudonyms (as well as lesbians and bisexual men and women and trans folk), and i know that some actual gay men read m/m and enjoy it. end disclaimer.

but the vast majority is born from slash fiction and yaoi, is written by straight women, and is read by straight women. and yes, yaoi is much worse when it comes to faulty information and fetishization -- but that doesn't mean m/m escapes the accusation. some of m/m's best selling authors are its worst offenders. and IMO the majority of the genre is at least mildly offensive to actual gay persons.

i also know that m/m is empowering for many women and genderqueers (i won't go into why here, but it's fascinating. and way cool. some of the analysis in fandom way surpasses anything i've seen come out of gender studies.).

but i've also read many comments from fangirls that show they get a lot of misinformation from m/m, and that they thoroughly objectify the men in m/m. if an author writes badly informed fiction, some people will swallow that crap with gusto, and will think they now know something about gay people and their sexuality, their relationships. and they will be wrong. that's not empowering anyone; it damages.

writers who're defensive when confronted with the accusation that they're appropriating and objectifying, are not being asked to "get out" of writing about gay relationships. however, if they don't get it right, if they are lazy, if they write formula, then they better be prepared for scathing criticism from gay people whom they offend with that dreck. it is totally possible to write authentic gay fiction as a non-gay writer; there are many talented m/m authors who're taking their craft seriously. the problem is not THAT women write it, it's HOW they write it.

the entitled whining from some m/m authors in the comments to brownworth's article was painful to watch, and it didn't impress me one bit. yup, it can be hard to look at one's own work with a critical eye, even if one writes "just fiction". but one doesn't get to trample all over an already oppressed group with impunity "just for fun". because fiction is never "just fiction". fiction has power, fiction teaches, fiction influences people. and if, as an author, you appropriate a facsimile of people's lives in order to gain personal profit from what happens to also be their pain, they have every right to tell you that you're an arse who makes their lives harder.

an author is not directly responsible what people do with the information they convey. but the author is culpable. i suggest to take that seriously, even if one just writes plot-what-plot stories -- getting it right matters to those whose lives one borrows in order to have a bit of fun.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
because i broke my streak of not causing an accident in 33 years by cracking somebody's plastic bumper while backing out of a parking space yesterday. i am especially peeved at myself because i had a bad feeling about it, and didn't follow my instinct, which said "drive back into your space, take it out of gear, and let those two others go first". they were in spaces at 90° to me, and i wasn't sure the second one had even seen me, so i backed up only a bit to avoid him, pulled forward, backed up again to get fully out of my space and *crack*, the first of the two others had meanwhile backed up as well. i didn't see him in my mirrors, *sigh*, and i didn't turn all the way around to check through my rear window. so i guess it was my fault, since he was stationary at the time (watching me back up, *arrgh*; pulling forward didn't occur to him until too late).

the truck: no damage at all. not even a paint scrape on the bumper. his minivan: probably $2000 worth of crumpled plastic. jesus, they make those bumpers as income insurance for collision specialists, yes?

but enough of my incompetence, that's too depressing. would you buy a book from this writer? i wouldn't. names redacted to protect the guilty.

J grew up in Chicago living in the same house all her life until she went left for college. Her mom taught J how to read at an early age and was able to read books at a 3rd grade level before attending Kindergarten. She always read above her reading level and read some of her favorite novels in 6th grade for the first time. Though she has a great life, she loves to get lost in fantasy that only books could bring. She kept writing, short stories, romance, mystical, and of course adding in hot cowboys any chance she could. Her wide interest in reading was reflected in her writings. Currently J lives with her dog, M, named after a vampire from Ann Rice's Interview with the Vampire series. She dreams of one day living out in Montana, enough land to have a few horses, and find a couple of cowboys of her own. A lover of men, J's all about them in any form in her books. Vampire, werewolf, military, doesn't matter at all as long as they are hot, hard, and sex fiends!

i know reading and writing abilities don't go hand-in-hand, but the bragging makes me feel all the errors more keenly.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
ok, so why didn't anyone tell me about cherie m. priest before? [livejournal.com profile] the_siobhan linked to this utterly hilarious piece of writing, my stomache hurt i laughed so hard. i looked around a little and found much more to like. and i'm gonna go out and buy this woman's books now. (chalk up one more for pixel-stained technopeasant LJs.)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
doris lessing has won the nobel prize for literature.



this is the first nobel prize winner writing in english whose work i've actually read extensively long before they've won the prize (i had read most of günter grass and heinrich böll in german before they won).

i've loved her writing since i laid my hands on the golden notebook. and i've especially liked her for not pretending that her speculative fiction wasn't SF; unlike some of her literary compatriots who seem to think the genre bestows evil cooties upon one.

if this is the first you hear of her, the times online has a quick intro on her life and writing, and PBS has an extended bibliography with snippets from reviews and interviews.

Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.


Jul. 5th, 2006 12:25
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
truepenny writes about the difference between her male and female characters in terms of how they interact with her as the author.

and i am envious, as always when somebody talks about the rich inner life their characters have in their heads. my characters don't talk to me at all out of their own free will. i have to ask them questions. and i have to ask the right questions, or the answers won't get me anywhere. and even if i ask the right questions, the answers don't always get me somewhere. i envy people whose characters talk to them; even if they lie. it's not particularly entertaining to have to carry every bloody conversation, and so many of my stories get stuck for long periods of time because i don't always know what to ask next.

but at least the feminist police won't come after me, because male or female or otherwise sexed and gendered, they're all equally uncooperative. *wry grin*.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

   123 4

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags


RSS Atom