January 12th, 2009


Dear Female Author

Dear Female Author--

I wish to publish you.

I know you might find this a strange concept, given how repressed you are in the publishing world, but I am interested in the numbers game, and clearly you are less represented than men. Well, white men, anyway. Black men, I'm sure not about. Asian men? Bit iffy bout that. Fairly sure Hispanic men aren't represented more than women, but maybe Hispanic men represent more than Hispanic woman, who knows. Truth is, I am not, in fact, interested in you at all: your name, the type of fiction you write, your cultural, social, economic, religious backgrounds... please, don't assume that these make you an interesting writer. Don't assume that that is interesting at all. No, what makes you interesting is your breasts, your cunt, your reproductive organs, and that special way that women think differently to men. Oh, don't look at me like that, you know it's true. Men are Mars, Women are from Venus. We snicker at such a silly cliche, but it's really true. You know how it is when men don't ask for directions when lost and women bake a really fine cake. Women do do things better than men, especially in literature, where the idea that you could learn craft and skills and that work would vary from author to author is nonsense. After all, if it weren't, we'd all stop listing numbers, and start talking about female authors who have names. But we don't. Because that would be silly.

You might be asking why I have suddenly expressed this interest. After all, it's dangerous thing for me to say as a white male. In the position of power that I am in, I'm not suppose to support anyone. Having done this, however, someone might accuse me of basically simplifying gender disparity in fiction and accuse me of, a) cynically targeting a female demographic for money, or b) reinforcing the minority portrayal that female authors currently experience, thus reinforcing the opinion that female authors are, somehow, different to male authors. And when I say different, I mean lesser. All authors are somehow different, but female authors are somehow different in a squishy girly way. Cooties. You know what I'm talking about. Don't lie. Give us strong, throbbing men.



Perhaps with a Hemingwayesque kind of gun thing going on. You're not a male author unless you suicide with a shotgun when you're old.

Truthfully, I must admit that there is a slightly diabolical element to my plan here, female author. Forgive me if I don't bother to learn your name. Oh, and you, the black girl in the background... sorry, I'm not helping you today. Perhaps next week, when I focus on why literary movements benefit from a range of culture, social, and economic voices as well as gender. Perhaps when I point out the very conservative nature of speculative fiction, and how its authors are predominantly from a white, middle class background, which is represented in the work, and the larger issue at play here, and perhaps when I focus on how non white portrayals in fiction are of more importance than a simple gender split on a numbers game... but that, that is next week, and not today. Today, I am only concerned with the fact that you look girly.

That you have the feminine touch.

That we can walk down the street together in heels.

That we can burst through the doors of those old, conservative magazines that none of us read, and which are continually shedding readers for this adherence to an ageing, dying demographic, and tell them that we don't want a subscription, still. Thank you.


Male Author #200345.