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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.

Yes.

Throbbing.

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.

Yours,

Male Author #200345.

(crossposted)

Comments

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girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
Awesome. I'd like to see you write a story about getting your period in the middle of class Ben. And what it feels like to be the first girl in class to have to wear a bra. Or having run out of tampons in a work place where you are the only woman. Or on what it's like to be single at 33 and want to have a baby. What it's really like. Or what it's like to read posts like this one by men who think they know what it feels like to be you, and miss by a really really long shot.
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
thats what makes me so special: i could do all those things if my story required and still chew gum.
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - porntestpilot - Jan. 16th, 2009 07:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jan. 16th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC) - Expand
tl:dr I talk a fuckload - porntestpilot - Jan. 16th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: tl:dr I talk a fuckload - benpeek - Jan. 16th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jan. 12th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
girliejones - (Anonymous) - Feb. 20th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
no hassle :)
teratologist
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
Don't play at being simple. Sex, like race and class, can be extremely important without being vital, or indeed even real.
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
indeed it can.
(no subject) - teratologist - Jan. 13th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - samhenderson - Jan. 13th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC) - Expand
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porphyre
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
For some reason I've been inundated this week by "female authors wanted!" posts. This was a breath of fresh air, thank you.
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
:)
fengi
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
One sample by one magazine - how very Gawker-esque.
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
?
exquisitricity
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
Dear Male Author,

Thank you for using the word 'cunt'. We hate 'pussy'.

Cordially,

Female Author
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
dear female author,

no probs. it's my favourite word.

yours, male author.
(no subject) - exquisitricity - Jan. 12th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
ext_135212
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
for some reason, the title of this post reminded me of the "Ally McBeal" spoof they did on Futurama: "Single Female Lawyer" hehehehe
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
i remember that, i do.
ide_cyan
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)
You're not a male author unless you suicide with a shotgun when you're old.

Well there goes Tiptree again.
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
well, no one reads her anyhow...
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(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
cool :)
darkerblogistan
Jan. 12th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
You're sure you want to bring on the PC heifer hordes like that?

Bitches need to get laid, for serious.
benpeek
Jan. 12th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
lol
darkerblogistan
Jan. 13th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
Argh, i violated the pc heifer hordes of conduct and they've taken me to task.

Funny how everyone online pretends to be something they're not, when we're all dirty animals seeking a hole. Admit it, you fucks.
rude02
Jan. 13th, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
I like this post. If these are indeed, your real thoughts and not some cheap attention campaign... At least you are true to yourself.
I know squat about writing. I just read… science fiction and slash m/m (BTW do you like :::Throbbing ::: as much as I do?). So I'm only half of the intended audience for this post... XX chromosomes but no pen name.
Aaaaanyway,
just dropped in to remind all you gringos that
you can't write with your cunts anymore than you can read with your cocks.

(doesn’t matter what color they are).
ph_unbalanced
Jan. 13th, 2009 07:05 am (UTC)
So what about us female authors with penises? Do you want to publish us too?
benpeek
Jan. 13th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC)
thinking you might need the campaign running on thursday.
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