Here’s a topic. Sexism, Dizquz.
1. People got all up in arms when best-selling writer Jennifer Weiner pointed out, again, that the NYTs spends a disproportionate amount of time/page space slobbering over male authors. Apparently, this is again a surprise, like it was when she brought it up last year, probably among the small slice of the world population who somehow managed to avoid having Jonathan Franzen’s overhyped yucky novel shoved at them every time they left their homes. Weiner’s statements were much-criticized by the world, which likes to reassure men that they merit all the attention they get, and more.
Nobody, of course, has the sense to realize that Weiner actually deserves respect for standing up for principles here. Because her saying something will only cost her readers as some people inevitably will take out the “feminazi” label; she would have served her own financial interests better had she just not rocked the boat.
2. There were some somewhat-valid critiques, like the fact she used only the NYT when assembling the data. However, the NYT has a lot of influence (too damned much), and then this critique got thinner as people noticed that NPR was even worse than the NYT about disproportionately slobbering all over male authors. (That’s really bad. Forget my checks until you fix that, NPR. You suck.)
3. But then Salon had to get into the fray with this incoherent piece of dreck from a novelist whose work I actually read and have enjoyed: Teddy Wayne. His book Kapitoil is very, very good*, and I highly recommend it. This thing he let out at Salon, however, is so badly argued he sounds like he’s deranged; DOES HE NOT HAVE AN AGENT? Does Salon not have editors? WTF? Certainly somebody who liked this guy and was remotely interested in his career could have and should have said “Look, if you are going get into the business of apologizing for sexism, you should probably not sound like you do not have two brain cells to rub together when trying to point out that while institutions like the NYT reward men disproportionately, the reading and book-buying market actually rewards people like Weiner disproportionately.” However, I’m not sure I haven’t been too charitable in my summary because Wayne’s essay would get a B-/C+ in my class and the words “What’s the argument?” written in red pen on it.
John Scalzi, one of my favorite sci-fi authors, has a rejoinder, so I won’t bother writing one. Go read it, and cherish, like me, this bit of snark:
As best as I can tell it’s saying “Jennifer Weiner thinks she’s got it rough, but her problems aren’t really problems and it’s really men writers who have it rough because women actually read, but then again men writers get perks because they’re men, so, in sum, I’m doing fine even though I don’t sell a lot a books and also Jennifer Weiner should just shut up her best selling woman pie hole.”
I admit I’m condensing and paraphrasing. But that’s what I got out of it. In a sense it’s a tour de force, since it first asserts inequity against men, then acknowledges male privilege, and ends with mansplaining to a woman how she should feel. It’s like a triple axel directly into a pile of pig manure. It’s impressive in its way, but you have to question the wisdom of skating on shit to begin with.
*Way better than Franzen’s yucky book.