Friday, April 12, 2013

Let me fix that for you, Mr. Howey.

Hugh Howey, author of the phenomenally popular book Wool, made a blog post today (were y'all aware that it's not April 3rd today, but is, in fact, April 12?) that is making the rounds on twitter. And not in a positive way.

The post is titled: The Bitch from WorldCon.

Now, I'm not a big fan of men using the word bitch. I feel that coming from a man, it's never going to be anything other than a misogynist slur used to denigrate and devalue a woman. Yes, even you, gay men. Stop doing that. So, right off the bat, I thought, "You know, he's made a misstep here." But then the post went on. And on. And on. And I got more and more angry. I sat there thinking, "Oh, so you're FINE with "crazy" people, huh? We're all so RELIEVED that you like us. Oh, you can tolerate people with austism? Let me help you pin this medal to your chest." By the time I got to the part where he's openly mocking the woman's appearance by comparing her unfavorably to Mayim Bialik (really, you gonna crack on Blossom in front of God and everybody?!), I was ready to hit the comments and rip him a new one.

And then I thought, you know... there's no point. There are already tons of people commenting about how great it is that he's refreshingly un-PC (can we just take "PC" as a term out to the woodshed and pull an Old Yeller? Because it's clearly spreading disease at this point). They can't be reasoned with, and they're the only voices that Howey is going to hear.

So I decided instead to use his blog post as a teaching tool for other author/bloggers. Since so many of you are writers or aspiring writers, and I know a bunch of you blog, we can talk about how to avoid his missteps.

For starters, he could have used his WorldCon story as a way to explain what is/isn't appropriate behavior when approaching authors at cons. I don't think anyone would disagree that what the woman in his story did was rude. It was. You don't walk up to someone and say, "Hey, you're self-published? That's a totally invalid choice. Let me, a stranger, tell you how to run your career." It's super rude. As a self-pubbed author who has done extraordinarily well in his career, Howey has a platform he could use to give good PR to self-published authors everywhere. While self-publishing is gaining ground, there are still hold-outs who feel it's unprofessional and kind of a joke. Rather than proving them right with a blog post about how that "bitch" at Worldcon can "suck it," he could have made a post calling out that kind of behavior and how wrong it is for people to disrespect self-pubbed authors. Not because some far-off day a self-pubbed author might win an award and tell all those rude haters to suck it, but because making assumptions about a stranger's success or lack thereof is super duper shitty.

Second, he could have just told the story without referring to the woman as a bitch, insinuating that she's ugly, and comparing her to a woman on tv he finds unattractive. If this woman at the con had been conventionally beautiful, if she had been a sexy cosplayer, would he have not found her behavior so offensive? What if she had been a he? Furthermore, why the need to include that his wife thinks it would have been okay for him to "slap the bitch?" Leaving any of this out wouldn't have hurt his point in any way: that it's shitty for strangers to make assumptions and criticize your life when they don't even know who you are. In fact, I think a lot of people would have valued his point a lot more if it hadn't been obscured by his vitriolic, gender-specific hatred.

Third, dude, why the bizarre pre-apologies to "crazy" people and people with autism? Especially if in the next sentence he was just going to go on and stereotype them by talking about bad skin, comic books, and D&D? What did that have to do with anything in the story? Nothing. And I know that his characterization of the mentally ill and non-neurotypical turned off at least one potential reader today.

Look, I understand the desire to get the big movie scene comeuppance. I have revenge fantasies about at least 108% of people in writing business. "Just wait until x happens, I'll show her!" But I recognize that these fantasies are fruitless and destructive, and they're not helping me get anywhere.

Case in point: I was at a con last year. At cons, my fashion sense falls somewhere between "shut in" and "mall goth." I was leaning toward the latter at the first icebreaker of the week. Standing in line behind me and my friends was an author and an editor from a New York publisher. They looked smart. They were dressed professionally. Because we were in line a while, I introduced myself (because that's what I'm there for, right?), mentioned that I was an author, too, and they asked me about my books, where I had been published before, etc. The moment our conversation ended and I turned around, I caught a glimpse in the mirror beside us of the author leaning over to the editor to say something in her ear. The editor responded, "No, I don't think she is, either," and they smirked to themselves. Basically, they were looking at me and saying, "I don't think she's really an author."

Was my first reaction super kind and not at all full of gendered insults? I'm not even going to try to lie. The first word in my head was, "Bitch."

Later that week, I did win an award. But when I got up to accept it, I didn't think to myself, "Ha, I'm showing that bitch." It was, "Oh. my. god. My readers are the fucking best. I can't believe they turned out and voted for me. I can't believe I won this. Shit. I didn't write a speech. Maybe I should have taken Stella's email about writing a speech more seriously. I hope I don't swear. I really hope I don't swear." I got up, I swore, I was elated, I sat down.

But you know what? If I had gotten up there and thought, "SUCK IT, BITCH!" that would have robbed me of the entire experience. All that joy would have just been gone. Because revenge isn't satisfying. Showing people up just makes you feel more mean, and it makes your accomplishments all about them. That's no fun.

I think about that a lot when people say, "When your book is bigger than 50 Shades you can tell E.L. James to suck it," or whatever. Holy shit, guys. If I ever wrote a book that got bigger than 50 Shades, the last thing I'd want to waste my time on would be running around trying to make sure everyone I didn't like (especially people I've never met in person and who have never personally wronged me) knew I felt that I was better than them.

And that's how Howey's post came off. "Look at me, I'm better than this ugly, possibly mentally ill, probably autistic (because autistic people act like that, amiright?!) bitch that my wife wanted to slap! I am validated!"

Mr. Howey. You were already validated by being a really good writer. By the success you have, and the support of your readers. There will always be someone who wants to make themselves feel important by acting like they're "in the know." There will always be that guy at the book signing who asks you how long it took to get your book published, and then follows up that question with, "But what if it's good, how long does it take then?" There are going to be people who offer their really good ideas to you, who want to tell you about this awesome new way to publicize your book, or who loftily offers to see if they can maybe get your story into their friend's zine "if there's space." But their behavior doesn't take away from your success. It's a sign of your success. Ignore it. Roll with it. Call them out if you want, because that woman needed someone to say, "Hey, it's not cool to bash self-publishing in front of a self-published author."

But don't write a blog post calling her a bitch, calling her ugly, calling fucking BLOSSOM RUSSO ugly (she is the voice of a generation, goddamnit!) and making assumptions of your own about the importance of an intern experience. You alienated a lot of readers today. You alienated women, crazy people, autistic people, Canadians, Blossom fans, interns... all those people probably would have bought and enjoyed your book. You didn't "show" the bitch at WorldCon anything, but you sure showed your ass to a lot of people who are now regretting buying your book. What did you gain from that? A momentary sense of mean satisfaction you could have easily gotten from just having this conversation in private with friends who won't ask you to explain your "tone."

And P.S., this:

is the only man I will tolerate "suck it, bitch," from, thank you very much.

108 comments:

  1. While there's no question that woman was rude, writing is a small world. If Mr Howey decides to move away from self-publishing, he may discover people don't want to work with him.

    I've been a customer service agent most of my working life. I KNOW there are people out there who are rude, difficult and superior for absolutely no reason, but responding to them in this manner immediately loses the argument. He's done himself no favours. If the woman he's blogged about reads this, she'll just think "See - he's an arse! I was totally justified in what I said to him! He had to self-publish because no one would work with him!" Overall, there's no winner here. Nobody comes out of it looking good.

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  2. OMG... Jen... every time I read one of your blog posts, I just realize all the reasons I love you...

    Can I just say, that as a Canadian, I wanted to "slap the bastard" for his casual comments about those "lovely, sweet Canadians" like he'd expected them not to be or that they were less human because they might have endured this woman's comments without resorting to acts of violence! I honestly feel as if he insulted the entire country with just a few words...

    And don't even start on me about BLOSSOM!!! I happen to think the woman is attractive, by the way... and think she's brilliant as Sheldon's GF...

    Okay... a few deep breaths.

    All I want to say is ... hell yeah baby. You said it in fine fashion, as you always do. I can't wait until June when I get to hear you chatter in real time..

    hugs,

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  3. (really, you gonna crack on Blossom in front of God and everybody?!)

    I LOL'd in public. I mean, the rest of the post was smart and makes smart points, but I fucking laughed out loud at a kids indoor playplace. #TrueStoryBro

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  4. The thing that struck me as so bad about this is that it reads like the rant is still raw. It's the kind of stupid thing you say when you're pissed and blowing off steam. I get the impulse, I really do, since I've got a hair trigger for whenever I think someone is being condescending to me, but that's why you yell about it in private and then move on from it. In theory, anyway.
    You broke it down really nicely how he could have handled this so much better- and the fact that he chose not to do any of the above shows some seriously poor social skills on its own, if not outright nastiness of character.

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  5. Mmm, anybody have a ring tone of James Deen's "suck it, bitch"?

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  6. Oh and this is super nitpicky and I'm sorry to do it, but the blog post in question was actually published on April 3rd, and just now it exploded in the bad way.

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    1. So... you're telling me that today is NOT April 3rd? *flips calendar page*

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    2. I wish it was. It would mean that I don't have a mountain of reading due by Monday, since classes would have just started...

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  7. I enjoyed your argument. And as the first editor who signed you, I can vouch that your are DEFINITELY a writer. A very good one.

    As an editor whose fashion sense usually lands between "are these pleats pulling flat?" and "sporting event in the rain," I say that anyone who thinks clothing choices equals legitimacy and talent is delusional (unless, of course, we're actually discussing the fashion industry).

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    1. Even in the fashion industry I've seen things that make me question if some designers are blind or punking the world.

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  8. A very sensible post altogether, but A+ for the way you ended it.

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  9. Jenny, in case you ever doubt it, you are really, really smart!

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  10. You are awesome! I am so pleased that I stumbled across your blog via your 50 shades reviews. Without sounding too much like the gushing fan that I am, you are a fantastic writer.

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  11. It goes without saying that I fully agree with everything you say here.

    However, I want to draw attention to the bit where you point out that he's being lauded for being "non-PC". That's where the problem lies. That right there. The idea that being PC is somehow bad because... because respecting other people is bad? Because not being a gigantic douchenozzler is bad?

    I can't explain how infuriating it is to hear people fistbumping over a misogynistic slur, and over all the other instances of discrimination you've pointed out. That right there is proof that the ingrained sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, classism and other -isms and -phobias are still alive and kicking, only suppressed by a thin veil of civility. Which, of course, tears the moment a marginalised person acts (deliberately or not) as anything but an exemplar of courtesy, virtue and goodness. If you happen to make a mistake or show an ugly side? It's open season on your ass for all the isms and phobias that apply.

    Disgusting.

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    1. Yes! I totally agree! Every time I see people commending someone for being so 'refreshingly un-PC', it feels as if they're just relieved to be able to let their privilege and entitlement rus free again!

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    2. Shoot! I meant RUN free O.o

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    3. YES. You're so right. These people honestly believe they have an unpopular opinion. That they are being BRAVE when they spread that opinion. But no, their bigoted opinions are in fact that accepted norm. Anyone who's ever stood up against someone telling rape jokes, or making racist remarks, or in any way being prejudiced, will know what the REALLY unpopular opinion is. It's not the un-PC one, that's for sure. I agree with Jen, the term 'PC' needs to die, because anyone who hears it seems to feel the need to react against it by being as bigoted as possible. The term 'politically correct' sounds like some politician somewhere is nodding at you approvingly, also it sounds like all you need to do is SOUND correct and you can be as bigoted as you want in closed circles of friends and in your own head, because it's ok, you're PC. Fuck that. Being a decent human being matters, and that means fighting prejudice in yourself, as well as others.

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    4. Couldn't agree more with you two, Mori and Anonymous. It almost sounds like the word "PC" is just a way of denigrating respectful behaviour and elevating anti-social, oppressive behaviour as "brave" or "good" (because being PC is "cowardly" and "bad").

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  12. He took the offending post down shortly after you posted this. He must have seen it and gotten offended :P

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  13. How disappointing. I really enjoyed Wool and was planning on buying more of his work in the future. Now I won't.

    I'm glad you posted about this. Otherwise I might not have known and would have ended up giving more money to this guy.

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  14. This was my comment to him - http://www.hughhowey.com/the-bitch-from-worldcon/comment-page-2/#comment-8700

    I just feel beyond sick. I really wanted him to do well and respected him as an indie who'd made good because I'd love to be able to do the same. It's just so sad the way he clearly sees the world. To be honest if he comes off as this entitled and hateful toward certain groups---even if this is in the heat of a rant----it still feels awful. I can't imagine I'd enjoy his writing if he has such stereotypical views of unconventionally attractive people, women, the mentally ill, the developmentally delayed, and others. I thought authors would be trying to work harder to understand everyone and other points of view instead of being so reductionist :(

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    1. Umm...actually YOU are being reductionist by so confidently summing up exactly what kind of a person he is based upon your limited knowledge.

      I'm not surprised at all that you have found no success in your writing career.

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  15. He dissed blossom? Fuck that.

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    1. Mayim Bialik on top of everything else is a freaking genius, no doubt. Woman has a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. She's smarter than most people will ever be.

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    2. That's why I hate her views on vaccinations the most tbh.

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  16. Do you know where I could find a version of the blog post? He took it down and the cached version is "unavailable."

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    1. As far as I can tell there's no cached version around. Someone at least capped the original google search results that mention his generalizations about people with autism. The rest? I can't find.

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    2. Oh this might be helpful too - http://www.harryjconnolly.com/blog/index.php/the-bitch-from-worldcon-post-and-appealing-to-your-base/

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    3. I screencapped his rant on my blog if you want to read it there: http://maggieflynn49.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/does-a-nasty-artist-make-for-terrible-art-also-starring-hugh-howeys-need-for-a-brain-to-mouth-filter/

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    4. Oh the internet, caps or it didn't happen, thanks!

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    5. Anne Rice and her ilk have taught me well :)

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    6. K, so the thing with gendered insults is that you are equating a gender with being loathsome or wrong. Insults only work if the insulting word or phrase implies that someone is disgusting, worthless, or worthy of social or moral opprobrium. Calling someone a "shit" is insulting because you are telling someone that they are equivalent to disgusting, stinking waste that all people everywhere view as a vile substance that should be disposed of away from people.

      Gendered insults take that to a different level because the implication is that that gender itself is disgusting, worthless, etc. Calling someone a bitch means only, "you are like a woman." Here we are supposed to understand that "woman" is like shit in the example above, something disgusting, loathsome or weak. Pussy or the c-bomb (a term that skeeves me so much I won't event type it out here) are worse because it reduces someone from a person down to their genitals while implying that this immutable and intimate part of them is so wrong and gross and flawed that to be compared to it should make us feel awful.

      Wanker and bastard aren't quite the same. One passes judgement on sexual proclivities and practices and one disparages one's legitimacy. (Though, once again bastard implies less about the person it's being applied to and more about the morality of that person's mother.) I agree that dick is a gendered insult and for parity, we should avoid it. But it is a false equivalency to imply it is equally bad. The power imbalance between those who have oppressed other groups and the systemic inequities we still face today mean that an insult based on the ruling class doesn't carry the same weight. Calling someone a dick is never going to be quite as fraught and loaded as calling someone a bitch in a similar fashion as calling someone a cracker is never going to be as fraught and loaded as dropping the n-bomb on someone.

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    7. Damn! That reply was supposed to go to the post below. Now I can't even delete it to hide my shame.

      Apologies all.

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  17. Hi, not 100% on-topic but just wondering if the folks who comment here could answer something for me. I never really got what's wrong with gendered insults. I don't like it when someone calls me a bitch, but equally I don't imagine men like being called bastards or dicks or wankers... I don't feel like the thing I've done to be called that has anything to do with my gender.

    I do understand why we should all stop using "slut" and equivalents, because they wouldn't think to insult me for that apparent transgression if I were a man. But for the more general insults like those above I don't understand the reasoning behind it and I haven't ever seen anyone explain.

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    1. Do you understand what's wrong with using insults based on someone's race? It reduces an individual to a stereotype, as well as perpetuating a system of privilege. Same deal with gendered insults.

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    2. I agree with you, Anonymous. I mean, insults in general are pretty rough- his post would have been heinous had he called the woman any manner of insult, be it bitch or a gender-irrelevant asshole. And I say this as a curious feminist- gender equality is not a manner of bringing men down, but raising women up. I don't see how it's okay to call men dicks or jerk-offs when calling women bitches or twats is far less appropriate. It's true that there is a lot of nastiness to it when men call women bitches, but if we're going to protest gendered insults, then maybe we should consider the cause all the way through.

      Besides, I'd be lying if I said that my knee jerk thought when ladies are rude to me wasn't "Gee, what a bitch". Like Jen said above. It's a very weird world of semantics and power and all that. I know I sound like a complete twit, mostly because I am one, but I guess that gendered insults are so common that nobody pays its implications much mind. My kneejerk reaction to rude women is "what a bitch", and I am definitely not alone in that. Just like how women can think "what a dick" when a man is rude. Neither is okay.

      I'd love for there to be a discussion on this, hopefully from someone more coherent than I, so thank you for bringing it in!

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    3. K, so the thing with gendered insults is that you are equating a gender with being loathsome or wrong. Insults only work if the insulting word or phrase implies that someone is disgusting, worthless, or worthy of social or moral opprobrium. Calling someone a "shit" is insulting because you are telling someone that they are equivalent to disgusting, stinking waste that all people everywhere view as a vile substance that should be disposed of away from people.

      Gendered insults take that to a different level because the implication is that that gender itself is disgusting, worthless, etc. Calling someone a bitch means only, "you are like a woman." Here we are supposed to understand that "woman" is like shit in the example above, something disgusting, loathsome or weak. Pussy or the c-bomb (a term that skeeves me so much I won't event type it out here) are worse because it reduces someone from a person down to their genitals while implying that this immutable and intimate part of them is so wrong and gross and flawed that to be compared to it should make us feel awful.

      Wanker and bastard aren't quite the same. One passes judgement on sexual proclivities and practices and one disparages one's legitimacy. (Though, once again bastard implies less about the person it's being applied to and more about the morality of that person's mother.) I agree that dick is a gendered insult and for parity, we should avoid it. But it is a false equivalency to imply it is equally bad. The power imbalance between those who have oppressed other groups and the systemic inequities we still face today mean that an insult based on the ruling class doesn't carry the same weight. Calling someone a dick is never going to be quite as fraught and loaded as calling someone a bitch in a similar fashion as calling someone a cracker is never going to be as fraught and loaded as dropping the n-bomb on someone.

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    4. Original anon.

      I just don't think the race/gender comparison really holds up though. When someone calls someone else a racial slur it's pretty clear they're implying THAT is the thing about them that is worthy of insult.

      I can see "slut" is bad because it means "you slept around AND you're a woman, and that's worthy of insult"

      But when I'm calling someone a bitch I am not insulting the fact they're a woman. I am saying "you have a repellent personality". I use "bastard" and "bitch" to have the same meaning, I'm not thinking "hm is that person like unto a female dog? Is their parenthood in doubt?" No one thinks of the literal meaning. "X is a bitch/dick/bastard" is a pretty generic insult that doesn't tell you anything about the nature of that person's offence.

      I have only had cause to refer to someone as a cunt once in my life. It had nothing to do with her being female, and everything to do with there simply not being a stronger word to express my limitless contempt for her. Actually I would use it for both men and women if I had cause. Until the language evolves a more powerful insult I'm going to be using it.

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    5. But "bitch" isharmful for a number of reasons, and anecdotal evidence doesn't change that. "Bitch" means two different things when applied to men and women. When women are called bitches it implies that they are mean, ruthless and...actually having masculine qualities a lot of the time. When men are called bitches it is because they are like a woman--weak, emotional, un-manly.

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    6. Original anon - something to contemplate: Why is it that the worst word that you can think of, the strongest expression of your limitless contempt is literally to call someone a vagina - the most quintessential, fundamental part of a woman?

      To me it says, in our language, you can be nothing worse than wholly, essentially female and that disturbs me.

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    7. To Alexis - okay, to me the word simply doesn't have those connotations. But if you do think it does then I can see why you might find it offensive. Maybe this kind of depends where you're from? I'm not from the US. Idk but I don't just reserve "bitch" for women who have "masculine" qualities. I use it for anyone who deserves contempt for having a horrible personality, in exactly the way I use "bastard", it's one of the most general insults I can think of. I never hear it used for men?

      To Grr! Arrgh! - firstly I enjoy your username. But in other languages the worst swear word is equivalent to "dick". So... I just can't really get that riled up that in English it happens to be the opposite gender.


      I can see where you guys are coming from. Thanks for explaining. But I suppose for me at least these insults are not saying "all men/women are contemptible", they're saying "you are contemptible and happen to be of this gender". I just don't have any visceral reaction the way I do when someone uses "whore" or "slut" as an insult.

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    8. Anon, you're equating your personal use with 1) the way your audience will receive it, and 2)the historical and social context and construct. That's really dangerous.

      Part of fluency in a language is understanding both 1) and 2), so saying "Oh well other languages are thusly, so getting bothered in this language isn't rational" isn't a valid argument or nuanced view.

      You also seem to think that using gendered insults is like switching gato or gata for dog in spanish depending on the gender. It's your choice not to recognize that using certain insults have different social consequences depending on what gender you sling them at, and that those consequences tend to be harsher for the woman being insulted than for the man (and that when they are harsh for a man that is usually because of the implication of femininity), and that that causes a fundamental inequality in the insults themselves, but noting that might clear up some of your confusion.

      I think you're also ignoring the very real but implicit assumption that when you insult someone, you are saying they deserve to be treated with all the social ramifications of that insult. Are you saying women who are considered bitchy are given the same respect or lack thereof as men who are considered bastards? Really? If so, that's your perogative, but I think that's a fundamental difference in how you and I view the world, and I gotta say I don't think yours is closest to reality.

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    9. Sorry, but I gotta point out that gato and gata is not dog in Spanish. Those are the words for cat. Perro and Perra is dog in Spanish. Doesn't make your post any less relevant though, I think anyone reading it will get the point. :)

      Just on this whole debate..... one time I went to the markets with my boyfriend and mum. my mum and I were getting fruits and veggies for the upcoming easter festivities. Anyway, the markets were pretty packed as always and there was bearly any room to move with your trolly as usual. My mum told me to wait for her while she got some fruit and payed for it. Not being any room anywhere for me to stand around, I had to sort of stand in the way where people were walking through, yet there was still enough space for them to walk around if theyre needed to. So there I was, minding my own business when this old guy abruptly and rudely said "excuse me, but you're in everyone's way", to which I said "sorry, but you can walk around". I mean I dont think I was being rude or disrespectful by saying that and clearly there was no where to stand around with a trolly that I wouldnt be in the way of the main pathway. I can't even remember exactly the man said next, but it was something along the lines of "something something you're in the way, you bitch". YOU BITCH. That's all I can remember and no for sure that those two words came out of his mouth. I was so shocked and upset because I really wasn't expecting it. It really killed my mood for the rest of the day and haven't been back to the markets since. I always say that I dont care what people say or think about me, especially with strangers. And I still dont exactly know why it upsey me so? was it his utter vitriol towards me? Was it because the only insult he could throw my way was to call me a bitch because of my gender? I guess what I'm saying is that the word bitch is still hurtful.Whether you're using it towards men and women and you think hey whatever it's like the equivalent of calling a man an asshole or jerk so whatever man, the end result is still to demean others and reduce them to a single word. No matter what your viewpoint on the matter is, the end result is the same.

      Which brings me to another point. I and im sure many others throw the word gay around like no tommorow. I will admit that sometimes I throw the sentence "thats so gay" down on the daily. it's never really occurred to me how bad that is. I guess I always felt that the word gay doesn't have the same connotations as it did back 20 years ago or 50 years ago. It used to mean happy some point in human kind and words and meanings always evolve and change. And I have several friends who are homosexual and im okay with that. But im starting to realise that saying gay to describe a situation or object is A) reductive and B) enforcing a type of sexual preference, that being straight is really the only right way to live. and I want to live in a world where there is sexual preference equality. im interested to know what you guys think about that? is describing something or a situation "gay" right? or is it wrong much in the same way as calling someone a bitch?

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    10. The biggest issue with saying someone is gay or something is gay, is that you really mean stupid.

      Gay is not and should not be synonymous with stupid; it demeans an entire diverse segment of the population. IMO, calling something gay is equal to bitch, in the way that the intention is to be demeaning.

      Also, it just sounds really uneducated and immature, and anytime I hear it, I immediately dismiss that person as someone I would just rather not talk to.

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    11. Wanker isn't gendered, that's only given the implication because men are more prone to touching themselves publicly. But come on, everyone does it. It's just a matter of amounts.

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  18. OOh someone wrote this too with caches/caps from Goodreads.

    http://www.dailydot.com/culture/hugh-howey-the-bitch-from-worldcon-rant/

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  19. *applause*

    Also, I totally agree with you about James Deen. Phwoar.

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  20. When I first saw your post on home page, I thought I recognized the guy in the picture. The at the bottom where you posted it I realized why. I've heard him say "suck it bitch" like 100 times in a very literal way. And ditto letting himsay Osuck it Bitch" and "do you like that you little whore?" and "This shit is mine" and...

    Sorry, back on topic, I second FranSter. I've been in retail my entire adult life. You get crap all the time. And I also know how hard it can sometimes be to ignore it. But it makes you so much happier of a person when you do. And what was the deal with bringing his wife into it? Just trying to justify his use of bitch and insulting people that have NOTHING to do with the entire situation?

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  21. I hate to bring the tone down, but James Deen lost a bunch of credibility with me when I saw this tweet:

    https://twitter.com/JamesDeen/status/189541701751287812

    I found his little quip so flippant and upsetting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NOOOOOOOOO. I was going to jill off to him tonight, too. Ugh. Are there no good people left to masturbate to anymore?!

      Delete
    2. Not physically real people. That's why I masturbate to video game/book/manga/comic/and OCC characters.

      My head cannon harem is pretty full and divers.

      This is more reason for me to *not* get hooked into Twitter. Cuz yeah, I can and will talk like that and worse then that tweet but I make the attempt to keep it to people who know what I'm saying when I say crap like that and can explain myself.

      It's a bad habit of talking, it's not right but often I find it's the most effective way to get my point across without having to physical back myself up (You want an angry ass combat MOS sexist asshole SGT and above to not blow you off and treat you like a piece of fluff meat? Look him in the eye and graphically tell him what will happen to him and his if he does not respect the boundaries that he should KNOW he has no business or right to mess with and call him on why the shit he says has no place in the military today using the same language and speaking habits he uses. It's like spraying a cat in the face with a water bottle).

      Delete
    3. I know, I know! I am sorry.

      It's tough to find anyone to wank to nowadays. As frustrating as I find it, I also want to know more about the people I admire and most of the time I find out disturbing things.

      Blech.

      Delete
    4. OK. So my phone is clearly posessed, or maybe trying to keep me ottta trouble. I can't get on twitter!?! Can you tell me what he said? If it's long, paraphrase is OK.

      Delete
    5. His Tweet:

      "It's not rape if you yell surprise... then it's a party RT @danadearmond @JamesDeen it's ok. You'll be ass raping them in 6 years."

      Delete
    6. Fuck. I guess I'm left with watching Robinhood and fanasizing about Richard Armitage going medievil on me. And for the love of all I hold dear, if anyone knows anything negative about him please keep it to yourself!

      Delete
  22. I like to think of it in terms of "collateral damage."

    Sometimes, someone really does need a good verbal smackdown. People can be really fucking rude, or awful, or hurtful, and they definitely do deserve telling off for it--or the person they were rude to just needs to vent about it, and that's okay!

    The problem is when you take it beyond what they did that was rude or uncalled for and insult them based on groups that they belong to, whether that's using gendered insults or racial slurs or homophobic language or ableism or whatever else. Because then you're not just going after that person any more, you're insulting the whole group that they belong to. That's the collateral damage, and it's not okay. But not enough people think like that. They think "but I was justified in calling him the n-word because he hurt me and I wanted to REALLY hurt him back" and other such things (I've literally seen people explain their actions this way more than once). No. Hell no. You do not get to lash out at one person and hit a whole group of people along with them.

    Even when one is justifiably angry at another person and winding up to let them know *exactly* how hurtful they were, it is important to *think* about the ramifications of your actions and language choices.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can't even begin on the whole 'bitch' and 'crazy' and autism because I will become incoherent, which would be waste in light of all the brilliant and important points made above.

    Instead, I would like to point out that a "lovely, sweet Canadian" self-pubbed a little book called Best Laid Plans that went on to best-seller status *and* won the Leacock Award - Canada's top prize for humour writing. On top of that he actually is lovely and sweet, not to mention gracious in the wake of his unprecedented success. So suck that, Mr Howey.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow I thought that USA was super politically correct country and that you couldn't even glare at someone without being sued...
    And this is why I always take several days to write a post on my blog because after a good night sleep you'll see things in different and more sensible light (and spot a few more typos in the text:-)

    ReplyDelete
  25. In a comment on an earlier post, I wrote 'shut up and take my money, bitch'. I'm sorry; I wasn't aware of its sexist history and connotations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty much every thing in mainstream pop culture has a sexist history and connotations.

      Delete
    2. You know, I didn't even give that one a second thought, because it was clearly in affectionate jest. If you had said, "Bitch you're as ugly as Blossom," I would have taken offense, LOL.

      Honestly, I use "bitch" a lot. When I'm venting about stuff to my friends, my stories usually start out, "So, this bitch..." But my issue with its use in the now deleted blog post was that it was a man using "bitch" to make the woman's transgressions seem worse somehow. Not only was she rude and condescending, but she was a *woman* being rude and condescending, and she was acting like a "bitch" which is the worst thing a woman can do. It's less to do with the word itself, more to do with his intent: to put the woman in her rightful place through application of a demeaning word.

      But no, y'all can affectionally call me bitch any time. Quoth Tina Fey, "Bitches get stuff done."

      Delete
    3. And it was meant as an affectionate jest. I'm glad it was received as such :) .

      I also use the word 'bitch' a lot, too. It's one of my favourite swear words. It has a lovely cadence to the sound. It's terse and blunt (slight tautology, please forgive me) and brilliant, for that, as a swear word. Now that I know this, though, I'll have to be much more careful in my use of it (maybe if I use 'biatch' instead?). Though I don't think I've ever used it in that manner. Not the biatch manner, the use of bitch to make something seem worse. I. Erm. Oh, bugger it. You're smart, you probably know what I'm trying - and failing spectacularly - to say.

      Anyhoozelbees, moving on, glad no offence was taken.

      Was going to finish this comment with a humorous, affectionate use of a swear word, but I'm terrible at off-the-cuff remarks (can you tell?) so I've no idea what to say and now I'm rambling on and on and on and oh bugger a tautology. I'll shut up now. Toodle-pip!

      Delete
  26. A post about the ableist nature of his comments - http://www.jbridgerwriting.blogspot.com/2013/04/hugh-howeys-infamous-blog-post-and-why.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. It was the pettiness of the post that really struck me. He held onto this story for, what, more than 6 months? And this is the thing he thinks of when he wins an award: a woman who said maybe two dozen words to him while waiting in line at a convention. He's been holding a grudge so tightly there must be finger-print shaped bruises on it.

    The threshold for "batshit craziest" for women must be much lower too. When I use those words to describe someone, it's the guy who dresses as a villain and makes lewd comments/gropes women at a convention, only to defensively say "lighten up, I'm just being in character!" when you get security. The dismissive, overly-marketing-aggressive jerk in line is bad, but he's not "batshit" or "crazy."

    Or maybe what tipped the "batshit crazy" scales was her age. It wasn't just that she was an ugly, mean, possibly-autistic bitch, she had to have the gall of being YOUNG too.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Not because some far-off day a self-pubbed author might win an award...

    For the record, one did: http://www.bsfa.co.uk/bsfa-awards-announced/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of self-pubbed people have won awards. :D It wasn't a slam on self-pubbed authors, but a generalization that people should just respect all the people trying to make it on their own paths because it's the right thing to do, not out of fear of retribution when a specific author wins an award and says "suck it."

      Delete
    2. The BSFA Awards are the UK equivalent to the Hugos, and have been awarded to novels since 1970 and short works since 1980. So it's pretty prestigious, and it's never been won by a self-published work before. In other words, it's not just "an award" - in the UK, it's THE short fiction award for science fiction / fantasy.

      Delete
  29. Wow this is interesting, if true, apparently some people who wrote him with concerns got the answer back that "I volunteer at shelters and soup kitchens." I don't know if that's supposed to be an excuse to still treat people like crap verbally, but that's just woefully nonsequitir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is weird. It's not like doing good things earns you mean credits.

      Delete
  30. I don't like how he reinforced his actions by saying his wife had his back, as if, because his wife is female, that it's okay for him to voice his comments about the rude lady, since it went through his wife first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, then it feels like he's still carrying this prejudice/assumption that one women speaks for ALL women.

      Delete
    2. Well think of how "I wanted to hit her" would sound.

      That's why he had a woman voice that sentiment in his little story

      Delete
  31. I almost wonder if the inclusion of his wife (both in the original post and in his (apparently second) 'apology') was a way of trying to validate everything he was saying. AS in, "Hey, it's not just me, even my wife thinks she's a bitch!" Like having a woman support him on it proves that he's not a misogynist/bad guy/whatever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it was. It's like saying after a racist joke "But I have friends who are that race!" It's a subtle form of prejudice where people grow to believe the opinion of one member of the marginalized group is equivalent to ALL opinions from that group. It's basically believing all women must think alike and can't be individuals so his wife blessing it is okay.

      It's not.

      Delete
  32. Wow, Jenny, now you're famous, sort of, or at least jealous and desperate for publicity per those lovely Stop the Goodreads Bullies. YOU KNOW that you're a classy person when you rants are defended by these doofuses - http://www.stopthegrbullies.com/2013/04/14/the-attack-on-hugh-howey/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeeeeaaaaaah - if that wasn't already glaringly obvious. A girl who says it's ok for a porn star known for chocking and slapping women on camera is not too bright.

      Good luck with your "writing" career honey.

      Delete
    2. HEAVENS! Choking and slapping women in a BDSM porno? FETCH MY SMELLING SALTS!

      Delete
    3. Hah, really now. If you're going to make exceptions for violence against women in porn because you happen to like to "jill off" to it then at least be a grown up about it and admit you have double standards.

      You were apparently offended by Hugh's post, but most of the women who I've seen comment about it, on his blog, on Amazon, and on the new Salon article today, don't have a problem with it. That you found it offensive is your opinion, nothing more. It doesn't say anything at all about whether Hugh is a misogynist. M A N Y women have problems with men slapping or choking women in porn because although you personally get off on that kind of garbage, many many more men with violent tendencies also get off on it.

      Grow up, and really, learn not to advertise your hypocrisy so openly.

      Delete
    4. Good fucking lord, if you're so worried about what consenting adults get off to, how do you have the time to come here and argue with me? Newsflash: I'm against violence against women. I am not against sex work or BDSM. You seem to have a problem with this and view it as hypocrisy. So, we just aren't going to get along. The good news is, you don't have to read my blog. Door is that way. Don't let it hit you in the ass, as I view spanking as a reward.

      Delete
    5. Sounds like you should have taken some of your own advice before writing this blog post. If YOU'RE so worried about what adults write on their personal blog, how do you have the time to write a scathing review? The good news is, YOU don't have to read his blog. Although I'm quite sure you never have, you were just one of the many sheep to be herded against a cause you were to lazy to investigate on your own.

      Delete
    6. Sheep! That's funny because WOOL. Good job!

      Delete
    7. So a flippant response from you means that I win right? To the educated, yes, but I know that to you it means that my comment wasn't even worth an thoughtful reply. Funny, you seemed so confident in your "outrage" earlier.

      You are a hypocritical bitch who apparently can only manage to use sarcasm in reply to challenges. It is clear you fancy yourself an expert in someone's intent when they write something, however I still want to be sure you know that, UNLIKE Hugh, when I call you a bitch I mean it exactly the way you think I do.

      Delete
    8. I'm giving you this advice because I believe you honestly want to help and defend a favorite author: You're making him look bad here. Not to me, because I know he didn't send you here, and he can't control what people say about him or control how his defenders react to the controversy. But there are people out there who will judge an author based on what the author's readers are saying in discussions about them. If you're sitting here saying, "I'm calling you a bitch, and I mean it in the misogynist way, and I'm a Hugh Howey superfan, and he just got busted out for misogynistic behavior," you're going to confirm to some people that they're making the right decision in branding him a misogynist. I feel really bad for Mr. Howey, because readers who act the way you are acting right now hurt the authors they're trying to defend.

      Delete
    9. You give yourself a lot of credit Jenny. I don’t agree that a rogue poster on your blog has the ability to affect the career of a successful author, not to mention the fact that it is clear your readers have already made up their minds. I am not a Hugh Howey “superfan”, nor do I think he needs to be defended. I completely agree that he would hate everything I am writing (I would imagine that he is more worried about moving on with his career, rather than dwelling on petty bullshit). And I would advise you to check some of your own readers if you are so worried about how what they write makes you look.

      I am challenging the PC Police on their claims of outrage (that would be you, among others). Interesting that you have gone from attempting to shame Hugh to attempting to shame me, all while never defending what you wrote in the first place. You are a typical member of our current “Outrage” culture, one who is quick to condemn someone else, and then give condescending answers to anyone questioning them.

      Delete
    10. Perhaps I didn't bother "defending" my position to you because I don't feel it needs defending. It's a fact that "bitch" is an insult aimed only at women, and meant only to belittle women. It's a fact that the words he wrote stereotyping men and women with mental illness and Aspergers offended some people with this condition. The fact that Mr. Howey felt ashamed by what he posted and removed it stands as testament to its wrongness. The person who wrote those words owned up to them and apologized for them, and removed them because he recognized their potential for causing further offense. You are fighting a battle that is already resolved. And, unlike Mr. Howey, you're not owning your words. You're posting anonymously on a stranger's blog.

      I didn't condemn Howey. I didn't shame him. I pointed out the he made some mistakes, and how they could have been avoided. I pointed out that it wasn't okay for a man to use a woman's femaleness as an insult. I highly doubt Mr. Howey has the time to read all the positive posts people make about him on the internet, let alone the critical ones, but even if he did, it seems at this point he agrees with the "PC" people you're attacking.

      As for shaming you and treating you with a condescending attitude... yeah. I think you should be ashamed of yourself. Because you were the one who came at me in a condescending manner. You're not here because you actually want me to defend my position. You're here because someone on the internet, some "bitch," dared to suggest an opinion you found too "PC" and you needed to put her in her place. You made the very clear with your first post. I'm sure you thought you were dealing me an epic blow by putting "writing" in quotes and calling me honey. Let me assure you, you'd have to work harder than that. And you went to great pains to make sure I knew that you were calling me "bitch" in a way that denigrates my gender... which makes your comments about BDSM porn and protecting women extra creepy and gross, because it's clear you're just using claimed concern for women as a prop. So, I don't believe I owe you my respect. In fact, I believe I've been giving you more than you deserve. You're the one who chose to engage me. You do not get to define how I respond to you. And you do not deserve further serious response.

      Delete
    11. Wrong again on your first point, men are called bitches every day. I obviously disagree with pretty much everything else you wrote, but we both know where we stand so honestly what's the point. I’m glad I finally got you mad enough to speak from the heart though! I liked your response, well done.

      I promise I am leaving now and won't be back, but wanted to let you know that I did not post the “writing” comment, or the one about porn, those were already up when I got here (the one started with "OMG! Get the hell over it!" was not mine either, there may be more but I'm not looking through everything again). Congratulations, you are more hated than you thought :):)

      Thank you for arguing with me, it's been really fun (I mean that!)


      Delete
    12. This whole debate reads like Hugh Howey found your blog and didn't like the mean stuff you had to say about the mean stuff he said.

      It's okay Hugh, you don't have to hide behind being "anonymous" ;)

      Delete
    13. Jenny, I only read through these comments after being led to your post about the tragedy in Boston (in only the way the internet can do). I'm sorry but you do sound sound like a self righteous B. Your response is that your opinion "does not need to be defended"? Wow, having a tantrum now are we? Sounds like the bully is not happy now that she is being bullied.

      Delete
    14. Sorry Parker, isn't the whole point of a blog to express an opinion? This whole post is her opinion on a)how writers can ruin their own careers and b)how misogynist people can be even in this day and age. You don't have to agree, but this is the place where Jenny expresses her opinion. You can either like it or dislike it, but there's no need to call someone a bitch on their own blog. You want to say something about other people's opinions, use your own blog, or twitter, or whatever.

      And I agree, the bully is not happy with being bullied, but he really has to think about his public image (you did mean Howey, right?)

      Delete
    15. I'm sure your dragging his name through the mud had absolutely nothing with him removing his post. This entire debacle is a political play on words for your benefit.

      If Howey were a woman and the remarks had been gender specific to males she would have been applauded for speaking her mind.

      Just as any pro-minority remark is celebrated, any pro-white ANYTHING is shameful and racist. Being politically correct in todays society has become so engrained into our speech and mannerisms that an everyday conversation is like chewing glass while trying to keep from cutting your mouth.

      God forbid if someone actually speaks their mind in public.

      Want these issues to go away? Derogatory remarks, just as any and ALL slang terms in the english language have their meanings morphed and transformed more every day. Want to see Bitch remain as a gender specific remark used to belittle women? Just keep doing what your doing.

      Say it is so and it is YOU who will make it so.

      Delete
  33. OMG! Get the hell over it! People make mistakes. I guess that is a foreign concept to all of you who are perfect. The man took the post down. You going to hold it against him forever? Why not? If you're not perfect then you don't deserve forgiveness or a writing career.

    You people are pathetic. GET HELP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uh... I made ONE post. Singular. And I made it DAYS ago, before he took his post down. I also cop to my own failures pretty regularly... including in this post that you object to. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you came here directly from the STGRB blog. I feel bad that you don't have better taste in what you read on the internet.

      Delete
    2. He didn't make a mistake. In that moment he proved what a horrible misogynist he was, and now he's just upset because everyone knows and idiots like you are taking his side. It's called backpedaling.

      Delete
  34. You seem to have a pretty good view of the world from up on your high horse Jenny. Your blatant hypocrisy is sickening. While I can't speak for the previous poster, I can say that I came directly from Hugh's blog. Where one of your pathetic readers posted a link leading right here.

    Enjoy it you self-righteous bitch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did that make you feel better?

      PS. I can't control what people who read this blog do. If I could, I wouldn't be doing laundry right now.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Jenny Trout!

      I started looking around for informed, intelligent voices after reading through the comments section of an article on this at Salon.com. The cluelessness about Howie's misogyny is truly world-class puke-worthy:

      "He just can't be a misogynist because he writes strong female characters." (Yeah, and depends on signal-bumping from women who don't like sexists, an audience he just pissed off.)

      "He was mad at a woman and that's why he used the b-word. It wasn't meant to be gender-specific. I would want to slap [the uppity bitch], too."

      "You feminists are just professional outrage trolls who demean the word 'misogyny'."

      "Publishing that your wife wants to 'slap the bitch' and fantasizing about 'grabbing your crotch' and 'telling her to suck it' isn't uttering threats of violence."

      Whine, whine, whine ... and then, the "I hope you get raped" shit started. If that's the company he keeps, small surprise he can't tell when he's being sexist.

      There's no way on earth I would ever promote that creep's book to anyone now. I will be telling my friends-lists to stay the hell away from him.


      Delete
  35. Aside from everything else (for which, damn straight), I have to comment on this :

    "can we just take "PC" as a term out to the woodshed and pull an Old Yeller?"

    OMG YES THIS PLEASE NOW PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
    Especially if I get to pull the trigger on it myself.

    Thank you so, so much for that.

    ReplyDelete
  36. WORD ON THAT "PC" NONSENSE FUCKERY.
    Word to all of this.

    Lol @ you anons.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Why do women never do anything but complain?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why do some men give us so much to complain about?

      Delete
  38. "You made the very clear with your first post. I'm sure you thought you were dealing me an epic blow by putting "writing" in quotes and calling me honey."

    Actually dear, I'm the one who called you honey, and I did so because I'm gay and I call pretty much everyone honey, male or female. I put writing in quotes, because I've read some of what you call "writing" here on your blog and I you're not very good at it.

    I also love how sure you are of everything "It's a fact that "bitch" is an insult aimed only at women" Really? That's interesting, because I'm a man, and people call me bitch all the time. Only I don't bitch (for lack of a better word) about it because not only do I not see it as an insult, but even if we take your ridiculous claim at face value, comparing me to a woman would be a compliment.

    My people have as much claim as a persecuted people as women, in fact, I don't remember women being forced to wear pink triangles in Nazi Germany and being marched to the gas chamber. The difference here, is that my people reclaimed the word queer to the point that we now include it in the acronym LGTBQ. We've done the same with the word Fag. Whether you want to admit it or not, Women took the word Bitch back decades ago. It's why we have bitchmagazine.org, and why people like Margaret Cho make the following statement.


    “Whenever anyone has called me a bitch, I have taken it as a compliment. To me, a bitch is assertive, unapologetic, demanding, intimidating, intelligent, fiercely protective, in control—all very positive attributes. But it’s not supposed to be a compliment, because there’s that old, stupid double standard: When men are aggressive and dominant, they are admired, but when a woman possesses those same qualities, she is dismissed and called a bitch.”

    It's why authors like Stephen King can write about a strong power women and have her say things like "Sometimes Dolores, being a bitch is all a woman has to hang on to".

    But you know better don't you Jenny? You have all the FACTS. It's why you were so sure I called you honey to put you in your place.
    It's also why you're so sure that those of us who have found our way here must be Hugh Howey super fans, even though I'm sure I'm not the only one who's commented on this issue who hadn't even heard of him before this contrived little outrage.

    Last, and then I'll also be done with responding. Don't fool yourself into thinking you either have a monopoly on facts, or that you in any way speak for all women. Most of my friends are women and not a one has any problem at all being called a bitch. You're not doing women a favor by taking on the mantle of their defender, you don't speak or represent strong women like Margaret Cho in any way, shape, or form. What you stand for is weakness, for an idea of women as needing protection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please, sir, continue with your amazing insight on how to be a woman the right way. Also, please expound more on your vast knowledge of how women really think/feel/should act. I've only been a woman for thirty-two years and desperately need a man to show me how it's done.

      Delete
    2. Congratulations for being the one to invoke Godwin's!

      "I don't remember women being forced to wear pink triangles in Nazi Germany and being marched to the gas chamber."

      Probably you don't remember because you were very young at the time.

      The mistreatment of German women (for simply being female) happened when the Soviet Army rolled over the country. Most accounts say the Soviets singled out any female from the ages of 8 and 80, a couple million German women by some estimates. It's common conqueror behavior that goes back as long as humans have waged war.

      As far as taking words back, African-Americans have been using the n-word in songs for decades. And the word is still offensive and viewed as offensive, because of this little thing called context.

      You can say to your friends, "Bitch, please!" and they might not get offended.

      But try this little experiment. Arrange to have someone they don't know (preferably a male) call them a bitch. Like, "Hey, you bitch!" and have them put a little venom into it. Watch your friends laugh and smile. Because they don't mind being called that under any circumstances. They never feel offended, they never feel threatened. Because you said so.

      Or try this. Just go up to random women in the streets, grab your crotch and yell, "Suck it, bitch!" and record their reactions. It's a great research opportunity for you. Because women "took back" the word "bitch" decades ago. So they won't be offended. And anyway, they'll know right away that you're gay and don't mean it so even though you're a male, they won't be offended or feel threatened.

      Better yet, don't do that. I hope you're not that idiotic, so I'm including this little caveat. Just in case.

      If you don't understand, look up the video of Michael Richards' meltdown during a comedy show, and the aftermath.

      As a gay person, you seem incredibly tone-deaf in your belief that words don't really mean anything. There are a lot of gay kids who have killed themselves, and it's certainly a given that they felt the persecution behind what to you seem to be "just words" or words that no longer have any power. Kids kill themselves over words you're blase about, because you figure if the words don't bother you, they must not bother anyone else.

      Here's a little clue: people feel things in very individual ways.

      I don't know how you managed to grow to almost-adulthood or adulthood without recognizing that rather obvious fact, but it is what it is.

      Maybe you have a problem with subjectivity, with the fact that some people may not see things the way you do. You're going to experience a lot of frustration and disappointment until you wise up and recognize that people are not only different - but they have the right to feel differently. Differently than you, and differently than one another.

      This blogger and others have written about their reactions to Hugh's post.

      Are they right? Well, they're right for them (no matter what side they were on, either not-offended, mildly-offended, offended, feeling Hugh's post was ill-advised, etc.).

      For that matter, I read the blog post above and she doesn't come off all righteously angry, other than the first couple paragraphs where she described her personal reaction and explained briefly why she felt as she did. She spent the great bulk of the post describing instead what Hugh might have done and used some of her own experiences.

      The fact is, Hugh himself appears to have decided the post wasn't a good idea. In other words, Hugh understood that not everyone was offended, but many were. And he also recognized that people have their own feelings. And in this case, he saw a fairly large group make it known how they felt. And sure, some attacked him. But others treated the post as inadvisable or clumsy or whatever and gave the benefit of doubt as far as intent on Hugh's part.

      Delete
  39. You people are so incredibly ridiculous it makes me sick.

    Everyone needs to be so politically correct nowadays that its impossible to rant properly without people clodding through your words and dragging your good name through the mud.

    Howey had a right to be pissed off. He had a right to rant. He had a right to put his feelings into words to let the world know how that woman made him feel.

    YOU on the other hand, had absolutely no right whatsoever to dissect his post and strangle the words into your own twisted version of hate.

    The word "Bitch" has been generalized to the point that it no longer carries the gender specific meaning that it once did. Over the years, just as EVERY other word in the english language ever to have been uttered, it's meaning has changed, transformed, and become something completely different than what it once was. Bitch is a word used to describe anyone, of any gender/race/nationality who is overly mean spirited, cold-hearted, callous and/or overly negative. This word lost its gender specific meaning years ago. The only thing that brings its outdated meaning to the forefront is when people like you MAKE it so.

    Hugh Howey has a right to vent about issues and views as much as any other human being. You all know, you KNOW that he did not use that word as a derogatory remark towards the female gender. To think it was is ludicrous.

    That woman insulted him, every independent author, and indie publishing as a whole. It is views like hers that pollute the minds of the public and aspiring authors, shoving them into the unloving arms of traditional publishing houses. Yet instead of offering Howey your support you tear him down.

    What the hell is wrong with you?

    I have never in my life commented on a blog post until this moment, and I comment now with disgust and scorn.

    You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You're either incredibly naive or deliberately obtuse, I'm not sure which.

      Perhaps you believe people have the right to say offensive things. But offended people have no right to reply.

      Here's a little clue for you: the world doesn't work that way.

      One would *think* that after you saw so many people demonstrate that "bitch" actually *does* mean something, a small glimmer of consciousness might intrude into that rather thick skull of yours, an illumination that might inspire you to realize, "Gosh darn it! I might be wrong in that assumption!"

      But I'm not holding out hope.

      Here's another reason you're either naive or obtuse: After your self-righteous head-in-the-ass rant about how Hugh has the right to throw around the word "bitch" along with a slew of other female-gender-specific words and phrases (to drive the point home), and then claiming the word has no meaning and no one has any right to be offended or to respond...you then go on to explain that the woman Hugh wrote about "insulted him, every independent author, and indie publishing as a whole."

      Wow.

      According to Hugh's account, the woman said the following "offensive" phrases:

      "That's still self-publishing." - Truth. Hugh himself admitted it was self-published work.

      "He's going to do it the right way." - Opinion. And like anyone, Hugh can (and does) have different opinions.

      "And what awards have you won?" - Question. And Hugh admits that at the time he had not yet won any awards, but recently won a Reader's Choice Award (which prompted him to write the blog post).

      Hugh described the woman as a "young girl" and that she'd been an intern at a magazine.

      So let me get this straight: You're claiming a young woman with very little experience has managed to "insult every independent author and indie publishing as a whole."

      Pardon me while I choke on the hyperbole.

      I guarantee you that the overwhelming majority of indie authors and "self-publishing as a whole" felt no insult at all at what this young woman said. Even if they heard about it through Howey's account.

      Again, you don't get out much.

      Indie authors are well aware that some aspects of trad publishing look less than kindly upon what they perceive as the unwashed ranks who've neither earned a place at the table nor made more than half-hearted efforts to have their work vetted by gatekeepers who can recognize quality and refine it to the literary shine that trad publishing is so well known to churn out.

      To which a lot of indie authors scratch their heads and say, "Um, please explain Snookie or Fifty Shades of Grey."

      Indie authors who are serious about what they do don't even pay attention to what an inexperienced person like the one Howey described says. When it's a Mike Shatzkin or a Scott Turow - someone who has actually established a high profile and has a voice, attention is paid. But the reason it's paid is less for the insult than because these established voices carry influence and it's an opportunity to offer counterpoint. That's when you have Barry Eisler or Joe Konrath and others respond.

      I agree what Tobias Bucknell described as Hugh Howey "punching down" in his take of the whole "Bitch from WorldCon" affair:

      http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2013/04/12/dont-punch-down/

      Indie authors are too busy to flick at flies that buzz around. Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch wouldn't do what Howey did. Konrath would likely have responded directly to the woman to her face. Possibly Howey, like many authors, is somewhat introverted or maybe words failed him at the time and he stewed over it since. He'll grow a thicker skin, I'm certain.

      Spare everyone the false poutrage and pay attention to the world around you.

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  40. To talk the way this guy did in his original rant isn't just offensive to women, it's scary. When people talk to you like this in public - like Jess up in the comments describes in her experience at the market with her mum - you experience fear because the person - usually a man who is larger and stronger than you - could instantly become violent. What proceeds out of people's mouths (and keyboards, in this guy's case) is the result of their thoughts and urges. In my experience, people who talk or "joke" casually about violence against women often act on their words. Listen to what people say when they're talking about themselves and they will tell you what kind of people they are and what they are capable of.

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Say some stuff! If you can't think of anything to say, leave a link to a cute dog picture. I'm easy.