it’s been a week. i’m not fond of November because it’s dark. the news is fucking unrelenting. and then there’s this year-long realization of conditions in the misogynistic literary landscape. i had hopes. i did. the evidence isn’t supporting my hopes. then this article came along ‘on pandering’ and it’s got me thinking: where am i in all this?
the truth? i’ve written a short story collection about expats, mostly men. it’s because i want to understand men and i think i’ve come to an understanding: men are flawed and their flaws are different from women’s. i believe social programming of a different type plays a bigger part in their flaws than i’d realized.
my biggest influence in the writing of my collection is Denis Johnson’s JESUS’ SON. it’s weird and fragmented and real, you know? but Johnson’s a white guy and a member of the literary establishment, straight out of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. so, check to pandering to white male writers. i need to read more widely, i think. i do have a rolling reading list; i need to ensure there is more diversity on that list.
here are the realities of being a middle-aged female writer. i’ve been dismissed and patronized by male writers and said/did nothing about it. laughed it off. i think that’s my fall back position–laughing it off. that’s a problem. and, let’s be clear on this, female writers can be just as bad. female writers buy into this patriarchal system too. why? it’s a system full of favours and connections and maybe, just maybe, he’ll/she’ll help me publish.
i’ve watched male writers manipulate young, vulnerable women in educational/professional settings and said/did nothing about it. i’ve heard rumours of misconduct. and there’s a guy in my literary community with wandering hands and while i avoid him as much as possible, i don’t directly/matter-of-factly confront him.
this system is fucked.
here’s the article on pandering. read it and weep: http://www.tinhouse.com/blog/41314/on-pandering.html