The old one-two again

Oh God, I’m so tired of this.  Why is it that the moment you’ve calmed down from defending yourself against the ‘straight women who write m/m fiction ought to be ashamed of themselves for exploiting gay men‘ debate, you get hit with the ‘women who write m/m fiction ought to be ashamed of themselves for their misogyny‘ stick?

I’ve been holding a long email conversation with a lady who is convinced that misogyny is at the root of my writing, and at the root of the reason why (she thinks) no m/m writer in existence likes her book.  Now she says that because I don’t admit to being a misogynist, I must be so ashamed of it that I’m lying to her.

What do I do?  Ingrained politeness tells me that I must not be the one to put a stop to a conversation.  My religion tells me I must turn the other cheek and forgive seven times seventy times.  But dear God, it’s so hard!  And in the mean time I’m losing the will to write anything at all.

Do I tell her that the conversation has gone on too long and it’s a threat to my mental health?  (It really is making me that angry and depressed.)  Or do I wait a couple of weeks, until my anger and depression have eased a bit and then give her a polite answer back – thus prolonging a conversation that makes me feel like this almost every time?

Or do I just grow a thicker skin and laugh it all off?  I think that may be the ultimate answer.  But will a thicker skin make me more insensitive?  I’m not sure I would want that.  I guess you need callouses on your skin for walking or for playing the harp, but do you need callouses on your soul to be able to write?  I somehow can’t imagine they would make you write any better.

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14 years ago

You've been far more polite that I would have been. Srsly. I think some people are never going to change their minds or even be open to change. I think you should write, turn the other cheek and just not reply. Misogyny? I hardly think so.

Courtney Milan
14 years ago

Don't even answer. If she's accusing you of misogyny, and continuing to go at the conversation, she's already gone beyond politeness. You do not have to answer that, and etiquette does not demand you take abuse. Just walk away. Send all her e-mails to spam.

Jennifer Thorne
14 years ago

That is so incredibly sad. You write beautiful, eloquent stories. If you didn't then you wouldn't have so many people who read your books. And on the other hand, how DARE she? If she doesn't like what you write, then she has the right to put down your book and not read it. She does NOT have the right to criticize you for your artistic vision. Ok. So you're not writing 'Great Art'. You are still an artist. You still have vision. And your craft is impeccable.

Tell her to stuff her 'misogyny' crap somewhere biologically improbable and get on with your life. You don't need baggage like that hanging around and dragging you down.

Jennifer Thorne
14 years ago

Wait a minute. She is a writer, and is mad that no m/m writer likes *her* book?

What portion of her problem is sour grapes?

Just walk away, Alex. She's the one with the issues. Not you.

Val Kovalin
14 years ago

Oh, God, Alex, tell her to take a total hike! At least in your own mind while you drop all communication with her. You don't owe her a thing.

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