?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Shedding less light than heat. - Piano wire. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The richest girl in town.

[ website | www.laurenwheeler.com ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Shedding less light than heat. [Tuesday, Feb. 16th, 2010|01:34 pm]
The richest girl in town.

Claire Light writes:

Those who read slush know (although it's not cool to talk about in these terms) that the submissions from women and poc are often disproportionately sucky, which is sometimes why even the proportions of women and poc who submit aren't reflected in the proportions of women and poc actually published.

(Note:  she's edited it slightly after a little bit of reaming in the comments, but still seems to be sticking to her guns.)

I think it's fascinating that she mentions that one reason women and people of color may not submit more of their work to the big leagues is that we think (erroneously, of course) that no one from our demographics read those mainstream publications...

when the entire post appears to be directed at editors who she seems to believe are all white and male.

Shit, she doesn't seem to think we read her fucking blog.

And then there's all the not-so-subtle judgments in there about "political agendas" and such--as though not wanting to participate in the mainstream [sexist, racist, homophobic] literary industrial complex is somehow suspect.

But the fundamental problem is, of course, that she thinks we just can't hack it.

Which I suppose means she, a biracial woman writer, is a unicorn--a uniquely talented "minority."

---

ETA:  And now I'm even angrier, several comments later and after looking up that post on ABW where she decided she needed to "rebuke" karnythia for her discussion of Obama's biracial identity within the context of American racism against people of African descent.

The common theme seems to be that this woman is convinced that she has The Universal Experience, and even when it's pointed out that her experience is not universal, she continues to beat the drum that she has The Only Valid Opinion.

I find it interesting that she thinks I "disrespected" her by asserting that her word choice ("women and people of color fail to make the leap to submitting to mainstream pubs") belies her belief in and support of the literary hierarchy--that mainstream pubs are and should be our highest publishing aspirations instead of simply one path that we may not choose to take.

Funnily enough, even after having several editors tell her that their experience of reading the slush pile is not the same as hers--and in fact, is in some cases the exact opposite with regards to the quality of the submissions from women and PoC, she still refuses to retract that statement, claiming that she needn't apologize for saying something "unpopular" (as opposed to not true, or at least not true as often as she thinks it is).

So... basically, what she's saying is that those other editors are lying about their experiences.

Good thing none of them feel disrespected.

linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: yeloson
2010-02-16 09:52 pm (UTC)
Shit, she doesn't seem to think we read her fucking blog.

Buh, buh, we all haz 8th grade 'ritin' and readin' skillz so we's cannot follows her writings!

Maybe we can buy her a yearlong supply of White Approval in a Can (TM).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2010-02-16 11:17 pm (UTC)
I really just....

Whatever.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: karnythia
2010-02-16 10:01 pm (UTC)
I still say she hates WOC. Especially black women.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: delux_vivens
2010-02-16 10:31 pm (UTC)
Especially black women.

Well if folks like her hate stylishly enough, they get fancy prizes.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2010-02-16 11:18 pm (UTC)
It seems that way. This is now the third time she's written something side eye-worthy.

I just can't get over the feeling that in her mind, her audience is all white and male. That says so, so much.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pantryslut
2010-02-16 10:07 pm (UTC)
I am more partial to Claire Light's writing than others here, but this particular post is a classic case of "blame the victim instead of the system." Sigh.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2010-02-16 10:31 pm (UTC)
I have no major issue with her creative writing, but the writing here is lazy at best. "Slush readers know..." Really? Really?

And this isn't the first time I've seen her take a big, steaming dump on other writers of color on her blog. I have to wonder what kind of awesome bennies she gets from the white mainstream publishing community when she expresses sympathy for them in this way--assuming, I suppose, that we disproportionately sucky writers stuck in the literary ghettos will never read her trashing of us.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pantryslut
2010-02-16 10:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, no argument that this particular post is one real logically confused mishmash. And also no argument that when folks call her on her sloppy thinking and/or writing, she tends to get extra-defensive and makes things ten thousand times worse. "I fixed it with an ETA!" Uh, no.

I don't think she's getting any bennies. I think (as I tried to say in the comments, but, um, my comment seems to have gone missing...) that despite her protests, she's still working on the "mainstream=teh bestest" hierarchy. I don't think she's all that sympathetic to them, really, but I do think she thinks that they just need a little fixing up--not that the whole system is flawed to the core. A new coat of paint and a little dusting will do, and a little lecture on how to open the doors so the POC writers can come streaming in, and all will be well in HappyLiteraryLand.

Again: uh, no.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tristan_crane
2010-02-16 10:58 pm (UTC)

This.

If only it were as simple as 'women and POC should submit their work for publication and everything would be great'.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2010-02-16 11:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, exactly. I just commented again. We'll see what she has to say to that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2010-02-17 02:46 am (UTC)
Still don't see your comment. I wonder if that's accidental.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pantryslut
2010-02-17 05:17 am (UTC)
I am trying to believe it's a spam trap rather than something more nefarious. If nothing else, it's hard to believe I was that devastatingly eloquent :P

Edited at 2010-02-17 05:18 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tristan_crane
2010-02-16 10:26 pm (UTC)

argh.

I don't know much about mainstream publishing, but I do know the comic book publishing world....

The reason I see why most comics are written by white men?

Because the editors are white men (in comics, mind you, which is about equal in percentage to Hollywood in hiring women into editor/producer positions), who publish their friends or people they know. Who feel that the work of other men is 'better' or more 'real' than the work of women - especially when those men are writing about women.

And yup. They don't want to publish work that is 'challenging'. You know, work that suggests that perhaps rampant sexism ISN'T the status quo. Which, I suppose, could be interpreted as having a political 'agenda'.

Or, if you write about a sexuality they don't understand, you are also pigeonholed as being an outsider, no matter how large your audience actually is. This is justified by the economy and how badly print publishing is doing, with no blame placed on the publishers for how they have contributed to and participated in their own downfall.

It is also fairly true that comics is a particularly close-minded medium, but I feel some of what's true there is also true in many creative fields which are male-dominated.

It isn't that the ratio of 'bad' women or POC writers is any higher than untalented white doods, it's just that there are MORE white doods submitting work, so it makes sense that there is a higher percentage of talent.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tristan_crane
2010-02-16 10:27 pm (UTC)

Re: argh.

Or rather - a higher percentage of acceptable stories being submitted. By that population.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dottieneurotic
2010-02-16 11:08 pm (UTC)
Well, you know the week I've had, so I'm not going to lie. I stopped reading at MFA.

/hater
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: shipbuilding
2010-02-17 12:20 am (UTC)
From the comments, it seems like she is not seeing the huge gap between what she actually wrote (she knows we can see it, right?) and her ... intention. She flat out said the submissions from women and poc were disproportionately sucky, and framed it like an 80s comedian all, AM I RIGHT? CHICKS, MAN! then got defensive when people said their anecdata differed from her anecdata.

That being said, I DO love to see you dish out some cool-headed justice on the internet.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2010-02-17 02:46 am (UTC)
She flat out said the submissions from women and poc were disproportionately sucky, and framed it like an 80s comedian all, AM I RIGHT? CHICKS, MAN! then got defensive when people said their anecdata differed from her anecdata.

Exactly.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: la_vie_noire
2010-02-17 01:43 am (UTC)
Oh God, that woman. Oh God.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: i_dreamed_i_was
2010-02-17 02:57 am (UTC)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Clair(e). Light.
(Reply) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: bay_bus_rider
2010-03-10 07:53 pm (UTC)
I didn't say anything at the time, but I'm so glad you posted this.

I've been trying to write more fiction lately, and I was thinking about taking an Oakland Word class. Guess who's teaching the class I wanted to take?

Yeah, I'm not signing up to work with her. And I will be explaining my reasons to the coordinator.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2010-03-10 08:04 pm (UTC)
Is the coordinator my friend Carrie?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bay_bus_rider
2010-03-10 08:17 pm (UTC)
No, but she taught the first class I took!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)