February 16th, 2010

o rly hoff?

Shedding less light than heat.

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.