Sorry to have been MIA yesterday. I only managed about two hours sleep night before last, so my brain was most definitely not working for most of the day. I figured it was better to take the day off from the blog than to try to write something that made sense–and wouldn’t. Too bad, a writer over on a so-called feminist site didn’t choose to do the same. It would have saved me from beating my head against the wall this morning. Still, it would have also prevented me from having fodder for this morning’s post.
I’m not going to name the site. Suffice it to say, it’s not one I regularly read. The only reason I was there this morning is one of the stories found its way onto my newsfeed. The headline caught my attention. Not because it was anything sensational but because it was so obviously WRONG!. Curiosity, or maybe a bit of masochism, had me clicking through to see what the post was all about.
It all boiled down to this (and I’m still trying to convince myself the writer was trying for satire): men don’t read books written by women, don’t want to and if given the choice will refuse to. Oh, and they’ve really only written six books ever and everything else is derivations from those. And, just to be sure the author hit all the right notes, she had to throw in a stab at “white men”. There was some adjective included but I don’t remember exactly what and I’m not going back to check.
Part of her so-called observations were right. In school, if given a choice, most boys will read something other than books by Jane Austen. Hell, I would have if given a choice back then. I enjoy Austen on occasion, but she isn’t my preferred writing style. I have always preferred my fiction to have action in it.
What got me was the snobbery in the article. It’s a snobbery I’ve seen over and over throughout my life when it comes to fiction. Girls–and women–want to read novels about refine living and message fiction. (Imagine someone with a post British accent, holding a tea cup, pinkie finger out, intoning “literature”.) Boys–and men–want icky action and science fiction and fantasy like–gasp–Tolkien.
Sorry, but most readers enjoy more than one genre or sub-genre. More than that, their reading tastes can and often do change over time. Yes, there are some men who refuse to read science fiction if it is written by a woman. But on the flip side, there are women who will refuse to read romance or chick lit if it is written by a man. Funny thing, you never see these holier-than-thou women bitching about men not reading books by women saying women shouldn’t read only books by their own sex. In fact, these so-called feminists tend to call for boycotts of male authors.
And that double-standard drives me crazy. As a woman, I don’t care what “plumbing” an author sports. I don’t give a damn what their sexual orientation happens to be. As for politics, if they don’t hit me over the head with it, again, who gives a damn? Just write the best book you can and keep me entertained.
That’s what I try to do. Yes, when I started writing the Honor & Duty series, I made the decision to use a pen name that would be viewed as a male name. I did it because I knew there would be some who wouldn’t read the book if they thought a woman wrote it. Now, even though that pen name is the only one on the cover, it is listed under both the pen name and my name in stores. It didn’t impact my sales one bit when I quit hiding behind the pen name.
What about you? Will you refuse to buy a book in a certain genre simply because it is written by a man or a woman?
And now, it’s time to find my second cup of coffee and get to work. Until later!