MORE WOMEN ARE TALKING ABOUT IT
AMBER LOVE 16-MAR-2017 It’s vital to support indie authors who don’t get six-figure advances or even five-figure advances. There are plenty of us going the grassroots way and asking fans to get to know our work and send us what they can. I do this at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and by reminding folks to buy my books. I understand people are boycotting Amazon because of Breitbart advertising. You should be able to get the printed versions of my books at B&N website, but obviously not the Kindle versions.
BEYOND HARASSMENT TO RUINING LIVES:
This link to a post confirming the rampant routine of harassment, abuse, and assault in the publishing world reminded me so much of the comics industry and other subcultures. Scholars can argue all they want about the merits of comic books as art and literature, but even as the broader scope, the “entertainment industry” has proved, there’s still so much misogyny. The kicker is that we live in a world where this behavior is rewarded and can help you become President. (Honestly, I never believed I’d openly discuss politics again after 9/11.)
“If you gather a handful of women together and one of them speaks of abuse at the hands of mentor, boss, or partner, it is like opening a tap. The stories come out slowly at first but with an increasing pressure that floods the room.” – Erin Coughlin Hollowell, “Roxane Gay, Aimee Bender, and More on Assault and Harassment in the Literary World.”Literary Hub. Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature, 15 Mar. 2017. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
It’s beyond the financial abuse (wage gap or threats to contracts); there is so much emotional abuse thrust upon women:
- Do you risk your first job because the mentor/editor made a pass at you?
- Do you deny who you are because someone else wants to choose what you should wear or how you should present yourself in public or social media?
- Do you end up creating a pseudonym to try and blog about it safely?
- Do you end up receiving rape threats or death threats from fans of male creators who didn’t like what you had to say?
From the highest echelons of literature to the frat culture of video games, this is the reality for women and non-conforming individuals working basically anywhere.
“There is a kind of clarity of purpose, however, that comes alongside the horrible irony of seeing a former abuser, a narcissist and a self-proclaimed “expert” in all he does, a charismatic leader who often told me he was “the kind of guy who gets elected for things,” celebrated for his involvement in a “Writers Resist” event. Over and over again he made me promise not to write about him.” Nadzam, Bonnie. “Blog.” Tin House Experts in the Field Comments. Tin House, 06 Feb. 2017. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
Several years ago, I had the privilege to interview an author whom I respected so much. I liked her as a person; I loved her style; I loved her fuck-it-all approach to speaking out about her rape at a convention. To me, she seemed mighty and unstoppable. But we talked for a quite a while and the reality was, she had decided to GIVE UP HER CAREER as a steampunk author and entertainer because the pain was too great. Convention organizers wouldn’t guarantee that her rapist was not on their guest lists. She abandoned her beloved blog and the series that had grown many fans. It wasn’t worth the emotional price for her to keep fighting the same fight daily.
I get hits to this site every day from reddit because this was the only site willing to talk about a woman’s abuse by a charming voice actor; she changed her mind and didn’t want to do the interview, but because I even mentioned it, I get people from that cesspool of his fans looking for information.
If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, then you’ve seen the messages where I finally (unnamed) spoke of men in comics who wooed me with promises. “I’ll take a look at your script. Not saying I can do anything, but you know, give you some feedback.” “I have lots of women friends. My wife understands.” “I have an open marriage.” “I have a big meeting with the publisher for dinner but I’ll meet you afterward to talk about this more.” “I like your style. Maybe you can write one of my characters.” The shitty thing about this is that some people are genuine and I’ve been offered work that I would crawl over glass to get without any of those strings. You have no way of knowing which ones are the douchebags unless you talk to other women and confirm their reputations.
It’s not always nuanced that what a man in comics usually means when he says he’s interested in your script is that he’s interested in a night of sex and then will pretend he doesn’t know you out in public. You’re never introduced to artists, editors, or publishers. In fact, it’s more likely you’ll be introduced to other women who have fallen for their bullshit and because of fear, they haven’t written these men off completely. Don’t want to burn any bridges!
That is reality for many people. Not everyone is as fierce as Roxane Gay or backed up by millions of fans like Emma Watson. That’s just not how it is for average people trying to have a career.