Sunday, January 07, 2007

Honestly, what they teaching at Harvard these days?

Dear Defensive Writer,

No one is surprised or shamed when you say "there is nothing to support that in the narrative" to an accusation of sexism. Of course you don't think there's anything to support sexism in the narrative. You wrote the damned thing.

So when responding to a criticism that charges that a female character is written out of character and dismissed by the story, it certainly helps your point if you read the post and respond to the actual criticism rather than ranting in the comments of a post linking it about all the good you did otherwise in the story and then claiming that the sexism charge is baseless without even looking at the actual sexism charges. It might also help to go to the post that addressed the issue and comment there.

I've seen your colleagues answer these same sorts of criticisms thoughtfully and politely, taking the entire argument in account. Some see the mistake, some don't see the mistake, but at least they listen. Maybe you should too.

Just a helpful suggestion,
-- One of the Fans Who Made the Original Criticism.

(Those you wondering what this is about should check comment #4 on this post)

11 comments:

  1. As nasty as discussions about the whole thing get, it does seem he's projecting stuff not in the original post. I haven't read the issue in question, so I can't say how successful he was in how he claimed he wanted Storm to come off as. But it doesn't really help his case by trying to discredit criticisms by assuming they don't know what something is like.

    Though at least he went into detail and replied back, instead of just issuing a vague, one-line answer and completely dismissing you as biased, baseless, and not constructive and not replying back.

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  2. Well, this isn't our fourteenth argument, after all.

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  3. Maybe, since he seemed to lump yours and Loren's with all the other criticism he got, Hudlin was feeling the same way?

    And it's not like I got an answer the first time around. :P

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  4. You do know I was not only watching, but participating in the one that reached fifteen pages, right?

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  5. I know. Ack, I think I may have taken something the wrong way there...

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  6. Hudlin does seem hot on the collar, doesn't he? I agree with jlg that he's probably projecting from all the other criticism he's received because he's totally being defensive. You'd think that I wrote that whole entry just to insult him. Oh, wait...yes, that was it. And, I wrote all that other stuff around the Black Panther stuff as a thin veil for me true agenda -- rip him a new one for Storm.

    Nevertheless, I actually don't want him to be offended, but you're just absolutely right about the Storm stuff and I would never back down from that. This was a big conversation going on on the blogosphere and was a strong discussion about diversity and that's why I included it.

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  7. Just read the discussion thread prompting this post. Oy.

    Leaving aside any questions of professional conduct and the way adults respond to criticism -- answer: not like that! -- the single most revealing statement by that author was his "are you married? Because I am." With that remark, he changed the topic from whether or not a given action is right for a given character in a work of fiction to "this is what a good wife does in real life." And no amount of reasoned discussion -- not that he attempted same -- will ever get through that attitude.

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  8. With that remark, he changed the topic from whether or not a given action is right for a given character in a work of fiction to "this is what a good wife does in real life." And no amount of reasoned discussion -- not that he attempted same -- will ever get through that attitude.

    I had a completely different reading here. I saw that as him basically asking her to compare her own experience in the issue at hand to what he's written, and then going on to say that "This is how it works sometimes." It could've been phrased better, like a lot of things, but it's a pretty heated thread anyway.

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  9. You handled that there about as well as you could. Well done.

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  10. Ragnell vs. Hudlin, Round 1, FIGHT!

    The winner: No-one really, but in my personal opinon, that Jennifer was a JERK!

    Hey, free speech.

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  11. Well! That was a great deal of sound and fury!

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