I really hate to keep bringing up the GoodReads controversy, but I find that in some ways, coincidences spur you on to greater things. Like, this one time when I really wanted to go to a gay bar, but also I wanted to go to a strip club, and I ended up going to a gay bar that was also a strip club. Or, when something awesome happens to prove my point about something really important.
During this whole GoodReads thing, several people pointed out (and thank you for doing so) that it seems like only female authors are expected to be nice to each other. Male authors can say whatever they want about their fellow writers, they can write satire, they can express their opinions, and it’s all fine. There are some spectacularly douchey male authors out there (not the one I mention later in this post, he’s totally cool and non-douchey, from what I understand), but it’s okay, because they have penises, and that makes their opinions important. If a female writer passes judgement on a fellow writer, it’s due to jealousy, a desire to self-promote on the back of another author’s success, and shallow, catty envy.
Now, check out this link: “A satirist goes for non-too-subtle shading” It’s a story from the New York Times about Andrew Shaffer, a reviewer for Romantic Times and an author in his own right, who wrote a soon-to-be-released parody of 50 Shades of Grey. Okay, I think this guy is awesome. So, when I point out a few things, it’s going to seem kind of harsh, or like I’m saying I don’t agree with his right to do this. That is not the case, he has just as much right to poke fun at a cultural phenomenon as anyone does. I don’t begrudge him the fact that he’s making money off it. After all, didn’t E.L. James also make money off someone else’s book? So, for the record, I am a big fan of Andrew, aka Evil Wylie, and I think this book is going to be great. Still, let’s break this down: I was accused of jealously trying to hook my money-gobbling wagon to E.L. James’s star, because I’m blogging here about 50 Shades of Grey. Andrew Shaffer, who I will presume identifies as a man based on name and dress, writes a book lampooning 50 Shades and is paid actual money to do so and yet I see only one instance on the book’s GoodReads page where he’s being accused of mean-spirited envy. Not, you know, two hundred-ish comments where he’s lambasted and assigned shady motivations. And I’m pretty sure no one is down voting Peter Shaffer’s plays in retaliation.
Again, I’m super psyched for Andrew Shaffer, I think it’s going to be a hilarious book, and I highly encourage everyone to make fun of 50 Shades of Grey because it is re-damn-diculous. And thank you, universe. Thank you for the beautiful gift of throwing the double standards in male and female author behavior into razor sharp relief.