It is unfortunate when envy creeps into a writer’s mind. I saw this happen in a review I read by a male humor writer who was lambasting the author of Fifty Shades of Grey. He made a comment about phrases such as “she knit her brow with musing” and acted as if those word pairings should have sent her to the guillotine, instead of a better editor.
He continued with his unusually scathing critique in a way that seemed beneath him. I especially found his pointed words about her writing style ironic since he has made his living writing about alligators, beer and the word “burgers” without the r in it. Few would consider him a literary giant, although he does know how to make people laugh. But he was not laughing now.
No, unfortunately I had to consider that my colleague was dealing with Fifty Shades of Green. As in envy. The woman writer in question was laughing all the way to the bank, maybe even more than once or twice a day, maybe even driving truckloads of cash to the bank in fact every day as a result of her trilogy, musing with a knitted brow as she added two more commas to her daily take. She in fact revived the publishing industry, one might say, as did the author of Harry Potters before that and the author of the Twilight series before that and now the author of Hunger Games and Divergent and well…the list goes on and on. Ok, so she writes about whips and chains.
Somehow, it seems to be popular.
His disproportionate attack on her reminded me of the attacks levied at Wendy Davis, the woman now running for governor of Texas. It seems she lived in a trailer only two months rather than six, and did receive financial help from her second husband eventually, which somehow failed to make itself thusly into her chronology. You would have thought she had said something like “A man has a right to rape a woman,” or “the body can shut itself down when things like that happen.” All said by sitting, elected representatives. Males. They stay in office saying ridiculous, grossly inaccurate and deliberately horrible things while she curves a timeline in a biography and she is now supposed to be unfit for office. Forget the fact that she is a Harvard graduate. Who babysat her kids when she went to class?
Now, I am not going to rant about the double standard here, because it implies that there is a standard. Women get accused of things all the time, and it started in Genesis.
If there was literature distributed that read “And God created the white man, and then the black man was taken from his rib, and told to serve him and obey him, and never speak back to him…” there would be a revolution, and should be. That would be called racism, not the word of God. But substitute the word female for black, and things settle into a familiar hum that has been acceptable all too long.
Today I learned that some powerful women are on a crusade to ban the word “bossy.” Not the other b word that is thrown around so easily. It seems that research shows that girls stop wanting to be leaders because they think they might lose their friends. Calling a little girl “bossy” is more than an adjective—it is an invective—a warning—a slap down that has the effect of putting her back in the herd.
The Mormon women aren’t having it anymore. At least not a group of them. Female Mormon scientists, Ph.Ds, business owners are saying “Why shouldn’t we be able to be in those meetings? Why are only men allowed behind the altar?”
I predict the Mormons will soon have a revelation similar to the one the Head Guy had in 1978 that blacks could in fact get to heaven or lead or whatever they had been prohibited from doing by the Book of Mormon at the time. This revelation to end racism came more than thirty years ago.
Why is sexism harder to fall than racism? Go ahead. Call me “bossy” as I muse on these things with knitted brow.