Tit for tat helps no one…..

I was in two minds whether to post this today or not – it seems lately that I spend far too much time talking about the negative things that are going on in publishing – just for once I’d like a nice story to talk about. However, after talking it through with a friend I decided to speak my mind.

Tit for tat helps no one.

Seriously. It just encourages more shite and we all end up going around in circles.

On Friday the Daily Mail published an interview with author Jennifer Weiner http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2319045/EXCLUSIVE-Best-selling-author-Jennifer-Weiner-WONT-watch-Lena-Dunhams-Girls–Raven-Symon-s-70-pound-weight-loss-left-reeling.html

The article is terribly written, with no real structure and any actual point seems to get lost as the writer goes from one tangent to another, so try to look beyond that for a second and we’ll address the issues.

The article opens with the line ‘She is the best-selling writer who is on a crusade to win more power and respect for the women who pen ‘chick- lit’ ‘ which is kind of ironic as it basically goes on to bash other women for the majority of it.

The main issue that Weiner apparently has is that Girls star Lena Dunham doesn’t like Chick-lit. Yup. That apparently warranted a whole article in a national newspaper. Now, I bet you are thinking that Dunham trashed chick-lit in a major way, slagging off individual writers and ridiculing the whole genre. Well, you’d be wrong – here’s what she actually said:

I don’t have a taste for airport chick-lit, even in a guilty-pleasure way. 

‘Any book that is motored by the search for a husband and/or a good pair of heels makes me want to move to the outback. If there is a cartoon woman’s torso on the front or a stroller with a diamond on it, I just can’t.’

All in all, it’s fair enough. I trust that Dunham is a mature enough person to know what she likes and what she doesn’t and has the ability to be able to tell the difference. Personally, I hate those tragic lives novels that are about kids getting abused – you know the ones – they almost always have a white cover with either a sad looking child or a teddy, or both, and are almost always called something like ‘Daddy Don’t’. Those books aren’t for me. I don’t enjoy them, I don’t want to read them, and that’s entirely my prerogative  I’m not bashing anyone who writes them, instead I have a lot of respect for those who tackle such difficult topics. But as a reader, it’s just not for me.

Which is basically what Dunham is saying about Chick-lit. She doesn’t enjoy it, it’s not for her.

And that’s cool. We all have opinions and tastes and we are allowed to say what we like and what we don’t. And I think it’s really important to point out that in the quote from Dunham about chick-lit, she doesn’t say anything derogatory about it, she doesn’t name authors or bitch or snipe.

Unlike Jennifer Weiner (http://www.jenniferweiner.com) who seems to take umbrage with the fact that someone doesn’t like the genre she writes in and has the *gasp* audacity to say so.

 Funny how these sort of stories/attacks always seem to come out when someone has a book to promote. Tasteless.

Weiner took her venting to the Daily Mail (I know, I know, I’m going to stop reading it, I promise) where she proceeded to go on at length about how she wasn’t going to watch ‘Girls’ because Dunham doesn’t like chick-lit, and how we should all be supportive of the sisterhood and no say anything if we can’t say anything nice, and how we should use our positions to be supportive – which is quite funny given that Weiner is currently using her position to attack someone else. Classy.

She then goes on to say that the reason ‘Girls’ got made was because years ago one of her books got optioned. I know, I’m still trying to figure that statement out too.

The rest of the article seems to wander off into discussion about how disappointed she was with Raven Symoné’s weight loss (I assume it was because the character she was playing was supposed to be a bigger girl, but this isn’t made clear in the article)

The whole article made me really annoyed. I felt that Weiner was contributing to the problem – rather than shake it off and adopt an ‘each to their own’ attitude, she instead chose to name and shame in public. Which isn’t classy. Especially when you are going on about how much we all need to support each other etc etc.

Tit for tat never works. It just makes things worse and makes everyone look bad. Don’t do it.

Why not, as Weiner says in her sanctimonious article, ‘If you have a chance to say something, why not say something supportive.’ You know, that’s a good question.

Interesting that the article began with the line 

She is the best-selling writer who is on a crusade to win more power and respect for the women who pen ‘chick- lit’.

and then proceeded to lessen the respect that people might feel for her.

All in all, not a good show. Tasteless and tacky and I honestly expect better from writers than tit for tat name calling and bitching. Grow the fuck up and get on with life.

C

 

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