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The Spearhead on Lady Lit 3: Electric Boogaloo

This baby knows more about contemporary women's fiction than all Spearhead contributors combined. (As does the kitten.)

There are really few things quite so entertaining as watching people as ignorant as a box of pig shit offering their opinions on literature. Especially when the people in question are W.F. Price and his gang of misfit boys at The Spearhead, who are back for yet another take on the whole Women’s Lit question.

At this point I’ve run out of jokes on this particular subject, so I’m just going to let Mr. Price dig his own hole here. Here he is, trying to argue that feminism has made terrible lady writers even terribler.*

[I]t appears that since feminism’s triumph, female achievement in the higher arts has deteriorated substantially. When women no longer have to excel to be read and recognized, but simply have to advertise the fact that they are women to be celebrated for dubious achievements, they won’t put as much effort into producing anything of quality. So the sorry state of women today is a direct result of feminist privilege, which absolves them of all responsibility and deflects any criticism. …

Yes, feminism has wrecked Western womanhood, reducing the young women of today to spoiled brats who can’t take a hint of criticism, and immediately turn to authorities to bolster their self-esteem. No woman can be too fat to be beautiful, too dense to be intelligent, or too dull to be creative. They are all equally super-duper goddesses, before whom men must genuflect and heap up mounds of praise.

Price of course gives no examples to back up any of his, er, “arguments,” and somehow I suspect he hasn’t actually read any fiction written by women beyond an odd title or two he might have been assigned in high school. I wonder if Price could even name a half-dozen living woman novelists without having to resort to Google — excluding JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer and Jackie Collins (who hasn’t heard of them?) and Harper Lee (who wasn’t assigned To Kill a Mockingbird in high school?).

*I am aware that “terribler” is not a real world.

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Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

I think he’s too busy desperately googling to retort to LVvS xD

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

I’ll stick to Warhammer 40k when it comes to my easy franchise quick trip books.

I’ve heard good things about the Dan Abnett books. I don’t know much about the 40k universe, but I like hard sf – are the books worth it?

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

Is nebody interested in sports btw? xD That’s about the only thing I can make reccs on lately… I eat sports books like they’re candy 😀 That and how amazingly awesome the Nancy Drew mangas are xD I decided last winter to read my YA in Manga form (Twilight, Max Ride, etc) b/c it’s more fun that way (esp with bad YA xD )… it’s like eating everything in milkshake form! xD

The art for the Twilight manga is awesome btw o_o (it reminds me of the FF8 character designs (the actual drawn ones) 😮 ) tho the story still isn’t better >_>;;

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

“Newton is remembered for his physics, not his alchemy. Dunno what Price’s point is though”

As fascinating as this whole argument is, I did just have to pop in as the insufferable chemist and correct this, Kirbywarp. Newton actually contributed quite a lot to the field of chemistry, as “Alchemy” is pretty much just early chemistry. However, I will say that many of his discoveries did get passed to Boyle who, (while actually being an alchemist as fully as Newton), is easier to pass of as an “early chemist”.

I will, say, however, that is intensely religious ideals were swept under the rug. He was extremely christian, though of a now-extinct sect. So much so he persecuted other Christians. Also, through intense study of the bible, he predicted that the world would end in 2060. Though, i have to say, if I had to choose apocalypse theories his would rate above Camping’s.

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

The VS Naipaul thread at the Spearhead is pretty good laffs.

Peter Andrew Nolan: “I deliberately failed English and even I know women like Jane Austen and Haper Lee are rubbish writers. You hardly need to be nobel laureate to know that.”

Is like saying: I flunked astrophysics, and even I know that the Sun is a big ball of cheese. Duh!

Six thumbs up and one thumb down.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
10 years ago

Ami, there’s nothing weird about looking at other people’s bookshelves. I mean, assuming you’ve actually been invited into their homes and aren’t using binoculars through a window or something. That would be weird. You can learn a lot about a person from their bookshelves. It’s wonderful to discover where you and another person’s taste intersect and diverge.

I also think that people who love reading as children quite naturally have books that influenced them and that they remember fondly for the rest of their lives. A Wrinkle in Time blew my mind when I was nine. Of course I was also always referencing it to try and explain to my father why I couldn’t really be late for school.

Didn’t fly.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

He *deliberately* failed English? o_O

sarahejones
10 years ago

The Star Wars Extended Universe is fun (I stopped following it a while ago) but it’s hardly classic sci fi. Try some Philip K. Dick, for god’s sake. Or Kurt Vonnegut. If you’re looking for good, recent sci fi by a woman, try Karin Lowachee’s Warchild series.

Oh wait. I forgot it’s weird to remember the names of my favorite authors. And I’m a lady! And I like sci fi! And preferred Star Wars novels to Twilight as a teenager! Commence pearl clutching in 3, 2, 1.

Amnesia
Amnesia
10 years ago

As for names of female authors, I am, unfortunately, one of those people that doesn’t remember names well. Can’t say for sure my ratio of male writers:female writers.

However, I had a good manga phase several years back, I know for sure many of those authors were women. I was particularly fond of series by CLAMP.
Oh, and I read the Animorphs series back in elementary school. That was by K.A. Applegate.

Mr. Kobold
Mr. Kobold
10 years ago

LadyV, I don’t really know how you’d personally define hard sf, I see Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghost books as being fairly good guilty pleasure military SciFi that are kind of like Hamburger Hill or The Pacific but in space. His Inquisitor type books are my favorite and have really good world-building and pretty inventive characters. I haven’t read any the Horus Heresy stuff but I guess that would be the best way to get into what Warhammer 40k universe is without trawling background articles from Game Workshop.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

“Try some Philip K. Dick, for god’s sake. Or Kurt Vonnegut. If you’re looking for good, recent sci fi by a woman, try Karin Lowachee’s Warchild series.” Also Heinlein or Bradbury or the previously mentioned LeGuin. And they’re all getting to the ‘classics’ stage, too.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Nobby:

Always happy to be corrected. 🙂 It seems like I’ve spent my childhood learning wonderful things about the world, and the beginning of of adulthood learning that all those things were bunk or misleading. It just a common argument I hear on other topics for some reason, that just because Newton made great contributions to one field, doesn’t mean he was right about everything. (therefore the fact that he was religious doesn’t lend religion more credit)

@Nobinayamu:

Oh man, Wrinkle in Time was amazing! *drools* I read that over and over as a kid, along with My Father’s Dragon, Harry Potter… *sigh* Its a shame I don’t read so much these days… The internet has become my book.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Kirbywarp “It seems like I’ve spent my childhood learning wonderful things about the world, and the beginning of of adulthood learning that all those things were bunk or misleading.”

Truth. I really hate that in chemistry in particular. Every two or three years, you get the class that says “Oh, yeah. All that stuff from three years ago? Complete crap. Here’s how it actually works”.

sarahejones
10 years ago

@Nobby: Oh Ursula Le Guin is amazing. I discovered her work through the Earthsea series and followed that up with the Eye of Heron, which remained my favorite book for years.I read The Dispossessed last year and loved it. It’s so damned relevant.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

The Nancy Drew comics aren’t related to the books btw, but they are pretty darn awesome xD I esp like how Bess is like Batman now xD She can fix ANYTHING 😀 George is great too 😀 And Nancy Drew punches out a bear! 😀

XD

I made a whole bunch of scans about the number of times she’d fought an animal in the series and also the number of times she’s confronted/battled a villain on the cliff xD Plus there’s a woman who lifts cars! :O And a guy who thinks he’s the son of Edgar Allan Poe and puts her death traps! 😀

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Sarahejones I preferred Star TREK novels to Twilight! >:O *puts on Team Star Trek shirt* xD Oh it’s on! *hairpull*

chocominties
chocominties
10 years ago

Deliberately failed? Sounds kind of like, “I meant to do that!” when you fall down the stairs.

sarahejones
10 years ago

Sword of the Jedi > Kirk. 😛

Picard, now. That would be tough. And Sisko. I was always a fan of Sisko.

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

@Sarahejones & @Ami:

Yer both wrong.

The Babylon 5 novels are superior by far to anything Lucas or Rodenberry have to offer!

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

Oh you b-!

xD

I actually like Babylon 5 too 🙁 And Star Wars! D: It’s hard to keep up the cattiness!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

Just because its relevant. 😛

sarahejones
10 years ago

I’ve never watched Babylon 5 so I can’t comment. I’ve got to finish working my way through the X Files before I tackle a new series (and I start grad school in the fall so god knows when I’ll have time to watch anything after that). But I did grow up on Star Trek. That was my introduction to sci fi, actually.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Nobby I think that’s the thing… I mean we all grow up “knowing” things about the world, esp about things we’ve never experienced or what ppl’s lives must be like.. we have these narratives and beliefs that we absorbed and we grow up knowing it’s true, and I think the difference comes when you get a disconnect between what’s true and what you “know” and it’s how ppl deal w/ that that makes the difference : It’s amazing how angry ppl can get w/ change… like the Pluto thing proved that, it’s just a change in classification and some ppl who never thought about astronomy in their entire lives got RLY bent out of shape about it cuz it was different than what they “knew” and what they grew up with.

Jodi
Jodi
10 years ago

NWO, I only keep the ones I want to read again, and I read or reread a book at least every other day. So yeah, I keep the ones I like, as it is I spend too much on books.

I’ve yet to meet anyone “impressed” by lots of books. They’re a pain in the backside; heavy and get dusty and take up space. But so much fun when I open one up and fall into the story.

The ones I don’t like are given to the library book sale, and if you think used books don’t sell, you should go to one of those sometimes.

Lady Vic, you’re right, there are women writers who do series work, and some of them do write books I like.

My guess is that a Kindle or a Nook would probably be a good thing for me, but haven’t yet gone that route.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Ami:

Too true. The problem is people don’t realize that the first thing you hear is usually the side you trust most. Children kinda have to take what parents and teachers say on faith because they have no one else to give them information, and what they say becomes “fact.” Some people can deal with change, others can’t. NWO seems to be in the latter category.

Spearhafoc
10 years ago

Oh, here’s my Countdown piece, in case anyone cares. It’s not the sort of thing I usually do, not by a long shot, but I think it’s kinda cool-ish.

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

But I did grow up on Star Trek

B5 is only 5 seasons, so its not an epic undertaking like a longer-running show. Though, to be fair, if you started with Trek, you’ll likely see a lot of similarities between DS9 and B5 – but B5 did it first!!!

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

DS9 was so desperately trying to play catch up with B5 xD I love that the endings of both were like “Sheridan is Jesus and ascends back to heaven” “OH YEAH! well Sisko is Hercules and completed his tasks and joined Mt Olympus!”

xDDD

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Jodi Kindle is sweet! I haven’t used the Nook, but I do know having the entire ‘Oz’ series fit into my back pocket (14 books, by the way), as well as science articles and a good dozen other books, is amazing. And the fact that it’s so much better to read on then a computer screen.

@Ami and kirby: Yeah, it’s true. The thing that annoys me about chemistry in particular is a little different. In that, they actually teach the wrong concepts. Literally. And then they stick, like you said. How many people here think electrons go around the nucleus in an orbit? I would guess quite a few. And yet we’ve known they don’t since Bohr.

But yeah, I guess it comes back to the same thing, in a way. We’re all given information when we’re young, and it’s up to us to process that information and decide if it’s true or not. And some people can handle the fact that their old teachers, and friends, and even parents, are often wrong. And some people can’t.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

I always hated that B5 had that thing where they thought they weren’t getting a 5th season so they shoved both defeating the Shadows and reclaiming Earth into S4, then got renewed for a 5th season that was always kinda superfluous to me :

sarahejones
10 years ago

“We’re all given information when we’re young, and it’s up to us to process that information and decide if it’s true or not. And some people can handle the fact that their old teachers, and friends, and even parents, are often wrong. And some people can’t.”

This is so very true. I think that’s a common human experience but my background in Christian fundamentalism throws it into particularly sharp relief for me. I attended a Christian university for my undergrad, and I witnessed so much hatred and vitriol there. When an individual’s entire existence is ordered around such a carefully ordered worldview that isdependent on a rigid interpretation,adherence to which determines one’s eternal fate, it’s difficult for that person to question that structure. And so many react with anger, because to question the structure the is to question their entire raison d’etre.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Nobby that even had that model in TNG. In fact it was the entire thing the plot hinged on (episode: Night Terrors) where the aliens were going “one moon circles” to mean hydrogen and the computer models Data and Troi were looking at had that kind of model and Data who should know everything still subscribes to that xD

In chemistry we actually learned that’s not true, but BEFORE HS chemistry we were taught it is -_- Kinda like how we teach kids that evolution is kinda this intelligent process where things are heading towards a goal, then in university we teach them the truth -_-;; And a lot of ppl never get that far cuz they have no interest in going into those things (and you shouldn’t have to go to university to learn these things). It’s not even like the concepts are that hard xD My mom’s a scientist and she had taught me what DNA was when I was 6 years old… I think ppl underestimate what kids can understand. 😐 And also the idea that adults, or authority know better, and that the world is pretty simple and you know what you “know” :

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

Though I loved my teacher at the time, my middle-school science class was full of fun little false tid-bits. For a time I believed that snow and ice couldn’t be brought to a temperature lower than freezing…. It actually did take quite a bit of gymnastics to wrap my head around the truth… 😐

The trouble is that you want to present an idea thats understandable to children, that is “good enough” and that piques their interest. Once you’ve hooked them, you can then proceed to disassemble everything they think they know about reality. >:D SCIENCE!

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

I always hated that B5 had that thing where they thought they weren’t getting a 5th season so they shoved both defeating the Shadows and reclaiming Earth into S4, then got renewed for a 5th season that was always kinda superfluous to me

You are not the only one! Some of the episodes in S5 were still good, but I think the first and fifth seasons are generally seen as rather awkward bookends to some really fantastic television in the middle.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

Yus! That’s so my feelings too! S1 and S5 dun rly fit… I mean they do but S2-4 is where it’s at :3

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

I’m glad I’m not alone in my assessment of B5 tho! Outside of my sister, I dunno any other fans, so I’ve always worried that it’s just me who thinks these things xD

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Ami wow, really? That makes me sad. TNG is actually not usually horrible in that regard. Not great, it is fanciful sci-fi, but to get a basic like that so horribly wrong is… sad 🙁

And yeah, it’s just so strange! As a TA I try to teach the real thing, and when there’s exceptions I point them out. And somehow, my students aren’t paralyzed by confusion! I mean, electrons exist in clouds, done. Was that so hard? And somehow easier then “electrons are in orbits”, two years later “well, kind orbits, but they’re wobbly”, two years later “Okay, not orbits at all actually”. WTF! Kids know what clouds are! And now you’ve locked tons of people, from those who have trouble shifting worldviews to people that simply didn’t get that far, away from the truth that we already knew! Arg!

And evolution is so true too! Lots of people believe intelligent design because the way they’ve been taught evolution is wrong, and so of course when someone comes along and says “That’s wrong!” they’re going to have some traction. And when scientists say “Wait, actually, that’s based on the wrong theories” it gets them even more confused and distrustful, since the same people taught them different. Grr.

And good on your mom, sounds like she treated you like a young person, and not some weird thing that couldn’t handle complex ideas. Were that more people felt the same.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

Yeah, I actually provide at least half of the child care in my family, and it is in no way comparable to mowing the lawn. Not even close.

mythago
mythago
10 years ago

Mowing the lawn takes what, an hour or so every week?

Oh, the old mowing-the-lawn thing. Being the person officially responsible for Manly Tasks like cleaning the pool, mowing the lawn and maintaining the cars? This is a bullshit whine by men who either know better, or do so little day-to-day housework (laundry, meals) that they have no freakin’ clue.

You mow the lawn maybe once a week. It takes a couple of hours, unless you have the back forty, in which case you’re using a riding mower anyway. Once it’s done, it’s done. You will not look out the window to see that the kids were playing and made the lawn grow another two inches. Your spouse will not wrinkle up her nose and say “Bluegrass? Oh, honey, why didn’t you put in fescue?” and make you dig it all up again. You don’t find out that when you sent your wife to the store to buy lawnmower powder that she forgot and bought Doritos instead.

Let’s put it this way: it wasn’t long after I took charge of the lawnmowing that my husband insisted on taking the chore back. Because you mow the fucking lawn and then it’s done. It’s not like planning, shopping for and cooking for a family three times a day, every day.

But it sure works up a sweat, so maybe if you complain to the ladies about how haaaard it is they’ll believe you.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
10 years ago

I always found having my books in a bunch of boxes as inefficient and time consuming since I tend to reread books I enjoy.

So I got bookcases and so far have ten of them and need at least four more.

Joe
Joe
10 years ago

Try some Philip K. Dick, for god’s sake

PKD had issues with women. He seems to have taken it out on his female characters, who are disproportionately selfish, manipulative, deceitful, and mean. YMMV

katz
10 years ago

Science is basically all models anyway; the only real deception we spread is often saying “this is true” instead of “this model predicts reality accurately.” One theory is more true than another to the extent that one models reality better than another, but there’s nothing wrong with using a not-so-accurate model because it correctly predicts the particular thing you’re interested in.

(No, I’m not a relativist. Plenty of things are just plain true, but science deals with rather few of them.)

sarahejones
10 years ago

@Joe: No idea what YMMV means, but I’m aware that there are some problematic elements within his work. Ditto for Tolkien, whose female characters are passive one dimensional paragons who occupy a narrow role within his personal mythos. I still enjoy LotR and I still enjoy Philip K. Dick. It’s possible to appreciate certain aspects of a story while being aware of its limitations.

katz
10 years ago

Your Mileage May Vary.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Katz: “the only real deception we spread is often saying “this is true” instead of “this model predicts reality accurately.””

This is true, I’ll admit. However, that is typically taught as “this is how the world works” (because, again, kids ‘can’t handle abstract concepts’). And the more complex model still predicts the same thing. Why default to an older model which breaks down quickly in every other case, instead of simply teaching the generally accepted model at the start?

Though, I agree that there should be a hell of a lot more logic taught in lower grades, to help kids understand such distinctions.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Nobby I ttlly agree about teaching more logic. And helping them understand the concepts they’re learning and how the concept logically works, rather than “this is what it is, we’ll teach you why when you’re older” -_-;; I always think some of the things I wish we’d teach kids at lower ages are stuff like evolution, simple statistics and probability, and modern models of chemistry and physics. 🙂 And as you said, there’s a difference between “making it easy for children to understand” and “teaching them something incorrect”. What’s the point in teaching kids that there’s some goal of evolution where every animal wants to fly, or that electrons circle, or etc when you’re just gonna teach them the truth when they grow up? -_-;;

Also my mom is awesome 🙂 She taught me so much when I was young, starting even when I was like 4… before school started. She was never home cuz she worked rly long hours, but she used to stay up at night making tapes for me where she’d read to me and I’d follow along in the book she’s reading, her tapes would explain words to me, and concepts. We read science books that way, and do math. She made little computer programs on our commodore 64 for me too, kinda like mini tests or interactive things for me to learn on 🙂 And she never treated me like I couldn’t understand stuff like DNA or the immune system.

And she did all this despite being in a terrible abusive relationship where my father was never home during the day even tho he didn’t work (he was cheating on her…) and at night… : She was the one who supported the family and raised me and my sister (and she was going to school to catch up on the newer sciences too) AND made sure that even if she was never around, or I couldn’t be around cuz she didn’t want me to see or hear what was going on (except I did : ) , she was there for me, and teaching me and everything.

zombie rotten mcdonald
10 years ago

we discard books and recent magazines by taking them up to the medical home on the other end of the block. They get plenty of use.

zombie rotten mcdonald
10 years ago

and then we don’t have to be bitter about it either.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

Sorry I trailed off 🙁 I got too sad 🙁 Needless to say I love my mom and she is awesome 🙂

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

Zombie made me think that places that could use supplies to make art or do creative things like blackout poetry, etc could also use old comics, magazines and books (and covers) donated 🙂 Like the v awesome trauma therapy group I was part of… and doing art to help heal using donated cloth, magazines, books, etc.. :]