Categories
antifeminism kitties men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA the spearhead

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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

250 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
katz
10 years ago

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?

Simplicity, I guess. I mean, you’re not going to spring density functional theory on a bunch of seventh graders. And even if you can understand the more complex theories perfectly well, the added degree of correctness might not be worth the calculation effort.

That’s why Newtonian mechanics is still used for a lot of applications, rather than quantum mechanics.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

But you can use simpler versions of currently accepted models rather than older models that aren’t accurate. 🙂 Or not teach those as the truth, and then say “oh yeah actually it’s not”.. it doesn’t necessarily follow to me that you need to use something incorrect (like the idea of evolution being directed) as a stepping stone. 🙂 There are lots of ways to teach complicated theories in simpler ways, or help kids take that first step to understanding it, w/o using a different theory : cuz also, we have the problem I said before where if you don’t take higher courses or go into that field or etc, you just never learn that what you were taught was off base 😐

I think in general tho we need to stop teaching kids that there is absolute truth, and that parents/teachers/authority are always right, that it matters if you get a check mark or an ex vs exploration and learning :

I think kids can understand a lot more than we give them credit for neways :3 I actually taught what my mom taught me about DNA to my friends at school and they got it too 🙂

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

If you’re really bitter about not getting a return on your books, why not donate them? Get a receipt and deduct it from your taxes.

Plymouth
Plymouth
10 years ago

Ohh, speaking of children’s authors whose names we remember…. did anyone else notice the google doodle today? Did anyone else totally LOVE Richard Scarry? He was one of my favorites! I actually own a Lowly Worm puppet. Which my mom bought me as a present while I was in college because I was telling her one time that Lowly Worm was my favorite character.

zombie rotten mcdonald
10 years ago

I love the fact that even when it comes to getting rid of old books, NWO is iredeemably bitter and angry about it.

It must be very tiring.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

Man, Richard Scary confused the heck out of me as a kid… I just didn’t understand what was going on, so many different characters… I don’t think I ever read very closely though, so most of the context probably passed right over my head. I half-remember watching the cartoons though… hmm…

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

It is a little odd to me he is upset at buying books as worth it in itself, and not a US hockey team where you buy it as an investm- oh wait xD Plus the “YOU REMEMBERED AUTHORS AS A KID WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU” o_o Something I’ve never seen somebody freak out about or find impossible that other ppl were different as children or had different personalities or interests xD

zombie rotten mcdonald
10 years ago

Sorry about the LGM reference earlier, Ami. I know I read something similar recently, if I figure out where it was I will let you know.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

“But you can use simpler versions of currently accepted models rather than older models that aren’t accurate. 🙂 Or not teach those as the truth, and then say “oh yeah actually it’s not”.. it doesn’t necessarily follow to me that you need to use something incorrect (like the idea of evolution being directed) as a stepping stone.”

Precisely! The problem with the orbit model or directed evolution isn’t that it’s simple. It’s that it isn’t right. It doesn’t actually mesh with the way things work. Giving them a simpler version of the model can work just fine. They may still have problems with complex issues later (to your example, I’m sure all my students would just stare at me blankly if I tried teaching DFT), but they would be prepared for it, and it would not be a moment of “Everything you’ve been taught is wrong”.

Or, as Ami said, be explicit that it’s not right! Say “now, this is useful, but isn’t how it actually works”. That is a little more confusing, I grant. But I would say less confusing then being told that the generally understood theory (if TNG is any example) that you’ve been taught for years is a pack of lies.

Also, @Ami: Your mother sounds like a wonderful person 🙂 And I, at least, never think trailing off like that is a bad thing.

zombie rotten mcdonald
10 years ago

Also, Richard Scarry cartoons and stories tended to be very very weird.

Djinna
Djinna
10 years ago

Exactly half of the authors that I will buy the latest from, regardless of topic, are female. Sarah Vowell, Mary Roach, Jasper Fforde, and some other male writer who escapes me at the moment.

I’m another one of those with half a dozen overflowing bookcases, and yes, easily half and half by number of books. Granted, the mere fact that I have like every single Agatha Christie significantly alters the ratio, because she wrote so many! And I’ve always been a mystery fanatic, since childhood, and women have been well represented in the bestsellers in that genre ever since Christie – plenty of Sue Grafton and Patricia Cornwell “guilty pleasures” next to the Russian lit (which I read strictly for funsies, and is uniformly male, ok, every other category of lit on my shelf is mixed gender, other than Russian lit – French lit, barely, but not Russian. Huh.)

Since I don’t want to pass up the opportunity to rave about how much I love books, le fiance was bothered that his birthday present to me consisted almost entirely of chemistry books. Then he went to the big Christmas with my family, and easily 2/3 of the total presents were books, or Kindles/book store gift cards. We’re just book people. Ok, our (then) 5 month old niece didn’t give or get any books, but she was the only one with a stack of stuff that wasn’t mostly book-related. I come from that kind of reading stock.

Ok, maybe I mainly read non-fiction these days, but female authors are easily half of what I consider well researched plus well written equals AWESOME.

Alex
10 years ago

My favourites:

Marion Zimmer Bradley
Alice Borchardt
Jean Auel
Val Plumwood (she survived three death-rolls from a crocodile, damn it!)
J.K. Rowling
Ursula K. Leguin
Marjane Satrapi
Stephanie MacMillan
Diana L. Paxon

On my list of “to read” is Sheila Watt-Cloutier and Carol Adams.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Nobby be explicit that it’s not right! Say “now, this is useful, but isn’t how it actually works”. That is a little more confusing, I grant.

Yus, I think that we could/should teach other theories as like a history of chemistry/physics/etc, like how we got where we are now. But what’s the point of teaching one that’s been debunked, and then saying “ignore everything we said a few years ago, this is how it is”? xD

Also I forgot to say, yeah TNG usually tries to at least kinda get things right. Even if they dun always… which is why that one was so egregious -_- The other one that stands out is during Disaster when Beverly and Geordi are about to de-pressurize the cargo bay to suck out the explosive barrels and put out the plasma fire, and Beverly tells Geordi to hold in his breath and resist the urge to exhale.. >_> I’m pretty sure that advice might rupture your lung 😐

katz
10 years ago

But you can use simpler versions of currently accepted models rather than older models that aren’t accurate.

For the most part, the older models are just simpler versions of the current ones (or, to put the same thing a different way, the current models are expanded versions of the older ones). Newtonian mechanics are the best model when you’re dealing with something bigger than an atom and smaller than a galaxy.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Katz I dun have a problem w/ that b/c they do step into each other 🙂 I think what Nobby and I are talking about are theories that are just incorrect, or may have been something that ppl believed in the past that was a link, but isn’t something that is necessary (and in fact could be counter productive) to believe in order to learn the currently accepted theory 🙂

darksidecat
darksidecat
10 years ago

I remember some authors whose books I read at five, and forget some that I read last year. Of course, I was that Satan child that NWO hates who read LotR at eight and Shakespeare at twelve. I could read at an adult level before I could tie my shoes (though, to be fair, I couldn’t tie my shoes until I was freaking eight).

I always give my old books to the local public library back home. It is a small, rural library, and they have a little fundraiser every spring where they sell extra donations-books, magazines, baked goods, and plants. So, any book they have a duplicate copy of can be sold to help support the awesomeness that is that library.

Johnny Pez
10 years ago

Submitted for your consideration:

Should David’s glossary include entries on the blog’s prominent trolls? The down side is that that’s just the sort of attention they crave. The up side is that the trolls are a frequent presence and form part of the collective lore, and a rogue’s gallery of them would aid the understanding of newbies. F’rex, Slavey’s entry would go:

NWOslave: aka NWO, NWOaf, Slavey. An obtuse, ignorant Texas-based right-wing conspiracy theorist who has admitted that his sole purpose in visitiing Man Boobz is to mock DF and the commentariat. Known for his canned rants, his lack of reading comprehension, and his aggressive ignorance of anything beyond his conspiratorial obsessions.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Katz Yeah, though I would argue the relativity should be taught earlier. The thing is, newton’s equations work, and he didn’t give a solid reason to why it works, so it’s not like his theories are wrong, just simplified versions. The Electron orbit model or directed evolution model are actually wrong, though. They describe a mechanism of action that doesn’t exist (at least, that we know of). That’s the issue. If newton said “Gravity works because of stellar wind!” and it was still taught to high schoolers, I would have issue.

And I feel like someone did try to make that argument, but it wasn’t newton.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Nobby yus, exactly 🙂 I mean we dun teach that the world is flat, or that the Sun orbits the Earth even tho those were things ppl once believed too before we believed what we do now 😐 Just b/c these were things we were taught only a generation ago doesn’t mean it’s something we need to teach the next generation.

katz
10 years ago

NWO just has a misguided view of literature altogether. He sees it as a consumable, like food. You buy it, you read it, you get rid of it. There’s no reason to reread it because you’ve already consumed it, and no reason to talk about it, think about it, or learn from it, because the reading is the pertinent act and then it’s over.

He doesn’t seek out particular stuff or pay attention to what exactly he’s reading beyond verifying that it’s probably consumable. The only distinctions in quality he can determine are if it’s “edible” (in which case he continues reading) or “inedible” (in which case he throws it away).

Come to think of it, that would be a pretty sad way to view food, too.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

I meant stuff like directed evolution or the electron orbit model as things we were taught, not the Earth being flat xD I mean we’re taught that ppl USED to believe these things… I think that’s another thing about things we “know” : That it’s easy for us to believe and teach that things were wrong or ppl were off base in the far past, but not in the relative present 😐 Like how ppl believe that various -isms are remnants of the past. They can believe they existed before, but not now! B/c we seem to teach a lot that ppl were stupid or unevolved or something in the past rather than learning, or had less information, or etc… at least that’s a narrative I think a lot of kids get the way we’re taught, and I think it adds to the idea that we should be confident in everything we grew up “knowing” as kids, b/c we’re in the smart enlightened modern age >_>

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Ami Yes! Perfect examples, thank you. History is very important to learn, but as history.

katz
10 years ago

Ami, Nobby: Certainly, directed evolution is a heinous misconception. Of course theories like that should not be taught when the more accurate model is perfectly easy to explain.

ithiliana
10 years ago

Not that anything I say will convince NWO that I’m not a lying lying bitch, but what the hell, I nearly outed myself by giving my first name, and if you google the two together, you’ll see posts on where I was outed years before, so what the fuck.

No, NWO, I did not go online and look for names.

I am a professor of English.

http://web.tamu-commerce.edu/academics/cvSyllabi/cv/ReidRobin.pdf

I learned to read when I was three. I’ve been reading fantasy since age five (Oz), and sf since age six (Space Cat went to Mars). I have two MA’s in English (one in creative writing, one in literature, because I liked going to school and couldn’t get a job anywhere else), and then I did a Ph.D. (University of Washington, 1992). I started teaching at a university in Texas in 1993–and I can rattle off a shitload more authors and plots and titles and histories of criticism than you can shake a stick out because that’s what I DO. I’m not all that unique in my profession. Just THINK of the English teachers you have known, blahahahaha.

And anybody who thinks books are either good or they suck is a very basic reader.

As I said, I get paid to teach about women writers.

And creative writing.

And science fiction and fantasy.

I love my job, and I love what I do, and I not only have read a shitload of women authors of all ethnic groups and time periods, but I’ve also read a shitload of male authors ditto.

People who aren’t English teachers or stone (not stoned, note) fans read differently, and that’s fine. I’m not here to tell anybody what they have to read or what they have to like–the reason I started reading women writers is all the male faculty in my undergraduate program in the 1970s telling me women writers suck, women students suck, and oh yeah, science fiction sucks.

I have a Ph.D. so I can tell people ahahahah sf ROCKS AND ROLLS.

You remind of the the shitass librarians when I was eight who refused to believe I read all those books over the summer despite the fact I could recite plot chapter and verse.

You deserve to have to live as you.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Katz to be clear, I agree w/ you about the models that are simplifications being taught 🙂 Like Newtonian physics. I think we were kinda on two different tracks ]

ithiliana
10 years ago

David: Fellow Cameron fan!

The Mushroom PLanet series were some of my favorites (and Cameron wrote other books as well).

There was also this fantastic book about a living stegosaurus (sp?): THe Shy Stegosauros that I adored.

And Jane Langton: DIAMOND IN THE WINDOW (I was amazed when I got to college later and found myself reading the Transcendentalists who’d been such a major part of the book in the children’s quests).

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@ithiliana Wow you’re awesome 😀 (also I had a bit of a different exp with librarians growing up, librarians protected me when nobody else would when I was beaten up and bullied every day at school ): and they would let me in even if the library was closed and I’d shelve books and read and stuff :] that’s not to say that all are good, I just wanted to share it since we’re sharing :] ) Also I suspect that he’s gonna respond with something about the feminization of our kids, you as an agent of the state and something about ivory towers and he might get into self-flagellation mode >_>;;

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

Your CV is awesome, ilithiana! Is there any place to read some of the papers listed? I don’t do much slash or fanfiction, but the concept intrigues me and I’m interested to read an academic take on it.

ithiliana
10 years ago

You know, I’m in my fifties, and I still have copies of the Oz books, and some of my favorite children’s ones (Pippi Longstocking!), and still pick up and read new children’s/YA novels–saw the Lemony Snickett movie on tv the other night, and picked up the first six of the series at Half Price books–now have to get the rest.

They’re fantastic!

And perfect example of the intrusive narrator–a brilliant intrusive narrator.

katz
10 years ago

Ami: Cool, we’re all on the same page then.

ithiliana
10 years ago

Ami: Live Long and Prosper!

I have bookshelves (well some are mine and some are my partner’s) of Trek novels–I preferred the original series, she prefers Next Gen, and we have a few others we picked up–I especially love the ones by women author (ahahahaha yes at the start not only were a lot of women writing the media tie in novels, but there were a few who snuck fan fiction conventions in–because the trek fan writers were also writing media tie in novels). Their re/visions of Uhura, and of Captain Kirk are AWESOME.

Diane Duane’s my favorite.

But also love the Barbara Hambly crossover when Spock ends up tortured and amnesiac in the Seattle of HERE COME THE BRIDES being cared for by (tah dah) Aaron Stemple who was played by Mark Leonard who played Spock’s father in TREK (and Paramount nearly sued itself because the tie in people didn’t realize the crossover because they didn’t know HCTB, and they didn’t realize until later that Paramount owned both properties).

Sneaky brilliant women.

ithiliana
10 years ago

Nobby: Entire Oz series–Baum’s novels numbered 14, but have you read Ruth Plumley Thompson’s (in some ways I like them even better than Baum’s). It’s wonderful see somebody who even knows about Baum’s since a lot of people just go by the movie, sigh.

Johnny Pez
10 years ago

@ ithiliana

Never heard of the Shy Stegasaurus, but did you ever read a similar book called The Enormous Egg? It was about a triceratops that hatched out of a hen’s egg. I read that as a child and still fondly remember it.

Erl
Erl
10 years ago

I have 4 five foot tall book cases, each with five shelves, which are so packed with books that the paperbacks are double shelved (one row on the back of the shelf, a second row on the front of the shelf, and more paperbacks stacked sideways on top of them).

Jodi, this is OT, but have you considered shoeboxes? I’ve found that if I have a bookcase that needs to be double-shelved, but is higher than the paperbacks I’m shelving, and deep enough, I can put shoeboxes in the back to raise the further row to greater visibility. I haven’t used that system lately, as I’ve got enough shelf space right now that it’s less of an issue, but you might want to consider it.

Johnny Pez
10 years ago

Ack! Tag fail!

Also, Ishmael.

ithiliana
10 years ago

darksidecat: I read LOTR at age ten (that was 1965) and loved it–still love it, teach it, write about it, and write fanfic about Frodo and Faramir, and Eowyn and Arwen. All my classmates except my bff (who introduced me to Oz books when we were five) hated me–but you know, I loved reading, had some health problems so at times could not be outside, and that probably encouraged even MOAR reading. And my dad was a huge sf reader, so sf. And they let me read anything I wanted (we had a big fight with the local librarians because back then in our small town they tried to keep children out of the adult section–they wanted us to stay in the children’s section till we graduated high school–but when their own records showed I’d read everything by sixth grade, some multiple times, and my dad threw his professorial weight around, I got permission to check out from the adult section). I am sure I was an obnoxious child, but there are worse things than reading all the time.

I donate books to our local English honors group to sell for funding to support graduate student travel, or sometimes take to Half Price books to trade in for credit.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Ithiliana I have not! I’ll try them out, though. I knew about the rest of the series because of the second movie that almost no one knows about, actually, “Return to Oz”. Massively departs from the book, but it’s still a good movie on it’s own right. And it made me realize there was a ton more to the series. And when I can get the whole thing together for $.99 for my kindle, I thought why the hell not 🙂

ithiliana
10 years ago

Lady V: Thank you!

The presentation papers are not published (though some became essays)–however, they’re published in academic journals, so not easily available. I do have an academic Dreamwidth/Livejournal:

robin_anne_reid.dreamwidth.org

I don’t put full papers there (previous publication), but talk about my work. (Presentations are 8-10 pages delivered at conferences; published essays tend to run 5-6000 words).

If you’d like to email me at my work address, I can easily send you copies of the presentations.

I have a book in progress called more or less “Queering the Fathers” where I talk about slash fiction and Trek media tie in novels and queer Harold Bloom’s “Anxiety of Influence.”

ithiliana
10 years ago

Johnny Pez: No, I never heard of that! Dang! (My father’s a geologist, so I was totes into fossils, dinosaurs, etc. from a young age–I still have my rock collection scattered around my office! With fossils!).

*goes to look*

ithiliana
10 years ago

I may have to add a few books to my next order…..

http://www.amazon.com/Enormous-Egg-Oliver-Butterworth/dp/0316119202

ithiliana
10 years ago

Rats, sorry, didn’t realize it would come out that way, like a major selling/ad.

If that’s against your policies, David, please feel free to delete.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@ithiliana ooh, do you have any recommendations or Trek and TNG novels? (TNG novels set during the series, not the movies) 🙂 I didn’t read that many for a period of time (serious depression where I couldn’t get myself to read nething 🙁 ) so I kinda dunno what’s good and what’s not and we seem to have similar tastes 🙂

My favourites btw are: Sarek, Probe, Spock’s World, Q-In-Law, Q-Squared, I, Q (yeah I know xD ) and I remember liking Nightshade but I can’t remember nething about it nemore xD

briget
briget
10 years ago

oh an author that hasn’t been mentioned yet that I thoroughly enjoy is janet evanovich. Her books are hysterically funny

ithiliana
10 years ago

David: Shy Steggie! I adored him.

He liked rotten banannas, and I think there was more than one book (apparently they’re still in print and can be purchased…..um after next payday).

Nobby: speaking of dinosaurs, there’s a dinosaur fossil that becomes alive in a sort of volcanic explosion that blow him and um Speedy to Oz in one of Thompson’s books — he’s called TerryBubble!

ithiliana
10 years ago

Ami: I don’t remember TNG ones (I read them once and they didn’t grab me–and sadly, everything is boxed up until our new floor is installed).

But Trek:

ALL of Diane Duane’s novels:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Duane#Star_Trek

In fact, you’d probably like her original work as well: for one thing, TALE OF THE FIVE is set in a fantasy world in which bisexuality is the norm, the two main male protagonists are lovers, and they end up in a group marriage that includes not only two women but a fire elemental and a dragon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Duane#The_Middle_Kingdoms

Her cat wizard series are some of my favorites as well, but I admit to being (besides an evil bitch who spits on men all the time) a soppy sentimental big softie who adores cats (actually, those two sort of go together, amirite?)!

I’m wary of too many links in a post, so will post now and start a new one with some more Trek authors.

Warning, warning, warning: except for John Ford’s HOW MUCH FOR THE PLANET (working from memory) which is like a Gilbert and Sullivan Trek, they’re all by evil evil evil women.

zombie rotten mcdonald
10 years ago

OK, who is badmouthing librarians?

I earned drinking money in college working as a librarian in the campus library, the periodicals section.

Zombie librarians brook NO shenanigans.

ithiliana
10 years ago

Dear Zombie: I think the professionals standards of librarians have changed–they no longer support restricting children and minors to a certain section of the library.

I was talking about a small town library in Idaho in the early 1960s.

Not so good.

But in general–librarians are awesome and the sooper sekrit rulers of the Universe!

L-SPACE!!!!!!!!!

ithiliana
10 years ago

AC Crispin–you’re read one or two of hers–is one of my favorites: the Spock’s Son duology is an example of an author sneaking a fan fiction convention into the media tie in novels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_C._Crispin

ithiliana
10 years ago

Ami:

Barbara Hambly!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_%28Star_Trek%29

Hambly is another whose original work I’d recommend highly!

http://www.barbarahambly.com/hambooks.htm