Fiction staff member Mason Johnson on the Marie Calloway debate (view his orginial blog post here):
Everyone has been weighing in on this Marie Calloway person and I thought I’d weigh in because, dammit, I like attention too.
Here are my two opinions about Marie Calloway:
1. I don’t know if she’s a good writer.
2. She seems like a perfectly fine human being.
I don’t mean that in a jerky way, like I’m insulting her writing, in that I don’t think she’s a bad writer either. What I mean to say is that I haven’t read much by her, so I’m not actually equipped to decide whether she’s a good writer, or whether she’s a bad writer.
No, I have not read Adrien Brody. I will eventually, I’m sure. I’m just in no hurry. Is it bad? I don’t know. Is it amazing? I have no clue. I know there are words in it. I can say that with confidence. So, if you want to quote me, you can quote that.
Mason Johnson, “Adrien Brody has words!”
I have read bits and pieces of her blog. She’s a passionate person with opinions. How terrible!
Here are some thoughts that are tangential to Marie Calloway and people’s response to her:
Sometimes, we don’t respect each other in this little, writing community of ours. This is real goddamn annoying. It’s especially annoying to me when we’re not respecting women. On a whole, I like to respect women. Are there others out there who do not?
I think there are a lot of men out there in the literary world who work very hard and are inadvertently assholes. (Or maybe it’s intentional). They see a woman (or anyone that’s different from them) getting attention, and they scream, “why can’t I get away with that? Whatever it is they’re doing! It’s because I’m male, isn’t it?”
No, not exactly. The reason you can’t get away with it is because you put very little thought into it. You’re set into your ways and don’t want to change because, on the whole, they’ve done right by you. They’re not always right though. Why rely on critical thinking and empathy when you can tear something down though? When you can whine and complain about it?
It is possible that these male writers are trying to do good by the world. By criticizing women who write about sex, they’re taking the role of the older brother. Half resentful, immature and jealous, and half protective, as if a young woman like Marie Calloway needs to be saved from her “bad writing” and “poor sexual judgements” by the likes of you, Super-white-grad-student-man. The best super hero of all!
Well, fellow men, allow me to let you in on a little secret: women don’t need you to save them. Or to correct them. Or to help them. Marie Calloway, a young woman with strong opinions and apparent talent, does not need you to save her. By judging women through thinly veiled literary comments, you’re not coming off as an asshole for the better of the community. You’re just coming off as an asshole.
Hope you can live with that. I’m sorry to generalize, I know all white men aren’t like this, it’s just the easiest way to get my point across. At the end of the day, we all make horrible judgements like this about each other. Maybe, once in awhile, we could get out of our skin and attempt to respect one another just a tiny bit more.
Or we can say fuck it and keep on keepin’ on.
Which will it be?
More on Marie Calloway: