“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world, and as you walk through those doors today, you will only have two choices: love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”—Jim Carrey
I just wrote something like this in an email to friends who told me the latest (I’m off twitter), which is apparently that Ed Champion made a suicidal gesture and is in Bellevue (not confirmed.)
I have a hard time even talking about how terrible the week that he published that rant was for me. A lot of people have tried to tell me that the net effect was positive for my book, but it put me in a position of talking about that rant instead of talking about the book. I hate that. I hate that that happened. I’ll never get that week or month or set of opportunities back; he poisoned them all. The worst part is that as cartoonishly evil and misogynistic and mentally ill as he is, there are still people who are like “well, it was a book review.” “Critics are allowed to call someone a bad writer.” Or worse, that it was a “subtweet war” or a “literary feud.” It was none of those things. It was an attack on women, meant to make us feel threatened and fundamentally unsafe in the online and physical spaces we inhabit. It is so bonkers that we even have to point that out or defend that point of view still, now, in 2014.
I felt fear doing events around publication. Not stage fright, fear for my physical safety. Instead of planning celebrations I was arranging with bookstores and my publisher for adequate security at events. I felt worried that the location of my apartment had been revealed in so many profiles. It’s not like I experienced physical trauma or was tortured but I felt under attack. This wasn’t something that “happened on the internet” or something that could have been avoided by “just unplugging.” Talking to readers, doing events, and promoting books online is my job.
I still haven’t sorted out what kind of damage was done.
I’m so angry about this. Emily (and Porochista and any other female writer who has felt this way), I have your back.
Five years ago Jennifer Hyman was a 29-year-old Harvard Business School graduate with no experience in fashion or technology, pitching her startup, Rent the Runway, to a boardroom full of partners at a big-time Boston venture capital firm. The idea then, as now, was to buy designer dresses wholesale and rent them, over the Web, for a night or two for a fraction of the price. When Hyman was about to get to the part where she explained how many inventory turns she could get from a Diane von Furstenberg, one of the men interrupted the presentation, cupped her hand in his and said,”You are just too cute. You get this big closet and get to play with all these dresses and can wear whatever you want. This must be so much fun!”
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that.
As women, we should not have to live our lives with this Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads as to whether or not our partner is going to be human or an animal. We shouldn’t have to try to not provoke. In some relationships, anything becomes a provocation—saying something, saying nothing, how you dress, how you act, how quickly you do or don’t answer the phone, your tone of voice, how you clean the house, how you drive the car, how you look someone in the eyes, how you avoid looking someone in the eyes. There’s always a finger on the trigger.
[…] I’m not trying to make any grand pronouncements about domestic violence. This is not an issue we can neatly intellectualize. Relationships are complicated. Shit happens. People fuck up. People endure. People hurt people. But, don’t think violence is acceptable. Don’t think there is any circumstance that justifies what Ray Rice did. Don’t think that if we’re all good girls, if we’re properly meek, if we don’t provoke our men, we’ll be safe. Good girls get hurt all the time.
Four women tell their sordid tales of what it’s really like to fundraise while female.
Shortly after Kathryn Tucker started RedRover, an app that showcases local events for kids, she pitched the idea to an angel investor at a New York tech event. But it didn’t go over well. When she finished her pitch, the investor said he didn’t invest in women.
When she asked why, he told her. “I don’t like the way women think,” he said. “They haven’t mastered linear thinking.” To prove his point, he explained that his wife could never prioritize her to-do lists properly. And then, as if he was trying to compliment her, he told Tucker she was different. “You’re more male,” he said.