Apparently, a couple of white dudes got rejected by literary agents due to their inability to write characters who don't happen to be exactly like themselves. That alone isn't so bad. It's normal for starting writers to screw up complex aspects of professional fiction writing. It takes years to master the craft well enough to be professionally published, and even then there are vast aspects that still must be studied in order to improve. Writing as an art form isn't easy. I can't emphasize this enough. We all start somewhere, and that somewhere is usually bad. To make things even more difficult, 98% of the time the new writer can't see how bad. (And yes, you can be 'new' even if you've been writing for decades.) Worse, too often it's difficult to pinpoint exactly what is wrong. So, improving and critiquing isn't a simple process. Regardless, mistakes aren't the problem. Mistakes are a good thing. Making mistakes is how humans learn the most thoroughly. Whether or not you're a writer with a professional attitude is all in how you approach your mistakes. In this case, the white male writers in question decided that the agent rejections weren't due to any need for improvement on their part. They blamed a Feminist conspiracy and then, of course, Twitter blew up.
Or, as I call it, Thursday.
Luckily, there were plenty of reality-checkers present. I especially like how one YA author and Twitter-user (thank you so much, @KosokoJackson) described it, "me, trying to figure out how or why a (yt) MAN thought starting a hashtag like #Misandryinpublishing would in anything but a brutal (well-deserved) takedown by the Valkyries of Twitter." The thread did indeed totally get taken over by the Valkyries of Twitter™, and it was a beautiful thing. As for the originators of the thread, that shit is going to sting for the foreseeable future. Hot tip, babies: publishing is a very small community. You better believe word gets around. By making it public, this mistake is going to be mighty difficult to recover from.
Once again, I'm reminded how ridiculous it is that white dudes seem to think they have anonymity on the internet--you know, that place where privacy died. Yes, it's time to stop telling white boys they can do anything or say anything. It's a disservice to them. It builds up their expectations, and society at large programs them into thinking they don't have to work for any of it. This is why so many white males resort to violence, guns, and/or verbal abuse. It's the frustration of socialized expectation.
Meanwhile, the rest of the known universe has to work twice as hard. This shit has to stop. Yes. Yes, white men, you can write about women, POC, QLTBAG persons, and the differently abled. However, you must do your homework. You cannot bullshit your way through. You will be called out on it. Just like the rest of us. Hell, chances are that even after you do your homework you'll get it wrong and be called out. Diversity is a complex topic due to intersectionality. You must learn empathy. And the best way to do that is to read the works of authors who are not like you.
Times are changing. Get with it, or get out of the way.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.