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Paul
09-19-2011, 01:36 AM
She quit her career in the City claiming she couldn’t stand the sexism.

Now novelist Polly Courtney is dropping her publisher for the same reason – complaining her books are marketed in a ‘sexist’ and ‘degrading’ manner.

The 32-year-old writer, who shot to fame after penning an expose of life in the Square Mile, dramatically sacked HarperCollins at the launch of her new book last night.


http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/09/15/article-2037566-0DE3497C00000578-89_468x419.jpg Not happy: Author Polly Courtney, with her book 'A Man's World', is now dropping her publisher for marketing her books in a 'sexist' manner

Despite helping her put out three successful novels, she attacked the publisher for ‘patronising women’ with ‘fluffy’ marketing campaigns.

She said her new novel, It’s A Man’s World, was given a racy jacket and inappropriate title against her wishes.

The story follows the fortunes of a woman trying to make it at a lads’ magazine – facing a personal crisis when she realises she has forfeited her principles in the process.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2037566/Novelist-left-banking-sexism-fires-publisher-putting-fluffy-degrading-covers-books.html#ixzz1YLGcvwTC



Much as I hate linking the Daily Mail...


Whatever about her perception (ie whether you agree or not) the question is where would you draw the line? Or do you have a line? or should there be a line? and if so, how thick should it be?

Pretty big decision from Ms Courtney.

scarletpeaches
09-19-2011, 01:38 AM
There's already a thread about this.

And if she's three years younger than me, she's had a really rough life.

Paul
09-19-2011, 01:39 AM
ouch. lol. grand, hopefully it can be merged or destroyed so
ps where is the other thread? not on this forum is it?

PrincessofPersia
09-19-2011, 02:07 AM
No, it's in Novels.

Linky (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224869).

Scribhneoir
09-19-2011, 02:07 AM
You'll find it here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224869).

areteus
09-19-2011, 02:25 AM
I've not seen a thread on this either... link or merge, please?

Dumping them on the launch night sounds like a publicity stunt to me... she could have walked at any point before that without making a massive scene.

Bartholomew
09-19-2011, 02:33 AM
Dear Harper-Collins,

I will happily take her place.

Yours,

B

jaksen
09-19-2011, 02:52 AM
There's already a thread about this.

And if she's three years younger than me, she's had a really rough life.

haha

The older you get, the more you're going to see this happen.

Christine N.
09-19-2011, 02:54 AM
What Bart said.

Cyia
09-19-2011, 03:32 AM
I'm sure this was mentioned in the other thread, but -- "dump" is not the appropriate word for "I've fulfilled my contract and don't have another pending, so I'm self-publishing my next book."

shaldna
09-19-2011, 01:23 PM
Two things:

1. She didn't 'dump' her publisher, she was at the end of her 3 book contract and they didn't renew.

2. For someone who complains about sexism and using sex to sell, she has no problem posting pics of herself pole dancing. In fact, I'm fairly certain I can see her pants in her Amazon author photo.

aruna
09-19-2011, 01:27 PM
Two things:

1. She didn't 'dump' her publisher, she was at the end of her 3 book contract and they didn't renew.

2. For someone who complains about sexism and using sex to sell, she has no problem posting pics of herself pole dancing. In fact, I'm fairly certain I can see her pants in her Amazon author photo.

QFT. Drama Queen!


dramatically sacked HarperCollins at the launch of her new book last night.


An author does not sack a publisher. The publisher is not her employee. Maybe it's DM wording, but still...

Momento Mori
09-19-2011, 02:23 PM
I'm going to double-quote shaldna for truth because it bears repeating:


shaldna:
Two things:

1. She didn't 'dump' her publisher, she was at the end of her 3 book contract and they didn't renew.

2. For someone who complains about sexism and using sex to sell, she has no problem posting pics of herself pole dancing. In fact, I'm fairly certain I can see her pants in her Amazon author photo.


Also, what really grates me about this news story isn't just that Polly Courtney decided to make her announcement at the book launch (i.e. right in front of the people who have worked hard for her over the last 3 years), which in itself shows a distinct lack of class. It's the fact that Avon is known as a romance imprint so it would have been clear to her right from the start how her books were going to be marketed. If she didn't like that, then she didn't have to take the 3 book deal.

I have little time for people who only find (or in this case, re-discover) their principles after they've cashed the cheque.

MM

shaldna
09-19-2011, 03:33 PM
.

I have little time for people who only find (or in this case, re-discover) their principles after they've cashed the cheque.



This.

scarletpeaches
09-19-2011, 04:11 PM
If she 'shot to fame', how come I've never heard of her?

areteus
09-19-2011, 04:16 PM
Me neither, which is why I think this stinks of publicity...

shaldna
09-19-2011, 04:29 PM
I've never heard of her either until this.

Tepelus
09-19-2011, 05:03 PM
And if she's three years younger than me, she's had a really rough life.


That's what I was thinking, and she's only two years younger than me.

Margarita Skies
09-19-2011, 05:03 PM
:nothing



Because I literally have nothing to say about this. Stunned.

Devil Ledbetter
09-19-2011, 05:13 PM
There's already a thread about this.

And if she's three years younger than me, she's had a really rough life.Ha. And I was thinking if she's 15 years younger than I am, she's had a rough life.

Book covers are all starting to look the same these days. They're mainly

A. An adult with his/her head obscured or cropped.
B. A small child with his/her back to the camera or face obscured or cropped.
C. Feet or shoes, toes pointed inward.
D. Flowers or food.

If she didn't get stuck with one of those four, she should quit complaining. If she didn't get stuck with a title based on the formula The [Name Profession]'s [Name Relationship] like The Zookeeper's Sister-in-Law, The Shaman's Daughter, The Bricklayer's Third Wife ... she should be double extra grateful.

Winterturn
09-19-2011, 05:20 PM
Book covers are all starting to look the same these days. They're mainly

A. An adult with his/her head obscured or cropped.
B. A small child with his/her back to the camera or face obscured or cropped.
C. Feet or shoes, toes pointed inward.
D. Flowers or food.

If she didn't get stuck with one of those four, she should quit complaining. If she didn't get stuck with a title based on the formula The [Name Profession]'s [Name Relationship] like The Zookeeper's Sister-in-Law, The Shaman's Daughter, The Bricklayer's Third Wife ... she should be double extra grateful.

Hers is A).

Filigree
09-19-2011, 05:21 PM
I'm not stunned, I'm saddened. I've never heard of this woman. But then again, I don't read her genre, so I wouldn't. Given her behavior, I'm less likely to. Pulling this stunt at a publication party screams low class and impulsive paranoia.

Okay, I get that she suffered discrimination while working in the men's magazine industry. Jeesh. You think? How much of her resultant actions are the result of that discrimination, and how much is professional victimhood, I have no idea. But I agree: when she signed on with Avon, she should have understood they were going to market her work as fluffy chick-lit. That's what they largely sell.

It would be like me pitching a Chamber-of-Commerce coal-mining apologia to the Sierra Club Press. Or complaining that Carina won't take inspirationals.

James D. Macdonald
09-19-2011, 05:32 PM
HC defends "sexist" jacket (http://www.thebookseller.com/news/hc-defends-sexist-jacket.html)

aruna
09-19-2011, 05:40 PM
Here's her pole-dancing story (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-402758/City-woman-quit-sexism-admits-pole-dancing.html) from 2006.

James D. Macdonald
09-19-2011, 05:40 PM
Okay, I get that she suffered discrimination while working in the men's magazine industry. Jeesh. You think?

Actually, no, she didn't. The protagonist of her current novel works in the men's magazine industry. Not the author.

The last time she flamboyantly quit her then-current occupation was when she felt oppressed in the investment banking industry (http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2006/aug/27/workandcareers.books).

In three or four years I expect to see her dump the self-publishing industry due to its sexism and hard-work-for-little-reward.

Perhaps she'll go into politics.

areteus
09-19-2011, 05:46 PM
Oh, it's her... I remember her now. Never realised she was into writing, though...

aruna
09-19-2011, 05:47 PM
From the comments on the Bookseller article:

Polly published her first two novels through Matador, "Golden Handcuffs" and "Poles Apart", and a third title with us, "Defying Gravity", outside her contract with HC. We hope that she will return to self-publish with us again...



Who is Matador? What does it mean, her "return to self-publish with us"?

gothicangel
09-19-2011, 06:16 PM
From the comments on the Bookseller article:


Who is Matador? What does it mean, her "return to self-publish with us"?

http://www.troubador.co.uk/matador.asp

Anne Lyle
09-19-2011, 06:17 PM
Matador are a self-publishing imprint of Troubador. (I thought it was an old publishing imprint like Pelican, but maybe I'm misremembering...)

thothguard51
09-19-2011, 06:49 PM
First off, many of us have seen stories of publishers white washing covers. That is way different than this cover drama and I can get behind those authors who were disappointed in the publishers choice of cover design.

Unless this author had control over the cover, I don't see what she has to complain about. I bet most of the people she worked with at HC/Avon were women...

Filigree
09-20-2011, 08:07 AM
Thanks, James. NOW I remember the investment banking angle.

You're right. She'll not want to put in the hours that a successful self-publishing career demands, and flounce off. Politics is a good bet.

shaldna
09-20-2011, 12:35 PM
Politics is a good bet.

Yeah, because there's no sexism in politics.

The problem with people like Courtney is that they give a bad name to the rest of us, those among us who don't whine about sexism before quitting, therefore increasing the problem. There are women among us who just get on with things and don't play the victim.

aruna
09-20-2011, 12:38 PM
There are women among us who just get on with things and don't play the victim.

Or just get on with bad covers without making a public scene.

areteus
09-20-2011, 01:14 PM
Agree with the above two posts... my wife has fought on against sexism in her working life for many years (shes in IT and until recently was in IT in a building firm that didn't respect the need for IT never mind women - the building industry is still very Jurassic in that respect). She didn't leave because of the sexism (there were other, more pressing issues I won't go into here) but she challenged it every day (to the extent you are able to and not get fired when the MD is one of the main purveyors of it) and, on her exit interview, gave a full and frank list of incidents where it had happened to her non sexist manager. That was all without causing a scene or quitting because of it.

To my mind, quitting because of this may sometimes seem to be the only choice (because discrimination in any workplace on anyone is tough) but it is often the wrong choice because the more that quit (and therefore leave the sexist industry) the less there are left to fight it.

Momento Mori
09-20-2011, 02:43 PM
I used to work with investment bankers and while there was sexism and racism on the part of some (particular love goes to the man who, while on a business trip to Africa, offered me $650 to 'party' with him because I was the only white woman there), I found that if you threw the sexism back at them, then they generally either left you alone or changed their behaviour.

My biggest triumph was when I got a team to decide against going to a lap dancing club on closure of a deal by saying that I'd come but only if I got to choose the club (and pointing out that I knew a gay lap dancing club in Soho that I was keen to try). They pull that shit when they think they can get away with it, so don't let them get away with it.

I know that there is discrimination in the city (just as there is discrimination in lots of areas), but you don't generally change it by suing - you change it by staying there, proving yourself and altering the culture.

MM

Anne Lyle
09-20-2011, 03:49 PM
Men generally don't give me any crap - I think they know they'd get the sharp edge of my tongue :)

Manuel Royal
09-20-2011, 04:00 PM
My biggest triumph was when I got a team to decide against going to a lap dancing club on closure of a deal by saying that I'd come but only if I got to choose the club (and pointing out that I knew a gay lap dancing club in Soho that I was keen to try). They pull that shit when they think they can get away with it, so don't let them get away with it.I'm honestly curious -- what's wrong with the team going to a lap dancing club? I'd prefer something else, but I'd accept that majority rules when it comes to team social activities. I guess I'd just opt out.

Anne Lyle
09-20-2011, 04:07 PM
I'm honestly curious -- what's wrong with the team going to a lap dancing club? I'd prefer something else, but I'd accept that majority rules when it comes to team social activities. I guess I'd just opt out.

The point is that it's knowingly excluding female members of the team, who have a choice between opting out or going to an event that their male colleagues know damned well they find offensive.

Kind of like suggesting going to a hog roast when you know you have vegetarians and/or Jews on the team :)

areteus
09-20-2011, 04:21 PM
Yeah, it is definitely not classy to go to a lap dancing club with female work colleagues (not that it is classy to go without them...) and the hog roast analogy holds, I think.

Thing is, I don't think even the lesbians and bisexuals I know would consider a lap dancing club as a good place to go.

One of the worst we got was a work Christmas party (I had to be the dutiful trophy husband). It started badly when the MD (who had been in meetings with my wife on many occasions and therefore should know her on sight) ignored her and assumed that I was the employee despite having never met me before... then there were the comedians that had been hired as 'entertainment' who were not only unfunny but around 30 years out of date in terms of social mores in that they were racist, sexist and (possibly worst of all) directly attacked one woman over her weight. We pointedly walked out (along with quite a few others, though an alarming number didn't). Complaints were made...

shaldna
09-20-2011, 04:51 PM
I'm honestly curious -- what's wrong with the team going to a lap dancing club? I'd prefer something else, but I'd accept that majority rules when it comes to team social activities. I guess I'd just opt out.

I think the point is that when there is a team made up almost entirely of men (or women) and an activity will mean that the other sex is excluded or made to feel uncomfortable, such as a mainly male team going to a lap dancing club, where the one female would feel uncomfortable or excluded then that's an issue.

But at the same time, if the female in question doesn't voice her objections then often the guys won't know anything is wrong.

shaldna
09-20-2011, 04:57 PM
.

Kind of like suggesting going to a hog roast when you know you have vegetarians and/or Jews on the team :)

Despite being a vegetarian myself for many many years, there is something about other vegetarians that really annoys me (especially if they are vegetarian on 'moral' grounds, but they still wear leather and wash their hair dye down the sink) and I find myself trying to work out how to slip meat into their food when they come over for dinner.

I'm going to hell, aren't I?

Bubastes
09-20-2011, 05:11 PM
But at the same time, if the female in question doesn't voice her objections then often the guys won't know anything is wrong.

I find this pathetic. You'd think their mommas would've taught them better.

Kasey Mackenzie
09-20-2011, 05:14 PM
I'm honestly curious -- what's wrong with the team going to a lap dancing club? I'd prefer something else, but I'd accept that majority rules when it comes to team social activities. I guess I'd just opt out.

In my opinion, it's not professional by any stretch of the imagination for a business-related group to go to a lap dancing club, period. Unless the business is perhaps related to the lap-dancing/strip club/p0rnography industry, in which case you could make a different argument. Now, it's one thing if they're all just off-duty friends deciding to go out on the town; but if they're headed somewhere to conduct business--completely not cool. I'm not a prude and am not philosophically opposed to strip clubs per se, but there's a time and a place for everything. And nobody should have to opt out from such an activity, especially when that opt-out choice will 9 times out of 10 later be held against the person who opts out in some way or another.

Devil Ledbetter
09-20-2011, 05:15 PM
I'm a woman in management in a male dominated industry. I can't tell you how often people at trade shows:

1. Ask if I married into the company
2. Assume my boss or one of my coworkers is my husband
3. Ask if or tell me that they spoke with my husband earlier (fat chance, he's a middle school teacher)
4. Ask if I have any available sisters
5. Think they have some right to plant a sloppy kiss on me (barf)

I consider myself lucky that my male coworkers aren't infected with this same brand of rank sexism.

Guys, if you meet a business woman please assume she got where she is under her own power, without screwing her way to the top, or the middle, or wherever ... unless she informs you otherwise.

Momento Mori
09-20-2011, 05:20 PM
Manuel Royal:
what's wrong with the team going to a lap dancing club? I'd prefer something else, but I'd accept that majority rules when it comes to team social activities.

What a group of guys choose to do in their own social time is their affair and I have no issue with it. When a group of guys thinks that a lap dancing club is a good place to go for a celebration of a deal on which a lot of women worked very hard for them, it shows that they are thinking of their own pleasure rather than thanking the team. It's just not appropriate in that scenario.

FWIW, I don't have an issue with lap dancers (hell, my cousin's wife used to lap dance and pole dance and made a very decent living out of it). What I don't want is to be told that I have to go to a lap dancing club if I want to be thanked for my work contribution.

It's like Anne's hog roast analogy or inviting a group of Afro-American workers to the annual KKK summer weenie roast.

MM

Cyia
09-20-2011, 05:28 PM
Generally speaking, no group should engage in any activity on the company's dime, if said activity would cause the company headaches if the expense became public or was questioned by the IRS as a legitimate business expense. Having a strip club / lap dancing club on the company's report doesn't really look good, especially if there were people there who only went for fear of being cut out or ignored on legitimate business matters.

I can't see any auditor accepting "Lapdancing is part of our company policy" during an audit.

jennontheisland
09-20-2011, 05:31 PM
I'm honestly curious -- what's wrong with the team going to a lap dancing club? I'd prefer something else, but I'd accept that majority rules when it comes to team social activities. I guess I'd just opt out.
Because social activities of a sexual nature are inappropriate in the work environment regardless of gender.

If it was all women celebrating at a male strip club it would still be wrong.

Namatu
09-20-2011, 05:44 PM
In my opinion, it's not professional by any stretch of the imagination for a business-related group to go to a lap dancing club, period. This. So much this. It's not like there aren't acceptable, inclusive options for celebrating a work success.

areteus
09-20-2011, 06:32 PM
If you are at a work related social occasion (especially if it is to entertain clients or discuss business) then you are at work. This means you behave as professionally as you would in a formal meeting.

Mind you, of my experience of some people in formal meetings, this isn't a great help :)

Devil: I am surprised there isn't another option on your list - Assumed to be a model hired to stand on the stall and look pretty while the men do all the talking. I have seen that one a few times...

Ari Meermans
09-20-2011, 06:55 PM
I'm a woman in management in a male dominated industry. I can't tell you how often people at trade shows:

1. Ask if I married into the company
2. Assume my boss or one of my coworkers is my husband
3. Ask if or tell me that they spoke with my husband earlier (fat chance, he's a middle school teacher)
4. Ask if I have any available sisters
5. Think they have some right to plant a sloppy kiss on me (barf)

I consider myself lucky that my male coworkers aren't infected with this same brand of rank sexism.

Guys, if you meet a business woman please assume she got where she is under her own power, without screwing her way to the top, or the middle, or wherever ... unless she informs you otherwise.

These are, unfortunately, all-too-common occurrences, but are situations a strong, confident woman can handle. Whiners and those looking for an excuse need not apply.

BTW, even a bad book cover can be used to advantage. Three-armed woman (http://christinadodd.com/castles.html), anyone? lol

Stacia Kane
09-20-2011, 07:04 PM
Because social activities of a sexual nature are inappropriate in the work environment regardless of gender.

If it was all women celebrating at a male strip club it would still be wrong.


This.

I would no more take business associates to a strip club than I would subject them to detailed descriptions of my sex life. Unless your business specifically revolves around it (i.e. porn or prostitution), sexual activities have zero place in professional events.

I can think of very few things less professional than inviting your colleagues to watch you masturbate/be masturbated by someone you pay to do so.

DeadlyAccurate
09-20-2011, 07:13 PM
Devil: I am surprised there isn't another option on your list - Assumed to be a model hired to stand on the stall and look pretty while the men do all the talking. I have seen that one a few times...

Booth babes. They're a staple at many gaming conventions, unfortunately. It's idiotic, but when E3 tried to ban them, there was an uproar.

Devil Ledbetter
09-20-2011, 07:18 PM
These are, unfortunately, all-too-common occurrences, but are situations a strong, confident woman can handle. Whiners and those looking for an excuse need not apply.

I disagree. While I'm no whiner, I think it's bull for anyone to have to put up with sexism. We wouldn't tell a black person working in a predominantly white industry to suck it up and quit whining when white business colleagues treat them in a racist way, and we shouldn't tell women they have to "be strong and confident" to put up with sexism.

Putting up with it just allows it to continue. We'd be better off to complain until the assholes finally learn to knock it off.

ETA: It takes a hell of a lot more confidence to complain.


Booth babes. They're a staple at many gaming conventions, unfortunately. It's idiotic, but when E3 tried to ban them, there was an uproar.I'm not young or tall enough to be mistaken for a booth babe, but they certainly exist in this industry.

Ari Meermans
09-20-2011, 07:23 PM
I disagree. While I'm no whiner, I think it's bull for anyone to have to put up with sexism. We wouldn't tell a black person working in a predominantly white industry to suck it up and quit whining when white business colleagues treat them in a racist way, and we shouldn't tell women they have to "be strong and confident" to put up with sexism.

Putting up with it just allows it to continue. We'd be better off to complain until the assholes finally learn to knock it off.

I'm not young or tall enough to be mistaken for a booth babe, but they certainly exist in this industry.

Ah, Devil, I didn't say "put up with it", I said "handle" it. There's a world of difference between the two. No one who ever tried to pull a stunt like that with me ever made a second try.

Amadan
09-20-2011, 07:26 PM
These are, unfortunately, all-too-common occurrences, but are situations a strong, confident woman can handle. Whiners and those looking for an excuse need not apply.


That's offensive on so many levels.

Ari Meermans
09-20-2011, 07:29 PM
I'm sorry for offending. As a 5 ft. tall blonde female, I experienced sexism in my professional life and I based my comments on my own experiences. Those experiences formed my opinion, as do all our experiences.

Again, I'm sorry for offending.

Namatu
09-20-2011, 07:39 PM
BTW, even a bad book cover can be used to advantage. Three-armed woman (http://christinadodd.com/castles.html), anyone? lolThis is an excellent way to handle the matter!

A friend of mine once took a book to a signing by Suzanne Brockmann. Can't remember the name of the book, but the cover featured an unfortunately bloated hero. Ms. Brockmann placed a happy face sticker over him. :)

DeaK
09-20-2011, 08:00 PM
I would never blame anyone for quitting a job, or gasp! even whining because of discrimination. Why must the onus 'to handle' discrimination be on the person discriminated against? Don't you think that's leaving a hell of a lot of people in the lurch?

This woman in question went on to write a book that apparently was partly about the discrimination. Isn't that a very good way to shed light on what went on, and in that way fight it?

She may be in the wrong about the other matter – the cover for the book, or she should have expected it, or handled it better, or whatever – but what does that have to do with the discrimination she faced in her previous profession?

James D. Macdonald
09-20-2011, 08:27 PM
If you're a business owner (or political party) you don't want to see headlines like this (http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-03-29/news/27060398_1_rnc-michael-steele-west-hollywood).

quicklime
09-20-2011, 08:44 PM
These are, unfortunately, all-too-common occurrences, but are situations a strong, confident woman can handle. Whiners and those looking for an excuse need not apply.

BTW, even a bad book cover can be used to advantage. Three-armed woman (http://christinadodd.com/castles.html), anyone? lol


is sexism radically different than racism?

Suppose I dropped the N-word, which is also all-too-prevalent even now; would it be a black colleague's responsibility to "put on his big-boy pants" or mine to not be a ginormous douche on company time?

Anne Lyle
09-20-2011, 09:13 PM
is sexism radically different than racism?

Suppose I dropped the N-word, which is also all-too-prevalent even now; would it be a black colleague's responsibility to "put on his big-boy pants" or mine to not be a ginormous douche on company time?

Yes, of course you shouldn't be a douche on company time - but the problem is that real douches don't realise they're doing it, or don't care. Someone has to start the ball rolling - it's regrettable if that's the victim, but it's better than ignoring the problem altogether.

quicklime
09-20-2011, 09:25 PM
Yes, of course you shouldn't be a douche on company time - but the problem is that real douches don't realise they're doing it, or don't care. Someone has to start the ball rolling - it's regrettable if that's the victim, but it's better than ignoring the problem altogether.


exactly, and that holds true in both cases--a guy who thinks "nigger jokes" are the height of hilarity is also probably completely ignorant or could care less.

My point was that I disagreed with the notion raised earlier that strong, independent women shouldn't have to complain like whiners; minus a complaint there is no catalyst for change and things continue as they were--that holds for sexism, I just used racism as another example.

Devil Ledbetter
09-20-2011, 09:37 PM
Yes, of course you shouldn't be a douche on company time - but the problem is that real douches don't realise they're doing it, or don't care. Someone has to start the ball rolling - it's regrettable if that's the victim, but it's better than ignoring the problem altogether.I think the douches realize they're doing it. The point of rude sexist or racist comments is to keep the females and folks of color in their place, after all. They make those comments to remind us they still consider themselves our "betters."

I totally agree that ignoring the problem is part of the problem. And as long as we gals are expected to tolerate it or be called whiners, it will continue.

Amadan
09-20-2011, 09:47 PM
I think the douches realize they're doing it. The point of rude sexist or racist comments is to keep the females and folks of color in their place, after all. They make those comments to remind us they still consider themselves our "betters."



No one who uses the n-word (or more subtle racist/sexist terminology) is unaware that it's offensive. The boo-hooing they always do about political correctness and language policing when called out on it is disingenuous BS.

PrincessofPersia
09-20-2011, 10:14 PM
I think the douches realize they're doing it.

Not always. I've worked with people who have no idea that making homophobic, racist or sexist comments qualifies them as a douche. They may consider themselves better, and I'm pretty sure they do, but they don't realise that makes them wrong. They think they're the ones in the right, and we're the douches for complaining.

And some people just get off on being wankers.

Deirdre
09-20-2011, 10:25 PM
That's what I was thinking, and she's only two years younger than me.

Hell, I'm twenty years older than she is -- and she looks older than I do.

I agree this sounds like a publicity stunt, but if her contract wasn't picked up, it's likely due to sluggish sales.

That just raises the question: why not combine pole dancing (or pole dancing lessons) and signing gigs? Never seen that marketing combo before.

Then again, maybe she went into writing because she wasn't any good as a pole dancer.

areteus
09-20-2011, 10:34 PM
Sexism or racism should be the same response in the workplace - challenge it, take whatever official steps you can to get thier arse fired (because the use of any sexist or racist or homophobic comments in most workplaces is a disciplinary offence and if it isn't in your work place it should be...) and stay in the company because leaving and doing nothing tells them only one thing - they've won and so they can do it again and again.

Storming off in a huff is an emotional response and means that they have got to you. Taking a list of incidents to your manager (or thier manager or some external body like a union, a law firm or an ombudsman who will fight for you) and initiating the correct disciplinary process is an intelligent and sensible thing to do.

Al Stevens
09-20-2011, 10:55 PM
Here's her pole-dancing story (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-402758/City-woman-quit-sexism-admits-pole-dancing.html) from 2006.Funny that they called it "lap dancing."

Devil Ledbetter
09-20-2011, 11:05 PM
Not always. I've worked with people who have no idea that making homophobic, racist or sexist comments qualifies them as a douche. They may consider themselves better, and I'm pretty sure they do, but they don't realise that makes them wrong. They think they're the ones in the right, and we're the douches for complaining.

And some people just get off on being wankers.Anyone who still thinks racist and sexist comments are okay needs to pluck his head out of his anus and wipe the excrement out of his eyes.

No, they don't think they're wrong, and that's the problem.

RedRajah
09-20-2011, 11:08 PM
I find this pathetic. You'd think their mommas would've taught them better.

Sadly, I found that they were taught that their MOTHERS were better, but all other women were no good and beneath them. :rant:

Al Stevens
09-20-2011, 11:15 PM
is sexism radically different than racism?
Yes. One has a biological foundation and is triggered by desire and insecurity. The other has a sociological foundation and is triggered by fear and hatred.

You cannot manage either until you understand it.

Anne Lyle
09-20-2011, 11:32 PM
Sexism or racism should be the same response in the workplace - challenge it, take whatever official steps you can to get thier arse fired (because the use of any sexist or racist or homophobic comments in most workplaces is a disciplinary offence and if it isn't in your work place it should be...) and stay in the company because leaving and doing nothing tells them only one thing - they've won and so they can do it again and again.

I don't know about firing (that's very, very hard in this country) but I'm psyching myself up to tackle one of my team members who needs to be warned about his homophobic language. I suspect it's unthinking, but that's no excuse...

quicklime
09-20-2011, 11:57 PM
Yes. One has a biological foundation and is triggered by desire and insecurity. The other has a sociological foundation and is triggered by fear and hatred.

You cannot manage either until you understand it.


from the standpoint of being baseless and ignorant forms of prejudice, they are the same.

as for the other differences you mention, there is no biological foundation for sexism, blaming a sex drive as somehow inherently pushing towards domination and/or marginalization of the other sex is a bit like the article Science had to pull maybe 5 years ago about the "biological and darwinian advantages of rape as a reproductive strategy", and racism is absolutely triggered by insecurity, where as often, sexism is also triggered by some level of hatred. That said, there are societal prejudices, as evidenced by Jim Crow laws, for example, and many societies where they are presumably biological entities, yet somehow they manage to treat women as equals. Historically, there have even been many matriarchal cultures.... This seems an exercise in splitting hairs.

Anne Lyle
09-21-2011, 12:29 AM
Also, one should avoid assumptions that modern attitudes are absolutes. The Romans were culturalists - they didn't much care what the colour of your skin was, as long as you embraced Roman culture and law. OTOH they (and the Greeks) were very sexist, far more so than subsequent European cultures...

gothicangel
09-21-2011, 01:28 AM
Also, one should avoid assumptions that modern attitudes are absolutes. The Romans were culturalists - they didn't much care what the colour of your skin was, as long as you embraced Roman culture and law. OTOH they (and the Greeks) were very sexist, far more so than subsequent European cultures...

I'm now studying Classical Studies and I really dislike applying terms like sexism etc to ancient cultures, they lived by their times.

I have no doubt that future generations will call us barbarians for dumping our waste into landfill and burning oil to fuel cars. ;)

Amadan
09-21-2011, 01:56 AM
I think the topic has derailed somewhat - the author in question readily attacks former employers on charges of sexism [founded or unfounded], but she's not adverse to posting about her own pole-dancing on the internet.


So, pole-dancing negates charges of sexism?

Mr Flibble
09-21-2011, 02:22 AM
Historically, there have even been many matriarchal cultures....

Or indeed many cultures where yes, the guys went to war, but the spiritual/practical needs of the culture were run by the women often (and in quite a few cultures, women warriors were, if not usual exactly, they were accepted.)

The culture of the wise woman, which kinda got overtaken by the culture of the wise man when the Bible et al came into play. And so it goes.

Historically it's an interesting time. Even when Christianity was officially adopted in many places, the wise woman culture persisted for some time. It was only later that male dominance over almost everything came into play*. I may have to write some more about it.

*even as late as the thirties fertility rites/women only rituals at ancient sites were noted in parts of Britain. You might extrapolate from that, consequent cultural wassname - women weren't inferior (necessarily) - they had special powers that men didn't have. They were different, and the men treated them with awe and not a little carefulness. Possibly due to fear of froggage :D

gothicangel
09-21-2011, 11:30 AM
Or indeed many cultures where yes, the guys went to war, but the spiritual/practical needs of the culture were run by the women often (and in quite a few cultures, women warriors were, if not usual exactly, they were accepted.)

The culture of the wise woman, which kinda got overtaken by the culture of the wise man when the Bible et al came into play. And so it goes.

Historically it's an interesting time. Even when Christianity was officially adopted in many places, the wise woman culture persisted for some time. It was only later that male dominance over almost everything came into play*. I may have to write some more about it.

*even as late as the thirties fertility rites/women only rituals at ancient sites were noted in parts of Britain. You might extrapolate from that, consequent cultural wassname - women weren't inferior (necessarily) - they had special powers that men didn't have. They were different, and the men treated them with awe and not a little carefulness. Possibly due to fear of froggage :D

You raise an interesting point.

I'm bouncing around an idea for a future WIP about the Vestal Virgins. I've only done a little reading and what you've said rings true. After they completed their service they could marry, and it was a great honour for a man to be married to a former Vestal. Though, many decided to stay on as a teacher within the temple, prefering not to submit to the authority of a man.

Amadan
09-21-2011, 05:09 PM
Please don't be obtuse and don't put things in my mouth.

This author has no problem using her body to entice men in a strip club, but suddenly develops morality when she's in another environment? Hypocrite.

And now the ruckus over her novel having a cover which features a short-skirted headless woman... This is just a ploy for attention. And the article is extremely biased. Another ploy to sell newspapers.

Sorry, not wasting my time on this anymore. If you want to rally to this author's defense, go ahead, but count me out.

I'm not being obtuse, and I don't care about this particular author.

Yes, even if she is a two-faced hypocrite, discrimination is still wrong (I have no idea if she is actually being discriminated against or if it's just a ploy for attention), and you don't get to say "Well, she has no right to complain about sexism because she's a pole-dancer."

This is very little difference between your position and the attitude that prostitutes can't be raped.

(I do not think think "pole-dancer" = prostitute. But you do seem to think that women who "use their bodies to entice men" have defacto declared open season on themselves.)

areteus
09-21-2011, 05:50 PM
You raise an interesting point.

I'm bouncing around an idea for a future WIP about the Vestal Virgins. I've only done a little reading and what you've said rings true. After they completed their service they could marry, and it was a great honour for a man to be married to a former Vestal. Though, many decided to stay on as a teacher within the temple, prefering not to submit to the authority of a man.

The attitudes of modern christianity (through Catholicism) to women stem from these Roman attitudes - which were not so much sexist in the same way as modern sexism is but rather an opinion that women were property (which is a whole extra level of sexism, IMO). They did not dislike women (I believe it was largely considered that the Greeks disliked women - the famous quote implying that they only used them for reproduction - but I am not sure how accurate that is...) but saw them as a precious commodity which needed to be protected.

It has been suggested that the attitudes of the Celtic catholics (who were later absorbed into Roman Catholicism) were less like this. Hmm, I need to review my books on post Roman religions :)

I am always amused by comments which imply that a woman's place is in the home and men go out to do the work and all that nonsense. Not least because I am currently stuck at home doing all the housework while my wife does all the work. It surprises me that some people still have that atttitude. But then it surprises me to find people who are still racist and homophobic. These things do hang on in society because they do have hormonal and instinctual biological drives behind them. We don't like people who are 'not of our tribe' and those with a different colour are clearly 'not of our tribe'. It starts with hating the 'strange people over the hill' and then, once you have conquered or allied with them, 'the people who live on the other side of the lake' and then 'the people on the other side of the sea' and before you know it you have countries and superpowers and the whole world war shit going on.

The trick to world peace may lie in teaching us to hate the inhabitants of another planet and that saddens me.

Oh, and as an aside, before the Romans got Christianity, I was impressed by the way they would adopt other races and cultures into the empire. The way they masterfully took local gods and said 'Hey, look, your god there is exactly like our god here! We must be similar! Let's be friends!' clearly worked a treat as there are examples of this such as Sulis Minerva in quite a few places.

veinglory
09-21-2011, 05:55 PM
I'm not being obtuse, and I don't care about this particular author.

Yes, even if she is a two-faced hypocrite, discrimination is still wrong (I have no idea if she is actually being discriminated against or if it's just a ploy for attention), and you don't get to say "Well, she has no right to complain about sexism because she's a pole-dancer."

I don't see any hypocrisy in wanted to be treated like a pole dancer when pole-dancing, and like an executive when working as an executive. Feminism is not the same as asexuality or anti-sexuality.

Amadan
09-21-2011, 06:28 PM
I don't see any hypocrisy in wanted to be treated like a pole dancer when pole-dancing, and like an executive when working as an executive. Feminism is not the same as asexuality or anti-sexuality.

I wasn't agreeing with AA that it was hypocritical, but that would have been an even bigger derail.

AmsterdamAssassin
09-21-2011, 06:32 PM
This is very little difference between your position and the attitude that prostitutes can't be raped.

I PM'd you about this remark.

Kitty27
09-21-2011, 07:31 PM
Please respect your fellow writer. This thread appears to be taking on a combative tone and I hate to have it locked.

James D. Macdonald
09-21-2011, 08:16 PM
Re: The pole dancing:

From the Daily Fail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-402758/City-woman-quit-sexism-admits-pole-dancing.html#ixzz1YbW0Zdke) story:


Her entry on the site reads: 'Trained as a mechanic, quit engineering. Sold my soul to the City, quit banking, Now writing fiction set in the City, working in FYEO nights.'


What that means is that freelance writing pays so poorly, and so infrequently, that writers have to take whatever kind of odd jobs are available. (How many times have you read on book jackets, "Joe Author has been a grave digger, grocery bagger, and pizza delivery man..."?) Yeah, royalties are coming in October. But it's August and you have to pay the rent anyway.

skylark
09-21-2011, 08:22 PM
I don't see any hypocrisy in wanted to be treated like a pole dancer when pole-dancing, and like an executive when working as an executive. Feminism is not the same as asexuality or anti-sexuality.

While I agree with that, I thought her basic complaint was that her book was being promoted as a romance by a publisher which publishes romances.

It's rather hypocritical to want to be treated as an executive while pole-dancing.

I went to look for her author photo on Amazon, but I can't see one. I might be doing something stupid, but I don't think so. I can see Jim Butcher's. Maybe she's removed it.

DancingMaenid
09-21-2011, 08:23 PM
I don't see any hypocrisy in wanted to be treated like a pole dancer when pole-dancing, and like an executive when working as an executive. Feminism is not the same as asexuality or anti-sexuality.

I agree. And exotic dancing shouldn't "invite" harassment by any means, either. While a dancer should be okay with being viewed sexually, they shouldn't have to expect harassment.

And I definitely don't see why someone's job as a pole dancer should influence how they should expect to be treated outside of that job.

Phaeal
09-21-2011, 09:34 PM
I would like to have pictures of certain presidential candidates (male even more than female) pole-dancing. I'd never have to work again.

Just saying. 'Scuse me while I go telephoto lens shopping.

IceCreamEmpress
09-23-2011, 03:25 AM
This author has no problem using her body to entice men in a strip club, but suddenly develops morality when she's in another environment?

What on Earth? Of course she's wearing a pole-dancer costume while pole-dancing in a pole-dancer club. That's her job. How is it "immoral"?

I mean, if she's "immoral" and has no right to assert boundaries and expect respectful treatment as a person, wouldn't the same go for all the patrons of the pole-dancer club and the elected officials and/or employees of the municipality that licensed it?

Being a pole-dancer is unlikely to have anything to do with her personal sexual preferences or orientations, either. It's a job. People usually aren't bartenders because they're drunks, either.

Again, not seeing where "morality" comes into it at the level of the individual employee; if we're talking about "morality" we could start with the owner, the patrons, the people who licensed it, the society that celebrates exotic dancing, etc.

In any case, she wasn't complaining about being sexually harassed at her workplace as a pole dancer; she was complaining about being sexually harassed in her other workplace.

Now, the "why is the romance publisher marketing my book which is OH SO DIFFERENT in the same way they market their other books?" thing is another issue entirely.

James D. Macdonald
09-23-2011, 05:22 AM
This should give pause to the lads who go to strip clubs: The pole dancer might be a novelist who's taking extensive mental notes....

Libbie
09-23-2011, 09:31 AM
I don't see any hypocrisy in wanted to be treated like a pole dancer when pole-dancing, and like an executive when working as an executive. Feminism is not the same as asexuality or anti-sexuality.

Thank you.

There's nothing hypocritical about a woman who likes to pole-dance and who also dislikes disses on women. (Not that I think HC was denigrating women in any way...I haven't read their side of the story.) I tire of this society-wide assumption that women who own their sexuality are somehow less than other women, or are bringing all other women down or besmirching the petal-soft, rose-scented world of Womanhood. Maybe all the women who run screaming from sexual expression need to be brought up. Maybe everybody needs to pole-dance once in a while.

It's fun. You all ought to try it. The boys, too. It's like you're a fireman sliding down the big huge fire pole, but there's music playing and you're wearing stockings and garters. Wheeeee!!!!

gothicangel
09-23-2011, 10:47 AM
It's like you're a fireman sliding down the big huge fire pole

There is a Freudian interpretation in there somewhere . . .

colealpaugh
09-23-2011, 10:56 AM
It's fun. You all ought to try it. The boys, too. It's like you're a fireman sliding down the big huge fire pole, but there's music playing and you're wearing stockings and garters. Wheeeee!!!!

Didn't happen unless it's on video, Libbie...links?

Amadan
09-23-2011, 05:06 PM
t's fun. You all ought to try it. The boys, too. It's like you're a fireman sliding down the big huge fire pole, but there's music playing and you're wearing stockings and garters. Wheeeee!!!!

I don't know that I agree that the solution to sexual repression is to make yourself a sexual object and convince yourself it's empowering, but certainly even women who choose to do that do not deserve abuse or harrassment or to have their complaints dismissed.

Libbie
09-23-2011, 06:41 PM
I don't think it's the solution, either. I was being facetious to point out how wrong-minded it is for people to engage in slut-shaming, which is exactly what is going on here. ("Slut-shaming," by the way, is the term commonly in use today for this activity of denigrating women for the "crime" of possessing a sexual nature; I was not accusing anybody of calling this author a slut.)

You're right: a woman who chooses to express sexual feelings in whatever manner she feels is best doesn't deserve abuse or harassment or to have her complaints dismissed, and "Well, she pole-dances, so therefore she has no right to the opinion that somebody somewhere is treating women unfairly" is an offensive stance to take.

Somebody upthread had a good point that she has a history of calling sexual harassment on former employers. If that's the case, then that's worth being suspicious about. If she's the common denominator in many instances of accusations of sexual harassment, then maybe she's oversensitive on this issue. But the fact that she's a former exotic dancer or enjoys recreational pole-dancing is a separate issue.

My final thoughts on the situation: I'm pretty sure HC knows how to sell books. I'd let them put just about any title and cover on my books, perceived social implications be damned, so long as they didn't misrepresent my work. And from what I can see of the cover, it looks like every other work of chick-lit out there, so I presume it'll be successful in reaching its target audience. And the title "It's A Man's World" seems dead on for a book about a young woman trying to make it as an editor of a men's magazine. I think this author is just trying to pull a publicity stunt to bolster her move into SP by causing a scene instead of choosing not to renew her contract with quiet, professional grace.

And I've never heard of her before, either.

scarletpeaches
09-23-2011, 08:16 PM
I don't know that I agree that the solution to sexual repression is to make yourself a sexual object and convince yourself it's empowering, but certainly even women who choose to do that do not deserve abuse or harrassment or to have their complaints dismissed.Judgemental much?

Amadan
09-23-2011, 09:59 PM
Judgemental much?

Why yes, yes I am, Judgy McPeaches. ;)