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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.

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ithiliana
ithiliana
11 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
11 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
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
11 years ago

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

ithiliana
ithiliana
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
11 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
11 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
11 years ago

Ack! Tag fail!

Also, Ishmael.

ithiliana
ithiliana
11 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
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
11 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
11 years ago

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

ithiliana
ithiliana
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
ithiliana
11 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
ithiliana
11 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

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