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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Just get off my back

Internet, I am being hounded.

I first saw this article three days ago being passed around a writers' group. Then I saw it again. And again. And now it's hit the general population with Jezebel picking it up, and I just want to say that I really think it's total bullshit.

Like women writers don't feel shitty enough about their work and themselves at every fucking turn. Like it's not hard enough for us to even send shit out time and again to fucking silence. Or worse, a patronizing pat on the head. We just want to eat, and we'd prefer to do it by practicing our craft, and if we use certain turns of phrases, could you just get off our backs?

I like just.

I like using it, I like writing it, I like the way it makes my fucking pushy as fuck pitches sound. It helps me.

I send out upwards of 15 pitches a week, and I send out double that in follow-ups, so excuse me if I'm just checking in, because, for fuck's sake, that is what I am doing.

I'm not FORWARDLY IN YOUR FACE CHECKING IN. I'm not checking in to see if you've read my awesome fucking idea you've probably already barfed on and laughed about with your coworkers. I'm just checking in on it in case by some miracle of faulty modern magic you missed the email that not only popped up at your desktop at work but probably pinged your phone and got automatically added to three different to-do lists of yours.

I'm just acknowledging that editors are busy as fuck and no, actually, I don't think I deserve a reply just because I had the metaphorical balls to pitch a thing, but just in case you happen to like the idea better today than you did two weeks ago, here is a polite motherfucking nudge.

Dudes, like, what if I just don't feel like being freaking assertive in a follow-up? Does it mean I have low self-esteem? Am I suddenly the next victim of impostor syndrome? No. What if it simply means I have respect for another person's job and life, and silence is generally regarded as a no, so if I'm going to push it, how about I just be freaking polite about something for one time in my life?

And if the answer is no, or more silence, I'm not crying in my goddamn cheese curls and beer about it. I'm sending it to the next editor to nope. Until it gets a yes. So excuse me while I make double sure my first-choice publication doesn't want it in a way that might leave the editor feeling kindly toward me as opposed to having them think, "damn, why does she think the sun shines out her ass? I didn't even like her 839654829672906702 shitty essays in WaPo and Time. Bitch."

You know what I would like people to judge women writers on? THEIR WORK (TM Brooke effin' Binkowski, who is a rockstar).

If some bro is chilling over at Big Publication Inc., and he doesn't go further than my pitch because I use the word "just" in it somewhere, but my clips are stellar, my idea sharp and timely and my turnaround fucking faster than a Palin can get pregnant (too far? probably too far. I'm sorry.), then who is losing out? Not me. I'm moving my pitch to the next bro in line, and dude who can't move beyond one word in the language that indicates respect for his position can just watch something else I do go viral from the sidelines. Whatevs.

I will write my goddamn emails the way I want to write them. I am so sick of these rules. It's like a 1993 romance up in here (anyone else remember that godawful book, The Rules? WHO IS WITH ME?)

I don't need to hear about what semantic bullshit I can pull to suddenly make my words shine off the page. I don't want to twist myself into a pretzel of "this guru tells women to do this to be more like men, and this guru tells women to do that to be true to themselves and this guru says fuck it all, you're a girl so good fucking luck, try not to cry on the way home as you stand on the subway to make room for my manspread junk."

I'm just tired, guys. I'm just so tired of it. What I want in this world is to write an email the way I want to fucking write it and have it be read and weighted by the merit of the content within, and the tone and cadence (of which just is a part), and have them get a feel for the type of writing and person they will be getting by working with me.

And I am a polite son-of-a-bitch. So, yes, I'll just be checking in whenever the fuck I want.

Just get off my back.


  1. You'll be happy to learn that linguists disagree with her assessment:

  2. Oh. Another woman exec speaking from her place of priviliege telling us all how to behave in the workplace. How about analyzing behaviors of the coworkers that causes women to use a so-called childish sounding word? How about getting a researcher to come in and do some proper empirical research and look at the causes instead of blaming the writer/speaker?



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