Well. I’m mad.
I’m not trying to be inciting or hysterical. But I am angry.
A “fellow” horror writer lambasted a dear friend and amazing woman for doing book signings while in costume and…I’m not quite sure what else. Being a woman? He said women were especially bad at trying to grab attention (“claiming” we’re horror writers when we aren’t) and most of us are hags anyway.
That’s right. Most of us are hags.
I’m sorry, but how did appearance even manage to worm its way into this conversation? This author has one book out and a second releasing soon. Yet he has the authority to decide who is really a horror writer and who isn’t? And bringing physical appearance into it is exceptionally personal. He doesn’t like the way most of us look? Next time I’ll be careful to wear a helmet while signing so I don’t offend readers. I thought writing was about the *writing* but apparently I was wrong! Silly woman, “claiming” to write horror! Thank goodness this random dude was there to set the #LadyHags in our place.
Hags? All right. I’ll hop on that broomstick and ride it.
I’m not naming names for a few reasons. The first reason is grace. Perhaps the ranting author had a really bad day. Perhaps he wrote something without thinking and didn’t realize how hurtful and misogynistic he was being. Perhaps these aren’t really his true thoughts. I wouldn’t want to cause this individual pain, even though he so clearly caused it in others.
The other reason that I don’t want to share his name is because he doesn’t deserve the attention.
The third is because the woman he attacked (before his vitriol spilled over to the rest of womankind) has the right to share his identity, not me. If you’d like to talk to her about it, feel free. Besides being a fun, compassionate writer and person, she is also a mother dealing with a sick child. Her son has cancer. That’s right: cancer. And some random whackadouche decided that she wasn’t up to his standards.
You see why I’m so furious right now. My hands are shaking.
This isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a constant thing. February is Women in Horror month precisely because of things like this. Women are often shunted to the back or otherwise demeaned in this genre. Definitely not by everybody. If we’re hags, then we have a strong troop of hag supporters. Team #LadyHags. There are men inside this genre and out who link arms and stand with us. Which is how it’s supposed to be, by the way. Who has time for pettiness and division, really? Don’t you have lives you’re trying to lead? Children you’re trying to feed and keep alive? Don’t you have loved ones worth fighting for? Why spend your time attacking women that are of no concern to you?
You don’t have the right.
We are here. We are beautiful. We are strong. We’re going to write what we want and how we want. If we want to do readings in libraries, good. If we want to do booksignings on a lawn, more power to us. Our path to success doesn’t concern you. It doesn’t impede yours. You don’t like what we write, where we hold signings, or what we’re wearing?
Nobody asked you. And more importantly?
You don’t get to tell us what to do.
If you’re going to judge us as writers, then judge us on merit. Like us for who we are or what we bring to the table. But don’t turn us away because of something stupid like, oh, having female anatomy. Besides, women are wired for horror. Believe it.
As for the rest of us, Happy Women in Horror Month. Support your favorite lady hags and pick up a book. If you already have a copy, gift it to somebody. Let our haggishness shine! #LoveYourHag #ladyhags
One of my FB friends (a man!!!) is so amazing about sharing a woman’s blog/website/etc every DAY!!!!!! He calls it Woman in Horror and he shares on FB and Twitter and who knows what else. Every. Day. Wish we had more like this guy out there to help spread the word about our awesomeness and just how damn scary we can be! *put on best terrifying face* 😀
How fantastic! That’s wonderful! Do you mind giving us his Twitter handle so I can follow him? There are so many people who are so supportive, and then someone like this comes around and gives them a black eye.
I commend you for taking the high road and not naming names. After all, your friend may prefer not to let this unpleasant experience sap one iota more of her energy. She is a professional after all…and a woman with challenges at home. Like you, I’d prefer to assume that this guy had a bad day and expressed himself without thinking it through ahead of time. Some of us writers are more flamboyant than others. If he’s not comfortable in public situations like author signings, being around others who ARE comfy, say, wearing fun costumes, might bring out all sorts of insecurities. People are usually unkind out of fear. Like small, shivering dogs, they snap when they feel threatened…even if the threat is only in their own mind. Anyway, great post, you lovely hag!
I’d still like to give him a kick in the stones. Some types of people need physical pain administered to get the point.
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I shall proudly let my Hag Flag Fly!
Great post! #ladyhagsforthewin!
Reblogged this on Glenn Rolfe Scribbles Madness and commented:
People are surprising. You’d think people’d be over the gender thing in writing these days. I know it’s not horror, but four of the last biggest book blockbusters were written by women.
…What all the other commenters said!
It would never have occured to me that gender could play any role at all in writing talent. I thought that was settled 200 years ago. Perhaps someone could quietly clue him in to offer a sincere, heartfelt apology.
Reblogged this on kitpowerwriter and commented:
MMY Nails it. Again.
brava! — from a hagally
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Guy’s a douchenozzle. The best horror I’ve read in the last few months has been from Lauren Beukes and Sarah Lotz.
Screw him. If there’s any justice in the world, Samhain will clue in and drop this dick in favour of someone with a slightly less misogynistic world view.
Beautifully written, Mercedes.
Reblogged this on Confessions of an Adversary.
“But… but… when is men in horror month?” Oh year, March – January.
Seriously, I don’t understand why we feel the need to criticize and judge everyone. No matter what is happening, we have to judge whether it’s good or bad, and decide who is to blame. It’s a horrible cultural problem. At least for me as an atheist/agnostic, white male, people criticize me for my choices and not for my gender, religion or skin color. Can’t imagine what it must be like to be criticized for being born.
“I thought writing was about the *writing*” It is and always should be. My favourite “horror” writer of all time is Mary Shelley. She, is the reason, along with Edgar Allen Poe, why I write.
I have the distinct pleasure of working with and being friends with a number of women “horror” writers, or “dark fantasy” or whatever we tag we want to call it nowadays. I don’t like their writing because they are women, but because it’s good writing period.
This unnamed writer with the big mouth clearly has some inferiority issues. One might go as far as calling it small man issues, because he is, indeed, a small man mentally.
Sometimes horror is all about the kitsch. Dress up, bring props. It shows your enthusiasm for not only your writing but the genre and, above all, your readers.
Write on, Mercedes!
Reblogged this on Gothninja's Blog and commented:
#ladyhag and proud. *fistbump
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I grew up with Disney and good books as a regular babysitter. One thing you learn, early on, is there are two types of women you do not mess with — hags and crones. Later, as a teenager reading better books and watching horror movies, I learned there are two types of women you don’t piss off — the living and the undead. Sounds to me like some guy is taking himself and his genitalia much too seriously.
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I agree with Tobin Elliott. The best horror novels I’ve read in the last year have been by women. This guy sounds threatened by our awesomeness.
Reblogged this on gElmerMunson and commented:
Reblogged from Mercedes Yardley, because she made the point better than I ever could.
you go get em girl!!! Would like to say one thing though…if that’s you in the helmet you’d better keep your eyes closed, cause their beautiful and nothing haggishness about them 😉
Reblogged this on Michael J. Evans and commented:
It seems this issue comes up around the same time every year, and it’s usually because some fool opens his mouth and inserts foot. So after reading this post by the talented Mercedes M. Yardley, comment on who you favorite female horror writers are.
Reblogged this on The Incredible Imaginings of Jeremy Hicks and commented:
Perhaps one day people will understand that genitalia does not affect ones ability to write, unless one is attempting to write with their genitalia. If that’s the case, get off the laptop, wipe it down properly, and seek professional help.
HAH HAH “whackadouche”.
Right, because authors like Mary Shelley and Shirley Jackson had no damn idea of what they were doing, either. What an ass. Sharing this far and wide.
Reblogged this on Jinxie's World and commented:
Women shouldn’t be horror writers? Really? Hey asshat, some of the classics were written by women, or have you never heard of Frankenstein or The Lottery?
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Some of my most favorite writers are women. What a jerk. 🙁
Reblogged this on Dana Wright Wordscribe.
Reblogged this on Jim McDonald and commented:
Don’t be a troll. Great article.
Women in Horror Month is an excellent celebration of the writers, artists, directors, and more who deliver the best of the genre – and I’ve been grateful for the contribution since I was a kid. Keep doing what you do!
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