Don’t want to start a gender fracas here, but Rebecca Solnit rings a bell that chimes with my own experience. “Every woman knows what it’s like to be patronized by a guy who won’t let facts get in the way.”
“So? I hear you’ve written a couple of books.”
I replied, “Several, actually.”
He said, in the way you encourage your friend’s 7-year-old to describe flute practice, “And what are they about?”
Or, in my case, “Have any of them been published?”
He cut me off soon after I mentioned Muybridge. “And have you heard about the very important Muybridge book that came out this year?”
… Mr. Very Important was going on smugly about this book I should have known when Sallie interrupted him to say, “That’s her book.” Or tried to interrupt him anyway.
But he just continued on his way. She had to say, “That’s her book” three or four times before he finally took it in.
In my totally subjective experience, men are also the ones who say, “Anybody can write a novel.” And: “Your book — what was it called again? — you want to know how I would have improved it?” Which is the sure lead-in to, “My novel would be about Kilimanjaro and war and existentialism — sort of Hemingway meets Immanuel Kant… but deeper.”
But women don’t get off the hook. They’re the ones who say, “You write violent crime fiction where women die. Is something wrong with you?” And, “Why do you like the idea of murdering other women?” And, “No, seriously, are you emotionally disturbed?”
Go on. Have at me.
(Via Bookslut, who links to the story with this awesome comment: “Last year a man corrected my grammar five minutes after the sex was over. I did not sleep with him ever again.” Damn, that’s standing up for grammar and for yourself. Represent, girl.)