My Response to a Feminist Pie Writer Who Publicly Accused Me of Sexism

5 thoughts on “My Response to a Feminist Pie Writer Who Publicly Accused Me of Sexism”

  1. Brian,

    I think you do an excellent and fair job of raising your ire here. I don’t know how many people would have recognized you, but then a lot of people know you better than I do. But that’s not really the point. The point is that someone who claims you as a “dear friend” didn’t have the ovaries to take her grievance into the real world of nonfiction–human conversation–versus the fictional world of “nonfiction.” Good for you for calling it out. I feel that you’re being true to the genre and to literature. I hope that you and this writer can heal the rift, though.

  2. I am really sorry this piece had to come out like it did. I get and agree with the general theme because it’s written at the very end of the piece: “sexism is real, insidious, casual, and crazy-making” But at the same time, I agree with your reaction. There was enough white space in that layout to allow The Friend, a Non-Fictional Character, to engage in a subsequent dialectic about this piece, about that incident in particular. And I know how close your friendship is, so I’m somewhat dumbstruck by why she never showed this to you before publication. Did she think you could take it? She is right: feminism is fighting some really insidious battles right now. But since you are her ally, why chose you as the “mouthpiece” for the Other Side? I support her uncovering and disclosing these problems, challenging them. But if I was used as a tool to make a point like that, I would feel tainted and disposable: like whatever it was you two had to use to clean up the meth addict’s shit. And I don’t think that’s what she meant to do at all.

  3. One of my favorite quotes in the world comes from that great American philosopher Naomi Judd who said: “The first time you’re a victim. After that you’re a volunteer.” Paraphrased a bit, but that’s the gist. An Ezra Pound quote Sam Hamill likes to use is: “More poets fail from lack of character than lack of talent.” I’ve taken to worrying about the character part and letting the gigs, publications, grants, &c work themselves out. It worked for Jose Kozer, who read once at Hugo House: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2013/07/jose-kozer-wins-pablo-neruda-ibero-american-poetry-prize/ Oh and Brian, I appreciate that you don’t bill yourself as a Puerto Rican poet, or “Puerto Rican-American Poet” as that whole identity poetics stuff is a copout and interferes with our efforts to be totally human, in my view. Gracias Hermano.

  4. WOW. That is the most passive aggressive response to a remark I have ever heard of. AND this is Seattle! Land of passive aggression! Wow. Hope you two can heal the rift.

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