Pay Attention To This Broad
Thea Lim comments:
A few weeks ago, in the The New York Observer, Nina Burleigh threw down the notion that the enormous success of Junot Díaz’s This Is How You Lose Her is undeserved. Díaz is beloved not because he is a great writer, Burleigh argues, but because Díaz is a man, and a man who delights us with tales about dashing players and their hapless women victims.
Is it the wars, the terrorism, the recession, driving the longing for a regenerated machismo that Mr. Díaz’s multi-culti cred makes acceptable again? Is it a feminist backlash?…Mr. Díaz’s wondrous bewitching of prize committees comes at a time when women writers remain wildly underrepresented in publishing, on both the reviewing and the reviewed side.
And on Twitter, multiple women writers I respect and admire, like Roxane Gay and Elliot Holt gave Díaz his due, but went on to say that Díaz’s style of confessional writings about love would not fly, if written by a woman.
Normally, I’d be all over this kind of thing. I love talking about the lack of gender equity in publishing (in fact, I did for Bitch Magazine this summer). But I can’t agree that Díaz’s success is gender-based; because yes Díaz is a man, but he’s also a man of color. Critics who say that Díaz would not receive the same warmth, if he was a woman, are overlooking the factor of race.
I’m stuck on: oh my god
fuck right off with this
Charlie Sheen comparisons, are you kidding me
Díaz’s public commitment to feminism and specifically to women writers is thoughtful, sincere, well-documented, and ever-present. I’m truly impressed by his thoughts on gender and he is one of the very, very few male writers whose depictions of women don’t ring false to me. I can’t believe that you would go after Junot Díaz if you want to talk about the exclusion of women from publishing.
this cute use of the concept of “machismo” and phrases like “el narcissismo nuevo” is so fucking racist. it’s relying on stereotypes of Latino men as uncultured misogynists and it’s fucked and I hate it. it’s not even implicit, she actually comes out and says that Díaz’s discussion of Latino masculinity is part of a backlash against feminism. I am keen to know how she came to the conclusion that migrant Latin@s in the USA today are super-popular and accomplices, rather than targets, of the New Right.
& I hate to bring everything back to Professor Feminism Hugo Schwyzer, but it’s pretty goddamn instructive to compare the way Professor McWhiteypants Schwyzer’s vacuous, hateful “confessional writing” about women and relationships has been received by white women writers. “it’s so real, it’s so unpleasant but honest, it’s a purgative.” (see MMM on this.) but when Díaz writes about masculinity, suddenly he’s just Dominican Bukowski. we can’t allow him any self-awareness or intelligence, we can’t allow that he might be interrogating the attitudes of his characters towards women — even though he’s talked about this many, many times. he’s not allowed to write about machismo, it’s just a charge to be levelled against him. it’s almost like… these women don’t give a shit about misogyny within Black and Latin@ communities or how people within those communities can fight it. it’s almost like it’s just a cheap rhetorical trick to promote the interests of white women writers at the expense of writers of colour — who are much, much more underrepresented than white women in publishing and literary awards. I dunno, you tell me.
in sum, I hate them all, Junot Díaz is a better feminist than any of them, I hope he publishes ten thousand books and they never get published again