Disclaimer: my thoughts and my opinions. This is in no way an attack on anyone. It’s merely to spark discussion about what you think when authors behave badly.
One incident happened last night on Twitter which had to do with a fellow blogger and a YA author. I for one think the blogger performed admirably and very professional. The author? Not so much. This discussion isn’t about that author specifically, more like a mere mention of all the authors (that I know) that have performed badly.
I’ve been merely observing author’s tweets and yes most tend to be positive and professional..But then there are others who aren’t. I know some are younger than me, but does age have to do with anything? (I’m almost thirty years old and I just love reading teen books and I don’t give a care if others look at me funny.) Age is not an excuse to act immature and irresponsible.
The one part about this that saddens me is that there were two of my favourite authors. I loved their books, I followed them on Twitter, but once I saw them acting out and being immature during the Flower in the Attic Twitter party, I immediately unfollowed them. Now my perception of them has changed and I’m saddened that they have to act like this. Am I being too harsh? Maybe?.. What these two authors were saying was wrong. It’s all in good fun they say. But no just no..I’m sad that I know how they are now. And also glad that they showed their true colours. Maybe I’ll forgive them one day, but right now, I don’t want to read or see anything by them.
I wasn’t the only one who was offended by some of the snarky tweets..You don’t know who you’re hurting with your words. Think before you tweet.
I almost didn’t write this post, to be honest. I’m still not sure I’ll actually post it once I finish typing. Quite frankly, I’m a mess today, and the mess is directly connected to the trauma I experienced in my childhood. It’s easy for me to speak out against rape and child abuse when I can distance myself from the topic. It’s much harder when my heart is pounding, my stomach is pitching, and my hands won’t stop shaking because the monsters that are buried deep inside my mind have come roaring out.
I used to hide myself away when that happened. I’ve spent a huge portion of my life speaking in caveats and deflections. Shrinking and shrinking until I could fit into what would make others most comfortable with me. Apologizing, always apologizing, for the pain that someone else causes me.
I wouldn’t say anything this time, either, except that I suspect my pain lives and breathes in many others after last night, and one of them might read this and not feel so alone.
Last night a movie adaptation of FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC was on tv, and many people in my online community watched it. I know this because I logged in to Twitter, and my stream was full of FITA jokes.
Jokes about incest.
And not just about the actual incest in the movie, the encounters between the brother and sister who are locked in the attic together and forced to become psuedo-parents to their younger siblings. The jokes were about mother and son incest. Father and daughter incest. Grandparents.
I spent maybe two minutes trying to scroll through those tweets and find something else, but two minutes was all it took to see a tweet that triggered one of my worst memories from the years of abuse I suffered as a child.
I don’t understand how anyone could think incest is the punchline to a joke. How some of those making jokes are people I consider my friends and it never occurred to them that incest is code for sexual assault and rape done to someone by a family member.
That isn’t funny. Ever.
The outcome of those jokes is huge to me (and I suspect to others who have abuse in their past). I don’t know who I can trust now. How much of my online community found that hilarious? How many didn’t tweet the jokes but laughed anyway? How can I know when I look someone in the eye if the trauma that still wakes me up with nightmares decades later is something they might find worthy of a quip in 140 characters or less?
And then worse than that is the awful feeling that I don’t have a right to stand up and say that it hurt me. That I’m still a mess, and I will be for days until I can shove those memories back into the past where they belong. That I’m afraid that once I speak up, people will be quick to lash out and tell me that I’m being too sensitive, too irrational, or that I need to learn how to take a joke.
That fear is real in me. The physical sickness is real. The epic distrust is real.
But what is also real is that I’m no longer a little girl helplessly cowering in her bed and hoping the monster goes away. I’m not desperately trying to seem normal at school because as soon as my peers hear the word “incest” they immediately treat me like a science experiment and speculate about what other male members of my family I might seduce. I’m not covered in the shame that wanted to swallow me whole, I’m not praying for invisibility, I’m not selling myself short because I don’t deserve better … I’m not.
And so because I’m no longer as wounded as I used to be, I can tell you that incest is a terrifying trauma that never completely goes away, no matter how long you wait, how far you run, or how many years of therapy you have.
There’s always a memory of your darkest moments waiting to rip you to pieces if you stumble upon a reminder before you can prepare yourself.
There’s always the lingering sick sense of fear that someone is coming for you in the dark, and there will be nothing you can do to stop them.
There’s always the whisper that you’re different, tainted, and that if others know, they’ll be horrified. They’ll leave you. They’ll mock you. They’ll fail so completely to understand the shattered mess you’ve struggled to piece back together that it will all be easily distilled into the punchline of a joke that makes you feel absolutely without allies.
These are outbound links to some authors that you might know..These are in no way my opinions, I’m just providing you links to these posts which I found via doing Google Searches..I’m still sad about some of these.
I’m not outing J.K. Rowling in this one..She had a right to be incredibly pissed off about that. In her shoes, I think she wanted actual reviews without her famous name attached to it. So hard to be Mrs. Harry Potter sometimes. And the money she won from that lawsuit? She donated to charity.
Does it change your opinion of authors who behave badly?
Are you wary of their books now that they have snarked their way on social media?
Do you find yourself offended when you see the drama they have aligned themselves with?
What are your thoughts on this?