Things Not to Say

Hey, guys?

If you are upset about something, and you want to yell at somebody about it, it’s worth taking a moment to make sure you’re yelling at the right person.

For example, do not blame the author for Amazon’s decision to ship print copies of a novel two weeks before the sale date, but not to send out the e-books at the same time. Aside from the fact that retailers aren’t supposed to ship anything before the street date, the author has precisely ZERO control over what Amazon chooses to do. (And is probably even more upset than you are, because that potentially screws her over in career-affecting ways.)

And if you are upset about something, take a careful look at how you’re expressing your feelings.

For example, is it productive to call the author “stupid,” “greedy,” “ungrateful,” or “a narcissist”? Probably not.

And it is definitely not productive — nor even okay — to call her a “bitch,” a “whore,” or a “cunt.”

Seriously. The person on the other end of that e-mail you’re about to send? Is a person. One who, in this case, has no actual control over the thing you are upset about; she didn’t cause it, and she can’t fix it, and she’s upset about it, too. But even if those things weren’t true . . . what the hell, people. How fragile is your world if the UTTER APOCALYPTIC DISASTER of NOT BEING ABLE TO GET YOUR E-BOOK NOW NOW NOW justifies heaping misogynistic abuse on the person who produces the thing you love?

Please. Be smart enough to aim your criticism in an appropriate direction, not at a fellow victim. But more than anything . . . act like a human, not a hyena.

0 Responses to “Things Not to Say”

  1. ajpursell

    comparing these people to people is giving them too much credit.

  2. Marie Brennan

    I knew somebody would say that. <g>

  3. ajpursell

    first world problems

  4. la_marquise_de_

    It’s a behaviour I find completely incomprehensible and indefensible.

  5. not_from_stars

    Goddess, I still get amazed about how people can be so crappy towards other people. 🙁

  6. gauroth

    Absolutely! I am horrified that people have been so badly-behaved to an author for something she has no control over. And the names they’ve called her can never, ever be justified. It’s vile.

  7. squishymeister

    I’ve can’t quite understand how people have become so horrible to each other… I read something recently about how due to the convenience of the internet and other ‘last 100 years’ modernization, we just don’t HAVE to spend as much time around people. We live in little bubbles and limit social interaction to times when we choose to be around people, so there has been some deterioration of peoples’ tolerance for other people, simple courteousness… and then throw the lack of face to face, but still interactions of the internet, downright cruelty towards people that we would otherwise respect or engage in friendship (or at least cooperation to get the crops harvested…).

  8. teleidoplex

    Dude, don’t dis on hyenas. Hyenas are awesome, especially the spotted (i.e., ‘laughing’) hyena. They’ve gotten a bad rap in mythology despite being a totally badass, matriarchal species that kills 95% of its food resources (so, not scavenging assholes). The females even have a pseudo-penis!

    Spotted hyenas are MORE AWESOME than humans, and probably get dissed because they are so awesome. Don’t perpetuate the negativity 🙁

    • teleidoplex

      On a more serious note, this entire situation is infuriating, and I feel terrible for Seannan. A book release should be a happy time, and there’s never an excuse for the responses she got.

      Those people… are the inverse of hyenas. They are not in any way awesome.

  9. maladaptive

    Well here’s another example of “minorities face a disproportionate number of threats on the internet, for minor perceived inconveniences” for my article on Internet threat jurisprudence. It’s really disappointing how perfectly this slots in with my argument “so the first amendment proponents kind of dropped the ball, there, with their idea of ‘valuable speech.'” I’ve been hip-deep in the subject for weeks now, and it leaves me breathless every time. These are presumably normal people. The people you walk past every day. That they have this kind of vitriol in them– that they’re this close to a psychotic break, that they even think it’s an appropriate response– makes me want to barricade my door.

    And yet I’m still gobsmacked, and that’s after waking up yesterday morning to people getting death threats over My Little Pony.

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