Log in

bear by san

March 2017



Powered by LiveJournal.com
bear by san

The venom cock just won't stay down.

The first rule of venom cock is, we don't talk about venom cock. I mean, I pretty much avoided this kerfuffle the first time, but the second time around it's just so stultifying that I have to participate. coalescent rounds them up over here (no flamewars, guys--it's a community for a university class, and I won't have you giving the English students a bad impression of my genre.)

That said, the whileaway post is really excellent. I haven't read The Sparrow, but that's besides the point; I think it narrows down the fuss nicely.

Now, I'm not going to talk about venom cock. I am going to talk about the Venom Cock Phenomenon (VCP.)

I will also say that I witnessed, though did not participate in, some of the WFC readings (which weren't as wide-spread as some say--it was more a 45-minute wonder), and the comments were less on the content, and more on the quality of the writing.

And the eye-dialect.

Neither of which I can comment on, because I haven't read the book (well, okay, I read the first paragraph of the excerpt. But I didn't inhale.)

I mean, Anne Bishop and suzych certainly swing some extreme content in their books (ratstration! horse sex!) and while I have heard people making flinchy noises discussing those books, I've never seen anybody moved to actually embark upon an eye-of-argonning of same. (That's what they were doing at WFC, by the way. There: the dirty secret is out. It was a mass, spontaneous eye-of-argonization. Nothing more elaborate than that.)

(Here's where I pull out my entitlement and stand on my privilege as a grown woman raised by lesbian separatists. I got better; so did they.) (I'd stand on my privilege as a man, but I haven't got any.)

The issue wasn't the feminism. The issue isn't the dragon smut, or the female circumcision. Feminism does not need saving from the patriarchy in this particular instance. The issue was that a quorum, even a super-majority, of WFC attendees found the prose in Touched by Venom laughably bad.

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

You may not agree. You may think the book has other virtues that make up for the prose. You may think the prose is good. You are entitled to your opinion. But by all you hold holy, please, people, can we go back to talking about something else? Feminism does not need saving from the venom-cock mockers.

I promise you.

Thank you. You may return to your homes.


Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

It does, however, provide a framework in which the criteria and motives for condemnation become subject to political analysis.
Or an excuse to ascribe political motivations to a bunch of people who were, you know, indulging in the great tradition of MST3K-ing a work of literature which they found particularly rancid. (I've seen the same thing done to John Norman books (which I have read, and so do have an opinion of): when people talk about the politics therein, they become serious, even angry. When they read aloud from them at Bad Prose Parties, they get the giggles.)

As an eyewitness, I find the interpretation of the behavior of a bunch of (WISCONSIN!) con attendees as anti-feminist strained, at best. As a feminist, I think applying a feminist framework to situations where the author's gender is irrelevant to the discussion tends to make feminism look silly (and not in a hah hah feminists are so much fun we should invite them over more often sort of way), and I hate that.

(Not that feminism is irrelevant to a discussion of the Book, mind you, but it's irrelevant to a discussion of the kerfuffle.