Friday, April 16, 2010

Girl on girl ('s fiction)

The Toronto Transit Commission is being too kind to me lately. I think they're trying to make it "the nicer way" with some sort of forced policy of friendliness or something because today the mayor said "hello and thank you for riding with us" over the intercom and -- and -- the TTC operator was awake before I clunked my wake-up quarters in his alarm clock fare box. Before. What kind of Wonderland is this? Thankfully, the passengers are still jerks like me, but still, nice is not inspiring.

Good thing I'm taking a real train ride today with the jerks at VIA Rail. And this is not just any train ride, but a train all the way to Montreal for a girl's weekend! Oh yeah. Can I get a woot woot!? Thro' yo' hands in the aiya and wave 'em like you etc etc...

So this is all a nice and cozy coincidence because lately I've been trying to wrap my head around a particular women's issue: women's fiction. This literary category has been rather trying and limiting for me and my book because many agents and publishers say explicitly that they don't accept women's fiction manuscripts. But what is WF exactly? My book is far from chick lit but, based on everything I've read (like this this and this), it seems the category is much broader than that. (Broad - ha!) So this all leaves me hanging and a bit mystified. Does my book fall into this women's fiction category because it

a) has a female protagonist,
b) there's some kissing and sex in it, and
c) I, the author, am woman (roar)?

The first point alone insults both males and females. Why wouldn't a man be interested in reading about a fictional woman from a woman's point of view? Let's give the guy more credit, shall we? I'm pretty sure he can handle it. And another thing. I read stuff written by and about dudes all the time and I'm sort of a feminist. Clearly, this point of classification is weak, publishers and agents. Very very weak. Speaking of, can you open this pickle jar for me?

The second, well, duh. Yes, there's kissing, light petting and some sex in my book but last time I checked out the demographic makeup of the porn aisle at Jumbo Video, men found kissing, light petting and sex interesting too.

And "C"? Don't get me started on "C." This point is just ridiculous because lady authors can write for any audience: male, female and the fascinating in-betweeners. We're not all Candace Bushnells mashing the keyboard with our Manolo Blahnik stilletos, you know. Some of us actually have something of value to say. But I'm PMSing so maybe I'm just feeling bitchy.

So, agents and publishers, my advice to you is this: Get on the fiction train of equality, bitches! Can I get a woot woot!?

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