I wish it was as simple as a blog post. I really do.
The truth is that this post probably won’t make a difference in the number of sexist, degrading stories that wind up in the FFO slushpile every month.
But I just can’t handle it anymore. So for my own conscience’s sake, I’m stating for the record, as Publisher of this magazine, I WILL NOT BUY SEXIST, DEGRADING CRAP DISGUISED AS STORIES.
Did you get that? Or do I need to say it again?
I WILL NOT BUY SEXIST, DEGRADING CRAP DISGUISED AS STORIES.
Stop sending us stories about the imprisonment, torture, rape, abuse, and degradation of women.
Stop sending us stories about bobble headed women who’s only purpose in the story is to make your main character feel attractive and smart.
Stop sending us stories whose main characters think things about women such as “her place is in the kitchen” or “that (expletive) is better off dead.”
Stop sending us stories about stalkers peering through the blinds or hiding in the back of cars.
Stop sending stories about men who get the girl at the end of the story for no other reason than because they’re a nice guy.
No more women chained in basements.
No more making the female characters a plot point only so you can terrify them and then save them.
No more “pretending” to terrify the female character only to have a twist happen to show that.. haha!..the female wasn’t really in danger..it was all a dream..or a day at the circus!
Equally, no more making your female character so idiotic that if she walked off a cliff, she wouldn’t know…and wait… haha! That’s funny too, right?
No more females so sweetly sweet that I get a cavity from reading. That woman doesn’t exist either.
Guess what? Women are people. Men are people. Write about people. People who are complicated and are more than the pigeonholed tropes we’d like for them to be.
And one more time… for the record.
I WILL NOT BUY SEXIST DEGRADING CRAP DISGUISED AS STORIES.
Don’t even send it. Burn it. Trunk it. Use it for parakeet cage litter. Learn from it. But don’t send it out into the world.
BUT… To all of you who DO send us good, worthwhile stories that make those of us at FFO love what we do, thank you. Your stories make us think. They expand our horizons and teach us to dream.
May we all live up to the standard that you’ve set.
All my best,
Publisher, Flash Fiction Online