Alexander Hellene

The Stigma is Theirs

By Alexander Hellene

Every so often, the #WritingCommunity on various social media platforms goes bonkers over an event called #PitMad, where aspiring writers make imaginary pitches to literary agents in the hopes that some of these pitches get seen and a deal can be forthcoming. While I don’t begrudge any artist anything that might give them a leg up—in fact, I actively support self-promotion—authors of all kinds need to be dissuaded from the idea that a literary agent is necessary and, even possible to get if you are a member of a certain demographic.

Most of the people involved in #PitMad, from my observations, are white women. Now, this is not a problem at all; I am just describing a phenomenon. In fact, sometimes I feel like I am one of six people left in America who does not hate white women. I am rather fond of them, in fact, having one as a mother, one as a mother-in-law, one as a sister, one as a daughter, two as grandmothers, a whole bunch as aunts and nieces and cousins and extended family, and one as a wife. So maybe I’m biased, but there you go.

Do you know who really hates white women? Transwomen, apparently. And not just white women, but white women seem to make up the bulk of this hatred. Note well that this is a world I am woefully unqualified to discuss because I’m normal, but there’s a thing called “TERF” which stands for “trans-exclusionary reactionary feminist,” which translated from non-mentally ill means “women who may or may not be feminist and don’t include trans women in their advocacy.” You know, because transwomen aren’t women.

What does this have to do with publishing? Well, one of these so-called TERFs the transwomen hate is none other than Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. They hate Rowling because she has said publicly that she does not view transwomen as women, but as men. So therefore, Rowling deserves to die.

This dovetails nicely into the fact that any of you aspiring writers, especially straight white men (the most hated demographic in America), but increasingly straight white women (the second most hated demographic in America) will not get published by a traditional publishing house, even in the small chance you get picked up by an agent. No, you’re out of luck. This is the kind of stuff the big publishing houses want to slap their name on:

So the content of a book matters too, but if you’re white and you want to get published, it helps to at least be non-straight. I’m sorry if reading the above description gave you cancer of the sanity, but if I had to experience that pain, so do you:

A transgender novelist has come under fire after penning a self-confessed “depraved psychosexual horrorshow” in which J.K. Rowling is burned alive in her home.

Gretchen Felker-Martin’s debut novel, “Manhunt,” follows two trans women “attempting to survive in a world ravaged by a plague which transforms anyone with enough testosterone in their system into a shrieking monstrosity.”

They find themselves at war with “TERFs,” the derogatory acronym for so-called trans-exclusionary radical feminists — including the “Knights of J.K. Rowling.”

The protagonists then talk about “the Harry Potter lady,” referring to Rowling, 56, who has received death threats for her comments about biological sex and the transgender community.

The “Harry Potter lady … ended up being a crazy TERF, like, super intense,” Felker-Martin’s character said, saying Rowling hired military contractors and “had them all up at her castle in Scotland.”

One of the group knocked over a lamp, sparking a fire and explosion that left Rowling and the others “to burn alive, and finally the whole castle collapsed,” Felker-Martin wrote.

The TERFs also use a warship called the Galbraith, likely a reference to Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym Rowling also writes under.\

The Massachusetts-based author brags about writing “the most disgusting books in the English language, books about sexual revulsion, about body horror, about how violence forms and fits into our lives.”

She also routinely tweets about her book’s violent fantasy about Rowling, who has become a regular target for extremist trans activists.

“If you’re sick of gender plague novels written by transphobic dips–ts, try my novel MANHUNT, written by a trans woman for a trans audience. Trans dykes fall in love and f–k and murder TERFs, feral men maraud in the wilderness, J.K. Rowling dies, etc.,” she wrote in March.

“Manhunt” is the best-seller in Amazon’s “LGBTQ+ Horror Fiction” genre — but around a quarter of the reviews give it the lowest one-star rating, some ripping it as “rape fantasy” and “misogynistic trash.”

“A trans-identified male fetishist writes his fantasy about raping and murdering women he hates in a post-apocalyptic world,” one recent review said, insisting there is “no redeeming aspect to this story. None.”

Women’s rights campaigners have also attacked the book as dangerous.

“‘Terf’ is simply the new term for ‘witch’, making us fair game to be threatened, harassed, and yes, even killed,” Karen Varley, co-founder of Women Uniting UK, told The Times of London.

“Astonishing that any responsible publisher would publish this vile male sexual fantasy.”

The book’s publisher, Tor Nightfire — an imprint of Macmillan — did not respond to a request for comment, the UK Times said.

Felker-Martin has been reveling in the scandal, however, tweeting ads for her “depraved psychosexual horrorshow” that is “currently giving TERFs around the world a collective aneurysm.”

The author even attacked Rowling for not joining the outrage, with the “Harry Potter” novelist’s spokesperson declining to comment.

“It’s funny that @jk_rowling will put trans women with 20 followers on blast like it’s nothing but she’s too chicken to say ‘boo’ about MANHUNT. In which she dies. Fictionally,” Felker-Martin tweeted Thursday.

She proudly tweeted the UK Times’ article about the outrage “Manhunt” has sparked, saying that her response would be, “Hit dogs will holler.”

Rowling’s cancel-culture backlash started in June 2020 when she sarcastically responded to an article about “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

“’People who menstruate,’” she tweeted snarkily. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

There is only a controversy, of course, because Felker-Martin depicts murdering white women. If she stuck to just depicting the murder of white dudes, nobody would care. I do find it interesting, though, that Felker-Martin is decried as being “misogynist,” yet it really underscores a point all of us who had eyes to see saw coming a long time ago: the only acceptable way for a man to get away with hating women is to put on a dress, call himself a lady, and then start hating away.

Authors: the message is clear. This is the kind of stuff that will get picked up and put out and promoted by tradpub. This is why us indie authors say that, not only should you not bother to get picked up by one of the big publishers, but that the supposed stigma around self-publishing is gone. Much like the world of Internet dating, what was once viewed as a weird niche for losers is completely mainstream.

Is “legitimacy” a thing you crave? Ask yourself: do you want to be legitimized by the kind of people who read the manuscript for Manhunt, and instead of saying “We need to commit the freakshow who wrote this and burn all copies of this novel,” said “Hot damn, this is good stuff. Get it out there yesterday!”?

Maybe your writing won’t turn into a full-time career. That’s fine. There’s no guarantee it will even if you go the tradpub route. In fact, there’s no money in tradpub anymore. It’s been dying for a long time. There’s been a hope that one of the remaining big A-list tradpub authors would recognize this and go the self-published route, and fantasy grandmaster and bestseller Brandon Sanderson recently did just that. Expect more dominos to follow.

Pit is mad.

Tradpub’s utter devotion to a crazy death cult is our gain. Nick Cole—Nick Cole!—got jettisoned from the tradpub world after CTRL + ALT + REVOLT! was deemed “too conservative” for depicting abortion as the spark that made the AI decide to turn against humanity—after all, if human beings will murder their own offspring, what’s to stop them from murdering the AI that they created? It’s a brilliant premise, and one of the best sci-fi books I’ve read in the past two decades, and tradpub missed out on it because they’re weird losers. So Nick self-published it and launched his career. We can’t all be Nick, and we can’t all be Brandon, but we can get our work into the hands of people who want to read it. Sure, it’ll take more self-promotion and marketing than you’re used to, but here’s a secret: even tradpub authors have to do their own promotion because the publishing houses only care about the five or so legacy authors that sell enough to keep the rest of their business afloat. Writers like Brandon.

Forget #PitMad. Forget agents. And forget tradpub.

To recap:

  1. If you’re a writer, we need you to publish. Hone your craft and get it out there. Audiences are hungry for what the big publishing houses refuse to put out.
  2. If you’re a certain type of individual from a despised demographic, you’re never going to get a deal anyway. So self-publish.
  3. There is no stigma attached to self-publishing anymore. If it’s good enough for Nick Cole and Brandon Sanderson, it’s good enough for you.
  4. Don’t be in it to make tons of money. Culture-creation is a key component of any movement. Your book might inspire someone else whether it sells 6,000 copies or 60. Get it out there and take up space.
  5. Don’t despair because you might find that you sell as much, or more, as these supposedly legitimate traditionally published authors anyway.
  6. It doesn’t matter who you are or how big your work is, the death cult’s favored pets will destroy you if you step out of line. Etter to operate outside of their system altogether.

Do not take this as a blackpill. Rejoice that you are the type of person that would never be picked up by the industry that would publish something like Manhunt.

– Alexander

4 thoughts on “The Stigma is Theirs”

  1. Alexander,

    Yay! I logged in.

    Anyways, This isn’t really new this in an inflexion point. We saw this with Dan Brown and traditional publishing is a thrill addict.

    It has to constantly one up with greater and greater lunancy until it reaches werewolf during the full moon.

    Your advice is spot on. If that crap can be published, your stuff can be a fortori.

    Writers, newbie and experienced still need to hire an editor. Also it’s important to have beta readers to give feed back. And don’t skimp on the cover art. If you need help, crowdfund it.

    xavier

    1. Xavier,

      Glad WordPress cooperated!

      In any event, you are correct–this is not a new phenomenon or a new idea. I just wanted to reiterate the point for the still-sizable number of authors who are reluctant to self-publish due to some imaginary stigma associated with it.

      Writers, newbie and experienced still need to hire an editor. Also it’s important to have beta readers to give feed back. And don’t skimp on the cover art. If you need help, crowdfund it.

      I agree wholeheartedly with this. In fact, this is exactly what I do.

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