Thursday 25 July 2013

Fuck That (or A Call to Action)

Trigger warning: I swear a lot.  If this were in French, my mother tongue, the swearing would be more varied, FYI. 

A reviewer once said "Marie Bilodeau writes good action scenes for being a woman."

You're damn right I do. And I'm going to keep doing it, too.

I considered writing my next book under a male pseudonym.  If I go all out dark side of Marie, I bring high amounts of action, adventure and gore. And I think it's funny.

I was going to be called Simon Lars, based on my multiple middle names. It was an interesting idea, to see if my "male" sales would do better, just as I sometimes suspect that the Destiny series would do better if they looked more like the space opera adventure that they are (I love the covers, don't get me wrong, but I do wonder).

Roomy didn't think I could keep the secret that I was Simon Lars (she's probably right - I ain't very secretive).  Writing friends wafted between be a trailblazer, you wuss, or do it, see what happens.  My editor thought I should stick with my name, that my career is gaining speed and I should ride it out.

Then I thought three things: I write strong female characters, and it'd be damn hard, and I mean fucking damn hard to look myself in the mirror and think I was doing everything in my power to make the future a bit easier for my nieces if I spent my writing career pretending to be a man (did I mention I now have a second niece as of three weeks ago?  She's adorable. She deserves an easier ride.)

And I thought: I'm a girl. I can't hide it. I don't even want to. Because sexism isn't just about the name on a book. It's about going to work and having to fight for equal pay. It's about having to punch dudes when they get too friendly. It's about telling the boys to leave the cosplayer alone, and that I'm a geek, ya, and a damn good one, thank you very much. It's about owning it.

Then I thought: Sure, it might impact my sales.  Sure, I might lose some numbers to a few sexist, misogynist pricks.  I don't care. Because that's crazy tiny in the great cosmos, compared to what not hiding my identity might lead to.

You know, stuff like self-respect. Pride. Nice heels and a heck of a ride. We won't win this equality ground by hiding. So raise the fucking flag high and hold it there.

I'm a writer, I'm a geek and I'm a girl. Get over it. And if you don't like it, then just kindly get the fuck out of my way.

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