Open Apology to E.L. James

Let me start out by apologizing to E.L. James, and then I’ll tell you how I got to this point.

I was lying in bed, playing Final Fantasy X HD Remaster, hanging out in Mt. Gagazet, killing some bandersnatches. The word “bandersnatch” reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch. I then remembered a picture I saw a couple of weeks ago that shows his natural hair color, with is surprisingly gingery. That led me to think of the bias against red-headed men, and how they’re supposedly considered unattractive, so ginger actors often dye their hair for their roles. I remembered that Christian Grey, the title character of Fifty Shades of Grey, is described as having “copper” hair, yet he is portrayed in the movies as being quite brunet. “Gosh, that was a horrid piece of fanfiction,” I thought, “it was such a train wreck toward the end of the second book, I couldn’t stand to get the third one.”

I then remembered the moment when I thought Fifty Shades had truly jumped the shark. It was at the very end, when Anastasia’s former boss is revealed to have tampered with Christian’s plane in a murder attempt. The man was trying to get his revenge because Grey stopped him from sexually assaulting Anastasia. Oh, and Grey had bought out the publishing company Ana and Jack worked for.

“How convoluted,” I thought. “How could anyone consider this to be remotely realistic?”

Then I thought of GamerGate. People are having their private details published all over the Internet. Police are getting false alarm calls to homes of people who disagree with “Gators.” Women are getting rape and murder threats, ostensibly because of “ethics in journalism.” In actuality, a bunch of boys feel threatened because some are calling for more inclusivity in the video game industry.

It’s a lot like a man who ostensibly is angry because he was fired from his job, but, in actuality, is pissed off because he was out-alpha’ed by a rich, powerful guy who got the girl he wanted. Or it’s about ethics in publishing.

Either way, that whole scenario in Fifty Shades seems a hell of a lot more feasible, now that life is imitating art.

Once again, I apologize, Ms. James.

But I still think your work is crap.

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Sisterhood of the Irrational Bossypants

Image by Toni Holmes (


A trans woman posted the following in a forum:

So, I was curious to find out how long my normal assertiveness at work would start to be read differently. The answer is: ~4 months. Apparently, I’m “overly emotional and irrational” now. I look forward to hearing that I’m “bossy” next

My response: “Welcome to the Sisterhood of the Irrational Bossypants.”

It’s a new way to look at the concept of male assertiveness turning into female bitchiness.¬†One way to experiment with the concept is to give people written instructions that are identical except for the author’s name, and gauge their opinions on the person based on what they read.

But this,this, is interesting. Same person, different perceived gender, and therefore different response. I wish there was some way we could turn this into a randomized controlled study.


BTW, “Sisterhood of the Irrational Bossypants” is my Pussy Riot cover band, as well as my crossover fanfic. I hope that Tina Fey will play a starring role once I sell the movie rights.

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