Ginia Bellafante Responds To The Critics & I Respond To Her [Semi-Rant]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ginia Bellafante Responds To The Critics & I Respond To Her [Semi-Rant]

Ginia Bellafante posted in reply to the comments and attention her previous review of Game Of Thrones garnered.

As one of the geek girls on the more vitriolic side. I admit, I was pissed and I ranted and I'm not what you'd call "rational" when I do that. I'd assume she'd look at my comments and move along and that's fine.

She also linked to a few people who were much more eloquent than I was, including Matt Zoller Seitz who I linked to previously, and she did call them thoughtful rebuttals.

Joanna Robinson tweeted this link to me with the comment that it's a "wholly unapologetic apology" and she's right. It is. In fact, it's more of a "what was all the fuss about?" post.

So, Ms. Bellafante. Allow me to sum it up.

If you had explained your thoughts on fantasy and the fact that you don't know women who read it in the tone you used in this post, I don't think you would have gotten the response you did. You summed up fairly concisely why you didn't like Game of Thrones and stated it wasn't your thing.

That's fine and if your review had said that, or even if you'd told your editor that, then perhaps you might not have had to review it at all. You certainly would have avoided controversy.

However, your review was written with a condescending tone and opinion. My friends and I discussed your review the other night over drinks and realized not a one of us knew who Lorrie Moore was. But not a one of us would have written a review of one of her books and dismissed it as "chick lit" and, therefore, not worth reading by any of our friends.

The women I know who read fantasy novels and who were excited to watch Game of Thrones are intelligent, well spoken, incredibly literate women. They have degrees and doctorates and functional relationships. They have children and dreams and they support other women in their efforts to be extraordinary every day.

Your review made women who might enjoy fantasy sound like an anomaly in this world and, in all honesty, those of us who are of the geek persuasion already have a hard enough time proving we're not faking it to "get the boys to like us".

We didn't need one of our own taking a swipe at us.

You owe us an apology, Ms. Bellafante. A real one.

And then you need to let us pick you a book to read.


15 comments:

  1. She failed to actually review Game of Thrones, then fails to address that in her "apology." If Bellafante thinks the issue is all about her, she's mistaken. Her opinions are fine (they're her own, after all) but she was paid to give a review (and now respond to a huge wave of criticism) and she's done neither.

    AND she still doesn't get it.

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  2. She just doesn't get it. I don't think she ever will.

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  3. You go Geek Girls - be proud of your intelligence and your stand for women. It's what has me read Regency Romance (not the bodice rippers), the women are strong, witty, smart, like men yet don't need them. Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies was quite a combo.

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  4. You know what bothered me most about her original "review" (besides the fact that she never reviewed the show)?

    See, I am a 48yo guy who love F&SF. I've been reading books & comics and watching movies & TV shows based in the genera since I could read. Why? Because my mother is a huge F&SF fan. She was the one who turned me on to everything I love today.

    So, not only was Ms. Bellafante insulting women I admire and feel a kinship with, she dissed my mum!

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  5. You took the words right out of my mouth.

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  6. Also, in her rebuttal she said she was reviewing the show, however in her review she was clearly talking more about books. This is why she made me angry. Just because she can't follow more then four characters and their significant others doesn't mean the rest of the world doesn't want a little more depth in their entertainment. I would never choose a romance or "girlie" book over classics like LOTR or anything fantasy. My mother has admitted as i try to explain aSoIaF that she would not be able to follow it, but says as a compliment to me not as a dig. Bellafonte wrote with a tone to dismiss us intelligent imaginative folk instead of review the show. Luckily she seems to be alone in her views.

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  7. Nicely done! Bellafante needs calling out on that totally unapologetic apology: if she doesn't like the genre, fine, no-one's going to prop her eyelids open and force her. But the condescension and attitude simply drip from the screen -- I think my keyboard may be singed, in fact -- and that should not be allowed to stand.

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  8. I knew I couldn't be the only one who felt this way :) I found the "review" to be her review of fantasy in general, not of the show in particular; and her "apology" to be nothing of the sort. It was merely a way to make snarky comments about those who like fantasy.

    I wrote my own "review of the reviewer" and after dissecting both the review and the 'apology' I found Ms. Bellafante to be a bit wanting.

    http://dawng-adventuresinreading.blogspot.com/2011/04/reviewing-reviewer.html

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  9. She does owe us an apology. The thing she wrote after the "review" was completely disingenuous. I saw read after reading her "review" and popped off an email. Normally, I would think nothing of it, but it seems she actually read it, since I'm the Clevelander who lives in NZland. Lol!

    In any case, I'm heartily sick of being marginalized as a female fan sci-fi and fantasy, and to see it done by this twit in such a way just made me furious. There's larger issues in all of this, and those are what made me write her an email. I'm glad I'm not alone. I knew I would not be.

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  10. Agreed 100%
    I was baffled by the response of Ms. Bellafante wherein she essentially justified her bias in a way I expect to read on a middle schoolers personal blog and not as a professional writer for an established and well known media resource. The woman just didn't get it. It is that simple. She clearly does not deserve to be getting paid for such drivel, especially considering she didn't actually review the show at all.

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  11. I question whether she even viewed a single episode. Or if she did, paid any attention to it.

    Anyone who actually saw the HBO series would not think that it was about global warming. (Where did that come from?) And no one who watched even a single episode would assume that Peter Dinklage played a Tolkienesque character.

    Maybe the fact that her "review" contained no information about the writing, acting, direction, soundtrack, etc. of the actual series isn't such a mystery after all.

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  12. Maybe Peter Dinklage might like to write to her about this "world of dwarfs".

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