Friday, April 19, 2013

Hugh Howey explains why he removed controversial blog post

No Offense

Posted by Erica Jackson Curran on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge howey.jpg
Wool author Hugh Howey is in the news once again, but this time it's not because of his remarkable success as a self-published author. He's under fire for a recent blog post that called out a woman he met at last year's WorldCon. Critics have called the post misogynistic; Howey has since removed the post, but you can see a cached version here.

We asked Howey if he'd like to comment on the controversy, and he quickly got back to us. Here's what he had to say.

"I feel miserable that I offended anyone. The post wasn't written in anger at all. I found out that I won an award and quickly wrote a blog post to announce it. What immediately came to mind when winning the award was this anecdote from the year before, so I used that as a set up to the announcement. The story I wrote was crass and full of language that I now understand to be offensive to all women, not just the woman I was snarkily directing it toward. It has been called a rant; it was more a poor attempt at humor. It has been called misogynist; I was only being rude to an individual who was being rude to me.

"My wife pointed out something later, which is the reason I took the blog post down, despite the vast majority saying that they read the original intent in the story and were not offended in the least. Having lived in Charleston and watched the debate over the Confederate Flag, I used to say that it didn't matter what a symbol means to the person who waves it. Once you discover that this symbol causes harm to others, it's time to lower it. That doesn't mean one or two people should have the ability to stifle free speech, but if you are offending a group — and once you know this — continuing along as before is in poor form.

"It was a good point on her part. I took the blog post down and apologized. It was never meant to offend. It certainly wasn't directed at all women or even on the irrelevant fact that the person in the story was a woman. Most of my writing revolves around strong female protagonists, and those who are familiar with my works and who know me understand where my sensibilities lie."

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