I didn't even wait the full week to accept**, and in the end, I actually withdrew material instead of wasting anyone's time.
Sometimes, you just know.
I'm really excited to be working with Kent, and I know my novel is going to be better because of our collaboration.
Plus, my kids now think I'm cool.
*Kent is now at Lippincott Massie Mcquilkin in New York.
**A special thanks to Sarah Hina who offered much advice and handholding through this process and who did her best to stop me from accepting right away because she wanted me to be sure. And who knows why I can't show my face at my local post office for the foreseeable future.
There is the infantilizing "dear," which is an ironic thing to call a grown woman while you're accusing her of not being a real feminist. And then there is, of course, the negation of my right to define myself.
It reminds me of the people who repeatedly float the old canard that no Muslims condemn terrorism (hello, FOX News). Inevitably, online lists pop up in response, linking to hundreds of public condemnations. It's always curious to me that there are people so invested in spreading a lie that is so easily exposed. And while I understand the impulse to set the record straight, I hate the lists that result, because they seems to dignify the lie in the first place.
I can name twenty or thirty prominent Muslim feminists, men and women, off the top of my head. A quick look through the books on my shelves would yield at least a hundred more. A few minutes with google and we could fill a page. And I thought about doing just that, here--listing all of the names I could find.
But what would that prove that needs proving?
I am a Muslim feminist. I don't care if you believe me. Or if you think I'm the only one in the world. The fact that I exist makes the comment untrue on its face. And ridiculous and sad.
You're free to call me whatever you want. I can't stop you. But as for telling me what to call myself?
Try again, dear.