I don't think my emotional whiplash today was solely caused by my raging hormones. Maybe it aided it, but I doubt it was the only reason.
I'm taking a publishing course this quarter. It's a repeat course actually, I've already taken it. I'm just... retaking it. What happens is we comprise the editorial board for the campus literary journal, we work all the publishing aspects from soliciting submissions for content, to voting yay or nay on content, to editing it, and all the graphical details of the journal itself as well. I have done this, I know what worked last year and what didn't work.
(There is this girl in my course. She had a baby three months ago, she finds any excuse to bring that up. I already have a bad history of this girl because she has anger issues, and she felt it was okay to cuss out myself and some of my friends. About something stupid. She's very immature. So, we have a history. I will call her N.)
Well, we had a short story submitted. It was about a girl who gets pregnant on accident, and the baby ends up in the NICU, but everything turns out okay. Good subject matter, but it was poorly written. I mean, it was so poorly written that we could not possibly accept it and devote time to rewriting it.
In a situation like that, it is best to tell the person that the story is not acceptable for the current issue, and ask them to edit it, and resubmit next year. It would require too much work for this quarter, and it wouldn't be fair to offer to help this person edit it... not when it could be at the cost of cutting someone's story who may only need light editorial changes. It just isn't right. We aren't going to be able to help everyone who has something poorly written, so why should this piece be an exception? Besides, I honestly don't believe that this person has the ability to make it better. I'm not being biased or anything, but I've taken quite a few creative writing courses, and this person's way of writing... it was obvious that this was their first attempt at writing a short story, and it was probably the first draft. I'm really not being harsh, I'm just calling it as I see it. With more work, it could be a great piece. But I just don't think the author is at that level yet. And besides, the author a mother of two, going to school full time, going to be willing to spend hours and hours of free time in the next week to fix it? And if we go to her, offer to help fix it, and in the end it still isn't good enough... well, how would that make this person feel? Good subject matter, but poorly constructed. You can't accept a piece of writing based solely on it's subject matter. A good piece of writing must be... a good piece of writing. The subject matter is only a small part of that.
I explained all this to the class. I gave my opinion, several other student agreed with me.
N was livid. She thinks we should spend our time working on it. Her reasons? She said she liked the birth scene, and as someone who had just been through it herself, she thought it was really honest. She loved the subject matter. N said that the piece would speak to the students more, since many of them have children. She then started counting people in the classroom that had children... and asking each of them how they felt about the piece.
Yup. My opinion doesn't matter because I don't have children. It's nice to know that all my valid arguments can be so easily discounted by my barren womb.
I just shut up after awhile. She kept attacking me, in specific. And since I am all Clomid weepy anyway, I just popped my Skittles in my mouth and glowed with anger while others argued my points. She was obviously to absorbed to even attempt to listen to my reasons. So what difference would it have made?