An editor I worked briefly with didn’t have much good to say about one of my novels. I will relate one of his objections as an example of their quality.
«The women in the story are so dangerous that they scare the hell out of the men».
Translation: The women scared the hell out of him.
I just looked at him, and in that look was everything I didn’t need to say. He understood my look perfectly, understood that at least. I was really amazed, though (in my youth and naiveté), that he was there, in that position at all. He wasn’t old either, but rather young, in his late twenties or so.
It wasn’t the first or the last time this or similar crackpot objections have been voiced to me. After some brief deliberation the following reasoning presents itself: Women weren’t really that strong and independent and should certainly not be presented as such in books or films. And if they were, it shouldn’t be done by a male author. I think he saw me as a traitor to my sex or something… if there was any reason behind his reasoning at all…
The fact that I dared question his holy judgment didn’t help me any either.
When I think about how he and others like him have fucked with young, hopeful authors and blocked countless great stories from getting published I get very, very pissed (again). The sad and horrible truth of the matter is that this is the typical editor and gatekeeper in various art director jobs at established publishing houses and movie producers and record companies and any similar position.