|>>JMS doesn't respond to all criticism, but when someone flagrantly writes
>>something that misrepresents what he wrote.
>Then I guess by his silence he's conceding that the criticism he's received
>this arc is representative, reasonable, and accurate.
One doesn't prove the other. As I've always said...whether someone likes or
doesn't like my work, that's as it should be. I don't argue the validity of
opinions. Matters of fact, sure, but not taste. Some people like white
chocolate. Some people, like me, know it's an offense in the eyes of god.
There are some who don't like the Gwen aspect of this story, and some who think
it's deepened the character in a positive way. Why would I want to weigh in on
that? Arguing is good. For the first time in a very long time, people are
getting passionate enough about the title to have arguments on this scale, and
If I stay out of the way, it's to allow the dialogue to continue unimpeded,
whether the book is being praised or raked over the coals. As a long time fan,
I remember almost the identical reactions when it was decided to kill Gwen off,
so I knew I'd be walking into a firestorm here.
To write is to take chances. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don't,
because the measure of success is in the eyes of the reader. And a subjective
opinion is always right for that reader, always true for that person.
So yeah, I've kept low to watch the arguing and see where the bodies land.
The only thing I will mention, the only thing that did surprise me, was the
degree to which some folks have turned on *Gwen*. I've heard of the
madonna/whore dynamic, but I've never actually seen it played out this
I can't even begin to count the number of posts I've seen from folks who are
calling Gwen a slut, a whore, and a tramp...that this destroys her as a
person...that it would be better if she had been raped than having had
Better to be *raped*? Having sex with someone makes that person a *whore*?
I'll admit it, *that* flummoxed me. Because I've known plenty of women who,
young and naive and foolish, found themselves caught up with an older guy, even
if only for a moment, because they are drawn in by them...especially if that
someone is as powerful and manipulative an older figure as Norman Osborn.
Maybe because I've known so many of them, all of whom are fine people, I've
never once thought of them in those admittedly ugly terms. We all make
mistakes in our lives. You who are without sin, throw the first stone, right?
Gwen made a mistake. But she took responsibility for it, had the kids when
there were other options (I don't want this to turn into a debate on those
options, I'm just saying), and was prepared to go toe-to-toe with Norman, who
on some level she had to be afraid of, and to raise those children, even if it
meant screwing up her career, and marrying Peter.
Now, to *me*, that is a person of immense personal strength and integrity. It
gives her a spine and a conscience and a will that we really haven't seen in
To me, Gwen is a person...and like all people, she has good and bad, makes
mistakes and adjusts for them. Always tries to do the right thing. And when
cornered, she'll fight, not just for herself, but for other people.
To other people, this seems to make her a slut.
This aspect of it isn't a writing thing, isn't a storytelling thing, it's a
matter of how one views people who have sex in this world.
And you'll note that at no time does Peter ever say or think these things about
her. Because Peter understands. Peter loves her even though she made a
Given the ferocity with which some have turned on a dime and attacked Gwen --
calling someone they say they respected a whore and turning their backs on her
character, damning her as a slut and a tramp -- it seems that I may write the
comics, but a few other people have the issues....
But that's just my opinion.
(all message content (c) 2004 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)