Thursday, May 31, 2018

The #CockyGate Conundrum - Why Is She Doing This?

I have been following #cockygate since it broke.

I'm a long-time reader of Faleena Hopkins - I found her on KU when she released the second Werewolves of New York book and I had been reading her ever since up until Cocky Heart-Surgeon which I didn't read before #cockygate broke and now I probably never will.

I'm a long-time reader of Tara Crescent, ever since her Nights In Venice series, and have been honored to virtually meet her on Facebook through another author whom she co-writes with, and have chatted with her in groups and PMs often enough that she's one of the authors I've come to consider a friend. Caveat - I have no idea if she feels the same way about me =P But that's how I feel about her.

I'm an indie author.

And so, because of these three things, I have been heavily invested in watching #cockygate unfold. But I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about the question I keep seeing come up, over and over again, which is "Why is she doing this?"

That question is often followed by others - "Does she seriously see herself as the victim?"

I kept thinking to myself - This feels so familiar. Why does this feel so familiar? And it finally hit me today, when I was reading her blog post. I've seen all of this before. Recently.

It had nothing to do with books or publishing, it was actually a man - a friend at the time - who had made several women of mutual acquaintance feel harassed and unsafe in his presence. Many of us who were mutual friends tried to explain to him 1. why they felt harassed and 2. that just because he didn't MEAN for them to feel harassed didn't mean that he was falsely accused, and that it actually didn't matter that he didn't mean for them to feel harassed. That his response was to demand further contact with them so he couldn't explain why they shouldn't feel harassed was even more troubling to the rest of us, and he didn't understand that either.

Suffice to say, we're no longer friends, but even though these situations are vastly different, this morning I realized that they have a lot of similarities too.

He didn't see himself as the bad guy. In his head, the bad guy would have malicious intentions to do harm, to harass, to make someone else feel unsafe, and because his intention was NOT that, then he couldn't possibly have done anything wrong.

I feel like this can be applied to Faleena too. I honestly don't think she sees this as punitive to other authors. I think she DOES feel as though she has claim to the word. I think that she has been isolated enough from other indie authors that she hasn't seen first hand the amount of sharing and support within the community and that she views other authors with 'cocky' books as competition rather than compatriots or a support system. She doesn't think she's the bad guy, and because her intention is to protect herself, not necessarily to hurt others, it seems to her like she's being falsely accused and picked on for trying to create and protect her brand.

Everyone is the hero in their own story.

The problem is, there often comes a point in the heroes journey where he/she makes a mistake that needs to be rectified before the happily-ever-after can come. And instead of listening to the others who reached out to her, she interpreted anyone with a differing opinion from hers as attacking her or not understanding where she was coming from or as being against her. I'm sure she's received some truly awful private messages, I don't doubt that at all, but I also have no doubt that she's received quite a few from people saying "Hey, here's what the problem is, can you not do ______, can we talk about this?"and somehow those got lumped together on the "side of people against me"

Granted, it is not an easy thing she's being asked to do - she's being asked to realize and acknowledge that she's wrong. Not only that she's wrong, but that she's been wrong for months. That she was wrong to send C&Ds, wrong to contact Amazon about other authors' books, wrong to have trademarked the word cocky in the first place. There are so many steps that she would have to backtrack, so many points along the way where she's felt that what she's done is absolutely right, that I'm sure it is an incredibly difficult thing to realize, even more difficult to admit to after all the time she's spend defending her actions, and just as difficult to see - where do I go from here if I give this up?

At this point, I don't see her turning back. She's too wrapped up in her quest to see anything else, and that makes me incredibly sad for her. There were so many points where she could, and should, have turned back. Just like my male friend, she's going to keep losing people over this because she won't look at anything other than how SHE feels about it.

How to make someone realize? If anyone can figure that out, let me know.

I just know I won't be reading her books and I truly hope that her trademark for the word "Cocky" gets shut down because it's not just an overreach, it's an incredibly dangerous precedent - but these were just my thoughts on the question of "Why? Why is she doing this?" and that was something I hadn't really seen being addressed and for some reason I felt like writing a blog post about it.

Maybe because this week I've said multiple times that I really need to do more with this blog. At any rate, I use this blog to ramble sometimes and that's what I'm doing here. Not sure if it'll be of interest to anyone else, but honestly I feel a little better after typing all my thoughts out.

Let's all hope that June brings less drama <3

12 comments :

  1. Hear! Hear! We can all do with less drama!

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    1. seriously... on an entirely selfish note, it makes it so hard for me to focus! lol

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  2. This is one of the better-written and more compelling blog posts I've read on this topic. Thanks.

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  3. I think I fell in love with you a little.... So very well said!

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    1. aw thank you! Just thoughts I was having that wouldn't stay quiet till I got them out.

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  4. I had no idea any of this was even going on (I tend to spend as little time on BookFace as possible, I hated it before it was cool to hate it.. such a hipster now I guess). It just reminds me of that stupid game company that tried to separately trademark "Candy" "Crush" and "Saga" I can see trying to do all 3 together, but.. they tried to get separate trademarks for each of those. I never played their game before, but after that stupidity.. I certainly never will.

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