Hi there, Dudebros. Hope all is well in the frat house, basement, or wherever it is you’re reading this from. I’ve seen many of you struggling to act like decent humans lately, especially when it comes to the way you interact with female authors. Since I hate constantly watching you all make asses of yourselves, and because female authors need to be left alone so they can put out great books for the rest of us, I decided to put together a little guide. Next time you’re about to send a lady a picture of your dick, a nasty comment, a dumb joke, or a threat, please refer back to this, okay? Let’s get started.
1. Female Authors Are Regular Women
You know how women in the streets never have time to put up with your nonsense? Well, female authors are just like that. Sure, you think that they’re out there sharing their life, work, and time and thus are looking for a prince douchebag, but you’re wrong. Female authors are sometimes more visible and interact more with people because it’s part of being an author, not because they’re looking for a man. In fact, I know at least a dozen female authors who are homosexual and about 85% of the rest are already in a relationship, so the first thing you should do is base all your interactions on the assumption that every female author already has a significant other. That will be of great help to everyone involved.
2. The NEVER Rule
Being a decent person is hard, but there are some simple rules that will help you at least appear to be decent. Here are four questions that apply to 99% of dudebros: When is it okay for me to use the N-word? When can I send unsolicited dick picks? When can I joke about rape? When turned down, when is it okay for me to threaten or insult a woman? The rule for all four is the same: fucking never. Don’t go there. Seriously. Think about something else. Anything else. Just stay away from those four. It’s a simple, painless, effective start.
3. Underestimating Women is Dangerous
I know women who will fuck you up with knives. I know women who will fuck you up with magic. I know women who will fuck you up because they can be bigger, badder bullies than you online. I know women who can fuck you up by sending big men after your disrespectful ass. I know women who can fuck you up because they are smart, powerful, and know everybody in the business. I know women who can fuck you up with words. Basically, you need to understand one thing: hell hath no fury like an angry woman. You put three bad dudes at one end of a hallway and a woman with a pulsing forehead vein on the other and I’m taking my chances with the three motherfuckers.
4. Women Authors Have Personas
I know you thought only fellow dudes had personas, but women also have them. Sometimes more than one. This means that they perform versions of themselves in the context of their art. If you see a woman crying while reading a poem, maybe she’s not really crying. You never know. Likewise, if you see a woman online dressed like a sexy vampire, maybe she took off the costume after taking the photo and climbed a mountain or shot a gun or punched a bag or fed six kids or performed surgery or fixed a meal or went back to being a CEO. You should respect all personas. Always. A sexy persona means sexy personas maybe sell the kind of books that author is trying to sell. A sexy persona doesn’t mean you can treat an author disrespectfully or send them a pic of your junk. In fact, an author can put on a microscopic bikini and perform oral on a cucumber as part of a performance and your response to that, regardless of the tightness in your pants, should be to applaud, buy the book, like the video, or just shut the fuck up.
5. Being An Asshole Is Bad For Your Career
Some of you dudebros are also writers. When you go online and harass a fellow writer, you’re basically telling everyone in no unspecific terms that you’re an asshole. Most of the people I know refuse to read stuff written by assholes. Even if you don’t care about respecting women, fellow authors, and the rest of us, at least try to care enough about yourself and stop acting like a douche.
6. Threats Make Everyone Feel Attacked
When you get online and threaten or insult one of my friends or someone whose work I enjoy and respect, what you’re doing makes me feel like you’re attacking me, and I don’t like that. When people like me feel attacked, we lash out, and that’s never pretty.
7. Seriously, Again, No Dick Pics or Sexual Messages
Most women are brilliant alien flowers that entertain our brains. They create magic texts. They look good and sound good and smell good. Sure, I feel you on that. However, they need your dick pics like they need a brain tumor. No one wants to see your dick or hear about your fantasies. Trust me, if a woman loves your presence and she wants to get with you, she’ll let you know. Maybe she’ll drop you a line and say “Hey, mind showing me your dick? Kinda curious to see what you’re working with.” Until that day comes along, set the proper lighting, get the perfect angle, and practice as much as you want, but keep those photos to yourself.
8. Do Unto Others
Yup, I just got biblical on you. Deal with it. Next time you’re about to drop a woman a message with sexual comments, imagine getting that message from me. Before you hit send, imagine you’re working and you get a message from me. You open it and read: “Sup, babe? You should smile more often, doll. LOL. Hey, I wanna be all up in that ass. Seriously. I wanna punch you in the face until your macho shitbrain comes out your ears and then I wanna rip your head off and tongue the hole. Call me. Here’s a pic of some juicy roadkill.” That wouldn’t be nice, right? Kinda weird too, right? Well, then don’t do it to others, you pathetic douchenozzle.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS (Broken River Books),HUNGRY DARKNESS (Severed Press), and GUTMOUTH (Eraserhead Press). His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist. Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbcide, and many other print and online venues. You can find him on Twitter at@Gabino_Iglesias