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Michelle Materre in NEW YORK MAGAZINE

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Michelle Materre in NEW YORK MAGAZINE

Michelle Materre

 Photo via Vulture.com

Photo via Vulture.com

Last week Creatively Speaking co-founder and Media Studies Professor at The New School, Michelle Materre, was asked by New York Magazine to comment on Vulture writer Lisa Miller's recent article, "The Weaponized Amber Tamblyn" written about the actor's debut novel, Any Man. Tamblyn's fictional novel details the accounts of four male victims of violent sexual assault at the hands of a female antagonist. 

You can read Michelle's published comments over at NYMag.com, but here you can find her full letter to the editor and complete thoughts on the matter.

I’m writing to respond to your recent article on Amber Tamblyn’s new novel, “Any Man”, and the touting of her as “The Weaponized Amber Tamblyn.” As a professor of media studies at The New School, and as a curator of independent films by people of color and women filmmakers for more than twenty years, it is quite distressing that this book and Tamblyn’s recent behavior and reactions to #MeToo moments is what this magazine is electing to amplify. As an African American female growing up during the Civil Rights movement and the very beginnings of the Feminist movement, I would hope that by now, mainstream media’s messaging would have become a bit more conscious.

Unfortunately, it seems that white privilege and especially female white privilege and its prominence in the hierarchy of the white male patriarchy, still reigns. This article, and Tamblyn’s self-absorbed artistic expression through her novel, only confirms that the current movement should really be referred to as ”#MeONLY.” Tamblyn’s imagined heroine in her novel—a cruel, violent, female “rapist”—totally denies and defies most women of color’s reality. This also goes for other celebs reveling in the #MeToo movement, who, with few exceptions, continually ignore and/or omit the ongoing violence and cruelties being committed against Black women and all people of color on a daily basis, even when they have the opportunity to speak up and speak out on our behalf.

As long as Black and Latina women are being “disappeared” and “macheted” to death, I find this article (and the book) a total deflection of the more pervasive, horrific, deep-seated issues we are experiencing in today’s overly mediated, misogynist, global society, where the current “leader of the free world” can still be “selected” even after blatantly verbally and physically defaming women, openly and freely. If Tamblyn’s intention is to shock her readers into submission or confession of their #MeToo sins, and assuming her target audience is men, I’m not sure how effective it will be, because you first have to get men to read it. It is unfortunate, in addition, that Tamblyn, like others, will continue to get the attention and recognition from outlets such as yours only because of their celebrity status.
— Michelle Materre