My mother published her book... and I hate it :(

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    You should be an adult and tell your also adult mother that you don't like the book. Not only are you stringing her along by not saying anything, you risk her getting hurt in the long run because no one will tell your mom that they don't want to read her weird and uncomfortable kids book.

    Yeah, the longer this goes on, the worse that rebound will be when it happens. Especially if there is a growing number of people who are agreeing with its unfortunate contents. Because then your disdain can be misconstrued (or twisted) into jealousy over its uh... "success" and all.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Honestly I'm impressed you didnt just change your name and abandon all worldly possessions before fleeing to the Spanish Sahara to get out of this

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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    You should be an adult and tell your also adult mother that you don't like the book. Not only are you stringing her along by not saying anything, you risk her getting hurt in the long run because no one will tell your mom that they don't want to read her weird and uncomfortable kids book.
    Here's the problem with that though - I'm presuming that Romantic Undead understands their mother and relationship with her better than us internet randos (correct me if I'm wrong), but there are plenty of people out there who when they think they've made something cool, react very very badly to being told that no, it's actually quite crap (there's got to be some related movie clip of someone exclaiming, 'if you didn't want my honest opinion, then why did you demand I give you my honest opinion!?')

    The people who demand an honest opinion and then are hurt and nurse a grudge out of it can be tricky to deal with, especially with something they're really proud of, because you're going to end up taking it either coming or going, and if there was an easy solution for it, well, that option would've been taken already.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Full disclosure: I generally don't understand people's relationships with their families or why they feel they're special.

    Is your friendship with your mother one of mutual respect, or is it one of either deference or pity? Either you are equals where you're capable of sharing ideas and offering critique, or you're preserving an unequal relationship for other reasons in which case you don't respect her enough to give her the truth and instead want her to feel comfortable still talking to you. Either is fine, just gotta figure out which one it is.

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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    That's an unfair question that attempts to create a binary that isn't there and likely isn't possible. Family relationships are difficult to pin down like that and saying things like that followed up with "either is fine" comes off as reductive and judgmental. We don't need to do that with the OP's feelings about their mom, probably one of the most complicated relationships a person can have.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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  • LikeaBoshLikeaBosh Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    While my mom has yet to write a book, I did have a similar situation. My parents used to be fairly moderate, but they retired and moved to Alabama and were surrounded by people who were very conservative, constant Fox News viewers. They would tell me things these people said, and I would ask why they hung out with them. Their excuse was always the same: "If we didn't we wouldn't have friends here, that's how everyone is." This troubled me, as over the years they would say crazier things every time we spoke. The last time I saw them, my mom was spouting literal Fox propaganda, including stating that she heard black women at the store laughing and bragging about how much money they stole from welfare. I called her out on this, and how it was an obvious and racist lie, and things escalated from there. Eventually, they kicked my wife and I out of their house, and I have not spoken to them in nearly 2 years now. It was difficult to deal with, but at least they know their terrible views are unacceptable to me, and I don't need them in my life bad enough to listen to that shit.

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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    Hi guys,

    Nothing much else to add right now, as things haven't really progressed due to the holidays. Mom's still really excited about her book though. She told me her new year's resolution was to "promote the heck out of [her] book". All I could do was was mutter "oh, ok mom!"

    At this point in time, I'm thinking what I'll do is I will approach her under the guise of "are you prepared for the kind of criticisms you might be facing?" To see if I can cushion the blow. I mean, I almost hope that someone other than me (like maybe a school board representative) will tell her the truth about her message, but I fear that, at best, she'll just get a polite refusal or, at worst, she'll get approval! If she gets approved, though, I don't know how I can fight this. Because if I criticize her book after it's been approved by both a local library and school board, then it's no longer my opinion against hers; It becomes my opinion against the city's and that's not a fight I'm prepared to engage in.

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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I hate to say it, but it's probably better to do it now if it's important to you. Now is possibly the easiest it will ever be again.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I agree with being honest. "Mom, I'm proud of you for putting this book together, but I was reading it again and I think that some of these messages might be reinterpreted to do harm and to think less of people." Keep it short and just plant the seed that you disagree with it now.

    You can maybe soften the blow by saying you dont think she means to and the world is more sensitive to these things or whatever, but you dont want to pretend that you dont see the issue. Otherwise this is going to blow up in your face when she finds some other boomers who share her "but this is kind and harmless!" version of xenophobic views, and you're going to seem really disingenuous for suddenly getting all uppity now that she has people who like it.

    Worse, she might give it to someone you respect and overhear you apologizing for it or criticizing it behind her back. That would also suck.

    Conflict with parents is hard and I get it, especially when the path of least resistance just requires you to keep being nice and turn away from stuff you disagree with. It can work, and sometimes it has to work, for you to ignore the little things, but If your Mom is about to make this book her life's work, its not a little thing.

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  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    You seem very anxious about a possible confrontation with your mother and, in your words, "breaking her heart". Have you considered not confronting her and just opposing her indirectly? You could write to the library and school board with your concerns about the book, particularly as they relate to the privacy of your wife and other family members.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    You seem very anxious about a possible confrontation with your mother and, in your words, "breaking her heart". Have you considered not confronting her and just opposing her indirectly? You could write to the library and school board with your concerns about the book, particularly as they relate to the privacy of your wife and other family members.

    I dont think this is a good idea! If any sort of wind about that gets back to your mom, its going to feel like betrayal, its underhanded and slimy. You have to have a little spine and deal with the repercussions of giving this criticism. Its okay to have values and set boundaries, and you shouldn't feel the need to be two faced about it.

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  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    For me the question boils down to what's more important, expressing his opinion about the book to his mother directly or getting and keeping it out of circulation in the library and school system? OP is clearly experiencing an internal conflict between his values and things his mother is doing. Maybe if he tells her about his values she'll stop or just come to some kind of understanding with him, but I doubt it. If he just writes to the library and school board privately and in confidence about his concerns, that both expresses his values and takes steps to negate what his mother has done.

    Maybe Mom gets mad about it being underhanded or whatever, but apparently she can't take criticism either so any criticism or opposition will make her mad, the rest is just window-dressing. If the choice is between "definitely make Mom angry, probably nothing else changes" or "maybe change something, maybe Mom finds out and gets angry", I think the latter option could be totally legitimate.

    If it were me in the situation, I'd send the letters with a cc to mom so that she had a full understanding of my position, but I'm comfortable with a level of familial confrontation/conflagration that others, including OP, aren't.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 3
    He can still write to the school board if he has to after the fact, but avoiding the confrontation initially would make the situation a million times worse. Having reluctance to upset your family is pretty normal and reasonable, so is having reasons to overcome that in situations where it calls for it.

    Advising that he circumvent that by contacting multiple public organizations before he even gives her a hint that he dislikes the story? Any person, reasonable or not, would think that was cowardly bullshit, considering the best reason he could give was "well sometimes you dont like being criticized, and I was afraid you get mad". From what we know, the issue has been completely brushed off up to this point, shes oblivious to the problem. It would go from "Mom might get mad and disagree and go one without me" to "I might destroy our relationship immediately" if he follows that advice.

    Also, we have no idea what sort of public system hes dealing with. If they sympathize with the message, a letter that says "I haven't told her, but I think my moms got a bad opinion and wrote a bad book, please reject it" is not going to do anything but maybe make some other boomers feel kinda sorry for his mom.

    Iruka on
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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 3
    I can think of very few circumstances involving family or friends where sabotage is the answer.

    ceres on
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  • RingoRingo HE KEEPS REPEATING THE LINE I'M GONNA CRY BLEASE LET HIM LIVE YOU MADE ME WATCH SO MUCH KISSING IN THIS FILM LET INIGO LIVERegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    I can think of very few circumstances involving family or friends where sabotage is the answer.

    The Beastie Boys are apparently not a cultural icon in your family

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
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  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    He can still write to the school board if he has to after the fact, but avoiding the confrontation initially would make the situation a million times worse. Having reluctance to upset your family is pretty normal and reasonable, so is having reasons to overcome that in situations where it calls for it.

    Advising that he circumvent that by contacting multiple public organizations before he even gives her a hint that he dislikes the story? Any person, reasonable or not, would think that was cowardly bullshit, considering the best reason he could give was "well sometimes you dont like being criticized, and I was afraid you get mad". From what we know, the issue has been completely brushed off up to this point, shes oblivious to the problem. It would go from "Mom might get mad and disagree and go one without me" to "I might destroy our relationship immediately" if he follows that advice.

    Also, we have no idea what sort of public system hes dealing with. If they sympathize with the message, a letter that says "I haven't told her, but I think my moms got a bad opinion and wrote a bad book, please reject it" is not going to do anything but maybe make some other boomers feel kinda sorry for his mom.

    I'm a person and I wouldn't consider it to be cowardly bullshit to go behind his mom's back. I also don't think we have enough information about OP's experiences and reasoning to say with any confidence that the best reason he could give is anything in particular. We know what he's mentioned in this thread and its predecessor, that's hardly a complete biography. If your position is that OP has no legitimate reason to fear his mother's reaction, that's fine. I'm basing my position on the fact that OP has described the potential reaction he fears as "breaking" or "shattering" his mother's heart, which is not how a normal person would describe another normal person's reaction to criticism. Because OP is the one who's here asking for advice, I'm taking the position that his fears are reasonable and proposing a course of action that assumes that it's both possible and reasonable to get around those while still acting in accordance with his other values. Something about the situation has him hoping that someone else will deliver the message for him, and my proposal attempts to satisfy that expressed preference. It could be that he's just being a total wimp and needs to straighten up and confront his mother directly, but I'm not taking that for granted, and the option I put on the table is geared to a different scenario.

    I'm prepared to acknowledge that various factors on the ground may mean that the option I proposed isn't the way to go, but I think it is still an option worth considering. Obviously if he writes a letter that sucks, full of specious arguments, it's not going to go anywhere worthwhile, but that wasn't what I suggested.

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited January 3
    Iruka wrote: »
    He can still write to the school board if he has to after the fact, but avoiding the confrontation initially would make the situation a million times worse. Having reluctance to upset your family is pretty normal and reasonable, so is having reasons to overcome that in situations where it calls for it.

    Advising that he circumvent that by contacting multiple public organizations before he even gives her a hint that he dislikes the story? Any person, reasonable or not, would think that was cowardly bullshit, considering the best reason he could give was "well sometimes you dont like being criticized, and I was afraid you get mad". From what we know, the issue has been completely brushed off up to this point, shes oblivious to the problem. It would go from "Mom might get mad and disagree and go one without me" to "I might destroy our relationship immediately" if he follows that advice.

    Also, we have no idea what sort of public system hes dealing with. If they sympathize with the message, a letter that says "I haven't told her, but I think my moms got a bad opinion and wrote a bad book, please reject it" is not going to do anything but maybe make some other boomers feel kinda sorry for his mom.

    I'm a person and I wouldn't consider it to be cowardly bullshit to go behind his mom's back. I also don't think we have enough information about OP's experiences and reasoning to say with any confidence that the best reason he could give is anything in particular. We know what he's mentioned in this thread and its predecessor, that's hardly a complete biography. If your position is that OP has no legitimate reason to fear his mother's reaction, that's fine. I'm basing my position on the fact that OP has described the potential reaction he fears as "breaking" or "shattering" his mother's heart, which is not how a normal person would describe another normal person's reaction to criticism. Because OP is the one who's here asking for advice, I'm taking the position that his fears are reasonable and proposing a course of action that assumes that it's both possible and reasonable to get around those while still acting in accordance with his other values. Something about the situation has him hoping that someone else will deliver the message for him, and my proposal attempts to satisfy that expressed preference. It could be that he's just being a total wimp and needs to straighten up and confront his mother directly, but I'm not taking that for granted, and the option I put on the table is geared to a different scenario.

    I'm prepared to acknowledge that various factors on the ground may mean that the option I proposed isn't the way to go, but I think it is still an option worth considering. Obviously if he writes a letter that sucks, full of specious arguments, it's not going to go anywhere worthwhile, but that wasn't what I suggested.

    Criticism of any form that comes from a person with whom you have a strong emotional attachment is significantly different in context from criticism from a stranger, or someone that you don't care about as much. It's his mother.

    Within the context of a person presenting questionable ideologies and notions that they are clearly attached to enough to write a fictional account that presents them as a not bad thing, criticism—or more specifically rejection of the work because of the ideals that it tries to present—only serves to amplify how this can be taken in a "normal" person.

    This isn't just "I think your book sucks" he's talking about stating here.

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  • FiatilFiatil Registered User regular
    I'm definitely in the camp of "100% don't undermine your mom behind her back". I agree with your viewpoints on your mom's book completely, and it's definitely not an easy problem to solve.

    But the strongest reaction I've had reading anything in this thread is to that -- oh god don't do that. It's the perfect recipe to having this explode in a completely fantastic fashion. From what the OP has told us, he clearly respects his mother's feelings, and very relevantly, appears to communicate with her fairly frequently.

    I just immediately imagined a scenario of OP's mom is very upset and tells him about how a last minute campaign arranged by some terrible unknown person caused her book, which she is clearly very passionate about, to be rejected from what is a relatively very large stage for a self published book of this....quality. Good luck dealing with that one! I could not live with myself if I lied my way through that one and feigned sympathy, and completely forget about it if there are tears involved.

    Telling her how you feel will feel painful, and needs proper planning and a lot of diplomacy. But I think the worst version of how that goes is miles better than any result of the "do it behind her back" way.

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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    I'm prepared to acknowledge that various factors on the ground may mean that the option I proposed isn't the way to go.

    It's not. The cowardly bullshit route is never the right route to take.

    Romantic Undead seems to have figured out the best possible route moving forward, which worst case scenario, might mean just having to say 'we're going to have to agree to disagree. Maybe you didn't mean these things in the book this way, but it's impossible not to see them and I don't want them around.' If you your goal is to get her to agree with you on that, that I don't think is ever going to happen. She's got her vision of what her book is and what it means, even if how everyone else is going to see it is something completely different. Which can make it really really hard when someone is so proud of their creation that it creates a great big blind spot about its actual quality. And even harder if it's a family member whose opinion you value, and you really want to hear their approval of this awesome thing you made (like when I tried to make cookies when I was four, and mixed up the salt for the sugar. Also, may not have put eggs in it).

    As an example, about ten years ago or so there was a really unfortunate pair of books released called Save the Pearls that did the 'let's flip black and white place in society in the future' and managed to be really unpleasantly, if unintentionally racist. There was no denying that part, but the author was quite insistent that she had written it purely as a parable on global warming, and people seeing racist themes were making up things that weren't really there.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited January 4
    Something along the lines of,

    "Mom. I love you. I'm so proud of you for finishing your book. I think honesty is important so I feel obligated to tell you that I can't agree with the messaging in the story about the princess and I think you went over the line when you wrote about my wife's vagina. So I thought you should know I wont be reading it to my family and I don't think it belongs in the library."

    She will probably be angry and hurt. That's kind of on her. Express concern if you think it will do any good.

    "I really think the messages in this book aren't what I grew up learning about respect and tolerance, (fox news, dad, your family, whatever) seems to really be changing your outlook on compassion and acceptance and I worry."

    Confront her in private somewhere she can leave if she needs to so you wont have an hour long uncomfortable car ride and then just hope she contacts you.

    Edit:
    Doing it now before she goes on a self-stylized book tour will be hurtful but it will be appropriate criticism. Waiting a year or two will feel like a betrayal to her.

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    While my mom has yet to write a book, I did have a similar situation. My parents used to be fairly moderate, but they retired and moved to Alabama and were surrounded by people who were very conservative, constant Fox News viewers. They would tell me things these people said, and I would ask why they hung out with them. Their excuse was always the same: "If we didn't we wouldn't have friends here, that's how everyone is." This troubled me, as over the years they would say crazier things every time we spoke. The last time I saw them, my mom was spouting literal Fox propaganda, including stating that she heard black women at the store laughing and bragging about how much money they stole from welfare. I called her out on this, and how it was an obvious and racist lie, and things escalated from there. Eventually, they kicked my wife and I out of their house, and I have not spoken to them in nearly 2 years now. It was difficult to deal with, but at least they know their terrible views are unacceptable to me, and I don't need them in my life bad enough to listen to that shit.

    Ooft, sorry to hear.

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  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    Or as an alternative to sabotage or opposition, help to draft Book 2?

    Is there not some inlet in which "acts not words" can convert the children in the ghetto to what was originally aspired to rather than what it's become when you just decide that these people can learn how to live and appoint people to oversee the transition?

    I mean it's still a little "hmm", but if the original royalty meant well but their will has been twisted by running the camps for their own ends (maybe even to overthrow the royals). But doing so just leads to people trying to blend in through what they see on a day to day basis, and if it's the baddy Advisor type running this, it'll be a dark mirror held up against the noble princess.

    Definitely scope for a fight between Good and 'Fake News/Systemic poverty' that I'll say right off could go horrifically wrong. Black side of this is seeing sleeper agents and irredeemable others. But it could also be about taking ownership of the message and living it day to day, seeing how people will pervert that message for their own ends - and maybe if you get involved, point out that this subversion is happening because of the malign outside influence, but also the new citizens trying to adjust to both the good royal message and the malign one at the same time without knowing which is which in this strange new land.

    It depends how much you want to get involved, and if you're in any way invested with potential characters in this larger story (i.e. your POV on the first book), but possibly world building with your mum if she's into it might actually lead her to realise some of the issues on her own, and correct them in future books. What was the author's naivety at the time is now the character's, and we learn the lessons both do over the course of writing both books.

    You know your mum, do you think you could write some fan fiction that sets up a future story whilst casting doubt on the practicalities of what she's done rather than the intent?

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    Few school boards will accept any book that hasn't been reviewed and approved by a "higher power" and in general they defer to meeting certain criteria and reading standards. A self-published book is not something they would accept, and the book in question is far from the only book they've received under these circumstances. They are flooded with requests to teach certain books because it's a huge money maker.

    The libraries are going to be similar. Just because a library or organization accepts something doesn't mean that they do anything with it. If they do, it doesn't mean they promote it, and even if they do THAT, there's no guarantee that it will be checked out.

    As a parent of two young children, and as the OP has a young daughter as well, children are not reading such a book on their own. My son is 5.5 and in kindergarten, and he can barely read "the cat said meow." So all of the stories would already be filtered by parents. And I can also say that I simply don't read books to my son that are far above his comprehension -- he doesn't like it, I don't get anything out of it, and so those books are not bought or not checked out from the library. Further, it already sounds like it's a single book with a lot of topics, and parents (and children) will simply pick the stories they like the most.

    I think the only conversation you should have with your mom about it is about her own financial support of this book and if it impacts her time or ability to do normal activities. Plenty of people try to become artists and are terrible, plenty of people try to write books and fail terribly. It's not wrong to try something and fail, but it's a bad idea to go broke pursuing something that will not provide any return. But hey, if she's spending her fun money doing something she likes, then the only advice you should really feel pressured to offer her is related to the business aspects of doing this -- is she shopping around for the printing of the book, is she only printing enough to give to family and so forth and not filling up her garage, what about the next book if there will be one, etc.

    If you DO want to try to jump in and offer creative advice, again I would suggest you approach it from the perspective of a parent who has read other books to your child and comparing it to those -- simple books, focusing on a single lesson or topic, told simply. From what you've said, OP, this book is all over the place; you can easily suggest that she focus the messages and the style of stories so that they are on single topics. And, rather than commenting on her politics, you can instead focus on how the story becomes very complicated. That would seem to match her own thoughts on the matter (no one else has done it right) and that trying to walk through very complicated topics in a children's book misses the audience. Ultimately, the books are for kids -- encouraging her to think about her stories from the perspective of a kid, rather than her own perspective as an adult with all her years of experience, may help her in her creative work in the future (and save you from getting Ghetto Stories Part 2).

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    Given the level of personal details your mom seems to get into in her book, I have to ask, did she publish it under her real name or a pen name? Also, how common or rare a name is it?

    The underlying question is, as the book spreads around farther and farther, are people going to associate it to her and through her to you and the other family members she describes? Will they know it's your gf's vagina being described in great detail in that birth chapter, and the pros and cons of your sister's flight attendant career being studied, and your niece playing the role of the concentration-camp-building princess? Or is it all anonymous?

    Because it's one thing to have a book out by a fictional author about a fictional character's vagina that you just happen to know deep down is based on your gf's, and it's another thing completely to have everyone reading the book know for a fact that they just received an up-close-and-personal tour of your gf's vagina.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    and you thought your moms book was a problem!

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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    Hi guys,

    Been a little while, but I've got an update.

    My wife and I decided that, for now, we should stand on the wayside and see where this goes, and only intervene if we feel the book ends up in a position where it could actually do harm.

    In the meantime, my mom had her "book launching" at the local library on Saturday. She even made a mascot costume for my eldest niece, who plays a role as a superhero in one of her stories. (This is not one of the stories I feel is offensive; it's a story on how to report bullying in a responsible way. It's a little eye-rolly in that it portrays the protagonist, my niece, as a "superhero" for dealing with bullying responsibly, but that's par for the course in these kinds of pedagogic stories they teach at school, so I don't have any real problem with it). Anyways, mom slaved over the sewing machine to build a custom costume and is clearly set on working her butt off of this book, which I honestly can't criticize, the content of the book notwithstanding.

    So yeah, it became clear to me that I don't think this is a fight I can win. Extended family came out in force to her opening to show support. She didn't really sell a whole lot of copies to people outside of family, and it's not even clear how many family members even read the book. I think this is more of a situation where family just wants to support her; the content of the book is secondary, or maybe even irrelevant. If I raise a stink, I fear all I will accomplish is to hurt my mother and gain nothing. Ultimately, the good of denouncing a racist view would be outweighed by the bad of harming my mother and by extension, my daughter.

    There has been no news from the School Boards as of yet, and it is my hope that the Boards will conduct a thorough review of the material and see it for its inappropriateness. Hopefully, the local school board's desire to prop up a local author will not override their common sense and their duty to children.

    My mother has picked up on the fact that I appear less than enthused about supporting her. I did not attend her opening, and she noted that ("your mother will remember that" as Telltale games might say). Right now, she may just be ascribing that to my overall introvertedness, and I hope she doesn't confront me more directly on that. If she senses my disapproval and requests and explanation, then, I will feel forced to be honest with her (while trying to be sure to cushion the blow as much as I possibly can), but I won't knock on that door unless I'm asked to come over first.

    I know some of you probably disapprove of my ultimate passivity in this regard, especially after I came here to ask for advice, and that some of you don't think family ties should overwrite what you may feel is tacit approval of racism. I just wanted to make sure you guys knew that I read every post and didn't take any advice given for granted and wanted to thank you all for it, even if I didn't end up following it.

    After all the good advice I got here, I felt obligated to at least let you guys know how things are going.

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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    Given the level of personal details your mom seems to get into in her book, I have to ask, did she publish it under her real name or a pen name? Also, how common or rare a name is it?

    The underlying question is, as the book spreads around farther and farther, are people going to associate it to her and through her to you and the other family members she describes? Will they know it's your gf's vagina being described in great detail in that birth chapter, and the pros and cons of your sister's flight attendant career being studied, and your niece playing the role of the concentration-camp-building princess? Or is it all anonymous?

    Because it's one thing to have a book out by a fictional author about a fictional character's vagina that you just happen to know deep down is based on your gf's, and it's another thing completely to have everyone reading the book know for a fact that they just received an up-close-and-personal tour of your gf's vagina.

    Hi Richy,

    The answer is yes, it's her real name, and the characters in her story are all named after our family.

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  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    Given the level of personal details your mom seems to get into in her book, I have to ask, did she publish it under her real name or a pen name? Also, how common or rare a name is it?

    The underlying question is, as the book spreads around farther and farther, are people going to associate it to her and through her to you and the other family members she describes? Will they know it's your gf's vagina being described in great detail in that birth chapter, and the pros and cons of your sister's flight attendant career being studied, and your niece playing the role of the concentration-camp-building princess? Or is it all anonymous?

    Because it's one thing to have a book out by a fictional author about a fictional character's vagina that you just happen to know deep down is based on your gf's, and it's another thing completely to have everyone reading the book know for a fact that they just received an up-close-and-personal tour of your gf's vagina.

    Hi Richy,

    The answer is yes, it's her real name, and the characters in her story are all named after our family.

    :bigfrown:

    Um. I'm having a hard time imagining what your mom could possibly say to you that would be worse than having other people reading a book that describes your SO's vagina, using your SO's real name.

    Or a story that stars your niece as a racist dictator, for that matter. She might not care (or understand) now, but when she gets older...

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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Richy wrote: »
    Given the level of personal details your mom seems to get into in her book, I have to ask, did she publish it under her real name or a pen name? Also, how common or rare a name is it?

    The underlying question is, as the book spreads around farther and farther, are people going to associate it to her and through her to you and the other family members she describes? Will they know it's your gf's vagina being described in great detail in that birth chapter, and the pros and cons of your sister's flight attendant career being studied, and your niece playing the role of the concentration-camp-building princess? Or is it all anonymous?

    Because it's one thing to have a book out by a fictional author about a fictional character's vagina that you just happen to know deep down is based on your gf's, and it's another thing completely to have everyone reading the book know for a fact that they just received an up-close-and-personal tour of your gf's vagina.

    Hi Richy,

    The answer is yes, it's her real name, and the characters in her story are all named after our family.

    I'm sorry, what?

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    Given the level of personal details your mom seems to get into in her book, I have to ask, did she publish it under her real name or a pen name? Also, how common or rare a name is it?

    The underlying question is, as the book spreads around farther and farther, are people going to associate it to her and through her to you and the other family members she describes? Will they know it's your gf's vagina being described in great detail in that birth chapter, and the pros and cons of your sister's flight attendant career being studied, and your niece playing the role of the concentration-camp-building princess? Or is it all anonymous?

    Because it's one thing to have a book out by a fictional author about a fictional character's vagina that you just happen to know deep down is based on your gf's, and it's another thing completely to have everyone reading the book know for a fact that they just received an up-close-and-personal tour of your gf's vagina.

    Hi Richy,

    The answer is yes, it's her real name, and the characters in her story are all named after our family.

    I'm sorry, what?

    That is so amazingly not cool, I can't even.

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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 28
    No, but she didn't... she didn't even give them different names? So assuming you have the same last name as your mom, and your wife has the same last name as you, someone can plug your wife's first name from that story and the author's last name into google and it could come back with results on your actual wife?

    I'm just trying to figure out the thinking here because while I guess it's not inevitable that it will go wrong, the probability of real-world consequences for your family alone is far from zero.

    ceres on
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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    I'm just imagining the family sitting around going through the book and recognizing the names.

    Let's all read about Sarah Harper's vagina tragedy and how her baby got born wrong. Now let's all read about Lizzie Harper being a weird racist princess.

    Wait... Lizzie, isn't your last name Harper? Isn't your mom Sarah?

    I get that it's exaggerated in my head and I'm picturing it like an episode of Arrested Development, but it's still a thing. With more realistic things like this not being approved and possibly against some guidelines about protection of minors and stuff.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Sounds like what your mother has written could lead to a civil court case if folks were so inclined, honestly.

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Just going to have to hope that absolutely none of you are trying to maintain some sort of online presence and don't plan to. All it would take is one parent with a decent Twitter and some time on their hands to make this easy fodder for mass disapproval, and then it's literally connected to all your real names?

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    See, that is beyond the pale, to me. It's one thing for your parent to write a shitty book you dislike for any number of reasons. It's another for your parent to expect or demand filial support and I can empathize with the difficult or even impossible position that puts you in. But use my real name in your fictional and highly personal nonsense? No. I don't care who you are. No.

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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    So where does that leave me then? Denounce my mother? Demand she destroy remaining copies of her book? Cut myself off from her completely, thus denying my daughter access to a grandmother to whom she has grown close and loved? I don't see a way to confront this issue without completely upending my entire family's dynamic and the included support system it provides us.

    Political views aside, my family has been a huge source of love and support for me and mine, to this day. I cannot fathom risking losing that over a shitty book. At this moment in time I need to believe that this whole thing will eventually blow over because the alternative is absolutely, terrifyingly heartbreaking to me.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited January 28
    I think we need to reign it in here personally. Practically no one will read this book, and of those very few, an even smaller subset will bother looking up the fictional characters based off of real people, and of that bunch even fewer will care if they find them.

    This is just slightly more alarming than having your name and address being published in a phone book.

    Xaquin on
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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited January 28
    If your view that it's unacceptable to go into detail about your family, your wife's genitals and your daughters birth without even changing names then you should be able to say something.

    If saying something ends the entire relationship then it wasn't very healthy or strong.

    Edit: Difficulty with wording.

    "Don't use my wife's name and talk about her vagina!" isn't denouncing your mother.

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited January 28
    Is there nothing in-between saying nothing and cutting her off completely?

    Can you talk to her and explain to her why it's problematic that she's using your real name and personal information in great details in her book? It sounds like you have a loving relationship with her and she's genuinely oblivious to the fact what she did is bad. A loving mother/grand-mother would never willingly want to her her children/grand-children, and I don't think that's what she set out to do when she wrote that book. So can you sit her down and explain to her why detailing your gf's vagina is an invasion of privacy, why going into your sister's career could hurt her career if her coworkers/employers read it, or why ascribing political views to your underage niece (regardless of the views) can be used against her in the future?

    EDIT: To be clear, I would not go into why the content itself is bad, which is an opinion powderkeg, but why naming her own descendants and ascribing this content to them personally is bad for them, how in some cases it reveals info they would not want made public and in other cases it can be held against them and be used to hurt them, which is a factual argument.

    Richy on
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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    Is there nothing in-between saying nothing and cutting her off completely?

    Can you talk to her and explain to her why it's problematic that she's using your real name and personal information in great details in her book? It sounds like you have a loving relationship with her and she's genuinely oblivious to the fact what she did is bad. A loving mother/grand-mother would never willingly want to her her children/grand-children, and I don't think that's what she set out to do when she wrote that book. So can you sit her down and explain to her why detailing your gf's vagina is an invasion of privacy, why going into your sister's career could hurt her career if her coworkers/employers read it, or why ascribing political views to your underage niece (regardless of the views) can be used against her in the future?

    EDIT: To be clear, I would not go into why the content itself is bad, which is an opinion powderkeg, but why naming her own descendants and ascribing this content to them personally is bad for them, how in some cases it reveals info they would not want made public and in other cases it can be held against them and be used to hurt them, which is a factual argument.

    I want to believe that this is possible, buy my mother is notoriously bad at taking criticism. In the past, any time we've disagreed with her, she takes it as a personal attack and does a variation of the whole "well why don't I just give up and DIE, then!" thing. Some might say that that's emotional blackmail, and I wouldn't entirely disagree, but it's effective blackmail, and that, perhaps, is an indictment of my own emotional fortitude, I'm willing to concede.

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