Elizabeth Gilbert Responds to Post

by Melissa Silverstein on August 5, 2010

in Books

Yesterday I published, If Women Like It, It Must Be Stupid building on the EW piece where Elizabeth Gilbert is quoted.  Now, I am a bit late to the Elizabeth Gilbert game having not read Eat Pray Love until now (I am a third of the way in and am enjoying it.)

But this woman has seriously stirred up a shitstorm among women.  Wow.

I emailed Elizabeth yesterday after I wrote the post and clearly she feels beaten down.  Now I know she doesn’t need me to defend her, but I did (as I hope someone would defend me when I publish a book that sells millions of copies.)

Here’s what she said back to me (in 2 different emails):

Thank you.
(Did I mention: Thank you?)

Thank you so much again, and thank you for beating the gong to try to drive away at last this old, hoary, worn-out, threadbare old chestnut of a question: whether or not women’s tastes are actually worthy.

For god’s sake.

Carry on!


Personally, I am going to go to the mat to defend a woman to express her opinion just as much as I going to go to the mat for a woman director to make a film in her own vision.

I might not like the film.  I might not like the book.  That’s my prerogative.  This is a free country.  If you don’t want to see a movie or don’t want to read a book – just don’t go and see it or read it.  End of story.

But just remember, this is not about Elizabeth Gilbert.  This is about women and how society values our opinions, desires and tastes.  Gilbert is just the face of it this week.  Next week will be someone else.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

T August 5, 2010 at 10:13 PM

As a woman, even though I have not been published and my film does not have an A-list actress in it yet, my opinion matters, even if it is about another woman’s work.
I’m an artist, so her TED lecture and what I’ve gathered from the trailers of her film, her book reviews and etc. didn’t offer any great new revelations. I’ve lived my life as she has lived her after her Eat Pray Love, experience.
I’m not a fan of Roberts.

I don’t like it, but it’s not “stupid”.
And what I do like is not always brilliant, but, it usually is ; )

So, Eat, Pray, Love is not as high brow as Spike TV ? or the Man Show ?
Cops? UFC?

What women prefer in general is not necessarily stupid. What men write, that they believe the studios will buy and produce for female audiences, is often insulting (wedding, bridesmaids movies and the like).

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