How to respond to somebody else’s article

(even when they didn’t ask you to)

Hi there, I just read your article, all of it, from beginning to end. Aren’t I great? I wanted to let you know that I really sort of enjoyed it, and you said everything that I wanted to say. In fact, I already did, before you. I didn’t write any of it down, or tell anybody, but I definitely thought it, and nobody can prove otherwise. Don’t feel bad about copying me — I grant you permission to use my words, but if you publish these thoughts again elsewhere, I’d appreciate it if you would credit me. In fact, it’s probably better to assume that everything you think up is something I’ve already thought, so just go ahead and credit me every time you write something.

But let’s talk about your article. It reminded me of my book, and I thought you’d really like to know about my book. How does your article remind me of my book? Well, since you asked, your article is about feminism and microagressions, and my book is a five-hundred-page sci-fi novel about a man exiled from earth for being too progressive, and landing on a planet inhabited solely by beautiful Amazonian women. Naturally, he has to procreate with them, but he doesn’t force any of them to have sex with him if they don’t want to. You see, he allows them to be completely free to do as they please, and in the end they make him their leader, to protect them from the raiders of the Man World.

Your article is all about how, if women want to be truly seen as equal in society, they have to demand equality, that they cannot simply receive it from men. And that is exactly what my protagonist teaches the Amazonian women in my book. Should I give you a link to my book? I self-published it because publishers were too afraid to publish it. But then again, this is supposed to be about your article and how great it is, not a shameless promotion of my book that took ten years of my life to write. However, you’re the one who brought up the subject of my book, and I’m sure you’d love to read it, and maybe it would give you more ideas for your little women’s articles. If it does, don’t forget to credit me. Here’s the link. (Update: Amazon has emailed me to tell me that they have removed the book from their website because it is highly offensive, but I’m sure that’s a mistake. I’ll give you the link as soon as this whole mess is cleared up.)

By the way, I think you could publish your articles in prestigious magazines, too, not just online. Have you tried Marie Claire? I bet they’d love your stuff. Or maybe Home and Kitchen magazine. These are just the kinds of articles their readers crave. In future, though, I’d tone down the feminist rant a little. It doesn’t go down well. Perhaps be a little quieter, less threatening, less shrill, more considerate of the other side’s point of view. Maybe then you’d win over more men. Just saying.

Before I go, I just want to repeat how much I sort of liked your article, and there’s no need to thank me for reaching out to you to let you know about my book. You’re welcome.