Here’s a copy of an email I’ve just sent to Melissa Silverstein, editor of Women and Hollywood:

“Melissa — As you may recall, on 7.17 Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone posted a passionate, thoughtful, first-rate piece about the hurdles that women directors face and go through in getting due or fair recognition for their work. It’s my understanding that despite the quality of the piece and the obvious synchronicity between and it and Women and Hollywood, you declined to link to it because she mentioned me in a somewhat (mostly?) favorable way. You ‘took exception’ to my being mentioned as a friend to women directors, I’m told, and so you did what you could in your own little way to limit the exposure and readership that Sasha’s piece deserves.

“Here’s the paragraph (or rather the portion of the paragraph, split into two graphs) that led to your decision not to link to Sasha’s article: ‘The world of film criticism is changing by the second. While I constantly bemoan the old guard of film critics being ousted — a lot of the new guard are aware of the state of things for women. What women haven’t had all of these years is advocacy. Since I’ve been online and aimed my own coverage more at advocacy, I’ve noticed subtle changes here and there. Many of the very loud voices out there keep the subject on women filmmakers — Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci, for instance, or Hollywood-Elsewhere’s Jeff Wells.

“‘Wells specifically champions the work of female filmmakers on his site. Wells is a controversial person to name here [as] he is so often labelled a sexist by the often hateful posts about women on his site — worse is the den of misogyny in his comments section) but I also must acknowledge that he is one of the few who goes out of his way to support women filmmakers. He has also been generous to me for years, which is more than I can say for others in our industry. Mark Harris has been a champion for women and so has Anthony Breznican at EW. David Poland at Movie City News does this as well. And many female movie writers have their eye on this topic as well, like Thelma Adams, Carrie Rickey, Anne Thompson, Susan Wloszczyna, Katey Rich and most especially Melissa Silverstein at Women and Hollywood, who is tirelessly waging a war against the clear oppression we see around us every day.’

“I’m told you decided against giving Sasha a boost, Melissa, because you consider me to be a sexist columnist and my site, Hollywood Elsewhere, to be generally sexist in nature. This indicates, obviously, that you’re looking for ideological or philosophical purity when you choose your friends and allies, and that you don’t want to consider, much less accept, that what I write on Hollywood Elsewhere might not be all one particular color.

“If I had been in Sasha’s shoes I would have simply deleted any and all mentions of Jeffrey Wells or Hollywood Elsewhere from the article…no biggie from my end. But Sasha, to her credit, stuck to what she wrote.

“Was it fair, what you did? No, it wasn’t — it was essentially repressive. Was it decent? Not to Sasha, certainly. A woman on your side of the debate, doing what she can to push the woman-director cause all she can, and you dismiss her efforts because she wrote something honest and fair-minded about me? Is it perceptive or wise on your part to put me and Hollywood Elsewhere on your personal Black List? I really don’t think so but let’s look at things more closely.

“I won’t dispute that some (more than a few?) of the HE commenters sound like sexist dogs in the comment threads, and I’m sorry for that. I chastise them from time to time, ban a commenter if he’s written some particularly foul remark and I do delete some of the especially cruel comments that get posted every so often, but I’m not going to get too tough about this stuff. I myself get beaten up quite a lot by these guys (and gals). But I especially take exception to you believing and presumably passing along the view that I’m a sexist columnist.

“I am not what you believe I am or might be. I am what I have a right to be without people like you trying to poison the community well. I hold views and feelings that you might call sexist, but I don’t call them that — I prefer the term ‘honest’ or ‘sorry but I’ve lived a life and this is what I’ve observed.’ I’m a hard worker and an above-average, sometimes inspired writer, I feel, and one of the things that defines ‘above-average writer’ is that I don’t pussyfoot around in venting my hang-ups and prejudices about this and that. I’m sui generis with all my furrows and contradictions and spillages flat on the table. I’m a little impertinent, true. I can be blunt. I tend to be candid and confessional when writing about various issues and intrigues concerning women or women in the industry, but I really, really don’t think it’s fair or, to be honest, intelligent of you to hold this viewpoint. Sexism is not what I’m about, and I really do hate the sexist mongrels who sometimes color HE in the wrong way.

“Why don’t you ask Kathryn Bigelow about me? Or ask Sofia Coppola, at least as far as Somewhere is concerned? Or some of my female critic and journalist friends apart from Sasha?

“If you have the cojones or at least the courage of your convictions, why don’t you write and list three articles or passages or what-have-you that I’ve written that you consider to be blatantly sexist, and why you think so. And then I’ll reply and give my spin on these instances and objections. Maybe I can enlighten you on a point or two. I don’t mean that idiotic, Nikki Finke-driven 2007 episode that has been hashed and hashed over (and which I’ve explained in the column over under sideways down). Is this because of that “Woman To be Pretty” piece I wrote that raised the ire of a weekend Jezebel editor?

“Just tell me what the big offenses are, and I’ll come right back and with a succinct tit for tat. And no, that wasn’t a sexist pun. But in the kind of Soviet climate you seem to believe in or apparently try to enforce among your contributors and colleagues, taking offense at attitudes or opinions that don’t espouse the party line is the gift that keeps on giving. — Regards, Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere