Thanks to a FoTCP, I’ve seen the now-infamous Marie Claire article. I do think that Miller got done mildly wrong–that the article, even if it is an “as told to…,” puts words in her mouth in ways that makes her seem kind of gossipy and silly in ways that could undermine her authority as a minister. But, having read the article, I’m even more shocked by the responses to it that are anything other than “Wow, Miller seems to have been purposefully portrayed as silly and frivolous by Marie Claire and Deborah Jian Lee. What an asshole move on Lee’s part.”
Once you get beyond Lee’s ladymag tone, Miller says she’s celibate and wants to meet a nice guy who loves her for who she is and supports her in a job she loves. That this is scandalous or cause for shaming Miller or for being embarrassed to share a profession with her is bizarre.
In fact, once you accept the conceit that this is a story written by Lee but in a 1st person that is supposed to be Miller, any reasonable person has to see that there are only two sentences you actually know for sure come from Miller and aren’t made up by Lee.
WARNING: These are the words of a Methodist minister in a story about… sex… You might want to read through your fingers. “Oh, I work in communications for a nonprofit. But tell me about you,” and “I’m a pastor at a church.”
That’s right. Twenty words out of the whole article appear to be actually attributable to Miller. Everything else? It’s the product of a bizarre attempt on the part of Marie Claire and Lee to pass of this fictionalized account of Miller’s sexuality as an actual first-person tell-all.
People railing against Miller’s tone or word choice or saying she sounds drunk need to understand–this isn’t a transcript of a conversation Lee and Miller had. This is a piece of creative writing on the part of Lee designed to make you feel like you’re hearing from Miller when you aren’t.
If there should be outrage over this piece, it should be on behalf of Miller, not focused on her.
Maybe I’m too cynical, but I have little doubt this is going to cost her her job anyway. She’ll get blamed because she wasn’t smart enough to not participate, instead of sympathized with for being the main character in someone’s weird fiction.
And that sucks.
I hope I’m wrong.