Diana Gabaldon wrote Scrooge McDuck cartoons for the Walt Disney Company before she wrote Outlander, which has subsequently been turned into a Starz television show. She also is a child of privilege, having been raised by a prominent political family in Arizona, and was afforded the luxury of being able to go to university all the way up to her Ph.D.
And all of this, according to her, makes her superior to everyone else out there, but most especially to fast food workers, whom she took a swipe at yesterday while trying to offer “friendly advice” to an aspiring writer who wished to be an English major when she enrolled in school.
— Diana Gabaldon (@Writer_DG) March 9, 2017
It all started when a Twitter user by the name of Rebecca Tweeted a question to Diana Gabaldon, who she’s clearly a big fan of.
@Writer_DG Any advice to an aspiring writer on choosing a university major? (Current plan is English because I love reading.)
— Rebecca Dickinson (@RebeccaD21) March 9, 2017
Rebecca, of course, tweeted this question to Diana after Diana announced that she was celebrating “the anniversary of writing Outlander,” which is probably the smuggest thing in the world to have a celebration over.
This was Diana Galbadon’s response.
English major = "Want fries with that?"????. Pick something that will give you enough money to write what you want. https://t.co/MQ52HSzZCl
— Diana Gabaldon (@Writer_DG) March 10, 2017
Needless to say, according to the Huffington Post, Diana Gabaldon could not be more wrong.
Despite her smug, condescending assertions, according to the Wall Street Journal, the demand for graduates with liberal arts degrees has surged exponentially, and this includes the demand for English majors.
— Forasteras (@outlatins_art) March 8, 2017
“Heads up, business majors: Employers are newly hot on the trail of hires with liberal arts and humanities degrees. Class of 2015 graduates from those disciplines are employed at higher rates than their cohorts in the class of 2014, and starting salaries rose significantly, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ annual first-destination survey of recent graduates in the workforce.”
We won! OUTLANDER wins best Drama Series!???????????? pic.twitter.com/FkknUNzYkr
— Diana Gabaldon (@Writer_DG) February 18, 2017
Further disproving the smugness oozing from Diana Galbadon, Forbes reports that there are many jobs for English majors that pay more than $60,000 per year.
“A new study from PayScale Inc., the Seattle-based job-data firm, highlights 14 types of jobs — all paying at least $60,000 a year — for which English majors are unusually likely to be hired. Eight of these involve traditional editing, writing and public relations. But most of the rest appear in newer fields with a high-tech twist. It turns out that even the digital economy needs people who are good with words.”
So much for wanting “fries with that.”
And even granting that some people — regardless of their major — will graduate from college and be unable to get a job outside of in the fast food industry, what’s wrong with that, Diana Gabaldon?
Stephen King — who is leaps and bounds more successful than Diana Gabaldon will ever be — has an English degree, and he, too, had to work several low-paying jobs — including in fast food — before he “made it big” in as a writer. And unlike Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King is down-to-Earth, humble, and kind, and he never hesitates to provide good advice for English majors, aspiring writers, and people in general.
“Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”
Perhaps Diana Gabaldon will do well to remember that, unlike the characters she writes about in her books, fast food workers are real people, and they’re worthy of being treated with respect, dignity, and basic humanity.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]