Friday, October 8, 2010

Author Equality

This bit in the Atlantic has been on my mind since the controversy that inspired it developed. I read the piece, I nodded in agreement, and then I checked my own reading history for the current year... Male authors were indeed ahead, by 4-5 books! How could that be? How is it that I, who identify with nearly all causes to raise the status of women to a level equal to that of men, who consider myself an adamant advocate of women's rights, and of raising awareness of important issues, how is it that I could have been so oblivious to my own culturally imposed gender biases?

Unfortunately, women weren't prevalent as authors for quite some time, so the wealth of 'literature' written by men seems to far outweigh women's literature. That, coupled with the fact that it may indeed be true that modern male authors get more - and better - press than female authors, and how does one find great women authors without stumbling up on them? This is not to in anyway discount the value and talent of male authors, but to raise awareness that women's books are often just as valid and interesting and relevant as work by men. The dismissive term "chick lit" does everyone a disservice. After all, it's not as if every book written by a man or written about "masculine" subjects is derisively referred to as "dick lit."

I am disheartened that my life co-conspirator finds reading books by women such a low priority that he scoffs at my suggestion, no matter how neutrally I try to state it. Is that how the majority feels?

UPDATE: It seems my LCC was harassed in college by young ladies that had not fully grasped the feminist texts they were touting, using them mainly to tell any male that disagreed with them on any point that he disagreed with them because he was sexist. It’s going to take a lot of work to reclaim feminism to mean equality and not male-bashing/hating.

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