All Over The Map (jemck) wrote,
All Over The Map

Is publishing sexist?

It's one of those questions that crops up every now and then and no one ever really has an answer for. I can only speak from my own experience, and I don't honestly think my gender has played any part in the vagaries of my writing life. Doubtless there are folk who have had bad experiences with a definite sexist element. But I don't see enough evidence to suggest an ingrained, institutional bias.

On the other hand, sometime around 1998, I recall reading a survey of authors' advances that suggested male writers got significantly more than women - allegedly on the grounds that 'they were more likely to be the family breadwinners'. Was that really true? Would it be true now? Dunno.

And then there are the days when I check some magazine or newspaper's review pages or a blog and see books by men getting far more coverage than those by women. And all-male shortlists for awards. Is that a persistent trend or am I just noticing the exceptions? Sorry, I simply don't have the time to do the extensive research necessary to find out one way or the other.

So the question still niggles. Especially when I read a piece like this from The Guardian"

Elaine Showalter begins thus:
When John Updike died in January, Ian McEwan lamented his passing in these pages as the "end of the golden age of the American novel". In an article for the Times, headed "Who will fly the flag for the great American novel now?", Stephen Amidon asked whether Updike would have any successors who "possess the ability to engage with the culture at large, to create works that become part of the fabric of their era". Amidon could only think of only one woman, Jhumpa Lahiri, to include in his list of six contenders. Most of Updike's eulogists excluded women completely
I recommend you read on. Thought-provoking stuff.
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