|The Original Cover...|
First reason: I am uncomfortable with feminism. Perhaps it's just because in general, I don't feel unfairly treated (though I'm aware millions of women in this world are) - and I think men can be victims of sexism sometimes too. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful to the women (and men!) who fought so that I could vote, go to university and work where I want, but I don't think women will really be free until we can choose to be a housewife or a mechanic and be equally respected for both choices. I don't think feminism always helps with this. Forcing women out of the kitchen is not the same as allowing them out of the kitchen. Insisting that we're treated as if we are the same as men is not the same as insisting on being treated equally to men. Therefore I just get a bit British and awkward when it comes to anything that's used to highlight how unfair life is for women.
Second reason: I DO think this part of the publishing industry is unfair to women - I don't want to agree, but I do! I'm sad that it seems almost certain that should my first novel ever be published, it will be marketed as "women's fiction", just because I don't have a Y chromosome. It's not about families or romance or shopping. Maybe a publisher will surprise me, but I dread the thought of it being given a pink cover and called a "summer read". Being pigeon-holed like that regardless of the quality of my writing is actually something that bothers/scares me a lot. The fact that I'll accept it if it means making a career out of what I love, makes me sad. Do you think I need to worry about this or is it a problem that will go away over time?
|...Coverflipped by Gillian Berry|
There are so many more intelligent and worldly people who have spoken about this in the last week, so I won't try to match them. Instead, if you're interested, I recommend this Guardian article about it. Here are a couple of quotations taken from that article:
"I'm sick to death of this. I am so sick of the constant, blatant sexism. And any time anyone points anything out as being sexist, they're accused of 'whining' or 'nagging' or 'not taking a joke. [...] More women read books than men, more women write books than men, but only a small fraction of books that win literary awards are written by women. Women are the publishing industry's bread and butter, we are the backbone of the damn entertainment industry, but we are constantly demoted to 'fluffy' to 'light' to 'meaningless'." Amanda Hocking
"I was critiqued for having 'obligatory romance' in all my books. When in fact, just last year, my book had none. Why is it 'domestic fiction' if a woman writes about family/relationships, but if a man does that, it's Pulitzer-worthy?" Jodi Picoult
Are there other groups of people who you think struggle with being stereotyped in the literary world? Is it just as hard for men who want to write light romances?