I’ve been writing about the subtle ways in which women writers are disadvantaged for a while now. If anything is to change, it’s important that we all understand the dumb systems involved and how they work to create the unconscious and cumulative biases that add up to a negative impact.
On one level, yes, this is about sexism – but it’s a case of institutional sexism. There’s no patriarchal conspiracy, no cabal of evil men intent on doing women writers down. Dealing with these issues would be so much simpler if there were!
It’s also important to realise that times are tough all round in the book trade, for male and female writers alike. There are ups and downs for everyone. Anyone, even if they’re currently at the top of the bestseller lists, would be very ill-advised to sit back and exepct the cash and kudos to roll in for ever and a day.
And while my focus here is primarily on systemic obstacles for women writers, it’s equally important to recognise how many, if not all, of the same arguments and disadvantages apply to other minority groups within writing; those of differing colour, race and gender to the mainstream.
I’ve grouped these pieces together by theme as far as possible, with those looking at book trade issues following by writing-related posts. Copies of the guest pieces I’ve written for other websites are followed by links to posts on my own blog from oldest to most recent, and with the posts specifically referencing Waterstones gathered together.
Lastly, I’m also including a few related pieces assuredly contributing to this debate, including those relating to panel parity at EightSquaredCon, Eastercon 2012, where I served as Chair for the Committee collectively committed to promoting equality.
I think I’ve found everything that’s relevant from my own blogging. If you know different, let me know. I’ll aim to update this page as new things come along.
Brief thoughts on women writers being erased from SFF – again
Because articles doing this cross my radar if not weekly, at least once a fortnight. And that’s without me making any effort to find it.
“That girl looks like trouble!” The distinction for me between writing epic fantasy as a feminist and writing Feminist Fantasy.
Eastercon 2013 and Panel Parity
Blog Posts with Links To Other Relevant Writing
Discussing diversity & representation in SFF – links round up
Because I’m by no means the only writer to post reflections on this issue.