So I was reading a little blog about some books that the author recommended, and ran across this little gem in the comments:
"Only 5 out of 20 authors male? More women writing about women for women. No wonder the male reading stats are through the floor!!"
Not gonna lie, I had to read it a few times to realize that this guy was actually serious (also, not one person stepped up to challenge him? Really?). He was serious as in, "I'm a privileged white guy (yes, there was a picture with his comment), and this doesn't fit my narrow and oblivious view of the world, so fix it." serious. You mean, there's a forum where women are more prevalent than men? Could it be so? What is happening to this world!!! Next thing you know cats and dogs will be living together. And to think, a blogger recommending more women authors than men. Conspiracy, I say!
So I decided to check it out. And I found this. And this. Aaaand this.
Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against men. Really. I even know a few. And one of them is even straight. But this really takes the cake. As an author, I find it doubly troubling. Is it really so bad for a woman to write something another woman would want to read? While the stats debunk this knuckle-dragger's belief that women dominate publishing, it definitely makes a person think. Even if women did dominate, would that really be such a terrible thing? Can't women have just this one thing?
Who gets to dominate the film industry? Politics? Academia? Who dominates nearly every professional job there is that doesn't involve servitude? Don't believe me? See investment banking, medical doctors, architects, professors, or really any boss of any kind, and you'll assume that person is male. Trust me. I'm a writer. I've seen these biases with my characters and critiques. If I write a character that is a a Dean of a college, if that Dean is a female, I actually have to specify that. Otherwise, readers assume the Dean is a man. Oh, and white.
But the nerve of someone putting together a list of recommended books and only 25% of them are male? Welcome to my world, entitled dude. A world where you are the minority and people don't worry about what you think, what you want, and what makes you happy. Welcome to the world of half the population.
This, my friends, is what male privilege looks like. I'm sure you all know this, because you're super smart peeps, but I felt compelled to point it out. Because I didn't even notice the genders of the authors on the list until I read his comment, and seriously, who the fuck cares? Good writing is good writing.