Read women

I hardly need to remind you to read books by women, do I?

It’s International Women’s Day (we shouldn’t need a day set aside, but let’s use it while we’ve got it) and I remembered an article a couple of months ago, which wanted to encourage people to read more books by female authors.

Not having done any statistics on the sex of the author of any books I read and review, I am fairly confident that I don’t need to read more. Because when you read books for younger age groups, it feels as if the majority of writers are women.

I could be wrong. But I don’t think so.

And I don’t believe it’s because children’s books are easier (as if female writers are less capable!), or that women are more suited to write children’s books. I’m sure it’s because fewer women feel they need to prove anything. I suspect that more men could/would write for children if they were convinced those books were just as good (they are better!) as so-called real grown-up literature.


3 responses to “Read women

  1. Seana Graham

    Men are a little behind on all this, but they are OK. Belated Happy International Women’s Day. We are international women, after all.

  2. Yes, most writers for children are women (as any gathering of authors will illustrate!). I don’t think there’s an artist reason for this. I think it’s a reflection of our idea that children are women’s work (see also primary teachers and nursery nurses). However, I do think it’s interesting that some of our best known children’s writers are men. I do mean ‘interesting’, by the way, it isn’t sarcasm. I often wonder, is it because they are better? Or is there structural sexism at play? I really don’t know the answer.

  3. ‘Men are a little behind.’ I’ll have to quote you on that, Seana.

    Elen, I know what you mean. There are some very successful men in this ‘women’s world’ and I don’t know why, either. I suspect it’s because they are – mostly – pretty good. I also suspect it’s because their female counterparts might be suffering ‘a little’ discrimination, even if unintentional.

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