"I think there’s a definite tendency to make fiction by women girly. A man can write about family matters and it’s serious fiction about life. But when a female author writes about family, people say “Oh, she’s got domestic subjects to talk about…” It drives me crazy."
Nicole Aragi. (Read the linked interview for a great many other interesting insights on various writerly issues). I often hear about the gender bias against women today, which has been an ongoing controversy that flared up in April. I came across this article,"What's In A Category? 'Women Novelists' Sparks Wiki-Controversy" where novelist Meg Wolitzer says:
"We've seen first-rate novels by women sometimes sort of thoughtlessly grouped together as 'women's fiction.' " Wolitzer says. "And that's a phrase that can make me a little crazy. I mean, what is women's fiction? Do these books have anything in common, or is it just that the authors were all at one time or another in possession of a uterus?"
Since gender discrimination is pretty much par for the course in fiction and media, it is natural that women writers face it in the publication process as well. I haven't faced it personally that I'm aware of, I'm too green a writer to be discriminated against, I guess, but I agree with Nicole Aragi when she describes her cure for gender bias:
"Just fighting like hell for an equality of attitude. If I feel, when someone’s talking to me about my list, that they’re not interested in the women writers, then I go into overdrive. I go crazy. Someone once said to me, “Oh, you only represent men.” And in fact it’s pretty much fifty:fifty. It’s just that they’ve only noticed the men on my list. And that’s their problem."
Have you faced gender bias as a writer or know someone who does? What have you done about it or what do you think should be done?