Is publishing sexist?

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

May 12, 2009 -- 1:38 a.m.

There's a good discussion on whether or not publishing is sexist over on this blog. I thought there were some very interesting points on how school kids grow up reading male authors as "classics" and so assume women can't write. Though I don't know if that's true any more. Still, the only "classic" I can think of offhand by a woman is How To Kill A Mockingbird. Which pretty much beats the rest, IMHO.

I don't agree that Paranormal Romance being excluded from horror is sexist. I just don't think its...horrible. It's Buffy the Vampire slayer vamping it up in black leather tights. You don't see them ripping each other's eyes out or engaging in pornographic child beating. In horror, if you see a woman putting on make-up, she's going to be eaten or stabbed for being such a whore. Horror is (usually) the reaffirmation of social principles regarding women and their place in society, punishing the "sinners" and protecting the "pure," but Paranormal Romance is about enjoying sexuality and kicking (and kissing) vampire butt.

But is there a reason Jim Butcher hit #1 NYT bestselling list over some other urban fantasy/paranormal writers? (Not saying he didn't deserve it, I love-a me the Dresden) I suspect it has less to do with him being male and more to do with it not being a Sookie Stackhouse/Twilight clone.

Still it's an interesting discussion. And pertinent, since I'm debating whether to use my initials. I love my name, though, and I think I'll write under it. It's the right thing to do, or that's the way I'm leaning at the moment.


  1. Lee Ann Setzer said...

    Interesting, lively, and civil discussion about the Coretta Scott King award at, on sort of the same topic--is it insulting, or necessary, or just meh, to have a special award for black writers? Does it insult writers of other ethnicities, by implying that only black people can write for black people? Does it insult black writers by implying that they only way they'll succeed is in a special category all their own?

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