Posts Tagged ‘editors’

Sexist Ideas hold strong in Publishing

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Posted by Ampersand in the Blog is a great post about preconceptions editors and others can have about the gender of a writer and why it matters so much.

When people roll their eyes at Sexism, they fail to see how sexism affects everyone men and women. It limits us all. By defining and limiting a group of people, we limit ourselves. Example:

This blog highlights Bev Vincent, who remarked:

I’ve heard female writers talk about gender bias in the industry before, but it’s always been an abstract concept to me. Not something I’ve ever experienced. Oh, sure, people often think I’m female based on my name—it’s a common enough mistake, which I’ve had to deal with all my life. I like to tell the story about how I was almost assigned to the women’s dorm at university. However, I’ve never before had an editor criticize my writing based on a false assumption concerning my gender. Or make blatantly biased statements about the male perspective. [...]

I pause here to note that this was the most autobiographical story I’ve ever written, and all the things that the editor complained about were my real observations and my real thoughts cast into the mind of a fictional character participating in fictional events. I did, in fact, call home every Sunday afternoon to talk to my parents, while they were still alive.

To compound his or her arrogance, the editor claims that my prose is “overly elegant,” which is presumably his or her way of saying that a man would never write or think in elegant terms.

What were some of the comments received?

  • “It’s quite a challenge for a writer of one sex to explore writing from the perspective of the opposite sex. Bev Vincent has not done a convincing job.”
  • “The story seems far too personal, introspective and emotional for a man”

As ampersand wrote: “This is a funny story, but it represents two kinds of sexism, both worthy of concern.”
Read more of this blog at »

Also, check out amp’s other blog about the ingrained accepted attitude of sexism condoned in places in our society. Read more at: