Feminism: The Rising Tide That Lifts All Literary Boats

Steinem Quote

 

I have spent too much time on Twitter lately and have eye-strain from eye-rolling.

Look, I’m going to lay it out as simply as I for those who do not understand: Feminism has been the rising tide that has lifted all literary boats.

Practicing some exclusionary hierarchy as far as what gets published does not aid male authors in general – only the few supported by the ruling elite. This is a clique-ish business full of pedants. Feminists are not taking your place in the literary elite from you – it was never yours. What feminists, and feminism has done, is to broaden the literary platform for everyone.

Without a doubt I would not have the publication credits I do without feminists. Those feminists who taught me, beta-read for me, and selected my work for publication. Those feminists who wrote, edited, and then, at no financial gain at all, started a publication, a blog, a ‘zine.

The idea that feminism is exclusionary of men is preposterous. The idea that women in literature are “social justice warriors” and not “real writers” is beyond preposterous. Social change as represented in literature is to be lauded. What vision of the future have we had that was not first provided in literature? What story of an unacceptable present has not moved the reader towards a sense of genuine social justice?

Feminists have not taken anything from anyone – and they have given much.

Your obligation as a reader is not to look at the name and decide about the story right then, your obligation is to read the story. Crying on social media is amusing but not in the “we’re laughing with you” way.

I sometimes think that there are two different languages being spoken, one by certain men who think only of the language of rejection – “my stories get rejected too, wah” and the language of exclusion which is well familiar to women and minorities – human beings who never get a chance in the first place. It bothers me to think that there are still female writers who do not submit because they have been intimidated. The idea that someone won’t read sci-fi because it was written by a woman or a brown-skinned person is odious.

A literary community that is better for women will be better for men.

The option is to condone someone else’s hierarchy and live by their rules – which will almost certainly exclude you.

I’ll be back to post when any of my recent sales/placements go live and for a really sad Valentine’s day post full of poesy if none go live before the world’s shittiest, saddest “holiday”.

Steve

 

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2 thoughts on “Feminism: The Rising Tide That Lifts All Literary Boats

  1. “human beings who never get a chance in the first place. ” – You’re not implying that this doesn’t happen to men never, right? Wide generalizations were the downfall of the patriarchy.

    I agree with you in general. I don’t get the ‘oh nose! Women are taking over media!’ thing. I only see how the types of voices we hear in literature get more diverse. I’m all for it. I read novels to explore new viewpoints, not to affirm my own.

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