Hi all! Lfleetwood here and it’s fantastic to be back in action this semester after the winter hiatus, and with a new year comes new resolutions. I still have quite a few things going through my mind from last semester, and I am beyond excited to continue writing with ShoutOut! My own story has dragged me through feminism thus far, but how will I continue studying feminism if I leave my story behind and start reading others? I needed a plan, and something almost fell into my lap in the process. I am not one to make resolutions, but I have definitely found a new one that everyone should be paying more attention to. I came across the hashtag #readwomen2014 by way of a fantastic article in The Guardian announcing that 2014 is to be the year of the woman writer. Most importantly, we will be both reading women authors and becoming more aware of the discrimination women authors deal with in the publishing world. I sometimes forget that my favorite authors consist primarily of male authors. These men have made a name for themselves through their exquisite prose and excellent word choice, but why am I so quick to forget that female writers are just as important?
VIDA Women in Literary Arts takes a count each year noting how many women are represented in literary magazines, non-fiction, fiction, etc., in order to better announce the worries we have as individuals over why women are so absent in literary studies. Although the count for this past year has not yet been released, we can only hope that more representation is taking place within the literary world. For 2012, according to VIDA’s website, shows that women’s works are heavily being ignored by reviewers as well. So why has this gotten me so fired up?
We need a change, and a quick one, to truly come forward in 2014. I will keep all you lovely readers updated for the 2013 numbers as soon as they come out, but I want to know what all of you think about how women are so ignored as authors? In the past, so many female authors have been tossed aside, or if they were published, they wrote about the woes and pains of what it means to be a woman. As time progresses, women have more voice, educations, positions of power, that all these women were unable to take hold of, so they wrote. And women still write from all walks of life, perspectives, and needs. As I’ve studied literature throughout my university career, I find myself more and more aware of the disparities in literature in the classroom alone.
So let me ask you all, what female writers are you planning to read this year? It starts with one person, and we can all gain a hefty experience in women’s literature, non-fiction, and other stories. Us bloggers will be making it a point to delve into at least one great feminist read this semester, but we need to keep talking. Twitter is the first and best outlet I can think of to spread the word and make sure the world knows we are making the effort to pay attention to female writers and not letting them fall under the table, or fall to dust on the book shelf. Tweet #Readwomen2014 and follow the conversations. Read more. Learn more. Let me know what you think!