Writing that is. Women have certainly dominated the business over recent years haven’t they? Read down the staff list of any agency, publisher or even your favourite magazine title and you will find that the majority of names are female.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an issue with this. If a woman warrants the job she should have it although, as with men in earlier times one gets the impression that women hire women and men hire men so the phenomenon is likely to grow until the pendulum swings again.
What I do have an issue with is Women only things. A friend of mine is a writer for a successful press in Wales called Honno who, I see from Bookbrunch today are celebrating their 25th Anniversary. They were set up by a group of women to promote writing by Welsh women although I have to tell you that my friend is not, to the best of my knowledge actually Welsh! Good luck to them of course, it’s their business but it seems contrary to current legislation to restrict opportunities to just half the population. I’m sure there must be loads of really good Welsh men writers looking for a break.
So, the Honno case is no big deal really but what about The Orange Prize for Fiction? This is the most valuable book prize in the UK and is restricted to women writers only. And how about Virago, the mainstream women only publishers?
I rather thought we had gone past this sort of sex discrimination but all that seems to have happened is that the discrimination has become anti-male. I readily admit that in the past it was more difficult for women to break through but I don’t see that sex exclusivity is the right way to go about creating true equality.
So come on Orange, Virago, Honno and the rest of you. Move into the 21st Century and let’s all have a fair crack of the whip. Two wrongs you know, have never made a right.