Female writers have never had it easy. For one, unlike their male counterparts, they are not called writers. They are always ‘female writers’ or ‘women writers’. As if the ability to write, and the tag of a writer must solely fall in the men’s department. Recently, the conversation around how patriarchy has seeped into every nook and corner of our lives, and how it seeks to take away credit from women for their achievements, or overrule them when they talk / write / or try to make themselves heard in anyway.
But the task is uphill largely because the Feminist movement has been hijacked by Meninists. More often than not, every attempt to highlight, and or showcase a misogynistic, sexist or patriarchal attempt is generally drowned out by men who deny the very existence of any problem.
Coming back to writers in general and female writers in particular, the narrative is still caught up in stereotypes and gender-based boxes. Discussing how female writers are subjected to blatant sexism and misogyny at the hands of editors, publicists, media and everyday conversations with people, some people on Twitter started the hashtag, #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear. And boy is it beautiful. Not.
Started by Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat), the writer of Chocolat, Runemarks, Blackberry Wine et al, the hashtag is the stuff of nightmares for meninists.
Take a look:
“Your husband’s incredible for letting you write.”
And he lets me wear pants & drive the car too! I’m so lucky!#ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear
— Beth Hallman (@bethhallman101) April 17, 2017
From a quite famous (male) presenter: “You can’t come in here. I’m about to interview an author.” #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear
— Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) April 17, 2017
#ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear How will your husband cope if you become really successful?
— Helen Emmett-Newman (@emmett_helen) April 17, 2017
“I thought you would write children’s books since you have children.” Literally never heard this said to a man #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear
— Molly Harper (@mollyharperauth) April 18, 2017
Colleague: So you work part-time. How’s the baby?
Me: Non-existent. I work part-time here so I can write. #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear
— Charlotte Wightwick (@cwightwick) April 17, 2017
“Women don’t write epic fantasy.” #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear
— T. Frohock (@T_Frohock) April 17, 2017
A lot of men don’t want to read a book with a female protagonist. Did you think about making her male? #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear
— J (@voiceofJ) April 17, 2017
#ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear “Woman” Writer
— pat tracy (@pattracy2) April 17, 2017
“You plagiarized this from [male author] despite the chronological impossibility.”#ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear
— Victoria Aveyard