Did you know that #readingwomen2014 was a thing on Twitter? I did not know it until a short time ago, but with the end of the year coming up, I don’t think we should stop reading women.
Why should we make an effort to read more women writers? If you were not aware, there is a lot of unconscious bias embedded in our culture that favors white, male writers (white males of all kind, in fact), often despite our best intentions. White men are more frequently published, reviewed and given awards. To overcome this unconscious but inherent bias, we have to consciously and purposely seek out books by women and people of color to read.
I hold myself up as an example. I actively read women writers often and count women among my favorite authors. Yet, when I pull up the stats on my LibraryThing record of books read, it is a depressing 63% male and 36% female (the remaining 1% is other or unknown). Certainly, I was an English lit major in college, which has skewed my reading toward white men from the start. But I have been trying to make up for that — apparently, not trying hard enough.
In 2014, I tried an annual theme read for the first time, but without a whole lot of commitment. I revisited the mystery genre, which I used to love as a child but have neglected as an adult reader. I read several classic and new mysteries, which I’ll discuss in a future blog post. Still, this was just for fun and probably didn’t even comprise the bulk of my reading.
In 2015, I’m committing to reading mostly books by women. I intend to read new fiction and classics, heavily skewed toward speculative fiction, which is my favorite genre. I also want to throw in some nonfiction and find out what women have to say about feminism, climate change and other topics close to my heart.
So, yes, I will be #readingwomen2015. I invite you to join me. Check here for recommendations.