If you’re on Twitter, you heard about this trend today. It started as a way to reveal sexism in the writing industry and quickly developed into a firestorm. Need an example? People were in an uproar over this story of two female scientists being told to include a male’s name on their work. As if two women’s names aren’t good enough.

As a biology student, I was warned about this kind of behavior in the workforce – the science field in particular. I was told by a scientist that many of her peers were forced to use sex as a way to move up the career ladder because there was no hope otherwise. If you were a prude, well, the hell with you. Plenty of men who will do an adequate job in the field – with the benefit of the community taking them more seriously.

But I’ve only just realized in the last 6 months how much sexism exists in the writing community.

In my own experience, some pig private messaged me on Twitter calling me sexy, beautiful, commending me on writing a book… He asked if I needed help publishing my first novel. He winked. The implication was very clear. This guy probably hasn’t sold 100 books in his career; why would I even want his help? Why do so many men think they’re more special than ladies? Women are not damsels.

I’m in construction sales. I could go on and on about sexism. I experience it almost on a daily basis. To save everyone the pain of what I’ve already explained in past posts, I’ll just go over some of my favorite tweets from the hashtag:

“You write books? Ah, bless. I wish I had the time to do that. @TerriNixon

“‘I’m so glad I didn’t know you were a woman. I never would have picked up your book.’ @veschwab

@jonesing4words “‘Have you considered using a pseudonym so people don’t know you’re a woman?’ Because it’s 1842 & I’m a Bronte.

@jenny_trout “‘So, is it a real book or is it like, a Harlequin?'”

@joannechocolat Premiere of CHOCOLAT. Famous (male) author pushes past me without a glance to congratulate my (male) publisher.

I encourage you to check out the hashtag for yourself. It’s disturbing. There is apparently a trend of literary reviews being written mostly by men, featuring more male authors than female ones. Women are being shut out of the industry by being excluded. This isn’t accidental. There are a lot of people out there who despise women, especially successful ones or ones who could become successful. They’re threatening – if not as competition, then to the male ego.

What are your thoughts about sexism in the industry, and in the workforce in general?




2 thoughts on “#ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear

  1. Gasp.

    I think it’s a reflection of who these men really are in person–they don’t respect their own mother, or any female figure who has the same blood as theirs–and such men just happen to congregate: birds with the same feathers flock together, as always. So, if an industry is populated with similar-minded men, women who enter it will find themselves in a toxic environment. And that’s pretty scary.

    In my last job, I was the only woman. It was a “Christian” organization, so I expected that Christian men know how to respect women. But I was wrong. Deep-seated personal beliefs about women will always show, regardless of one’s religion. Most of the time, I think the culprit is religion, especially those religions who teach that women are “the weaker vessel.” I don’t believe the Great Creator designed a malfunctioning female brain and so men have the monopoly over “who’s right.”

    I managed to survive because I grew up playing with boys. I learned to see men the way I see women. They’re just my fellow human beings. We’re just like our hands, the left and the right.

    In my childhood, my playmates never thought of me as a girl, but just another playmate; and I never thought of them as “boys” who are “different” from girls. We just played together–and I played their games without even thinking they were “superior” to me, or that I was “superior” because I could occasionally beat them. We just enjoyed playing together.

    I think childhood always plays a great part in programming beliefs into a person. A twisted belief of a grownup (“mature”) man is like a huge, leaning tree with a rotten trunk. It did not grow like that overnight.


    1. I agree. Something happens to make these men the way they are. They congregate together because they’re like-minded and that gives them power over the women in their presences. I’m sorry that that happened to you in a Christian organization – of all places! Chauvinism really knows no limits. I wonder at what point in childhood these attitudes really start to solidify.


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