#ReadWomen

A few months ago (from what I understand), a popular blogger in the Booklr Community, ladybookmad, came up with the idea to hold a challenge for the month of December called #ReadWomen. Anyone who wanted to participate would read only books authored by women for an entire month.

I didn’t hear about it when the idea first came out–I’m not sure how many people had committed to the challenge then. However, last week, #ReadWomen really gained traction when Publisher’s Weekly posted an interview with a male author dissing female YA authors for not being “morally complicated enough.” You can imagine how THAT went over in our community. Authors and readers hit Twitter and Tumblr together to show just how wrong that article was, and Booklrs brought #ReadWomen back to light.

Well, of COURSE, after reading that article we all wanted to join the challenge. Unfortunately, there were some who took it as a boycott against male authors. Why can’t we just read books because they are books? That isn’t the issue here. The fact is, male authors, especially white male authors get preferential treatment in publishing–and women and POC are not taken as seriously–as evidenced by the Publisher’s Weekly article. We aren’t doing this to boycott anyone, we just want to highlight female authors for a month.

I read 200+ books a year. Now I haven’t counted, but just glancing at the list, I would guess that a majority had been male authors.

My book selection is pretty random. I have a massive tbr, and so I am always reading a mix between current and old. I try to mix in some diversity, but sometimes it is really hard to do so.

Every month I create a list of books to read. Before the article came out, it was a solid mix. But when I heard about #ReadWomen I scrapped it.

Aside from two arcs I am already committed to, and a few long term books I have been reading for months, all of the books I am reading in December will be female authored.

I don’t hate male authors in general. Many are fantastic. But, we need more quality female reading. And we need publishers, media…and goddammit we need other male authors…to understand that female authors are not just writing shallow plots. And sure my tiny blog doesn’t get a ton of readership, but if I can influence one person to change the way they look at what they are reading, then I have succeeded in my mission.

That’s why I am going to #readwomen in December.

 

Update–after I wrote this, I did go back and count. Out of the 219 books I have read this year, 108 were written by women, so I am right at 50/50. Not as bad as I thought. Many were series–Harry Potter, Divergent, Hunger Games.

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