Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Laura Miller: Gender Gap in Literature Continues

One more posting following up on themes from the past: back in October 2009, I noted that when Mr. Obama went on vacation in the summer of 2009 and published his vacation reading list, it struck me that every author on the list was male.  And since I happen to think that the world might be a more humane place if leaders of various societies and institutions did more to incorporate the viewpoint of women into their governing perspectives, when Huffington Post then invited its readers to submit suggestions for other works the president might bring along with him, I suggested a number of important literary works by women.

I blogged about this matter again later in October 2009, here.

And because I have not changed my mind since then, I am not surprised, but still saddened, to read Laura Miller's essay at Salon today reporting on a survey the group Vida did recently, which suggests that the gender gap in what publishers publish and in what men and women read remains as strong as ever.  And that men continue to regard literary works written by women as less significant than those written by men--so that men continue stubbornly to overlook and not to read many significant literary works authored by women.

And I continue to propose in my naive, wild-eyed and probably quite ineffectual way that the world might well be a better place if we could redress this imbalance.  And if people like Barack Obama or Tom Monaghan or Clarence Thomas or Timothy Dolan or Pope Benedict or John Boehner spent more time reading novels, poetry, and plays written by women over the centuries, and less time reading what I suspect they read on a daily basis.

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