I never thought this can be a point of discussion until now. Few days back I read Virginia Woolf’s “A room of one’s own”. In this book she primarily focuses on the idea of women having a room of their own so that they can have freedom and luxury to write. I quote here- All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point. A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.
This book “A room of one’s own’ was first published in 1929 and even now decades later the issue persists. Can we put this on men and say they are bias toward women? No, if you see, a large fraction of readers consist of women.
When I did little research on this issue, I came across data which was based on Survey conducted by VIDA in 2010. An article published in “The Guardian” states this fact very clearly that there is a big gap between female authors and male authors being published. Is it because a large number of publications reject female writers work or men outnumber women just by the fact that fewer women try their hand in writing?
Let me break it down for you-
VIDA: Women in Literary Arts support women and their contribution to literature. VIDA conduct surveys every year to see how women are doing in literature and how much attention is being given to them by various publications.
According to survey conducted in 2016, there was some improvement from the year 2010.
a) There were 29 Women as compared to 49 men who got published in GRANTA (a magazine and publisher based in UK) in 2010 which went high in 2015 with 33 women as compared to 35 men.
b) For poetry the number increased from 165/246 in 2010 to 185/188 in 2015.
c) When it comes to how many female critics got their voice heard the numbers are really bad.
Male pseudonyms were very common in 18th and 19th century. They were female writer’s card to the world of literature. They were proof that the author of this book is real genius and means business. Can women write? Yes, they can; in fact they are brilliant in what they do. Mary Ann Evans is an example of this who you know from her pen name “George Elliot”. Yet even today name matters, why?
If you think these are only theories than you should read this . A tell all story by renowned author Catherine Nichols where she submits a manuscript under a male pseudonym. She received eight times the number of responses she had received under her own name.
Surveys like “Are women better writer than men?” demean the whole idea of being a writer in first place. The question should be how we can promote diversity in literature? There must be writers out there who don’t want to be methodical but different. The difference is because of the prevailing idea in our society that men are intellectually more superior to women. It’s like getting surprised and showering praise for a man who comes in support of women rights. Ignoring all the efforts millions of women are making every day for their own rights. I bet you, if a male writer wants to publish on a sensitive subject such as feminism, there will be a queue of publisher standing right outside his door.
Is there any solution to this? Will there ever be? How long will it take our society to understand that we all are human beings irrespective of our gender, status or race? Our minds are unique. Each one of us has a right to have a say in different matters irrespective of who we are.
We have come a long way where women no longer have to hide behind a pseudonym. They can walk the walk and talk the talk as freely as men do. Female authors have published a wide genre of books which are getting the reception they deserve, “Wild- Cheryl Strayed”, “The lowland- Jhumpa Lahiri”, “The hunger games- Suzanne Collins” and “Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn” to name a few.
There are so many female authors I haven’t read myself. The conclusion I draw from these facts is – We should give female authored book a chance to inspire our lives.
How much do you think there is gender bias in literature and how it affects you as a reader?
Dublin has been a popular tourist attraction for many years. And rightly so. The city boasts some of the liveliest bars and fun-filled nights out in Europe, and thousands flock to the Irish capital every week. But do not be mistaken, although Dublin is a warm and hospitable city that loves nothing better to sing songs with new friends, it also has a rich history of art and culture that makes it one of the most influential cities in the world.
In fact, Dublin is a Unesco City of Literature and boasts four Nobel Prize winners in this field. It is this stunning blend of entertainment, history, and culture that makes Dublin a must-see city. If you are planning a mini-break to Dublin, here are a few highlights of the city’s cultural heritage that you should look out for:
Just a few meters away from the bustling Temple Bar area of town you will find ‘Icon Walk’, a self-walk tour where local artists have created a gallery of important Irish figures in an attempt to introduce you to this city’s unique and enthralling identity.
This is a must for all visitors who want to understand how this beautiful city has developed despite many troubled years. Dublin Writers Museum – Housed in a beautifully restored Georgian mansion on Parnell Square, the Writers Museum is a fitting tribute to the literary giants that have come from Ireland.
Not only does this museum celebrate Dublin’s four Nobel Prize winners (Yeats, Shaw, Beckett, and Heaney), but it also looks at other literary celebrities from over the past three hundred years. You will find enchanting books, letters, portraits, and personal items from these writers as you take a look at their contribution to Irish literature.
This guided tour of Dublin is conducted by local actors who teach you the history of some of Ireland’s greatest literary artists as well as perform exerts from their best-known works. So popular is this tour, the Sunday Times has ranked it 4th in the World’s 50 Best Walks. Starting in an upstairs room in the Duke Pub off Grafton Street, the pub crawl takes you through historically important locations throughout the city.
The pubs that you stop at for a drink are not randomly chosen, they all have a part to play in the story that is told by the engaging and witty tour guides. Trinity College and the Book of Kells – Trinity College is a must-see while you are in Dublin.
Founded by Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1592 to educate the Protestant Anglo-Irish Ascendancy, the college is now enjoyed by students from around the world and is one of the geographical and social hubs of the city. The university sits on College Green which is an island of magnificent buildings, open squares and green spaces, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city and its sea of traffic.
The Book of Kells is a historically important text; the lavishly decorated book contains ornate text of the four Gospels written in Latin, and attracts 500,000 visitors a year. Dublin has always been a special city as millions of visitors will agree.
Come for the great music, the lively pubs, and sparkling banter with the locals; but also come for the architectural elegance, wonderful museums, and the chance to walk in the footsteps of some of the greatest men and women to grace the world scene.
That moment when a person’s eyes brighten, a grin spreads across their face as they excitedly begin to describe something. They incorporate hand motions and a passionate tone that draws you into their words no matter what they are about.
That moment, if you’re lucky enough to catch it, can teach you everything you need to know about a person. The words they share reveal what they live for, what they enjoy, and what type of person they ultimately aim to be. Seeing that moment in others, watching them discuss their true passions, is inspiring, but realizing your own moment, discovering yourself – life changing.
Since Kindergarten where I learned how to write and began reading short stories, I have avidly read every book I can get my hands on. By first grade, I was reading lengthy chapter books, far surpassing my expected reading level.
Every story fascinated me and as I got older, I began to become intrigued by the immeasurable amount of plots and writing styles that created the books I cherished most. Reading quickly became my favorite pastime. I excelled in all of my English classes and passionately discussed books and authors with anyone who shared my interests.
My moment, was not necessarily one moment, but rather a collection of moments that led to my realization. Building a connection with characters in a novel allows you a unique perspective on life.
Through these characters I have experienced remarkable journeys and in turn learned more about myself and how I view the world. I strongly believe that the main reason I read so enthusiastically is because when I am absorbed in a book, I am able to completely forget about my own life. Reading allows me the unique opportunity to distract myself from any outside stresses or worries, while simultaneously discovering myself and my perspectives on issues I may not have the chance to actually experience on my own.
The idea that an author can skillfully craft a story describing feelings I cannot even put into words amazes and inspires me every time i crack open the pages of something new. If I am not working, you will find me reading. Whether it is something new, or a story I’ve read multiple times, I always take something away from the experience that allows me to be more knowledgeable about the world around me, and about myself.
Reading is a form of self discovery. Through another’s story, you are able to learn more about yourself and realize opinions and ideals you hold that you would not have otherwise. To those who say they don’t enjoy reading, I simply believe that they have yet to read a book that’s worth reading.