Chasing down information on the (new) New Republic website, I was sidetracked by links to articles about the VIDA survey of women writers and their publication histories, links I want to reproduce below, because I found both pertinent follow-ups to what for women is a searing question: why do women writers continue to be underrepresented in major media? A year or so ago, after the first VIDA survey, there was also a good article in Slate, which, as I recall, asked the taboo question (of any underrepresented group): Aren't we as good?
Aren't we as good? nags. But both 2012 articles raise the question of why men aren't interested in reading writing by women, the way women are / have learned to read and respect men's writing. Boys at a prep school may not find Dickinson and Austen on their reading lists; girls routinely read Mark Twain. And so on. I jump on such articles, when I come across them, in the Times, for instance; my husband jumps them.
Once I told husband and son it would take them 3000 years to learn to do the dishes properly; now they are both far more persnicketty than I am, with their hot and cold water rinsing systems. So how come, a hundred years after A Room of Her Own, there's still a problem with the writing?
Aren't we as good?