Best Books of the Year lists, Inventions, Politics: you name it, and though it's hard to admit, our efforts as women, our creativity and labor and gumption are rarely acknowledged publicly they way they should be. This year's Nobel Prizes, which included a nearly unimaginable number of awards to women, are the recent exception that makes us notice how blatantly bad the status quo is. I can't help but count numbers--when I read the Op-Ed pages, when I glance at the Table of Contents in The New Yorker or any of our magazines and book reviews, in the business and entrepreneurial world. I don't like counting numbers, mostly because it's depressing, and I had stopped several years ago, and then began again when I couldn't help but notice how few women were being published in the venues that create public knowledge and public opinion.
Most of the time we go about our daily life. Not noticing the exclusions. Quite frankly, it's easier not to notice, or to notice and not say anything, or even, to notice and not say anything and then come up with a round-about way of making things better in the future. Most of the time, a blatantly feminist argument doesn't seem to count for much, and is so easily dismissed. When we're alone, noticing something that just plain feels wrong, we tend to stay quiet about it. Or talk sotto voce about it with other women. Rarely do we speak out loudly and in a clear voice about the problems we see.
That's why I love what Kamy and SheWrites are doing with the Day of Action: THANK YOU for daring to take notice, and for being loud about it. So much changes when we have allies, when we speak out together. It matters here a great deal. It's about creating the possibilities of our own livelihood as writers, which more and more depends on being noticed as writing some kind of a Best Book. It's about improving the chances that we can write the kind of published work that grabs attention and makes waves and gains notice---the kind of work that makes a difference in our society. It's about making sure that writing by women doesn't get closeted in the pink ghetto, that women writers don't get swept under the carpet, and making sure that all the various genres that women write--and that women love to read--are allowed to matter, in public.
Author, The Daring Book for Girls and The Double-Daring Book for Girls