Ridding the World of Girl Cooties #BalanceTheBooks

I have said many times that the only way to put an end to the under-appreciation of female writers is to start in school. If children are brought up to believe that only male writers are important, and in particular that boys do not need to read books by women, they will take those attitudes into adulthood where they are much harder to shake off.

My friends at For Books Sake have been taking a look at gender representation in English Literature examinations in the UK. They found to their horror that the syllabus is becoming more male dominated (and more white) rather than less. As the politicians are fond of saying, something must be done.

To read more about the issue, go here. And for information about how you can help the #BalanceTheBooks go here.

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1 Response to Ridding the World of Girl Cooties #BalanceTheBooks

  1. Erica Wagner says:

    Wow, that’s pretty sad. I live in the States, and we did not read a single novel by a woman author in my honors English lit series in high school (I think that’s the same as what’s called secondary school in the UK–students are typically 15-18). There may have been a couple of poems and short stories by women, but that was it. We were reading “classic literature,” we were told, and women just didn’t write much fiction before the later part of the 20th century. And when women did write, it was about “domestic matters,” rather than great overarching human concerns.

    Which was hooey, of course.

    I’ve heard from younger friends that things are better in more recent years, but it’s still not balanced. Sad that things are getting even worse over on your side of the Atlantic. I have no doubt that this does send a negative message to kids about the importance of women’s’ perspectives in fiction. There’s a similar under representation of books by people who are not European or North American, and books by people of color who live in Europe and North America.

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