Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Women writing

The thinking around women writers has always intrigued me, possibly because I am one (rather obvious, I know). Yet, there are questions raised in respect to the females of the author species that are rarely raised in respect to the males. Jezebel is debating a twitter post by Susan Orlean in respect to female literary non-fiction authors. It did make me think about my female colleagues. Female academics are in a similar situation, surely? Yet our output is rated alongside our male colleagues without discrimination. I know quite a few women who have started families while working on PhDs. I know quite a few men who have done the same. Is there a significant difference that leads to a further difference in output?

I did like Anna N.'s point at the end of the piece, though: "It would be nice for female writers to be able to shut themselves off from society from time to time, without guilt. And it would also be nice for everyone to embrace a variety of different processes for writing and for work in general, and not to privilege one single-minded and traditionally male-associated approach."

I think that single-minded approach is in its last gasps anyway. We're increasingly merging aspects of our lives - skipping from Facebook to the laundry to an article to a student consultation to a few rows of knitting.

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