Hayden's Ferry Review


"So how do we strip away prejudice? First, we have to see prejudice."

How about that for a new year's resolution? We take a break from our holiday festivities to celebrate this article from writer (and recent HFR contributor) Julianna Baggott, in response to the recent Publisher's Weekly top 100 book list that named ZERO women in the top ten, and only twenty-nine in its entirety. "I could understand Publishers Weekly's phallocratic list if women were writing only a third of the books published or if women didn't float the industry as book buyers or if the list were an anomaly," she says.

If the PW list isn't upsetting enough, try out this information from the article:

Playwright Julia Jordan pointed me toward a recent study about perceptions of male and female playwrights that showed that plays with female protagonists were the most devalued in blind readings. "The exact same play that had a female protagonist was rated far higher when the readers thought it had a male author," Jordan said. "In fact, one of the questions on the blind survey was about the characters 'likability,'and the exact same female character, same lines, same pagination, when written by a man was exceeding likable, when written by a woman was deemed extremely unlikable.
Thanks to Julianna Baggott for this thoughtful article, and here's hoping for a better year for women writers in 2010.

Beth Staples