I had a boring post all prepared about how I wished I could have been at last week's Book Expo America, or BEA, conference but then I re-read it before scheduling it, and fell asleep.
When I woke up, I rubbed the imprints of the letters P, O, L, and K off my cheek and decided that instead of asking you all which conferences you've been or not been to (thereby ensuring a mass click-away from the blog and zero comments), I should instead tell you what stuck in my mind last week as I watched all the BEA news.
Okay, I didn't watch a lot of BEA news. But I did hear about Jennifer Weiner's keynote speech at the BEA Blogger mini conference. In fact, I read it (Here's the text of her speech) AND I watched it (here's the You Tube video.) By the way, Jennifer Weiner is married to a lawyer who represents the husband of a lovely woman in my former writer's group; I'd like to say the girl and I really good friends but in fact we never did get together as promised--but the intent was there--anyway this connection obviously makes me Jennifer's BFF. Jen, as I like to call her in our BFF moments (shopping, pedicures, you know--actually I don't do shopping and pedicures with my BFFs, but sitting on my ass and gabbing, with a drinky drink in hand does feature highly), gave a great keynote and made many points, but one in particular stuck out more than any other. She said things are stacked against women writers when they publish. "Things" can include reviews, fair coverage and promotion in comparison with men and other genres, and really anything you want "things" to be if you're feeling feisty.
I did not know this. It makes sense, since so much else is stacked against women, like fair pay and maternity leave and respect and the right to birth control and the right not to have forced vaginal probe ultrasounds in Virginia. You know, "things."
Look, I'm not trying to sit here and say "poor women," but a few weeks ago on my RWA women's fiction loop, members of the group were outraged that women's fiction as a genre should be slagged off as being lesser fiction. I'm outraged, too, but I'm not surprised, I guess. Still, Jennifer's comments were a surprise because she said she knew what to expect, and it still surprised her.
I didn't want this post to be one that gives you tons of evidence for or against the case, but rather a discussion. If you're a female writer, have you experienced "things" -- and what are they? Have you, in fact, expected certain "things" or not expected them?