The following links trace the gender bias discussions in Australia over the past couple of years. Articles appear in reverse chronological order so if you want to follow the development of the debate start at the bottom of the list. Statistics detailing the gender bias in the representation of women in literary magazines in 2011 can be found at the VIDA count 2011.
If you discover any of these links are broken or know of any more articles to add to the list, please leave a comment below.
Rizzetti, Janine. Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013. (9 February) Resident Judge blog: Discusses gender and writing/reading Australian histories.
Elphick, Nicole. ‘The Bell Jar’s Sexist Make-over. (February 4) Daily Life blog: on the 50th anniversary edition of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.
Kennedy, Rob. Guys Read Gals. (February 2013) New blog to raise awareness about gender bias issues and encourage men to read books by women (initially, mostly Australian).
Edwards, Kasey. ‘Pretend to be a man.’ (15 January) Discusses the advice given to an aspiring author by an agent.
Moss, Tara. Our Beautiful Meritocracy. (18 November 2012): quotes a damning study on gender bias.
Tuffield, Aviva. How to Inspire Men to Read Books by Women. ( 7 November 2012)
Wessely, Tehani Croft. A Look at the Aurealis Awards (11 April 2012): a look at gender statistics for Australian SciFi, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction and Horror writing.
McNeill, Dougal. You don’t read women authors, do you? Overland Journal (21 March 2012)
Tranter, Kirsten. Why Women Writers Get a Smaller Slice of Pie. The Wheeler Centre: Books, writing ideas blog. (8 March 2012)
Brady, M.D. Gender and Writing. (8 March 2012)
Whitfield, Sophia. Gender bias in the Australian literary pages #AWW2012 (3 March 2012)
Tierney, James. The Stories We’re Told. (3 March 2012)
Hogan, Ron. More Thoughts on Gender Bias and Book reviews. (31 January 2012)
Sullivan, Jane. “A Woman’s Place: Sexism in Literature.” (13 January 2012)
Myer, Angela. Literary Minded blog: Guest Post: Jack Heath spent a year reading books by women. (2 Dec 2011)
Lhuede, Elizabeth. “Because I was invited; Or why looking for a kangaroo isn’t going to cut it for Australian Women’s Writing.” Rationale Behind Australian Women Writers 2012 Challenge, guest blog at Sisters in Crime. (8 Dec 2011)
Kakmi, Dmitri. Ladies Who Write. “The Australian Women Writers 2012 Book Reading and Reviewing Challenge is on and you are invited to take part — especially if you’re a man.” [Emphasis added] (15 Dec 2011)
Adventures of a Bookonaut. “A Response to Dmetri Kakmi.” (20 Dec 2011)
Readings revised list of Top 10 best crime fiction for 2011, created by 2011 Scarlet Stiletto Award winner Angela Savage, which featured 7/10 Australian women crime writers.
Readings’ Bookstores list of “The Best Crime Fiction of 2011” which 9/10 books by men.
- When analysed, Readings’ track record of reviews in 2011 of crime fiction on their “Dead Write” page was 16/72 books by women (another appeared in the New Fiction page). Only 2 of these 72 books were written by Australian women writers. The Dead Write page was compiled by Fiona Hardy. Surprisingly, another of the compilers of the final list was Stella Prize committee member Jo Case, author of the “Sausagefest problem” article that appeared earlier in the year. The number of Australian women crime authors who published this year was at least 19, as shown in this list.
Blacklock, Diane. The Chick Lit debate continues. (10 October, 2011)
Cunningham, Sophie. “The kind of privileged whining that annoys the crap out of me.” Stella Prize panellist comments on the aftermath of Tara Moss’s blog. (21 Oct, 2011)
Moss, Tara. Are Our Sisters in Crime (still) fighting against a male-dominated literary world? (11 Oct, 2011)
Flint, Nicole. Do Australian women need a literary leg-up? (22 September, 2011)
- “Women today could do much by following [Dame Enid Lyon's] example and living by her words, justifying themselves not as women, but as citizens, capable of engaging in the field of literary endeavour not as a ‘…special class of underachievers” but as equals’.”
Gupta, Vani. When Genres Attack 2: Attack of the 50ft Heroine. When Genres Attack. (23 July 2011)
- Account of an event chaired by Mark Harding of Shearers’ bookshop with authors Kirsten Tranter, PM Newton, Mardi McConnochie and Georgia Blain. Panellists advocated “a more textured, layered approach to the portrayal of women in fiction”.
Mayer, Peta. Women’s writing and the literary Prize. (16 June, 2011) Academic article on the discursive formation of “Anita Brookner” as a “women’s writer”, giving a context for Brookner’s rejection of special prizes for women’s writing.
Sanders, Zora. New Australian Fiction Prize for Women. Zora Sanders and Sophie Cunningham discuss the importance of genre bias when considering gender bias.
Meyer, Angela. Let’s Read writing by women. Literary Minded, Crikey blog (May, 2011).
- Meyer comments on the previous post and contemplates a writing project for 2012 where she reads 20 books by women.
T. Sue. Whispering Gums blog: Monday Musing on Australian Literature: Where are our women writers? (30 May, 2011)
- Mentions a few classics as well as the current debate.
Cunningham, Sophie. 4 May, 2011 Australian “Orange Prize” to promote Women Writers’ Status.
Case, Jo. Who Likes Short Shortlists. (On the Sausagefest problem.) Kill Your Darlings. (April 2011)
Croggan, Alison. Is it a Man’s World, literally? (20 April, 2011)
Tranter, Kirsten. Why are women missing from the literary pages? Wheeler Centre Blog (March, 2011)
Roil, Amy. A snippet of Girl Power on International Women’s Day. (From Bookwitch blog, 8 Mar, 2011)
McNeill, Dougal. You don’t read women authors, do you? (Overland blog, 21 March 2012)
Case, Jo. Women in Print: An International Women’s Day Discussion. Kill Your Darling‘s editorial, Killings. (March, 2011)
Who’s Writing Literary Reviews? ABC Podcast (22 Feb, 2011)