Lots of talk about equality all over the web right now so I thought I would look at in my field. Writing should be a gender neutral and colorless field of work. What a writer looks like should have nothing to do with how their work is perceived. When you look at the top ten books on the USA Today or the NY Times best seller lists you will see a lot of female names. A good thing right? Well I guess that depends. It seems when you look at lists of the so called most important books it changes dramatically. Of the top 100 novels only 15 were written by women (course what made me happy was how many Charles de LInt novels were on the list!)
Now the there are many more women writing and getting published under than own names and while there are many more books with female protagonists there is still a huge disparity. The strong female leads are mostly coming out of either YA novels or paranormal romance novels. It is like the publishers don’t think that women will read books with strong women in something other than a romantic setting. Is this true? As readers do you look at your books and notice how many of them have strong women in the lead? Do you read mysteries, romance, science fiction, fantasy or literary works?
As a writer I have done my best to write both male and female leads. To me it is important to have as diverse a character pool as possible. While I have not yet really delved into writing characters who are handicapped I have plans for that. As a writer of genre fiction I can mix and match race, color and sexual orientation as long as it fits my tale. By writing fantasy of course my characters tend to fall more naturally into the fantasy races. Elves, dwarves, dragons, etc are seen differently than humans of course.
This blog is a bit babbly, yes, but all of my blogs will be focusing a bit on this topic today. While we have a lot of commentary about racial differences I found that i wanted to comment on the disparity between the sexes. In a world where large swaths of it have more men than women we still have so many more male based stories that it seems bothersome. When you go to google and put in breakdown by sex around the world and see that the US, Canada, Mexico, most of south American, most of Europe, Australia and Russia has more women than men, you would think there would be more stories by women about women in more genres but we have just not gotten there yet.