>The problem with feminism is that it makes women crazy. We seem to believe that our words and our stories matter, and that we are not only capable of telling stories, but that we can excel at it. Our voices and our story telling techniques may differ from what has traditionally been viewed as great literature, but we think that doesn't mean that they are not equally good.
Of course, these beliefs are silly, and Publishers Weekly took great pains to remind people that women's work is just not up to par with that of (white) men. Their list of the ten best books of 2009 includes ten dudes, nine of whom are white. Some people bristled at this. Kamy Wicoff at She Write - an online community of women writers that is free and you should join - wrote:
Try to imagine if they had come out with a list of the Best Books of 2009 and it had included ZERO MEN. Try to imagine if Amazon had released its Best Books of 2009 and it had included only TWO men. I know it's hard. But just try.
Wicoff asked the She Writes community to take action. To protest this ridiculous list, we should all buy a book published by a woman in 2009, take a photo of ourselves with it, and explain why we bought it.
Here I am with the 2009 paperback edition of American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. When the hardcover came out in 2008, it received glowing reviews. My friend Alex Elliot read it for her bookclub, and said that I would really like it. Sittenfeld and I are the same age, and I wish that I had an ounce of her talent.
I don't have pictures of myself with another two books that came out in 2009, but last night I attended a reading of A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein. I thought it was great. Deborah Copaken Cogan also read From Here to April, which came out in hardcover in 2008 and paperback this month. It was also excellent. Both works were funny and thought-provoking, as were their creators.
If you are also pissed about the Publishers Weekly list, join the She Writes community's protest. Once you post a picture of yourself on your blog holding a book you bought by a female writer that came out in 2009 (the deadline is Friday), send Kamy the link at firstname.lastname@example.org. She Writes will send these links to the entire community (5000+) on Saturday. While the emphasis is on women writers protesting, I think anyone who cares about sexism should feel free to participate.