Australian Women Writers 2014 Challenge

For those of you who don’t know me, sexism is one of those things that really drives me crazy. The concept that someone’s gender makes them worse than someone of the opposite gender is seriously straight-up fucking ridiculous. Now, there might be some more cussing in this piece. It’s something that really riles me up, so, if you’re sensitive, I’m sorry, but I’m an Australian – it’s how we communicate. I hadn’t thought about it until recently, when my wife pointed out that my bookshelf was rather devoid of female authors.

So I set out to make the end of 2013 and all of 2014 my Year of Reading Women. Now, that doesn’t mean that I won’t read men this year, just that I’m concentrating on reading as many women as possible. And I’ve already read a stack of novels (if you search my blog for the words ‘Year of Reading Women’ you’ll come across my reviews.)

I’m a feminist, which, according to some, means that you denigrate men at the extent of women.

It doesn’t.

What it means is that I’m not going to let sexism stand. If you think that female authors can’t write genre fiction, you’re desperately wrong. Let me point you toward Margaret Atwood, Ursula K Le Guin or Alexis Wright. And if you refuse (as some people do) I’ll tell you to go fuck yourself. You’re not worth our time.

And if you refuse to acknowledge that there’s a problem – you’re kidding yourself. How many female authors are on your bookshelf? And how many of those fall outside the ‘traditionally female’ genres like Romance or Crime? Have you heard of the Bechdel Test?

Anyway, drifting off-track. Australian Women Writers, 2014 Challenge. I plan on reading at the Franklin level (to read 10 books), although I’m prepared to fall short, or to push well beyond it. I’ll be posting the reviews here, and I’d love it if I could get one or two of you involved, or even if I could just get one person to pick up a novel, written by an Australian woman and enjoy it. I really hope you do.

Sorry again about the cussing.

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