DE LITERATUUR IS NIET "MALE BY DEFAULT"
Yael Goldstein Love stelt in The Wall Street Journal een kwestie aan de kaak die te weinig wordt geadresseerd: het idee dat alleen mannen echte literatuur schrijven. Aanleiding is de afschaffing van de categorie ‘Women’s Fiction’ in het nieuwe webdesign van de literaire website Should ‘Women’s Fiction’ Have Its Own Category?’ vandaag centraal in LOVER’s Uitgelicht.
‘Now, in the protests of our readers, I believed I was seeing the real harm: if some subset of fiction is “women’s” then the rest is . . . not for women? This was the implicit message that at least some of our readers had received. The category had convinced them that literature is male by default. The message only seems to reinforce what we’ve already agreed we know. We know, for instance, that literature about erectile dysfunction and male masturbation is fiction for and about humans. No one would think to market Ernest Hemingway or Philip Roth as “men’s fiction.” We know that a Nobel laureate can say no female writer is his literary match and shock people but not confuse them. Imagine if a female writer said the equivalent, the profound confusion that would greet the remark, and you start to see what I mean by “default.”’ – Yael Goldstein Love