If I had more time, right now I would write an essay. I do not have time, so I am writing a post here, off the top of my head. Here we go.
today there will be an uproar over the fact that David Gilmour dropped this little beauty into an interview.
I’m not interested in teaching books by…
Go read this whole post, it’s great and it’s right (spoiler alert, the point is “don’t be over-distracted by assholes”) but seriously what the fuck is wrong with this guy - does he not realize that Willa Cather wrote rings around most of his precious straight-dude writers? And that she’s not some trump card, but just one example of many? I haven’t read Gilmour and it’s only because he’s not on my radar but seriously any guy whose take on writing by women is “well, there’s one good Virginia Woolf story” can safely be placed into the “dudes with uninteresting opinions” drawer, a drawer which one need never open again except to place more such dudes into it.
Back in 2006 I looked at my notebook where I keep track of the books I read and noticed that women seemed weirdly underrepresented and I said “whoa dude that is uncool, 1995 you is ashamed of 2006 you, man, do better please” so I gave men all of 2007 off. It changed my reading habits for the better and permanently, and the widening of my perspective - not just in literature but in general - was palpable and welcome. It’s not that you have to keep quotas or whatever, but really: you are a boring person if you don’t listen to half of the human race. Your thoughts can be of no further interest if that’s your point of departure.
You do have to be a pretty big asshole to decide, “I’m not interested in women writers,” and a positively gaping asshole to say it in public along with a bunch of other asinine garbage. But it’s turned into a nice teachable moment by Maureen Johnson.