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Updated: Nov 18, 2018

Sad woman

If you’re on Twitter, you heard about this trending hashtag today: #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear.

It started as a way to reveal sexism in the writing industry and quickly developed into a firestorm. Need an example? People were in an uproar over this story of two female scientists being told to include a male’s name on their work. As if two women’s names aren’t good enough.

As a biology student, I was warned about this kind of behavior in the workforce, especially in the science field. I was told by a female scientist that many of her peers were forced to use sex as a way to move up the career ladder because there was no hope otherwise. If you were a prude, well, the hell with you. Plenty of men who will do an adequate job in the field – with the benefit of the community taking them more seriously.

But I’ve only just realized in the last 6 months how much sexism exists in the writing community.

In my own experience, some pig private messaged me on Twitter calling me sexy, beautiful, commending me on writing a book… He asked if I needed help publishing my first novel. He winked. The implication was very clear. This guy probably hasn’t sold 100 books in his career; why would I even want his help?

Women are not damsels in distress.

I’ll just go over some of my favorite tweets from the hashtag:

“You write books? Ah, bless. I wish I had the time to do that. #IworkFullTimeYouTurd #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear@TerriNixon

“‘I’m so glad I didn’t know you were a woman. I never would have picked up your book.’ #thingsonlywomenwritershear@veschwab

@jonesing4words “‘Have you considered using a pseudonym so people don’t know you’re a woman?’ Because it’s 1842 & I’m a Bronte. #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear

@jenny_trout “‘So, is it a real book or is it like, a Harlequin?’” #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear

@joannechocolat Premiere of CHOCOLAT. Famous (male) author pushes past me without a glance to congratulate my (male) publisher. #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear

I encourage you to check out the hashtag for yourself. It’s disturbing.

There is apparently also a trend of literary reviews being written mostly by men, featuring more male authors than female ones. Women are being shut out of the industry by being excluded.

This isn’t accidental. There are a lot of people out there who despise women, especially successful ones or ones who could even become successful. They’re threatening – if not as competition, then to the male ego.

What are your thoughts about sexism in the publishing industry and in the workplace

in general?

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