“Women are still a closed book to men”

I found this article interesting, although not surprising. Any guesses at the reasons why men don’t read novels by females?

But a gender gap remains in what people choose to read, at least among the cultural elite. Four out of five men said the last novel they read was by a man, whereas women were almost as likely to have read a book by a male author as a female. When asked what novel by a woman they had read most recently, a majority of men found it hard to recall or could not answer. Women, however, often gave several titles. The report said: ‘Men who read fiction tend to read fiction by men, while women read fiction by both women and men.

Out of the recent eighteen or so books I have mentioned here on my site (not even including audiobooks), only three have been by women, and two of the books were by the same woman, Margaret Atwood.

One comment

  1. The short answer I would give to your question: sexism. A little bit longer answer: It’s not necessarily that men think women are less likely to be capable writers, though I’m sure there’s a component of that. But there’s also institutionalized sexism. I mean, what are the statistics on how many books that are published are by men versus by women? If there are fewer books by women to start with, that is probably due to ingrained, subtle forms of sexism. There’s also the fact that people think women writers are more likely to write stuff that is appealing to women, but don’t assume male writers are more suited to a male audience. Etc. etc. etc..