Get Ready to Rage When You Read #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear

UGH. Just ugh

Ishani Nath

Joanne Harris, author of the sweet novel-turned-film Chocolat, is calling out the bitter reality of sexism in the literary world.

This topic has reared its hideous face before, for instance when journalist and author  told a crowd at Boston University that he couldn’t name a single female author who inspired him. Only this time, it began—as these things so often do now—on Twitter. A discussion about the sacrifices writers make quickly evolved into a debate over which gender has it tougher, prompting Harris to start a hashtag: .

And the women of Twitter did not hold back. In 140 characters or less, users from across the globe politely shared some of the outrageous comments they have gotten—everything from being told they write “great books for women” to being asked how their husbands feel about their work. Because, let’s be real, success isn’t success until a man says it is.

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

— Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat)

“Are you going to hide your first name with initials so people won’t know you’re a woman?”

— Shannon Hale (@haleshannon)

“Sounds like chick-lit.” – how everything I’ve ever written has been described to me at some point or another.

— Geraldine (@everywhereist)

“You know, you don’t write like a woman. I like it.”

— Victoria/V.E. Schwab (@veschwab)

: How did you manage to write a male character so well?

— Vivien Chase (@VivienChase)

“I bet you had fun researching THOSE scenes.” *Eyebrows*

— Jenny Trout (@Jenny_Trout)

“Don’t you worry about how that will reflect on your children?”

— Racheline Maltese (@racheline_m)

“We can’t put your degrees in your bio; it will intimidate your readers.”

— Diana Gabaldon (@Writer_DG)

Male supervisor told me that I wasn’t very clever & have only gotten this far because of charm. (That was before I got my doctorate.)

— Elizabeth Yuko (@elizabethics)

My first agent told me I’d have to choose between success and marriage. “Men don’t stay with successful women.”

— Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat)

Like, do we need to rename the writing industry the “Pen 15” club and call it a day? Let’s give this story a happily ever after and just be better everyone.

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