Do women need a special category in order to be published? Jessica Smith and I are having an interesting debate about this subject over on Gregory Betts' blog. She informs me me that men outnumber women 2:1. Not sure whether she means in publishing in general, in poetry, or in the avant garde world of poetry.
She also informs me that Toronto is an old boys club and that women in the literary scene there face sexual harrassment. If this is the case, I'm glad I don't live in Toronto, because anyone who tried to harrass me sexually would experience much ridicule, public humiliation and a law suit. I've met the occasional idiot in Toronto, and haven't had the chance to go to more than a handful of readings there, but on the surface, it looks like it has a thriving scene, full of both males and females working together in harmony. Is this all a charade? If so, why does no one come forward and deal with this openly? I mean no disrespect, but I hear rumour and innuendo and the so-called harrassment in Toronto is being used to substantiate the need for women's only presses and publications, something I find highly objectionable and patronizing to women, turning us into victims.
I'd love to hear from anyone in the literary scene who has opinions on this.
My own belief is that I don't want a special category in order to be published. I want my writing to be the basis for publication. Am I being naive? In Canada I see plenty of female poets published. Am I wrong? Is it not the case in the States? Are women not published down there?