They are lying. They are lying through their teeth. At events which have been set up deliberately to celebrate women - like the WOW festival at the Southbank - each available slot for a writer, artist, thinker, speaker, eperformer or any other female authority or creativity figure is triple- and even quadruple-booked with potential candidates willing to be involved, to suggest other women or to contribute in some way. Each woman has countless anecdotes about putting herself or other women forward at other events, simply to be ignored outright or lightly put down or to find her work sabotaged or limited in some way. For every anecdote that is told, most of the women in the audience nod in recognition. Everything you have heard about misogyny, about female misogyny, about the glass ceiling, about the rigged game, is true. The shocking thing is that many of the perpetrators are women.
This site was created as an antidote to the under-representation of women in culture such as at the New Yorker, or generally on the literary scene (click the links in this last article for even more hair-raising stats) and the prize circuit in all different genres. This is down to misogyny, the double standard and man-worshipping (women's particular perverse internal disease - thankyou, 3000 years of patriarchy!) and nothing more. I want to write about the countless works of women's genius, examples of activism and displays of energy that, every day, I literally or metaphorically pick out of the discards pile. But I and other women deserve more than that. I and we and they deserve to be paid for this cultural labour. I and they and we deserve proper credit in the establishment and the mainstream, in history and posterity. We deserve more. The perpetrators must be fought, challenged openly, made to squirm, defeated, overturned and replaced. We must remember that when they defend their crimes, they are lying. They cannot be permitted to get away with cultural femicide.