Literature is dominated by white men. Most of the books you see in bookstores are written by white men. Also when it comes to the characters whose stories you follow, there is little diversity to be seen. Anyone who follows the mainstream book world would almost think that there is no one else in the world than the white, cis-het men we've seen enough of by now. The scarce, lost female characters in a book praised by the media does not make us much happier. The women who live in the pages of these well-known books are often portrayed according to the tiresome stereotype: unintelligent, conservative and completely dependent on the male heroes who the story revolves around anyway. And if a book is published about women (see where this is going yet?)... there is a good chance that those wisdoms from a female perspective were also written by men. I'm sick of it.
I want to read books for and by women that are about more than following hopeless romantics whose sole purpose in life is to meet their True Love. I don't want the algorithm to recommend cooking and housekeeping books to me because I stated somewhere on a site that I'm a woman. I want to read stories by Black and Muslim women that are not about oppression, racism or pain (publishers that only publish these kinds of stories of women of color: take notes). I want to see reading lists dominated by female authors, across all genres. The worlds needs our stories!
Some will read this piece with their eyes rolling. Some will think I'm an idealist. A dreamer. But I know I'm not the only one. I know there is a surplus of undiscovered potential and discouraged passion among (aspiring) female authors that I so desperately want to see. For those women I am there, I open my head and my heart completely. Together we can ensure that your story is told and that your book will soon be featured in impressive book collections.
- Pia Sophia