The books world is sexist – and a one day promotion isn’t enough to fix it

For International Women’s Day, Waterstones has given over its website front page to female authors. This is welcome, but it’s far from enough

Women are used to living off scraps that fall from the table. Whether we’re being patronised by politicians touting for our votes, or being told by advertisers we’re “worth” a £3 bottle of shampoo, we have learned to take any crumb of grudging appreciation. And we even have a day each year – 8 March, International Women’s Day – to feel special.

In this context, the decision by bookseller Waterstones to banish the boys and give over the entire front page of its website to “celebrate” women’s writing on International Women’s Day seems par for the course. But while it may be good PR, it isn’t enough in a market that would collapse without women, whether readers, writers or publishers.

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