Literary Achievements, Appreciation & Gender!
A young writer has recently been mentioning about the hidden presence of patriarchy in the world of literature. According to the author, some male writers are of the opinion that they have not read good pieces written by female authors, or do not know any talented female author. The young man also stated that the Social Media, too, did not promote excellent pieces written by female writers. One of his friends asked him not to blame the Social Media alone, insisting that the Print Media were also reluctant to highlight the success of female authors. The writer admitted that female authors were like Ghosts… they exist, keep writing, but not everyone can feel their existence! The Ghosts, possibly, do not possess the idea as to why human beings cannot see them. Meanwhile, the young author added: “They (the female authors) are not invisible, but they are just like nuclear particles. They possess infinite energy, like an atom!”
Nearly three decades ago, an author was heard saying that female authors used to score goals in an empty ground! What he meant to say by it was that their ground was different! He had also said: “Women belong to a special community. Whatever they write will be published.” Perhaps, this sort of mentality comes from ignorance, jealousy or inferiority complex. A couple of months ago, a senior writer praised a young female author, saying: “You are a talented writer among women.”
There is a clear division between Writers and Women, who write! This mentality or idea is present in writers, critics, researchers and also in members of literary institutions, who make the Rules of the Game! Censorship of Silence is there in women’s writings all over the world. During interviews, 99% of people do not mention the names of female authors and their creations. Even researchers hardly mention the names of writers who are women, while compiling lists of poets and authors of the decade. While presenting an award to a young female author in eastern Indian Province of West Bengal a couple of years ago, a senior writer was heard saying: “I am yet to read her books. Definitely, she writes well. So, she can continue writing.” In the first decade of the 21st Century, a well-known veteran writer in Bengali said to a young female author: “Your latest publication is great.” When the writer asked him whether he read her book, he replied: “No. My wife told me so. She is a voracious reader.”
We are going through different and difficult times. The Social Media constantly give birth to writers, whose prose and poetry get appreciated endlessly. However, the majority of them do not read any printed literature of the past and present. They only send their writings to the e-mail, WhatsApp and Facebook accounts of others! Although they seek opinions about their unpublished works, they themselves, at times, hesitate to press the Like buttons in case other’s writings.
Is the problem not the same for those, who write well, but are not attached to any such organisation or Media House, and want to continue doing so on their own terms? It would be better, if one could boldly and confidently say: “Yes.” However, it is not the case! It is different for authors, belonging to different genders, even in the 21st Century. Discrimination still exists in our society. Almost 95% female authors find time to write after performing their duties at offices and households. They also have to take care of their children and to attend social ceremonies. Finally, the tired body of a woman starts writing! Still, they want to write, love to write and create quality literature!
Trading on a different field has done no harm to the female authors, although it is somehow different. Many of them have received prestigious awards for their creations. Even after that, jealousy and inferiority complex of their male counterparts, it may be said, are creating troubles for them! Hence, women – opposing the existing Power Structure – are not termed visionary reformers or agents of change…
Today’s world has changed a lot. That is why the young male author has compared his female counterparts with an atom! Many of their works have been translated. Ursula K Le Guin, Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie, Mary Welsh Hemingway (an American journalist and author who was the fourth wife and widow of Ernest Hemingway), Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Atwood, J K Rowling, Mary Shelley, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Wisława Szymborska and many others have successfully secured their places in the History of Literature, as there is no dividing line as far as quality articles are concerned!
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