What was once considered a taboo for women writers, they are now dabbling into difficult themes like rape, abuse, and violence against women, both in the fiction and non-fiction genre. Literature has had a strong history of punishing women for their transgressions like Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Madame Bovary and more, however, no more, since there are books that are coming out in the mainstream like Harriet Tyce’s crime debut Blood Orange and Candice Carty-Williams’s Queenie. Back home, books like ‘Mussanjeya Katha Prasanga’by P Lankesh is now being turned into a film by his director daughter with the title ‘Avva’.
The #MeToo movement has been quite enabling for women
“I do still pinch myself that an overtly feminist crime novel has been given mainstream publishing attention and backing,” said book author Tyce. She is not wrong as there is a lot market for the stories of women and their struggles, along with grey female protagonists. Also, crimes against women were always regarded as something that took place behind closed doors, in secret; no one spoke about it, but now it’s regarded as a public crime, just like murder and theft. There are no doubts that the #MeToo has brought many issues to light and if sexual abuse and rape could take place in an elite Hollywood community, no place or person however powerful is exempt. Sarah Davis-Goff of Tramp Press which is an independent publisher stated, “I do think that the #MeToo movement has been quite enabling for women in that it’s confirmed our worst suspicions.” Readers find that they are not alone who are struggling as there are more novelists coming out with stories that dig into their personal experiences whether in fiction or non-fiction.
People are looking for real stories of women, not just romance
It is amazing to see that the readers of today have a great appetite to see the world from a different and new perspective. Moreover, there are people looking for real stories of women’s experiences, not just romance. Throughout history, women have long been put into boxes, Sarah B. Pomeroy ‘s 1975 book ‘Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves’ educated readers about the archetypes of women and how today’s opinions of women date back to the Roman Empire. Another book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which was released in 2017 is a great long-form letter that is a great start for anyone looking to begin with feminist writing. One of the best aspects of the book is that it is very inclusive to men and fathers with the idea that men too can be nurturing and how can fathers raise their sons to be good men.
Hence, there needs to be an education and awareness about women’s stories and struggles among men and women to gain a fresh perspective. Read before you speak.
Image credit: Bustle