Just came across a very interesting article in The Independent. ‘Is feminism relevant to 21st century fiction?’
The article is an extended review of a new issue of Granta – The F Word, but contains a lot of points that really chime for female playwrights as well as fiction writers.
It seems like in fiction writing, women are more equal, though the issues of whether writers want to consider themselves as a ‘woman writer’ and all the potential mis-assumptions (or fear of them) that go hand-in-hand with this description are also as great a concern, as voiced by playwrights.
The article suggests that:
‘The 1970s dictum of “writing by women, about women, for women” is certainly a historical anachronism. Philosophical arguments about writing the body are unfashionable with critical theorists and the question of whether women write as gendered beings is dismissed for failing to appreciate the governing role of the imagination in the writing process. Yet questions, and imbalances, persist.’
This is still very much so in the theatre. It feels like female playwrights are a few years behind novelists in the equality stakes, and this is something we need to strive to address.
And there’s a great quote from Virginia Woolf’s A room of one’s own, in the article “It is fatal for anyone who writes to think of their sex.”