I understand the necessity of addressing the issue of gender imbalance in the publishing industry–I understand that this is something that isn’t being talked about enough and needs to be talked about more, but part of me always wants to insist that the entire program that is feeding this dichotomy is where the real problem is. Positing the issue of statistical counts of biological Male vs. Female bodies in the publishing industry is excluding any outliers to this constructed binary, the opposition of Male to Female bodies inherently erasing any room for discussion of the gray area. That which lies between, or somewhere on a spectrum outside of this opposition, is completely eradicated.

Of course, statistical analysis of anything, where numbers reduce actualities and items must be rounded down or up because we as humans understand that .4 of a person doesn’t mean anything–this is a structural analysis that always seems to miss the forest for the trees. Even within the realm of women-bodied authored writing, there is (often) an insistent phallocentric pathos that leads the narrative, generally within the construct of heterosexual relationships (the penetrative function of the penis is ostensibly what we all actually mean when we use the term “patriarchy”). If we want this overwrought homogeneity of patriarchal rule to end we cannot simply count on the binary of female-bodied versus male-bodied authors divorced from their content to be the deciding factor that we focus on. This changes nothing. The function of phallocentrism immediately ignores any sort of feminist thought, immediately assuming the role of the prick as presence and the vagina as void/absence (though we must consider the fact that Kathy Acker is one of the few people I am aware of who was able to subvert the dominant paradigm while writing what is arguably phallocentric sex).

Word Spaces / 57 Comments
March 15th, 2012 / 4:07 am