This is what a bookshop looks like with no male authors


Today marks International Women's Day, a time for the celebration of women around the world and reflection on how far we need to progress in order to achieve true gender equality.

In addition to the marches, lectures and discussions surrounding the annual event, a protest is also taking place.

The 'Day Without Women' protest, aims to raise awareness around issues such as inequality, the gender pay gap and reproductive rights.

To mark this most important of days, Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio have decided to hammer home the inequalities that women have faced (and continue to face) in publishing.

Staff in the bookshop have re-shelved every book, novel and story in the place to reveal the utter lack of published women authors.

Each and every book written by a man has been rotated so the spines faced inwards, creating a sea of white and yellowing paper.

At small intervals you can make out one or two books by women, but the overall image is remarkable.

Take a look for yourself:

So much white:

Very little representation:

You can see the full scale thanks to this handy video:

The truth is, women are still struggling to break into the world of publishing; a point that was painfully illuminated earlier this year by author Catherine Nichols, who revealed she'd been conducting a gender based experiment.

In an article for Jezabel, Nichols explained that she had exposed 'unconscious bias' when it came to the publishing world.

She submitted a query letter (an email of introduction along with a chapter or two of a new book) to multiple agents under her own name and the male name George.

I sent the six queries I had planned to send that day. Within 24 hours George [her male persona] had five responses—three manuscript requests and two warm rejections praising his exciting project.

For contrast, under my own name, the same letter and pages sent 50 times had netted me a total of two manuscript requests.

She ended up sending out a total of 50 queries under her male pseudonym and got 17 requests from agents – both men and women – asking for her full manuscript.

She commented:

He is eight and a half times better than me at writing the same book.

Fully a third of the agents who saw his query wanted to see more, where my numbers never did shift from one in 25.

H/t A.V Club

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