We got an email today from a guy (let's just call him "Earl") that said, "Just a thought… Isn’t that sexist?" That's all. That was the whole email. We're guessing he's not a fan of #TheYearOfPublishingWomen
Our reply: "Is that a thought ...or half a thought? Ponder what it is you're trying to say and decide if you really want to articulate it completely."
Crickets from Earl.
sex·ist /seksist/ adjective -relating to or characterized by prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
We're only publishing women this year. It's just for one year. We published novels by men last year, and we'll publish men next year. We are not prejudiced against men, nor do we stereotype men, nor do we discriminate against them. One of our co-publishers, Benjamin Gorman, is also one of our authors, and he read about Kamila Shamsie's challenge to publishers first, brought the idea to his co-publisher, Paige Gorman, and together they decided this was something Not a Pipe Publishing should take on. All our male authors have been extremely supportive. We're doing our (very small) part to push the publishing industry towards equality.
Promoting equality doesn't mean waiting for equality to happen on its own. It demands taking action. And that action, when it favors any historically oppressed group, will not seem fair to the people who benefit from inequality. Do not be dissuaded from doing the right thing by childish gotchas like "If you won't tolerate intolerance, doesn't that make you intolerant?" or "If you are trying to be sensitive to the concerns of People of Color, doesn't that make you a racist?" or "Isn't promoting equal rights for the LGBTQI anti-straight?" or the Earls of the world asking if promoting the voices of women makes you sexist. As Stephanie Herrera wrote, "When you are accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like oppression." The Earls of the world are frightened by equality and want you to stop pushing for it. They know, on some level, that it's their privilege you're pushing against. They hate that. The hate even being reminded they have privilege. It means the game they thought they won wasn't fair, and that takes away from their feeling of superiority.
Equality is a direct threat to superiority.
Don't stop pushing.