Twitter Rage: Joanne Harris Tweets About Sexism in Publishing

by on July 20, 2015

     Joanne Harris has certainly earned her way to the top of the literary game, penning the bestselling Chocolat trilogy along with a slew of other novels — but that hasn’t stopped sexism in the publishing field from hitting her hard at every corner. Harris has a usual activity on Twitter where she writes out #TenTweets regarding a certain topic or theme, and her latest series of ten tweets revolves around the sexism she has faced in the publishing industry. It seems that even a woman as successful as Harris still experiences it on a regular basis, which unfortunately, says a lot about the industry. Take a read through Harris’ tweets and let us know what you think about the issue in the comments section below!


1. (a) When CHOCOLAT first came out, I appeared with three (male) guests on a high-profile radio show…


1 (b): The (male) presenter chatted with the men, ignoring me for 30 minutes, then called in a female presenter to talk to me. 


2. Early on in my career, one of my rejection letters from a large publisher cited as their reason: “lack of visual appeal.”


3. Later, my publisher tried to put a pink jacket on a book with an almost all-male cast, “so as not to alienate your readers.”


4. In spite of my Cambridge degree and academic background, I am still regularly referred to as “Yorkshire lass Joanne Harris.”


5. Recently I was told by a man at an academic party that “he never read books by women.” Two of his friends immediately agreed.


 6. Just now, on Twitter, a man who admitted having no knowledge, statistics or experience, told me publishing wasn’t sexist.


7. Reviews of my food-themed book centred mostly on recipes. Reviews of John Lanchester’s food-themed book centred on -er-THEMES.


8. I yet have to meet a male writer of fiction whose work is habitually described as “delicious; sweet; mouth-watering.”


9. (a) Last time I toured in the US, every interviewer I met asked me what I thought of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.


9. (b) I happened to be travelling with a male writer, who spoke to the same interviewers on the same shows. NO-ONE asked him.


10. (a) I just did an online interview for a foreign magazine. One of the questions was: “Aren’t you afraid of getting fat?”


10 (b): Another was: “How do you juggle motherhood and writing?” I rest my case, M’Lud.

Featured Image: byronv2/Flickr Creative Commons; Twitter