UK Amazon Kindle Forum discussion

53 views
General Chat - anything Goes > Baileys sponsor sexist book prize

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments Yes, that paragon of sexism, the Womens Prize for Fiction is to be sponsored by Baileys for the next 3 years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainme...

Because, as we know, women can't possibly compete on a level playing field with men and need to have their male counterparts banned in what would appear to be complete contradiction of sexism laws. Long live the double standard.


message 2: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments I agree, if there was a Male Authors Prize for Fiction it would be deemed sexist.

I certainly do not buy a book because it is by an author of one gender or another. It shouldn't matter. Many authors use initials or pen names for that reason.


message 3: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments We had a thread a while ago on gender, didn't we? I sometimes don't even notice what gender a writer is because they use an initial and to be honest, I don't care.

Some authors appear more in one genre over another but that is the only reason my author stats are skewed.


I think this whole idea ridiculously sexist. Alexandra puts it perfectly when she said if flipped, we would all complain.

Although in saying that I know some people praising it for it's breakthrough for women. I'm sure most of the writers on that list would want their book to stand up against all authors, not just other women.


Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2994 comments It's far too simplistic to view women-only things the same way you would with men-only things.

It's not a black and white issue.


message 5: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments Maybe if you were judging a freaking weight competition but WRITING Michael? REALLY?


message 6: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments Michael wrote: "It's far too simplistic to view women-only things the same way you would with men-only things.

It's not a black and white issue."


Why? Why should one gender be a better or worse author simply because of what they keep in their underwear? It is true that certain genres are marketed towards one or other genders but even so.


Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2994 comments I never said that one gender would be better than another at writing a book.

I can only guess as to what the motivation for setting up this women-only competition was. Maybe they wanted to encourage more women into writing. Maybe some women are more comfortable entering a competition like this.


message 8: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments Darren wrote: "Yes, that paragon of sexism, the Womens Prize for Fiction is to be sponsored by Baileys for the next 3 years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainme...

Because, as we know, women can'..."


Good points. High time this competition was swept away. Hilary Mantel has shown that women can compete with the best of them.


message 9: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments Michael, given the fact so many authors are female and successful I don't see how even that excuse flies.

It's just blatantly sexist.


message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21703 comments Michael wrote: "It's far too simplistic to view women-only things the same way you would with men-only things.

It's not a black and white issue."


You beautifully slide that bit in :-)


message 11: by Michael Cargill (new)

Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2994 comments I don't get what you mean.

Are you against women-only aerobics classes as well?


message 12: by Elle (last edited Jun 04, 2013 04:20AM) (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments We aren't talking about aerobics. We are talking about writing.


You are looking at a bigger picture here Michael, this is about a fiction prize, nothing else.


(As a side point, all fitness classes I've been too have always been mixed and I have no real interest in attending any female only ones - they are pathetic mostly - around where i live anyway)


message 13: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18537 comments I have never seen or heard of a women's only aerobics class just that it seems to be mainly women that go to them.


message 14: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments We have 2 local ones that I know of that state women only and both are the most pathetic type of exercise. They attract the more 'mature' lady.

I've been to neither but my Mother has attended both and never went back


message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21703 comments Actually I'm looking for a sponsor who'll fund a competition for male Fantasy writers over 50 living in south Cumbria. It's my best chance of winning something


message 16: by Michael Cargill (new)

Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2994 comments But the motivations for a women-only competition may well be the same (or similar) to those for a women-only aerobics class.


message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21703 comments Michael wrote: "But the motivations for a women-only competition may well be the same (or similar) to those for a women-only aerobics class."

women writers are embarrassed to be seen in Lycra?

:-) I'll get my coat


message 18: by Andy (new)

Andy Elliott | 1524 comments A women only prize in literature does seem to be an anomaly in the world of arts. Whilst the Oscars, Grammys, Baftas etc have best female and best male prizes (although maybe they shouldn't) it's unusual to have an individual awards ceremony based on sex. It cam be reasonably argued as to why men and women compete separately in the likes of the 100m sprint where genetics tend to give one sex an advantage over another, but everyone should be on an even keel when it comes to being creative. We don't have separate categories in The Great British Bake Off for boys and girls, after all.


message 19: by Elle (last edited Jun 04, 2013 05:36AM) (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments Andy says it perfectly.

Jim also makes an excellent point. The motivation for women only gym classes are embarrassment on the behalf of women in their gym gear or sweating it out. Are you implying women are embarrassed by their writing, Michael?


message 20: by Michael Cargill (new)

Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2994 comments No. As I said in my second post, I can only guess as to what the motivation was:

Maybe they wanted to encourage more women into writing. Maybe some women are more comfortable entering a competition like this.


message 21: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments No.


message 22: by Mago (last edited Jun 04, 2013 06:05AM) (new)

Mago (Mark) | 1750 comments You're all destroying my view of the world. You'll be telling me next that the Man Booker Prize allows women to enter and that Baileys isn't a ladies drink.

Have you got my coat there, Jim?


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I'd like some female writers to wade in here with their opinions.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to tag people into posts in here?

Oh and I definitely have an opinion on this....

Michael is playing devils advocate. ;)

Someone has too.


message 24: by Andy (new)

Andy Elliott | 1524 comments Mago (Mark) wrote: "You're all destroying my view of the world. You'll be telling me next that the Man Booker Prize allows women to enter and that Baileys isn't a ladies drink.

Have you got my coat there, Jim?"


I've always found it odd that Oscar Hammerstein is the only Oscar to win an Oscar.


message 25: by Mago (new)

Mago (Mark) | 1750 comments I too have an opinion on this. Just bear with me while I text MDW to find out what it is.


message 26: by John (new)

John  Ashtone (johnashtone) | 8 comments The award is blatantly sexist, and I don’t see what angle Michael was coming from.


Jane Austen is hardly the only English woman writer, in fact going by some of the Q & A on another forum I visit, which just happens to have a section on books, as well as motoring, and football, and every topic under the sun more women write than men.


I can see the point of more women on the panels of book prizes, but a women only prize, is a joke.


message 27: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2333 comments Obviously we need a women only prize so that blokes won't be upset when they don't win :)

Fingers crossed Hilary Mantel wins.


message 28: by Claudia (new)

Claudia ward (sponsorship) | 1 comments It's interesting looking at which companies sponsor book prizes - sponsorship often seems to come from brands that make reading glasses or sofas - Book Sponsorship


message 29: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21703 comments Claudia wrote: "It's interesting looking at which companies sponsor book prizes - sponsorship often seems to come from brands that make reading glasses or sofas - Book Sponsorship "

I suppose I'd rather my book won a competition sponsored by someone making reading glasses than someone producing laxatives ;-)


message 30: by Frances (new)

Frances Plino (francesdiplino) | 19 comments As a female and a writer, I would far rather gender specific prizes and awards were banned. In certain sports, where strength plays a part in determining who does something faster, higher, longer or whatever, it is necessary to split the field according to gender, but in writing?

Are we saying that women writers aren't in the same class as men? What a load of tosh. There are some great writers of both genders and some rubbish writers, too. Writing a good or bad book has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with talent, hard work, determination and a thick enough skin to keep going in the face of adversity and rejection.


message 31: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments Frances wrote: "As a female and a writer, I would far rather gender specific prizes and awards were banned. In certain sports, where strength plays a part in determining who does something faster, higher, longer o..."

Hear hear. I've long been a supporter of true equality for women - these kinds of book prizes do them no favours.


message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21703 comments Certainly for 'first book' prizes it should be easy to send the judges copies with nothing to identify writer, publisher or even the book title and they could vote for number 1,2, or whatever.


message 33: by Katy (new)

Katy | 3414 comments I'm on the fence about this.

Of course I don't believe that men and women aren't equal in writing. Half the time I don't look at the genre of the author of the book I'm reading because it doesn't matter to me

Having said that, I know a number of people (not myself) that actively ignore women writers in certain genres (their excuse is that women focus on the relationships between the characters - not always sexual - and don't go into enough detail on crimes, etc. So maybe a women's only competition would benefit those authors and help them get a bit of recognition as emerging authors in that genre?


message 34: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments Jim wrote: "Certainly for 'first book' prizes it should be easy to send the judges copies with nothing to identify writer, publisher or even the book title and they could vote for number 1,2, or whatever."

Common sense to you and I, but for some strange reason it doesn't always go that way when judging book prizes.


message 35: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments That's one thing I like about authors that use initials - J.S. Towelspotter. Is that a man or a woman? Why should you care?


message 36: by Frances (new)

Frances Plino (francesdiplino) | 19 comments Tim wrote: "That's one thing I like about authors that use initials - J.S. Towelspotter. Is that a man or a woman? Why should you care?"

Exactly! Why should the reader care? As long as the storyline and characters take the reader into another world, what does it matter if it was penned by a male or a female?


message 37: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments Tim wrote: "That's one thing I like about authors that use initials - J.S. Towelspotter. Is that a man or a woman? Why should you care?"

Towelspotter? Isn't that what you do on holiday when the Germans are in town and you're looking for a spot by the pool! :)


message 38: by John (new)

John  Ashtone (johnashtone) | 8 comments Katy wrote; their excuse is that women focus on the relationships between the characters - not always sexual - and don't go into enough detail on crimes, etc. So maybe a women's only competition would benefit those authors and help them get a bit of recognition as emerging authors in that genre?

Surely that in itself is a false argument, mainly because it is a generalisation that doesn't hold true, Agatha Christie is hardly noted for her three dimensional characters and their interaction with each other.

She wrote good whodunits, and there is the nub, is the book good and does one want to read it. After that it is down to the remit of the prize.

Jane Austen was never going to win the Golden Dagger award, nor Daniel Defoe, but that didn't stop them writing cracking good reads that are award winning material.


message 39: by Katy (new)

Katy | 3414 comments John, I agree, but just wanted to post some ideas from people (non readers and non authors) i know to add to the discussion (:


message 40: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments R.M.F wrote: "Towelspotter? Isn't that what you do on holiday when the Germans are in town and you're looking for a spot by the pool! :) "

Now you know how I get my character names! lol


message 41: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Patricia Cornwell goes into lots of detail, forensics, medical science etc, to the extent that she supposedly greatly influenced the creation of the CSI type TV shows.

But then it's obvious that she is really Andy Barrett writing under a pen name.


message 42: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18537 comments Some of the most graphic books I have read have been written by women - Kathy Reichs for one and the other was a Lesley Pearson (I think) I have never read Pearson since, it wasn't even a crime novel it was just sadistic! It was probably in and around 10 years ago a read it and it still makes me wince and shudder. (A girl was raped with all manner of articles including a shampoo bottle).

Charles Dickens wrote some namby pamby stuff too, Bleak House for one.


message 43: by John (new)

John  Ashtone (johnashtone) | 8 comments Katy (Message 39) I figured you were posting for that particular reason, hence why I chose the exact cut.

You are sounding just a tad defensive as if some posters have had a go at you, for adding to a discussion.

You are doing a particularly fine job, any trouble lass and refer them to me, and I shall slap them down with a wet lettuce leaf lol.

P.S. J. S. Towelspotter for the Golden Dagger award, the name is just fabulous haha.


message 44: by Katy (new)

Katy | 3414 comments Haha, didnt mean to sound defensive, sorry!


message 45: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18537 comments You're just stirring the pot is what you are doing Katy, you wee rascal!


back to top