Dear Readers Who ROAR:
Recently I attended a bookstore event with two authors, both women. One of them said, in an offhand comment, “Well, I’m not writing as a feminist,” meaning that she doesn’t include a lot of sexual politics in her novels.
When she paused, I said “Just by being a woman and publishing a book, you’re writing as a feminist!”
We all laughed, then all agreed that for women, simply taking up our pens and writing constitutes a political act. For so long—so, so long—women have been told that our stories don’t matter, that our experiences don’t matter, that our genius doesn’t exist: Look at how many decades it took for “Hidden Figures” to be written and made into a movie. Katherine Davis, that movie’s protagonist played by Taraji P. Henson, knew her worth back in the 1950s. No one back then thought that her heroic grasp of mathematical theory, that grasp which allowed John Glenn’s heroic reach into space, was anything to write home about.
I’ve seen a lot of books and articles about historical women whose real agency has only recently been discovered. For example, we now know that Fanny Mendelssohn actually composed the Easter Sonata that was long attributed to her brother. If I listed every instance in which a man’s work wound up being done by a woman, we’d be here all day.
Of course, that’s why ROAR publishes every day, why we continue to expand our departments and our coverage. Next week our publisher Anna March will detail much more about our upcoming content, which is thrilling—we’ve got a lot of new columns to share. But the most thrilling part of it is that every single writer is a feminist. Yes, even the handful of men who write for ROAR are feminists. Would we have it any other way?
Yours in resistance,