When Seattle hosts the big AWP conference in a couple weeks, writers will be all over the place: Talking with writers, talking with readers, talking with publishers. They'll be talking about writing and talking about not writing. They'll be at bars and clubs all over the city, drinking and reading and having fun. But here's something to keep in mind during AWP: Amy Silbergeld at HTMLGiant performed an informal survey of one thousand writers, and she discovered that the literary world has a long way to go before women are on equal ground, there.
Women feel less comfortable than men do in their literary communities.
Women’s rankings of their comfort levels had both a mean and median of five. The vast majority of female-identified writers who selected five or lower cited sexism as the primary source of their discomfort.
You should go read her whole report, which features some individual survey responses. Sexism is a huge problem in literature, and if we don't talk about it, it's never going to get any better. I wrote earlier this year about my own contributions to inequality between male and female writers, and why that matters. So let's all agree that if we see public displays of sexism at AWP after-parties this year, we should call them out for what they are. I expect better from the literary world.