All week I’ve been embroiled in nasty fights about my awards posts (comparing winners of the Chicago Film Critics Association awards to winners of the Women Film Critics Circle awards). Some of the guys are now furious with me & flaming me & getting bent out of shape because I’ve implied that they are intentionally discriminating against women filmmakers.
Then this AM, I wake up to a segment on NPR with Linda Wertheimer talking to author Michael Sims about his newest collection The Dead Witness… Wait did I hear this right??? Yes, I did, & here’s the transcript to prove it:
WERTHEIMER: “Tell me why I never have heard of Violet Strange. I mean why is that? I pay a lot of attention to the Victorian period and to early detective writing, and that sort of thing. I never heard of her.”
SIMS: “I think there’s a very clearly demonstrated reason. I almost said a good reason, but it’s certainly not a good reason. I discovered years ago that you can watch the male anthologists deliberately, gradually sidelined all of these strong, free, powerful, intelligent female detectives. So that they were really mostly gone by the time the new acceptable version comes along, which is the Miss Marple type.
You have little old women who are seen as harmless and not bothering anybody. And they’re not seen as independent and strong and they’re not paid professionals. And you can see it in the early anthologies. You watch them slowly faze them out and it’s always male anthologist who were doing it.”
Kudos to YOU, Michael, but alas: The more things change, the more they stay the same 🙁
PS: I now have The Dead Witness on my Kindle & I can’t wait to meet “Violet Strange” for myself 🙂