For decades, the Battle of the Sexes has been more of a cold war than anything else. However, it’s been heating up over the last few months. The latest move seems an unlikely shot to fire, seeing as how secondhand bookstores aren’t your typical gender battlegrounds.
However, Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, seems to want to be just that with its latest move.
In case you can’t tell, the store has reversed the spines on the books by male authors on their shelves, making it difficult to find anything written by anyone without a Y chromosome.
The store, which is owned by a woman and has no men on staff, made the move in honor of National Women’s Month. They decided to spend two hours making it more difficult for customers to browse their inventory.
“I was looking for an event and activity to commemorate Women’s History Month, but I grow weary of doing the same thing over and over again,” says [Harriet] Logan, who’s owned the bookstore for more than 20 years. “Just reading from great pieces of literature didn’t seem participatory enough, and this activity doesn’t require anything.”
Logan says that the spines to the wall method isn’t her invention, but she’s never heard of anyone putting this sort of feminist/political awareness spin on it.
“My staff is entirely female here, but we have a lot of books written by women and about women, and we go out of our way to get them,” Logan says.
Already she says that customers have been confused by the new sorting system.
“Truly, this is a metaphor of silencing the male voice,” Logan says. “At least for this month.”
Meanwhile, on Facebook, Logan claims to be highlighting the discrepancy between the number of male versus female authors. Of course, as a secondhand bookstore, their inventory isn’t necessarily indicative of what is being published from year to year, only what people are looking to sell for extra cash.
If there is a problem of too many men being published, it’s worth keeping in mind that the publishing industry is made up of mostly liberal women.
So, maybe instead of complaining about men being published too often, they should talk to the women who appear to be consistently picking male authors?
Just a thought.