I posted about this in the comments on Booklikes blog post, 7 Reading Challenges to Join in 2014, and figured I'd go ahead and pop the links in here, in case anyone else found it interesting.
First the Guardian link, because that's how I bumped into the story:
Guardian, 2 Jan 2014
"...Female authors are overlooked not only in the media, but also in academia. In September, Canadian writer and professor of literature David Gilmour told Random House Canada's blog that, with the exception of one Virginia Woolf short story, he was only interested in teaching books by men, specifically "serious heterosexual guys". That he felt comfortable saying so suggests it isn't a taboo opinion in his line of work. In fact, Marcus was inspired to undertake her project in part because of the lack of gender balance in her English literature degree. "I had several classes where every single author we read was male, and I still regret not speaking up enough about it," she writes."
Which led me to Marcus' own post here:
Flavorwire.com, 12 Dec, 2013
"...But there was one happy benefit of my all-female reading list: it felt completely, utterly ordinary. I don’t feel like I was missing anything. I didn’t feel deprived. My list of “books I keep meaning to read” has always been long, and it will probably stay that way unless I check into a convent on a remote island that doesn’t have the Internet. Going forward, I plan to keep female authors the overwhelming majority of what I read. I will be bringing the occasional male author into the lineup, but they’ll never be my top priority. That’s something I feel comfortable doing for the rest of my life. I could never turn Kazuo Ishiguro away forever, but I hope he’ll feel comfy on my shelf surrounded by women."
Now if you're like me, you may wonder "but what was the full list of those books?" Marcus does mention specific ones in her article, but I do love a reading list. And so here's that list from her Tumblr:
A couple of those books are already on my reading list. While I can't do an all women challenge this year because I have a stack of books I've bought already (and didn't even look at author gender on a chunk of them) - I am going to start tracking how many of the books I've read are by female authors. Just for my own curiosity, and as something I should make an effort to think more about (especially since I read a lot of nonfiction and history).
Oh and I did decide to pick up one challenge - as well as my personal challenge of Finish the Readings From the 2013 Challenges I Didn't Manage Because of the Aaaa Suddenly Moving (Challenge In Real Life). It's the History Reading Challenge - links here (my Challenge page), as well as on that Booklikes post.