Monday, April 17, 2006

I was excited to happen upon Mslexia, an online resource for women writers, based in the UK. In their centerpiece article, Three Cures For Mslexia, Debbie Taylor states their mission:
What woman writers need

(The) discrepancy between women’s literary potential and their actual achievement is the starting point for this magazine. And we have coined a new word - mslexia - to describe it.

Mslexia’s surface meaning is women’s writing (ms = woman, lexia = words). But its association with dyslexia is intentional. Dyslexia is a difficulty, more prevalent in men, with reading and spelling. Mslexia is a difficulty, more prevalent in women, with getting published. More specifically, mslexia is the complex set of conditions and expectations which prevents women, who as girls so outshine boys in verbal skills, from becoming successful authors.

The good news is that, like dyslexia, mslexia can be overcome. That’s what this magazine is about: exploring the causes of mslexia - and suggesting some cures. So what is it that men have, that women need, to become noted authors? Virginia Woolf’s famous prescription was ‘money and a room of one’s own’. Mslexia’s prescription, gleaned from historical, psychological and social research - and a few specially-commissioned surveys of our own - is slightly different. The three things that male writers have, that woman writers need, are: time, confidence and a fair reading.

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