Stella Prize? Why do women need a special literary prize for women only??

So Charlotte Wood has won the Stella Prize,   an Australian prize of $50,000  which is exclusive to women.  Her book, “The Natural Way of Things”,  deals with misogyny etc. and domestic violence which are trendy topics.

I have to admit that a prize like that smacks of condescension and sexism and I wish that special offerings would not be made to women on account of their gender.  A truly egalitarian society would not discriminate between male and female writers. But there you are.

It is sad that this is the way of things.

It reminds me of the complaint made by female tennis players who want the same prize money as men even though they only have to play up to three sets of tennis instead of five.

Is that fair? Is that equal?

Imagine if there were a special prize for male authors only.

We women will have come a long way when we no longer depend on special concessions for being female.   Until that day comes not much has been achieved.





One thought on “Stella Prize? Why do women need a special literary prize for women only??

  1. Perhaps take a wider view… Your Q. ” Why do women need a special literary prize for women only?” A. Because people think they do. People who award a women only prize support women who perhaps cannot compete in the bigger world where men and women compete equally ? Perhaps you had better write to the people who award that Award, and ask the reasons why awarded?…Don’t ask us, what do we know in the anonymous world. Why do you, therefore, ask the outside anonymous world, instead of taking the question and your disgruntlement of inequality to the source…would that help you?
    Yes, There are many organisations that are women-only: Fernwood Gyms, nothing wrong with that.
    There are traditional men-only clubs such as The Melbourne Club, nothing wrong with that – don’t the dinosaurs need to be preserved for posterity?
    Contrary to the Stella Award – (which is awarded with particular criteria – as it should be, because the person or people endowing the prize are entitled to set their criteria) – there is ACWA , the Australian Crime Writers Association, open to all and awarding prizes annually to men or women depending on who is judged “best” for that year’s releases. It’s genuine competition on an equal ground.
    There is Sisters-In-Crime, a women-only organisation set up to promote women crime writers in Australia – which makes us wonder if women would-be authors need such an organisation, otherwise, to fill their neediness would it even exist? They have an associated publisher, and membership seems content with the in-house feel of womens’ chumminess and sharing.
    However, all is not equal and never will be. As long as women feel as though they have to “prove” themselves by constant equal-rights stances and also through “empowering” experiences and even their own organisations – goodness some even still rely on daily Affirmations !! Don’t affirmations only concentrate on what’s Lacking because they daily repeat their Affirmations as confidence-boosting that yes they can really do it, be it, feel fulfilled abundant or or have it all ???- – as if women don’t have the power to achieve what they want from the day they are born .
    As long as women more than men feel they “need” womens-only organisations prizes and opportunities, perhaps they will never break out of feeling unequal.
    Just another tack to take, or not. Why do women need to rely on Social Media to ask a question relevant only to the specific people who award the Award. Good question?


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