In response to a really interesting question on our initial “Ask a Siren” call, here’s our first “Ask a Siren” answer!
Question: Is it for only females or open to all?
From Leslie: Thank you so much for your interest! We absolutely welcome questions from all of our readers, whether they identify as women, men, neither, or somewhere in-between. We deliberately made the criteria for asking questions vague, because we don’t want anyone to feel like they don’t have a good question. But here’s a little of what we were thinking:
Maybe there’s a situation in your personal and/or professional life and you’re not quite sure what to do about it. Perhaps you’re facing some sort of interpersonal problem with a colleague or family member. Maybe you’re in a tight situation and you’re not sure how to go about getting out of it. We’re happy to share advice based on our personal experiences.
Are you a creative person working on your craft? Maybe you’re a writer or an artist or a filmmaker, and you have some questions about craft, submitting your work, work-life balance, or anything in between. We can share what we went through to try and help you with whatever issue you might be facing.
From Katie: We focus on supporting and empowering women because
1) sexism has real and specific impacts on women’s lives, even when it’s institutional rather than individual;
2) much of the literary world still equates “men’s writing” with “writing” and relegates “women’s writing” to a different category (see the VIDA count);
3) historically, men have far more role models for success than women do.
In an ideal world, gender wouldn’t be such a difficult and often vulnerable part of our experiences as writers and people. But we don’t live in an ideal world–yet. The discussions we could have here–among people of all genders–might be a step towards getting us there.