The Zookeeper’s Wife. The Aviator’s Wife. The Bishop’s Wife. The Doctor’s Wife. The Centurion’s Wife. The Headmaster’s Wife. The Last Wife of Henry VIII. The Shoemaker’s Wife. The Time Traveler’s Wife.
The Hangman’s Daughter. The Heretic’s Daughter. The Painter’s Daughter. The Madman’s Daughter. Daughter of the Pirate King. The Taxidermist’s Daughter. The Apothecary’s Daughter. The Musician’s Daughter.
All I did was google “books with daughter in the title” and “books with wife in the title”. And I found dozens, dozens of books that define women by the men in their lives. They’re supposedly the main character, and yet – they aren’t allowed to exist without male influence. They aren’t allowed to be people, to be fully fledged.
They’re women, you see. Behind every successful man is a good wife or some shit. Behind every woman is a man taking credit.
We need to learn to pay attention to this. Female writers aren’t immune to this. Internalized sexism can and will influence the writing of a book, can and will influence the way read a book.
And we need to let women speak for themselves, okay?