My motivation for posting that Adichie video was that I was in the middle of drafting another post at the Awl, about the kerfuffle between Franzen and women writers Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner:
Which brings us to the question of why praise does tend to aggregate around white men, still, in a way that it doesn’t for other kinds of people. I obviously don’t think that Tanenhaus, and Michiko Kakutani (not precisely a white guy herself) sit around their little cubicles by the atrium plotting how they’re gonna keep women and people of color (and trans people!) out of the halls of literary power. As in most cases where social prejudice is really firmly entrenched, there is no Man Behind the Curtain. Otherwise, this would be a simple issue to solve: we could just fire the people in cubicles like theirs, and sexism and racism, and transmisogyny and ableism and every kind of unfairness under the sun would be over.
But life isn’t like that. Instead of men in rooms we have timeworn, and as such unquestioned, ways of thinking and evaluating.
Feel free to discuss in the comments here, as always.