How to Suppress Women's Writing is the book I point people to who are convinced that women's work, of all kinds, is never minimized, never defined out of existence, never ignored except for reasons of quality. It is a brilliant look at the mechanics of exclusion.
If you haven't read it, you should; I still regret not buying a copy for the professor with whom I had this discussion many years ago:
Me: I am a second year musicology grad student and I have never seen any mention of Hildegard of Bingen before this year. I rather suspect it's because she's a woman.
Prof: What would be the nature of such a conspiracy?I was absolutely thunderstruck - and I note that the 600-page music history textbook in general use at that time mentions one female composer. (It had other glaring prejudices not visible to me at the time: Debussy and Bartok, both profound influences on the music that came after them, are brushed off as "nationalist" composers. That is, not German, thus, not interesting.)
The (male) professor I'm anonymously quoting went on to do some interesting work on gender in music history and musicology, so I believe I would not have the same conversation with him today.
Rest in peace, Joanna Russ. I honor the work you did and the words you wrote.