Okay, so riffing off of the Bechdel test discussed in my earlier post, here’s the Lemon Hound Lit Rule for assessing the cultural acuity of a given contemporary literary discussion, publication, essay, critical debate, or otherwise, purporting to be speaking generally of a literature or literatures, as opposed to something specialized, ie, men’s or masculinist literature, etc.

It must:
a/ mention two or more female writers or thinkers outside of the speaker’s immediate circle, preferably one who is alive, one who the speaker hasn’t published, slept with, or married
b/ the reference must not be simply a woman who has written favorably about the person pontificating, not simply a back scratch…
c/ at least one of the females referenced is not one who is identified solely with male literature
d/ that at least one example of the women’s work or her thinking be included and not simply named as a token, or one who would easily support said pontificate’s pov or argument for a better world

I would so love not to have to keep pointing this out…

Update: people had trouble with a few of the wordings. Here’s a second attempt:

a/ include at least two female writers who are strangers to the writer (ideally one should still be alive)
b/ the writer must also be a stranger to that person (not simply a fan of the writer or a favourable reviewer)
c/ at least one of the women should not be identified solely with the literature of men (i.e. the woman referenced has her own ideas not only mirroring a male mentor or world)

Update March 4, 2013: In other words, don’t let myopic, male-centered, literary conversations (that includes reviews, essays, or yakking over a pint of beer) continue to happen. Point it out. Point it out. Point it out. Relate to women’s work or we won’t read you…

p.s. Things are equally frustrating for writers of color