I have been a critic for 16 years, across all arts disciplines and all media. It is simply not true that there are not enough women artists, commentators, writers and critics to achieve parity in arts events, whether they are poetry festivals or radio programmes. I used to present a radio show in which, a number of times, there were six male guests and no women, "just by accident". The majority of times there was one woman. We discussed virtually no works created by women artists, writers or thinkers. Not once were there all women guests, "just by accident".
It fills me with ice cold rage. Men and women both like to worship men, for some reason; women even, perversely, love to promote men who themselves hate women (hello, Roth'n'Updike fans. How's it going?). Both sexes unquestioningly perpetuate the boys' club through the invites issued to men, the opportunities, associations, deals and chances offered. The talks, readings, colloquia, special trips, lectures and guest spots are organised by women for the benefit of men's careers. For the men, the glory, status, visibility, influence and enshrinement in history. For the women, the expected but unacknowledged work.