In an ideal world, men and women would be judged by the same standards and would have equal access to prize, as well as to having their work published, exhibited, performed, etc., and to receiving grants, and so forth. Unfortunately, Polly Courtney seems to have forgotten that we don't live in an ideal world.
Fiction is one of the few walks of life where gender doesn't matter. In the real world, we are judged on our looks, our voice, our stance. In board rooms we struggle to make ourselves heard. On construction sites we are ogled. Books are genderless products that can be enjoyed by men and women regardless of what chromosomes the author happens to have.
A former teacher and one-time ski lodge manager, Emma Henderson graduated with a distinction from Birkbeck's MA Creative Writing course in 2006. Her luminous debut, Grace Williams Says It Loud (Sceptre, 2010), was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize and the Orange Prize. A second novel is in the works.