Even though Europe women writers began to have a presence in the literary sphere before 1920, Jewish women still struggled to gain audiences for their work. In “Why Was There No Women’s Poetry Before 1920?” by Dan Miron, he sites that Hebrew and Yiddish poetry was not included in publications because of how discriminating editors and the public were against women writers. After 1920, though, Miron claims that there was a change in wind. Suddenly, the wall hiding women writers was brought down, and women’s poetry took center stage, according to hi, though, “misogyny and male chauvinism are not the issue here” (70). This argument seems invalid though, as once publishing women’s writings became a “trend,” men like Yankev Glatshteyn had to use a feminine pseudonym in order to have his work published. If the terms of publishing were based on quality not gender, Glatshteyn should have been able to publish his work no matter what gendered name was on the byline.
After 1920, when women started rising up in the literary field, there was still a sense of divide between men and women authors, given an interesting tension between poetry and prose for women. In “Jewish Literatures and Feminist Criticism: An Introduction to Gender and Text” by Anita Norich, she says that women were more successful writing poetry than prose because, “in Hebrew or Yiddish, with their connections to a Jewish story-telling tradition in Bible, Aggadah and Midrash—traditions that denied women for the most part—prose may indeed appear more characteristically as a masculine genre in ways that are not true of other cultures” (12). Norich says that while in other traditions women were the messengers of oral tradition, Jewish women were excluded from the oral tradition. Therefore, storytelling was not accessible for women. Just as women were traditionally excluded from being storytellers, contemporary Jewish women writers were not storytellers, they were poets. Norich also says that storytelling, “implies…a kind of rootedness in culture which, for Jews in general and still more recently for Israelis, has been remarkably different for men and women” (11). The divide between men and women in Jewish culture influenced the divide between men and women authors because women were not particularly accepted in every literary genre. The gender divide that has been a condition in Jewish history has steered women’s literary history, presenting challenges and obstacles that, thankfully, women have been able to overcome.