There's a lot to read and a lot to consider and I feel very humbled by much of the discussion and how more thought out and eloquent these comments are than my original post. In other words, read the comments, they say it better than I did.
I spose now I have to go ahead and finish the research I was doing and actually write the piece up. I certainly feel that I owe it to the ongoing discussion. There were also some really great suggestions of how to go about trying to answer some of the additional questions which were raised. And I think it would be worth doing to build on what has been said and debated.
If you are a publisher and have statistics on gender of submissions to your market or know a publisher who may have these, please consider contributing them to the discussion or asking for others to do so. I can be contacted at twelfthplanetpress @ gmail dot com and am interested in any information that can be gathered, both in defense or contradictory to what I argued.
I will make available the information I gather so that it can be accessed, whether I write it up or not.
I send you now to cassiphone's round up of the whole discussion. I have to admit this bit really is the most interesting new part of it for me:
In this particular wave, I found that the reader perspectives were the most interesting, and I really enjoyed looking at the questions of - why men like to/don't like to read female stories or female authors, why women are more socialised to enjoy/understand/get male stories than vice versa, why some people don't think of gender in their fiction at all, why some people can't help but think about it all the time. These are awesome questions, and I'd love to see more discussion on them. Particularly positive discussion about authors and protagonists people really love, who provide them with a different gender perspective than their own.