"... were being systematically removed from the category American novelists and assigned to the category American women novelists."
I remember going to bookstores, circa 1990, where "Fiction by Women" was a separate section from "Fiction." These were places that were pro-woman, I'm quite sure, because I remember seeing Camille Paglia's "Sexual Personae" displayed with a warning label that it might not be what you were expecting and that you should bring it back for a refund if you bought it under the mistaken impression that it was good feminism and then found yourself offended.
ADDED: The biggest problem is leaving the male category plain rather than calling it "American men novelists." (Is the parallelism jarring? It should be "Female American novelists" and "Male American novelists.")