Have you seen this blog post about a reader who is questioning the gender inequity between authors in The New Yorker? Anne Hays has written a letter to the magazine requesting that the magazine include at least 5 women writers in each issue, or she’ll be mailing it back. Check it out here.
I find the comments under the article to be particularly interesting, and they just go to show the lack of understanding about the way sexism works. The argument that women writers aren’t included because they probably don’t submit as much as men reminds me of something that a young man in my Intro to Women’s Studies said about lack of women artists in major art galleries. He said that it has nothing to do with the people selecting the art, or structural inequalities, and rather that women must not be good artists. (Four years later and that comment still infuriates me!) I don’t know that The New Yorker is purposefully being sexist, and I am sure there are a number of factors contributing to the lack of women writers but I think that they should definitely work on getting more work by women included. As Anne Hays points out, surely 5 out of 13/15 pieces isn’t that difficult? This also makes me wonder what the racial diversity of the magazine is like…not that we would want a magazine to have to fulfill quotas to fit a specific idea of “diversity” but I think all these questions are important because they make us think about whose voices are heard and whose are not, whose writing is considered good, and whose writing gets left out.
Anyways, this Women’s Studies grad student could go on and on about the different aspects of the situation, as well as the blog post that I find interesting/troubling–the title (“Girl Problems”) for example–but I’ll stop, and let all of you chime in with your thoughts!