Women in Literary Arts
Any chance of a printer friendly version via a clicky link? I’d find a reference copy of this very useful when I find myself as token woman on assorted lit fest and conference panels – a role I’m happy to play, incidentally, more than ready to claim my ground and hold it once I get that foothold…
@Juliet . . . Good point. We’ll make sure to have a print option for this article, and others, soon. Thanks.
Once again, without stats on the ratio of male to female submissions—the only thing that would make this a meaningful exercise—this data is alarming and incendiary, but not at all helpful in figuring out exactly where the problem exists: at the editorial level or somewhere else.
Pat and others who think the submissions data relevant, I hope you’ll visit my post “The trouble with rationalizing the numbers trouble. A logic problem.” at http://www.montevidayo.com/?p=1521 Though I appreciate the observation, to suggest that the problem doesn’t exist at the editorial level strikes me, after awhile studying the issue, quite flawed for the reasons I outline there. Cheers!
It would be interesting to see a gender breakdown of readership demographics for these journals. Pulling from a faulty memory, I’m inclined to cite female readership as being higher overall across the country; but there may be a market-based defense lurking somewhere in these stats. T
@pat Not all of this comes down to “submissions.” Much comes down to hiring and recruitment practices. Many magazines also solicit work from known writers. And then, when it comes to book reviews, there’s really no excuse. 2011 gave us Swamplandia, The Tiger’s Wife, Ten Thousand Saints, A World on Fire, The Buddha in the Attic, Ghost Lights, The Grief of Others, Mr. Fox, The London Train, My New American Life, Blood, Bones, and Butter, Blue Nights, and a bunch of other “serious,” “important” books written by women.
The issue of submissions still resonates but is overshadowed by a few factors… Who is chosen to review books is at the sole discretion of the publication. They seek out reviewers. You will notice the enormous disparity there as well. Secondly, when one reads a periodical, they guage it by what type of pieces they publish and books they review. All writers know well the adage, “Read us before submitting.” Why would women submit to a publication what is male dominated? Wouldn’t they be discouraged? These numbers need to be taken seriously. They speak to voice more than gender. Whose voice is being heard? Women are 51% of the world’s population, lest ye forget.
Pat, you genuinely believe that an omitted variable bias represents some sort of panacea for these numbers? I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that’s statistically ridiculous.
Where’s the stats on how many books are written by men vs women? Are these magazines responsible for making women write more books as the bloggers of this cite seem to prefer? I read over a 1,000 books a year and most are b men, but I can’t help it if the majority of the quality books in the fields I read are by men. I don’t read much chick lit.
thank you, women of Vida!
Granta appears to have undergone a transformative shift since last year, when it was one of the worst offenders. But how much of this is due to just one issue dedicated to Feminism? The poor showing in the recent “Horror” themed issue replicates all the old patterns: two women out of fourteen written contributors; three out of fifteen in total when graphic artist Kanitta Meechubot is included. This makes the Feminism issue seem like the most depressing sort of tokenism.
At what point do these publications become irrelevant? I’m an avid reader and writer and supporter of the arts and I don’t find it necessary to read most of these publications. I’m far more interested in what independent publishers and independent news sites are up to though I honestly don’t know how they measure up.
I don’t believe pat claimed the submissions data would be a panacea, but it would set these figures in a better context. It is quite relevant to the debate.
I’m so impressed with the level of commentary here. Dignified, thoughtful, full of respect. Refreshing. It actually brings something to the content, which itself is thought provoking (and a little terrifying). So rare when the comments are as good as the thing itself. Well done, everybody!
Tom, that’s reductive, if illuminating – women write in every subject area and genre. Your assumption that anything women write will be chick lit inevitably prevents you from reading what they do write. Yes, you can help it; you can pay attention and choose to explore their work.
If I can make an observation a propos the comment on submissions. I run a web gallery, blog, and several spoken word nights that regularly feature writers, performers, and anthologists in contemporary literary/urban fiction/poetry/spoken word. We have a few contributors that are fairly highly acclaimed and have been reviewed in the likes of the publications mentioned here – Tania Hershman, Elizabeth Baines, Michael Stewart for example. But the majority of what we do/read is one level down from that degree of recognition – not in terms of talent, simply in terms of what’s on the CV to date, and I like to think (and in some cases, like the exceptional American writer Allyson Armistead whose work I first discovered whilst reading slush for an ezine three years ago (which published the story, I should add), and who has now been published at a higher level and put forward for a Pushcart Award) we can help with people’s moving from one level to the next. Anyway, the point is that the work and artists we feature, and what I read whilst looking for things to feature, consists of at least as much writing by women as men if not more. Obviously we’re just one group, but if our experience can in any way be extrapolated, then there are at least as many women as men featuring in ezines, anthologies and literary events at one level below the publications listed here. And one level below these is precisely the pool I would expect submissions for them to be drawn from. Which suggests – anecdotally and highly unscientifically – there is at least some evidence to suggest the issue is with editors in these publications not the submission pool. That said, I do agree that until you’ve addressed issues of perceived equality (which aren’t well served by the stats we have here) for starters, the make-up of submissions may be a little misleading to say the least
I love how men are displayed in red and women in blue, indicating the male part is bad and the female part is good. No bias of course.
I find The Atlantic’s numbers really interesting. Some of their most talked about pieces are written by women (reviews by Sandra Tsing Loh and Caitlin Flanagan come to mind). Not to mention, the three most “liked” articles passed around on Facebook were all written by women: All the Single Ladies by Kate Bollick, The End of Men by Hanna Rosin, and The Rise of the New Global Elite by Chrystia Freeland. No. 4 is The Point of No Return by Jeffrey Goldberg, which was shared a little over half as much as Freeland’s piece.
Perhaps these numbers can speak to struggling magazines like Harper’s, whose male-clubbiness I decided to leave a few years ago. I came back for Zadie Smith. Her mere presence in those pages made them breathe again, an emphysematic’s oxygen mask. Her recent departure no doubt means I’ll let the subscription lapse yet again.
Many writers come from the senior levels of Academia. At those levels, there a fewer women than men. That, rather than bias in the journals, could partly explain the unequal numbers. The numbers shown do not on their own support the suspicion of bias. They must be supplemented with data on the number of potential contributors. Perhaps the writing pool is male-dominated, albeit not as compactly as the typing pool of yesteryear. The suspicion of bias would get some support if it can be shown that the proporition of writers is roughly equal but the proportion of published writers is not.
Oh, of course, Marcel de Graaf, because your entirely subjective take on what colors mean is absolutely germane to this topic. *eyeroll*
Danielle, I didn’t say the problem wasn’t at the editorial level. I’m saying without data on submissions, you can’t say that’s the only place or even the most important place where it’s happening.
Xelly, if the submission ratio turns out to be roughly equivalent to a magazine’s publication ratio, then the editorial process at that magazine is arguably unbiased, and that then points to something on a more basic level, perhaps the way we encourage or discourage women in schools, so on and so forth. I don’t understand the stubborn unwillingness to talk about data that will help figure out exactly how much of the problem is editorial and how much is societal, because knowing the extent of the bias, and where it comes into play, means being able to remedy it more intelligently. Or we can all just gripe at the magazines in question and hope that it’s time that wouldn’t have been better spent focusing on improving the way we encourage women when they’re young to go into the literary arts.
To the skeptics:
At the end of the day there is a bias, and that bias is a bias deeply engrained in society itself. That bias filters up through women and men writers, editors, readers, teachers, parents, role models, schools, the economy, the government. It’s called patriarchy. We live in world which systematically discriminates against women. If you insist on having every last number possible about that, there are plenty of statistics and plenty of research available; do a simple google search.
But people need to stop distracting themselves from this fact by talking about other numbers that we *don’t* have, that may, in fact, be impossible to really get (considering how much collaboration, among other things, it would require. How convenient, to insinuate that if we can’t get THOSE numbers, then THESE numbers say nothing– a complete logical fallacy in itself.)
You may be dissatisfied that there are no numbers on submissions ratios. It is true that it would be lovely if we could get all of the quantitative data that were possible to get. But it doesn’t really matter, in a sense. You should still be pissed that we live in a society which systemically discriminates against women and their mental and physical survival. We should admit and be pissed about the fact that we live in a patriarchy and that, obviously, women’s art and literature is going to be secondary in such a system.
The answer, in one sense, isn’t that complicated: stop discriminating against women; encourage their self-esteem; raise awareness in yourself and others about gender and discrimination; stop denying that patriarchy is a real thing and that it manifests in a million obvious and insidious ways; educate yourself and others; encourage equality in every realm, for every being, everywhere. If we shift the paradigm, there won’t be a publishing discrepancy; we’ll have fixed the root and the tree that grows will be brilliant, probably more brilliant than we can even conceive of now.
Hi Vida Folks,
I ran Knockout’s numbers and found that we while we don’t get as many submissions from women as we do from men, our numbers weren’t always proportional to the number of subs we did receive. Thought you might find it interesting: http://blog.knockoutlit.org/?p=160
I’m sorry, but the very reference to gender in your organization’s name is oppressive and anti-feminist.
This is a disgrace. Given that so much literature is produced and consumed by women, that the hierarchy and structure of judgment remains so overwhelmingly male is a appalling, and puzzling.
The problem, as Thomas.Mautner proposes, is not Academia. The problem is the process. If my ass looked as good atop a glass ceiling as it did on a photocopier, these numbers may be different. Such as it is, I, and women writers like me have to claw our way up your ivory towers to be heard.
Many of the largest-circulation magazines in English are primarily written by and read by women. What you’re saying is that if you ignore magazines aimed at women and focus on much smaller magazines that don’t tend to be written by and read by women, there are more men. OK.
My question: why are magazines that focus on women uninteresting, unprestigious, and ignored?
What would happen if you analyzed these magazines, instead of the smaller ones you picked?
These are literary events not yet hallowed. Dorothy Parker said it best, “Please, God, let me write like a man.” I will add to think like a man as well. You must know your audience. Taking into consideration my distrust of statistics in general, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for rejection if you submit your writing to a publication that is written by men for men. If you want to be considered by unbiased publishers and editors at elite literary levels, than be magnanimous, write from that lofty position and query first.
I am a songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee and have long rued the fact that women make up less than 10% of the staff writers working with publishers in this town. One of the bitter pills I consistently have to swallow is be called a “girl writer” or “chick songwriter”, even after you’ve written number one songs and won awards. The men in our business are simply “songwriters” — which is exactly what I am. I don’t want my gender listed in my job description.
This study is so illuminating because I always assumed that my minority status was something that only occurred in the music/songwriting world. It cracks my heart to know that, in fact, it’s pervasive in all genres. But on the flip side, it makes me feel like I’m not alone.
Thanks for your great work — next time you do this, it would be amazing to get statistics on chart topping songs as well!
Sorry, but Danielle’s post doesn’t do anything to convince me that the ration of submissions by male writers to those by female writers is not relevant. It’s entirely relevant. We’d also have to know a number of other factors before we could conclude that these numbers represent an overwhelming bias. This is as unscientific as it gets. And, no, most publications do not seek reviewers. Reviewers pitch ideas for reviews to editors. We’d need to know that information. We’d need to know how many books were published by women versus how many by men. This is just alarmism in a vacuum.
@NB- “This is just alarmism in a vacuum.”
No, the vacuum here is your lack of perspective. You’re asking how many books were written by women, ignoring that even there is a barrier. That more men will be published because women aren’t taken as seriously as writers. That more men will have their work promoted and, thus, reviewed. These numbers don’t reflect only one level of things, but multiple. The number of comparative reviews is just one of the final outcomes in the whole process of getting a book to the top, a process that, often purposely, takes more women than men out of the running every step of the way.
While I won’t quibble directly with your issues with Danielle Pafunda’s Count article, I can assure you–having been on both sides of this issue for many years as a writer and as an editor–and knowing many editors at many magazines– literary editors DO frequently contact people to ask them to review. And not just to review, but to review very specific books their editors wish to feature. Also, when writers do pitch book reviews, they often have several they’re pitching. Question is, how many of them are books by women? And how often are these women’s books chosen for review in relationship to male authors’ books? There may be other numbers for VIDA to crunch as we go along and as magazines make them available to us, but your personal take here is certainly more anecdotal and less factual than the hard numbers we’ve gathered.
Thanks so very much for this timely and vital research. As a published author of 17 books, I’ve published with Knopf, Penguin, HarperCollins, W.W. Norton. I worked for five years at The New Yorker magazine in the 1970s. This gender bias is not news, shocking as it still is. It is a wake-up call to readers and publishers to practice more fairness in publishing. As readers and writers, we can help make this happen by posting articles such as this, and commenting. I’d also like a pdf. of this article to share widely. I found it on The Huffington Post.
One of the reasons I left the East coast publishing scene to move here to Seattle was that, as a woman, I saw how limited my future would be if I stayed in that patriarchal publishing business. At lest here on the Left Coast there is a long tradition of more balance between women and men. As much as I an loath to say it, Amazon is much more female friendly. Maybe it’s the pioneer spirit. Go West, Young Woman!
One thing I’d like to add, all of my book editors save one were women. They are the tireless and brilliant women behind the books. Thanks to these editors who have continued to publish fairly, without prejudice.
I have been thinking about The Count in terms of women’s literary history and the heritage of silencing from which we are descended. You can read my blog The VIDA 2011 Count and 5 Ways to Flip Silencing the Bird at http://www.writingwomenslives.com/the-vida-2011-count-and-5-ways-to-flip-silencing-the-bird/
All I can say is thank you for doing this study. Lot’s of work to be done to change these pie charts around.
Does Sir Peter Stothard REALLY believe that “while women are heavy readers, we know they are heavy readers of the kind of fiction that is not likely to be reviewed in the pages of the Timed Literary Supplement.” We KNOW, do we? If a first-year undergraduate student wrote that sort of twaddle he’d flunk a basic writing course. The assumptions behind this statement are appalling and indeed mind-boggling in their condescension and witlessness. Do I need to spell them out? Real men read serious work, women read trivia? A “heavy” reader is an addicted and uncritical one?
One might forgive the editor of an influential journal his pomposity, but his patronising condescension is (to say the least) blind and arrogant. Overall, his message – like the figures reported by VIDA – is disgusting and frightening.
I have been following this closely for some time, and one of the issues to come out of it is that few men are reading female writers. So I and Marisa Wikramanayake started Guys Read Gals. http://guysreadgals.wordpress.com/
Not only are women’s book reviews getting short changed, my research tells me that about 10% of men read books written by women. It also may be that men are not reading as much as women. Maybe the libraries can tell us the figures for this.
[...] just released The 2011 Count: “The numbers are [...]
[...] The VIDA Statistics for 2011 were published today, and the numbers look bad for women, who write or are written about far less often than men. [...]
[...] to see a few examples of the gender breakdowns in literary coverage from major news outlets, visit VIDA for the whole list — and then let’s get to work putting a little more blue on the [...]
[...] Women in Literary Arts have released a report entitled “The Count 2011,” revealing that male writers outnumbered female writers in many [...]
[...] http://www.vidaweb.org/the-2011-count [...]
[...] disheartening and necessary to see the same VIDA numbers every year, but I’d also like to see three different (and more difficult to obtain) statistics [...]
[...] [Update: VIDA's 2011 Count can now be found here.] [...]
[...] The VIDA numbers about who gets hired to write what about whom are out. It’s worth reading the quotes they include with the pie charts, but be warned, you will be queasy. Then head over to Catherine Lacey’s post, which ends with “So, yeah, it’s a vicious cycle, blah blah blah, but one thing you can do about it is be a woman and work hard and submit everywhere until you cannot be ignored.” which makes me feel like “Hell yeah!” and “But don’t these pie charts kind of show that it doesn’t matter how hard I work or where I submit, because I’ll still be ignored?” [...]
[...] an organization devoted to examination and discussion of the roles women play in literature, has released its latest survey of the articles and reviews published by women in major magazines in 2011, and the results aren’t [...]
[...] Women in Literary Arts have released a news entitled “The Count 2011,” divulgence that masculine writers outnumbered womanlike writers in many publications final [...]
[...] an classification clinging to hearing and contention of a roles women play in literature, has released a latest consult of a articles and reviews published by women in vital magazines in 2011, and a formula aren’t [...]
[...] But just in case you don’t think there’s a problem, here’s some sobering stats from Women in Literary Arts [...]
[...] intellectual journals in general are rather lax in publishing pieces by women writers! I am so very, very [...]
[...] has released the 2011 statistics for women’s representation in literary magazines and the results are both [...]
[...] writing. New data on magazines including the Atlantic, Harper’s, and the Nation finds an overwhelming imbalance when it comes to who gets published, and who gets written about. In the literary world, men are [...]
[...] an organization that deals with issues faced by women in the literary arts, examined the gender of writers, book reviewers and authors reviewed in a slew of publications in [...]
[...] Vida’s report on the 2011 gender proportions of bylines in many popular “thought-leading” magazines is…well, grim. [...]
[...] VIDA, an organization for women in literary arts, published the results of a survey tallying the percentage of female reviewers, contributors, and authors that appeared in [...]
[...] indeed? Days after the abysmal 2012 Oscar ceremony, VIDA releases new stats with the same old [...]
[...] a site devoted to women in the literary arts, has released a disheartening breakdown of 2011 rates of publication for women vs men in some of the most important literary outlets and [...]
[...] an American organisation supporting women in the literary arts, has compiled statistics on the gender split in books coverage at publications including the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the New Yorker [...]
[...] and progressive — so where are their female contributors? VIDA’s website shows exactly just how skewed 2011′s breakdown really was. And more than seventy-five percent of the books critiqued in The New York Review of Books were [...]
[...] Vida has released their 2011 pie charts showing percentage representation of men and women in major … and literary markets, including the New York Review of Books, Harper's, and the NYT's book review [...]
[...] week VIDA, an organization promoting women writers, released its 2011 count of bylines by gender in major magazines. Yep, it's as simple as that: They count to see how many women were published in [...]
[...] it comes to writing, philosophy, the arts, the Western canon, etc. The other day, I came across these statistics that detail the gender breakdown of contributions to the biggest literary journals around. [...]
[...] These charts on female writers, book reviewers, and editorial staff have been floating around the internet for a few days now. The quick take-away is that women are far underrepresented in the major publications that promote and review literary works, non-fiction, and poetry. Mother Jones was quick to point out that the gender make-up of their staff and contributors is much more equal. [...]
[...] City Paper March 3, 2012By TedThis week VIDA, an organization promoting women writers, released its 2011 count of bylines by gender in major magazines. Yep, it’s as simple as that: They count to see how many women were [...]
[...] is a study conducted by Vida, an American organization supporting women in the literary arts, on the gender [...]
[...] Una organización estadounidense que apoya los derechos de la mujer, Vida, ha realizado un estudio sobre la cobertura de reseñas de libros en medios. [...]
[...] Vida’s 2011 count is in, and it looks a lot like the numbers from 2010. Oh there have been some improvements—Granta had more women authors—but overall the field is still male dominated. There are many complex reasons for these numbers. A ton has already been written about them, and I am not in positions to try to understand everything that contributes to them. [...]
[...] do you pitch the publications listed in the VIDA count, or any publication for that [...]
[...] an American organisation supporting women in the literary arts, has compiled statistics on the gender split in books coverage at publications including the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the New [...]
[...] was this gender breakdown of the biggest literary journals got a lot of writers and editors talking. It got me thinking about the continuous cycle of social [...]
[...] the “critical and cultural preceptions” of women in the literary arts, released their 2011 count of publication rates for female authors in some of the top literacy magazines and book coverage sections in newspapers. These results are [...]
[...] week, the annual VIDA count revealed the continuing gender bias in US journalism and literary criticism. This topic’s [...]
[...] in the 2011 VIDA count everything seems sadly status quo compared to last year’s dismal gender breakdown. Examples [...]
[...] awakening when new data on magazines including the Atlantic, Harper’s, and the Nation found an overwhelming imbalance when it comes to who gets published, and who gets written about. “In the literary world, men [...]
[...] post in the Jewish Daily Forward by Sarah Seltzer led me to this study done by VIDA – an organisation aimed at increasing female representation in literary arts [...]
[...] daughter was leafing through over breakfast this morning. With all the depressing talk of VIDA statistics and gender bias in literary reviews and awards, I’m thrilled to think the world owes the [...]
[...] Last week, VIDA, the women in literary arts folks, released their yearly round-up of just how few women appear as writers in national outlets.… [...]
[...] The numbers are in. Female writers are significantly underrepresented in major national magazines, just as they are here on Gangrey. [...]
[...] new VIDA statistics for the year just passed are out, and the results are enough to make you cry into your small blue [...]
[...] first post is by VIDA, and you can see all their lovely statistics on the breakdown of the male/female ratio [...]
[...] the number of male authors (both reviewing and being reviewed) in top literary publications still heavily outweigh their female counterparts. Male reviewers dominate our taste in books, in movies, in TV shows, and [...]
[...] number of reviews of women authors and by women reviewers in major American and British journals. Here’s their most recent count – for 2011 – released two weeks [...]
[...] been a week since VIDA published the second year’s results of their now-infamous count. The statistics are deplorably unbalanced, as everyone with half a blog has already noted. There is [...]
[...] because I believe you have to see and acknowledge inequality before you can start to fight it (see VIDA’s 2011 Count here), I did a little Count of my own [...]
[...] Hogwarts Castle model used on the set of Harry Potter is revealed for first time! The reports on gender in media from 2011 have been released. Here’s a good summary of the Paypal/Smashwords Controversy. Are [...]
[...] Harpers’ Magazine and the London Review of Books. The numbers, presented in a series of pie charts, are astonishing, revealing a serious gender bias in the publishing [...]
[...] and we count their bylines every year to confirm it. Last month, VIDA released its annual inventory of the gender ratio in the pages of magazines like Harper's, The [...]
[...] movement that it is often misrepresented as. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out The 2011 Count VIDA has compiled. Still looking pretty [...]
[...] poco apareció en la web estadounidense VIDA (una página dedicada a mujeres que trabajan en el entorno literario) un artículo que ha levantado [...]
[...] arts, does an annual survey of the prominence of female authors in the literary establishment, and the numbers don’t lie. In 2010 and 2011, men wrote the majority of both the books reviewed and the book reviews [...]
[...] start of Women’s History Month, the ladyblogosphere got some bad news in the form of “the VIDA Count,” a yearly comparison of male and female bylines and reviews in a number of well-known [...]
[...] gender imbalance in various large literary publications is revealed in this infographic. I also learned that I may have overshot a little by submitting some poems to The Threepenny [...]
[...] women and people of color are underrepresented in almost all forms of mainstream journalism, be it print, broadcast or web. This is especially true in one of the most influential mediums of opinion [...]
[...] in the past three years but the conversation has. The literary world takes note of Vida’s COUNT, including book critics of major newspapers and magazines—even [...]
[...] Ceiling or Sky: Female Nonfictions after the VIDA Count and in response to the recently revealed VIDA and its nearly identical pie graph which shows 75% of most magazine’s contributors are male. I [...]
[...] on the publication, the ratio of reviews for male authors to female authors can be as high as three-to-one. An article in the Huffington Post suggests that literary publications may not be to blame. The [...]
[...] as having any experiential value or importance at all. This is very important when considering the results of VIDA and how female writers are being presented and represented today. If we continue to dismiss whole [...]
[...] And there, in those modifiers, you have the problem. Class and race are invisible categories throughout The Atlantic‘s article. And without them, the article’s argument doesn’t make any sense. Working-class men of color have long been unemployed at higher rates than women. And upper-class men are, to put it mildly, doing just fine: they make up 96.5% of Fortune 1000 CEOs, 85% of equity partners at law firms, 83% of senators — and six of the seven editors listed at the top of The Atlantic’s masthead, as well as a significant majority of the magazine’s contributors. [...]
[...] too: it must be trickier for them to end up making money than it is for their male counterparts). Figures from VIDA, a US organisation for women in the literary arts, released in March make for depressing viewing. [...]
[...] 2012 10 Underrated Women Writers (Global Edition)Whose stories are we paying attention to? If the statistics released by VIDA last week are any indication, it’s not a whole lot of female authors. And with [...]
[...] and pointed out that there are very few female reviewers (for more on this: Voices Unheard, 2011 statistics, BookBrowse commentary). However, Bidisha wanted to end on a celebratory note, and praised the [...]
[...] VIDA’s findings remind me of an exchange I had with a customer when I worked at one of LA’s local independent bookstores. A man came up to the counter with Jumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, which had won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction a few years previously in 2000. He hesitated, not sure if he wanted to buy it. It was for a book group he was in, so someone else had chosen this title. He looked at the book disparagingly and asked, “It’s not chick lit, is it?” I froze. I didn’t know how to respond to this question. This book won the Pulitzer Prize, and this man still wasn’t sure if the work was worth his time, or if this work was valid as literature because it was written by a woman. Belittling her work as “chick lit” is just your average, everyday misogyny that runs so deep many of us don’t even realize, but we women internalize this from day one. [...]
[...] longer poetry collections. My main interest right now is to review chapbooks written by women. The VIDA Count really helped me make this a priority. I’m new at it, but it’s a lot of [...]
[...] questions in today’s New York Times Book Review. Her piece comes on the heels of the 2012 VIDA Report tracking the lopsided coverage male and female writers in magazines. (The VIDA Report was released [...]
[...] for the past two years. Magazines including the Atlantic, Harper’s, and the Nation found an overwhelming imbalance when it comes to who gets published, and who gets written about. “In the literary world, men are [...]
[...] Women in Literary Arts published “The 2011 Count” in February, featuring a series of pie charts that reveal the journalism industry’s [...]
[...] those pages, and slap the results into a pie chart. Red for men, blue for women. The result was a lot of big red pie slices. First published in 2011, they conveyed a clear fact: From Harpers to The New Yorker to The [...]
[...] to a 2011 count conducted by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, that's precisely what female writers are expected to [...]
[...] interview with Erin Belieu of VIDA. An organization with the subtitle Women in the Literary Arts, VIDA commits an annual byline count for several noteworthy magazines from Harper’s to New York [...]
[...] I wrote about the VIDA count and the gender disparity in publishing. This February, another VIDA count, another round of frustrating, but not surprising news. Another year of same song, same story, but [...]
[...] and Women.” And in case you haven’t looked at them yet, here are this year’s VIDA stats about women and publishing for 2011. Sobering as usual, but important to know [...]
[...] York Times, The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, and others, and published their findings in The 2011 Count. Casually flipping through the pie-chart slides, it seems that male writers have three or four [...]
[...] I wrote about the VIDA count and the gender disparity in publishing. This February, another VIDA count, another round of frustrating, but not surprising news. Lyon Review’s managing editor, Sandi [...]
[...] letters remind me a lot about the discussions surrounding the VIDA Count. Is it true that women are less likely to submit for perhaps the same reasons I see surfacing even [...]
[...] for instance, less than thirty percent of the stories published in 2011 were written by women, according to this year’s VIDA Count, which did a gender breakdown of bylines in each [...]
[...] Jeffery and Bauerlain go on to mention that there are structural factors impacting the gender byline divide as well, things that women in other careers face too, like taking time off to have children, and perhaps being less likely to cover traditionally male topics (wars, sports, etc) because of sexism. "As many, including ourselves, have written," they say, the "key to solving the byline gap is to get more women in editorial positions of authority." It does appear there's positive movement in this regard, but it's hardly enough, as VIDA pointed out back in February. [...]
[...] may have seen the 2011 VIDA Count circulating around the blogosphere recently. For those who don’t know, the count shows a [...]
[...] also doing a separate issue, “Ceiling or Sky: Female Nonfictions after the VIDA Count.” The VIDA Count is a tally of publications based on gender, and is the inspiration of this themed issue. They will [...]
[...] that canon have to identify as male while, simultaneously, being reminded that they are not. VIDA’s count reveals that any canon of poetry formed today would almost certainly have the same kind of effect. [...]
[...] gender imbalance might have gone unnoticed, if it hadn’t coincided with the latest VIDA research that revealed an alarming under-representation of female authors and critics in international [...]
[...] A series of simple pie charts released recently by VIDA, a U.S. women’s literary group, illustrates the complaint: Classifying book reviews in the most prestigious American and British periodicals according to the sex of both reviewers and the authors reviewed, the VIDA charts are a rogue’s gallery of voracious male Pac men chomping at minority wedges of female participation. [...]
[...] interested in how much coverage women’s writing is getting in the media all year round, and not just when the Vida Count comes out. I do it because I think keeping tabs on exactly who is writing about books, and what [...]
[...] VIDA also composed statistics for several major publications such the New York Times and The Atlantic that showed most book reviewers were male and most books reviewed were by men. This is particularly interesting since, in general, more women read than men. [...]
[...] Gay, and others who took to their keyboards in response, in part, to the February release of the 2011 VIDA statistics that show nearly every highbrow literary and cultural magazine publishes many more male-authored [...]
[...] politics” that Perloff thinks produces only slight variation. (See, for example, evidence in the VIDA count and a recent report by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.) I could write expose after expose, [...]
[...] VIDA stats have shown us publishing’s huge gender bias, and that men are consistently reviewed and [...]
[...] 23 male book reviewers to 10 female ones, and 52 male authors reviewed to only 19 females. These statistics and tons more, all equally damning, come from VIDA, which does the grunt work of tracking all the major literary outlets, including the Big Daddy, The [...]
[...] been a history of men.) Finally, while reading stories like these, I cannot banish from my mind the annual VIDA count, which has proven that while the literary world might pay lip service to gender equality, women are [...]
[...] an uphill battle to get published as well researched on the Vida: Women in Literary Arts website, http://www.vidaweb.org/the-2011-count. The percentage of women getting into print compared with men is indeed an eye [...]
[...] kid eating a gallon of ice cream on one end and a housefly on the other. The discrepancies aren’t breaking news anymore: We’re past reporting, and into corrective action. So how do we even the ratio out? [...]
[...] Jones editors Clara Jeffrey and Monika Bauerlain. Previously, VIDA compiled charts showing the breakdown of female versus male bylines at an array of national magazines; more recently, the Op-Ed Project published the results of their [...]
[...] has popped up at a time when gender and status are under the spotlight in the US literary world. Research by VIDA (an organisation for “Women In The Literary Arts”) has shown women are vastly [...]
[...] darlings.” Just a few months ago, Vida, the magazine for women in literary arts, published these statistics to highlight gender bias within the literary [...]
[...] the much-discussed VIDA results, which illustrated just how little women are reviewed or published by the major literary press, [...]
[...] know these are NOT new questions; if you take a look at the VIDA count that tracks gender numbers in the literary arts, you’ll see these questions asked there too. I [...]
[...] set of data is the number of bylines by women vs. men in major news magazines. VIDA’s 2011 count of bylines shows just how bad the problem is. With pie charts showing men in red and women in blue, the [...]
[...] Project’s recent Byline Survey, women have 30% of the NYTimes bylines to men’s 70%. And as the VIDA Count showed earlier this year, this trend is a consistent one in [...]
[...] a panel where editors offered female writers advice about how to pitch stories. Magazines publish far more male writers, so editors are often asked how women might even the score. When asked to explain the gender gap, [...]
[...] Vida’s study of the under-representation of women in many literary venues—and the editorial responses to it—show that editors might not be consciously trying to keep women out, but they tend to stick with the (male) writers they already know. The same situation is probably true for academics trying to break into the mainstream market. If Harpers wants to run a historically themed piece, they’re likely to give that assignment to a writer they already work with, not start looking for an academic. Indeed, an academic is probably the last person they’d ask. Far from serving as a qualification to get one’s foot in the door, I’ve found that having a PhD in the subject area makes magazine editors very wary. One admitted as much to me, saying academics tend to be bad writers. I do want to engage a popular audience, I’m trying very hard to do so. So it’s not a case of my ceding anything, but not having the platform. [...]
[...] famous, infamous, ever-important “Count.” If you haven’t heard of the Count, click here immediately to see the pie charts—a simple, straightforward breakdown of the numbers of men vs. [...]
[...] care because of things like this. When the professional literary world pays so little attention to the women of literature, the [...]
[...] instance, we cannot ignore the fact that women’s voices are still consistently marginalized in today’s literary publishing landscape, and that journals, presses, and organizations that seek [...]
[...] It’s a topic that has been discussed a lot in the past several months, especially after the VIDA count came [...]
[...] industries, and these are definitely contributing factors. Independent audits like those done by VIDA have shown beyond doubt that in terms of mainstream media coverage, we’re a long way from [...]
[...] and think just like them. He is part of a system that requires an organization like VIDA to do an annual count that reveals a disheartening, ongoing and pervasive practice of a certain kind of writer [...]
[...] New York Times Book Review (like so many book reviews) made a very gendered “mistake.” As Jezebel so succinctly put it: “The New York [...]
[...] set of data is the number of bylines by women vs. men in major news magazines. VIDA’s 2011 count of bylines shows just how bad the problem is. With pie charts showing men in red and women in blue, the [...]
[...] books. You would think things may have changed over the years, but just take a glance at these statistics by VIDA. The gender breakdown of some of these respected literary journals is quite alarming. It is even [...]
[...] puts the male-dominated publishing industry on the spot, contextualizing Lehrer’s rise to fame within a societal media ”system [...]
[...] has not altered the great disparity in publication between men and women writers; sadly, the VIDA Women in Literary Arts statistics continue to prove this year after year. The legitimizing White Male Standard Approval Franzen [...]
[...] The VIDA count (go to http://www.vidaweb.org/the-2011-count for the 2011 numbers) confirmed something most of us women in the literary arts knew from casual [...]
[...] VIDA’s 2011 reporting on women in literature paints a dreary answer to that question. Across the elite publications reviewing books and writing about literature, men outnumber women on editorial boards, as book reviewers and as authors of books reviewed. The numbers are not insignificant. Usually the ratio is at least three to one. So women may be writing damn fine books, but it appears that the main voices in the marketplace are making other decisions about what should be reviewed and read. In Mother Jones, celebrated poet Erin Beleiu of VIDA said, “A friend of mine defines this kind of intellectual segregation as the “tits and nether bits” ghetto, a place in which women only speak to other women. Meantime, men are allowed and encouraged to speak to whomever they want.” [...]
[...] Susanne Antonetta: The VIDA count (go to http://www.vidaweb.org/the-2011-count for the 2011 numbers) confirmed something most of us women in the literary arts knew from casual [...]
[...] is part of an ongoing debate about the underrepresentation of female writers in major book reviews. Vida, an organization for women in the literary arts, conducts an annual count of authors from each gender reviewed by the most respected book news [...]
[...] beyond an offhand “You know, it’s possible.” Yes, I know it’s possible. VIDA knows it’s possible. It’s more than possible. How could the person who wrote [...]
[...] deelden twee Nederlandse schrijfsters één foto. Dit is geen toevallig, geïsoleerd incident. Cijfers van de Amerikaanse organisatie VIDA wijzen uit dat de meeste boekenrubrieken of boekenmagazines niet verder komen dan circa twintig [...]
[...] Cool infographic that I like to revisit. Any reader of this blog should be familiar with this information. [...]
[...] Francine Prose’s “Scent of Woman’s Ink,” of course, a link to VIDA’s “The Count”, Katha Pollitt’s review of “A Jury of Her Peers” titled, “Scribblers, [...]
[...] themselves? Who was going to update my mailing list? Apply for these grants? Have you seen the VIDA numbers? And besides, when I was working– writing, teaching, improving my apartment, [...]
[...] the US organization VIDA released a 2011 report on the gender disparity in American and British literary publications back in February, it helped start a conversation here in Canada about the gender disparity in our [...]
[...] VIDA numbers, which barely budged in 2011, have made me more aggressive as a freelancer. Although I write most [...]
[...] the number of reviews is solely due to the merit of the books in question. (As one commenter noted, VIDA really needs to stop all this pointless counting and teach women how to write [...]
[...] les xifres són les següents: 33 autores i 31 autors. A Dr Read Good, no volem ser com la majoria de la premsa literària, així que us volem reclutar per ajudar-nos a seguir pel bon camí, diuen [...]
[...] founded in 2009 to explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women, came up with some pie charts in 2011 that track the number of women and men both reviewing and being reviewed at some of the [...]
[...] meritocracy explains the low number of reviews in literary journals of books by women which the VIDA count has identified. Her adopted persona is baffled by damning evidence from a recent study on gender [...]
[...] darlings.” Just a few months ago, Vida, the magazine for women in literary arts, published these statistics to highlight gender bias within the literary [...]
[...] easy to find. Women still are discriminated against in the publishing and reviewing (as the VIDA study reported by AWW shows) but the situation is improving. As more books by women about themselves get [...]
[...] A Stella event in Sydney earlier this year asked ‘Do women write differently from men?’ Of course we don’t – the range of women writers and writing is as vast as that of men. But I can’t help feeling that something like an idea that women write (and read) differently from men lurks at the heart of the marginalisation of women writers in the prevailing western literary culture (as suggested by the VIDA statistics). [...]
[...] The folks over at Vida do a yearly breakdown of the number of female versus male authors whose books are being reviewed in popular magazines and journals. The numbers are dismal. [...]
[...] There have been the usual scant begrudging reviews, there is still a visibility issue in terms of how many women are published, but poets like Alice Oswald, Ros Barber, Carol Ann Duffy, Eavan Boland, and all the women here [...]
[...] reform? Or posting a counterintuitive feature on Bernanke? The women-baiting covers include Anne-Marie Slaughter on “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” (in “The Ideas Issue”!), Kate Bolick on why the ladies today refuse to get [...]
[...] Not too many men on this list, but it’s down to my vowed focus on female writers. Only 11 of the 45 books were written by men. No regrets. The world of book and poetry reviews is heavily weighted in favour of men, as Vida proved true of America last year. [...]
[...] award for writing by women, but the need to champion women’s writing persists: a recent Vida study showed that work by women is still far less likely to be reviewed than work by men; only [...]
[...] Australian Women Writers Challenge was set up in 2012 to promote women writers in Australia after a study discovered that male authors are more likely to have their books reviewed in mainstream [...]
[...] Also included is a count of the number of male and female reviewers. Here is the relevant link: http://www.vidaweb.org/the-2011-count. Similarly, an essay published in The New York Times Book Review by Meg Wolitzer entitled “The [...]
[...] The results were a disturbing confirmation of the gender gap in the surveyed publications, prompting an enormous response from the literary community. The community’s responses to the data were both positive and negative, but the numbers were irrefutable—in almost all of the publications they “counted,” women were underrepresented. Photo Credit: VIDA, at http://www.vidaweb.org/the-2011-count [...]
[...] that marginalizes their work. For example, though women are heavier consumers of books than men, books written by male authors receive more reviews in prestigious publications. Female-authored books are labeled “chick lit” or “women’s [...]
[...] seen in media or in the world of news, opinion, and literary magazines specifically (we in media have had similar issues). Instead of putting the onus on society—or women—to improve, as Sandberg [...]
[...] the VIDA count shows, the ratio of male to female writers published in literary journals, magazines, and book [...]
[...] find that women make up barely a quarter of contributors. Vida publishes statistics regularly, the 2011 one is here and I expect the 2012 one will be out soon. The figures are very revealing showing that in [...]
[...] you ask. Well, it’s a reading challenge that was established last year as a way to stop the gender bias that exists in so many book review pages, particularly in the established media. This bias [...]
[...] reviews. Not convinced such a thing exists? I wasn't–until I had a gander at this compelling study of book reviews around the world. While a misogynistic conspiracy is implausible, the cold, hard [...]
[...] up the “Academy” that decides the Oscars, we hear about how rarely women are CEOs, how not often enough women’s books are reviewed in national papers and this compelling report adds important context to this landscape of inequality (while also [...]
[...] The following was released in 2011 by VIDA, a group that hopes to “explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women through meaningful conversation and the exchange of ideas among existing and emerging literary communities.” Although two years old, I have to wonder how much has changed. As a woman writing in a culture that I feel has made strides in gender equality, the graphs below were surprising. The 2011 Count can be viewed in its entirety at VIDA’s website. [...]
[...] . The challenge is basically a stand against gender bias in the literary world. According to the VIDA count , male writers are more likely to be reviewed that female [...]
[...] often reminded of just how far there is to go. This was the case last year when I saw some studies examining the review coverage of women’s books when compared to men’s the previous year. The [...]
[...] sufficient through this point, because of all the latest focal point on VIDA’s each year diagnosis of reviewing developments — for her observations to represent an affordable overview of [...]
[...] high school reading lists to leading literary magazines, the idea is reinforced that the ‘heavy hitters’ are men and that topics associated with men [...]
[...] VIDA audit. Among other similar stats (like the ones from this event I went to last year), they really [...]
[...] authors. VIDA, an organization dedicated to women in literary arts, pointed out that in 2011 the New York Times Book Review printed reviews of 520 male authors’ books and only 273 books written by [...]
[...] an organization dedicated to women in literary arts, pointed out that in 2011 the New York Times Book Review printed reviews of 520 male authors’ books and only 273 books written by [...]
[...] more of the charts over at the Vida site. Here’s a snippet from my reaction to last year’s count: I dislike the fact of women [...]
[...] the time VIDA released its first Count in 2011, and CWILA was gearing up, I was volunteering as chief Editor for a literary journal within U of [...]
[...] cigarette company? “You’ve come a long way, baby.” But not really! And there was the chart that VIDA put out about the number of women reviewers in literary magazines. It’s tiny compared to the number of [...]
[...] creator of WhoWritesFor (its common designation), credits his inspiration for the site to reading a 2011 study by literary organization VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. “The Count,” as it is called, [...]
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