I received this press release in my email today (from Amy King @ VIDA: Women in Literary Arts) about gender bias in the literary world. I've read a few articles recently that addressed this study, and thought the press release would be worth sharing.
"We at VIDA are gratified to hear the response that has recently surfaced in the media based on the numbers we gathered in our 2010 count. But we also understand that these statistics are simply the beginning of a conversation we believe is necessary—not an end point, but a way to think about the more nuanced questions such numbers beg to be asked.
While The Count seems to quantify what many women have privately suspected for some time—that male writers take up most of the space in established literary venues in the States and in Britain—the much thornier question our literary community needs to ask is why. We at VIDA know these numbers bring up a complicated set of issues that deserves much more than a superficial response.
A number of people commenting in newspapers and blog boxes around the country wondered how many women are actually submitting work to these magazines. So far, what we know about rates of submission is anecdotal. A good number of editors have spoken to VIDA board members directly, some telling us of their often frustrated attempts to solicit work from women writers, some telling us that they see women submitting work in goodly numbers. So the issues are not black and white and not ones that a handful of pie charts can fully explore. That work is left to the women and men who care about women writers’ clear marginalization in relationship to our on-going literary conversation.
Because VIDA as an organization doesn’t have access to the numbers for individual magazines’ rates of submissions, and because much of what is published in high visibility magazines is often solicited by their editors, we will need help in moving this conversation forward. We ask that the editors of all literary magazines—large and small-- begin to count for themselves. A simple database program, a good-hearted intern—either will get the job done simply enough. And for those editors out there who do decide to count, VIDA will be happy to share your numbers and your thoughts on how this process has affected your thinking about gender, publishing and the other myriad observations such a process is likely to reveal. We look forward to the opportunity."~~~~~~
Articles on The Count
1.) The Lack of Female Bylines in Magazines Is Old News - Katha Pollitt @ Slate
2.) Being Female -- Eileen Myles @ The Awl
3.) How To Publish Women Writers: A Letter to Publishers about the VIDA Count -- Annie Finch @ Her Circle
4.) 'Numbers don't lie': Addressing the gender gap in literary publishing -- Jessa Crispin @ PBS
5.) On breaking the literary glass ceiling -- Jessa Crispin and Michael Schaub @ PBS
6.) Why There's Gender Bias in Media-and What We Can Do About It -- Margot Magowan @ MS. Magazine
7.) Women in Publishing: What's the Real Story? -- Kjerstin Johnson @ Bitch Magazine
8.) Women Get Published and Reviewed Less Than Men in Big Magazines, Say Red-and-Blue Pie Charts -- Jim Behrle @ The Hairpin
9.) Bitches Be Trippin' -- Roxane Gay @ HTML Giant
10.) The Sorry State Of Women At Top Magazines -- Anna North @ Jezebel
11.) Gender, publishing, and Poetry magazine -- Christian Wiman @ Poetry Foundation
12.) VIDA: The Count Roundup @ The Rumpus
13.) Why It Matters That Fewer Women Are Published in Literary Magazines -- Robin Romm @ Double X
14.) Women at Work -- Meghan O'Rourke @ Slate
15.) The Numbers Speak For Themselves @ Women and Hollywood
16.) Do četiri puta manje tekstova žena! -- BROJKE NE LAŽU @ Kultura (in Croatian)
17.) Submitting Work: A Woman's Problem? -- Becky Tuch @ Beyond the Margins
18.) On Gender, Numbers, & Submissions -- Rob @ Tin House
19.) A Literary Glass Ceiling? -- Ruth Franklin @ The New Republic
20.) Research shows male writers still dominate books world -- Benedicte Page @ The Guardian
21.) Gender Balance and Book Reviewing: A New Survey Renews The Debate -- Patricia Cohen @ New York Times Arts Beat
22.) Tickets to an Awesome Future Are Free: Gender, Literature, and VIDA’s Count -- Carolyn Zaikowski