Wednesday, March 6, 2013

VIDA Numbers: Men Still Outnumber Women in Literary Magazines

VIDA released its 2012 numbers this week, and... wait for it... there's still a disturbing lack of parity in the lit world. At most literary magazines, men still outnumber women as reviewers and contributors by a pretty safe margin. Here's a side by side  comparison of the past three years. Only The Boston Review and smaller publications like Threepenny and Poetry come close to achieving parity.

Writer Roxane Gay has a nice write-up  on her blog better articulation the frustration of seeing women's writing consistently undervalued and unread in the literary world's big stage:
I think what’s hardest is that I read these magazines and I respect them. I subscribe to The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harper’s, London Review of Books, and sometimes Tin House, because I enjoy reading them. I enjoy learning from them or finding things to disagree with. I hope to write for these publications someday, not because I’m a woman, but because I have a perspective that is, I think, unique. 
We get so bogged down in these numbers that we forget that diversity isn’t just about numbers. It is about diversity of thought and one of the best ways to include a diversity of thought is by sharing perspectives from a diverse group of people who will, by virtue of who they are and how they move through the world, have interesting things to say. It’s simplistic to say this is simply about men and women. It’s about so much more.

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