…and the results are not much different from last year. Women are still profoundly under represented in literary magazine publishing. This is not surprising, since as Erin Belieu writes:
[W]e know that significant cultural change takes time.
We also know that this is a conversation that’s not going away; when we talk to other writers, when we talk to our writing students, we know things are in the process of changing for the better, that our literary culture’s consciousness has been raised. And we believe we’ve begun to see hopeful signs. Yes, many literary outlets still produced their phallocentric Best Books list this year. But notice how careful most of them were to create some context for their lists’ inherent subjectivity. The word “Best” now has a permanent asterisk next to it, no matter where you line up in our writing community’s gender debate. And to acknowledge your bias is one step toward opening your mind. We’ve come a long way since Publishers’ Weekly breezily dismissed the total absence of women in their top ten list of 2009.
I wrote about why the count matters to me personally in this post, and I am happy and humbled (really) that Vida published a couple of quotes from it with their charts.