Girls! Girls! Girls! - or, rather, severe lack thereof

VIDA (a group that "seeks to explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women") has just released a fascinating and MADDENING study on the presence of female writers versus male in many mainstream literary publications. Whether it is work reviewed, published or critiques, the men far outnumber the women again and again is every single category for every single publication. I can't believe it's 2011 and this is an issue, but on the other hand, I can.


At the end of the report, they write:

Please tell us about the trends you’ve witnessed in your part of the writing world. Let us know what you think is going on. We’re ready and anxious to hear from you. We’re ready to invest our efforts and energy into the radical notion that women are writers too.

Immediately, my mind went to women in graduate English and writing programs. It seems to me they far outweigh the men. So I left this in the comments section:

[I want to bring up a question about] women enrolled in MFA, MA in Lit/English and undergrad English programs. I also wanted to ask about Faculty in all those programs. Looking around, I see a lot more female students enrolled in MFAs, but that isn't from a formal study. I see more male faculty members than female.

Another point of interest in regards to female to male ratios would be on the other end of things: how many female publishers, editors, reviewers and female-owned small-to-medium press operators are there? If proportions are similar to these results, that might be another place to address the lack of female presence in publications of all kinds.

Thanks for doing this study and publishing the results. Let's hope it brings an awakening.

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