New York Review of Books tells you who’s important: men

This from VIDA on intellectuals/ thought leaders:

New York Review of Books’ Summer 2013 issue. So, VIDAs, wouldn’t you say it’s time to cancel your subscription or write to the editor or something? I mean, WTH??


A couple things really get me about this snobby sexism:

(1) Progressive does NOT equal feminist. A couple weeks ago a study came out that the New York Times, that bastion of liberalism, quotes 3.4 men for every woman. Slate reports:

The endless trend pieces about how women accessorize, parent, and hook up today have failed to materialize into equal representation across the newspaper. In the Times, men are individuals who are quoted to represent countries, corporations, academics, and citizens; women are quoted to represent other women.


The UNLV students who did this study conducted a similar study in 2010 about NPR with similar results. Did you read that part about NPR?

I write a lot about how PBS, the “education/ liberal/ progressive” station is just as male focused in its shows for kids as Disney.

(2) Feminine does NOT equal artsy unless absolutely no status is involved. If you are in kidworld, you deal a lot with stereotypes about how boys are active and girls are artsy, as if this is a biological truth. This “reality” has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with raising, affirming, and validating quiet and well-behaved girls. When it comes to artists in the grown-up world with big shows who make lots of money, they’re almost all men. J. K. Rowling, already hiding her gender with one name, just used a made up male name to write a detective story. Don’t get me started on “chicklit” versus literary geniuses. Who decides who is a genius? Why, the New York Review of Books, of course!

To complain email or Tweet:  Where are the women? #NotBuyingIt

7 thoughts on “New York Review of Books tells you who’s important: men

  1. Hi, Margot, this isn’t about your post but I just thought it’d be something you would like to know, the first female director, Alice Guy, produced a thousand movies in her 20 year career and today she’s almost completely forgotten by the very industry she helped create, a documentary trying to find out how exactly that happened is in need of funding, there’s only 17 days left and it isn’t anywhere close to the amount of money that’s needed.

    Would you care to spread the word?

    • TCM ran 3 of her films a while ago and I caught one of them called Falling Leaves. Here are some things I noted. If it had been in sound, I’m sure it would have passed the Bechdel test. As the doctors, men are still the professionals, but the girl in the movie (Little Trixie) isn’t content to let that rest. She hears the first doctor tell her mother that her sister will be dead by the time the last leaf falls so she goes out to her yard in the middle of the night and uses strings to tie up the leaves to keep her sister from dying. While she’s doing this, a second young doctor walks by and notices her. We learned in the beginning of the film that this doctor has discovered a cure for tuberculosis/consumption. I’m not sure if it’s still the middle of the night, but he goes in and offers his services to the family and 3 months later, the little girl’s sister is cured.

      It’s not really a masterpiece of directing, as I would expect from an early silent film. The camera is static and there’s nothing about the acting or set that suggests a certain vision on the part of the director.

      On the slightly less positive side, the film ends with the young doctor bringing the older sister flowers and the little girl waves her parents out of the room. It’s implied that the young doctor and older sister are going to start a relationship.

  2. Do you think the issue is that women are writing “chick lit” books which The New York Review of Books doesn’t want to recognize or do you think women are writing “literary genius” books that they don’t recognize because they have a preference for male writers?

    Do you think the issue is that The NY Times prefers quoting men to quoting women or that enough women do not occupy roles as the representatives of corporations, countries, and academia?

    Also, what about Joan Didion all the way at the bottom?

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