The lopsided distribution of male versus female writers in major publications has long been driving feminists–and all those interested in equality–crazy. It’s an open secret that even with American women reading far more books than men, women writers are published less frequently. And when women are published, statistics suggest that their books are reviewed less frequently–at least in what’s left of mainstream media book coverage.
Lately there has been a perfect storm of sexist scenarios in publishing. “Nude Men” author Amanda Fillipachi wrote an article for the New York Times exposing the shocking revelation that Wikipedia editors had been systematically removing women from the “American Novelists” category and relegating them to the subcategory “American Women Novelists.” That ‘s not what Virginia Woolf meant by a room of her own, by the way. Then in an almost hilariously insensitive–and editorially narrow–move, a recent New Yorker magazine featured, with the exception of a poem by Lia Purpura, an ALL MALE list of contributors. Not one woman’s voice to be heard in prose anywhere in the magazine. No telling exactly which of these things pushed Cheryl Strayed, the popular and iconic author of Wild (an Oprah pick), to consider the tattoo parlor. Strayed vowed on Twitter to get “FEMINIST” tattooed on her butt. Our only concern is the placement–too few will get to review the work!