Fourth Genre and the Second Sex
April 14, 2011 § 13 Comments
“The most mediocre of males feels himself a demigod as compared with women.”
So, we’re guessing that got your attention, and also proved that we can make a Simone de Beauvoir reference as well as the next blogger. Our point? The excellent nonfiction literary journal Fourth Genre has released its VIDA numbers (ratios of male to female authors submitting and published) in response to the question of whether women are under-represented in magazines due to various gender-based biases. If you missed the VIDA article, click here.
Fourth Genre‘s numbers seem to reinforce what guest blogger William Bradley suggested on this very blog, back when we revealed our own gender ratios. Bradley wonders if perhaps magazines devoted to nonfiction — Brevity, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, River Teeth, for example — have better female representation because “the lack of preconceived notions about what nonfiction is and what makes it good somehow spares it from the unintentional institutional sexism that might pervade other genres.”
Here are Fourth Genre‘s comprehensive charts. They’re posted to Facebook, so we’re not sure if the non-Facebookies amongst you can even access them. We hope so. [UPDATE: Fourth Genre has now posted a page of charts for those who can’t access the FB site.]
And we’ll close with one more thought from Simone:
“Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with the absolute truth.”