Many publications are still ‘Dudeville,’ VIDA says in annual count

February 24, 2014
Category: Uncategorized

VIDA Women in Literary Arts

VIDA’s annual count of gender diversity at literary outlets has a little good news: Paris Review is the organization’s “most improved this year,” and The New York Times Book Review has moved the needle, too. VIDA counted bylines, book reviewers and authors reviewed at several outlets. Its “overall” figures combine all those counts.

The New Republic had 9 female book reviewers in 2012. In 2013, it had 4. (Its number of male reviewers declined as well, but not as dramatically.) The percentage of women’s bylines inched up at TNR — for which I’ve written — to about 25 percent compared with about 18 percent the year before.

The New Republic’s 2013 byline count
TNR’s 2012 count.

The Atlantic joins TNR in what VIDA calls “‘Dudeville,’ which is far more polite than what Urban Dictionary would dub any closed circle of men enjoying their ‘creative privileges.'”

The Atlantic’s 2013 byline count: About 35 percent women.
The Atlantic’s 2012 count: Women had about 21 percent of the bylines.

Tin House, whose editor said “It really isn’t rocket science” to find more women journalists, found some more:

Tin House added one dude and three women to its byline count in 2013.
Tin House in 2012.

Some publications have fought “tooth and nail to trivialize and dismiss what these four years of counting have begun to turn into common knowledge: that women’s writing continues to be disproportionately omitted from the pages of career-making journals,” VIDA writes. “[W]e are emboldened to carry on, asking questions, wondering aloud whose interests are disseminated and defended by those stalwart, outspoken editors and publishers who gloss over and even praise the myopic contents of their own male-dominated pages.”

Related: Why 88% of books reviewed by The New York Times are written by white authors | The secret to doing well on VIDA’s byline count | Annual count of women’s bylines shows little progress