Women Writers on the Literary Landscape

Written by Amy King at www.vidaweb.org

In a year kicked off by the Republican party fighting the Violence Against Women Act and a nationally-broadcasted song reducing Oscar-noteworthy actresses to “boob shots,” VIDA takes our annual look back to see if this regressive tenor is reflected in the treatment of women in literature in 2012. We also eyeball how the 2012 Count stacks up beside numbers from the years preceding. As always, the charts tell their own stories, whether publishers and editors listen or not. And now their histories are showing.
 
While it would be incredibly easy to begin by lambasting national publications like Harpers, The Paris Review, The New Republic, New York Review Of Books, Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic and The Nation for their gross (& indecent) neglect of female writers’ work, I fear the attention we’ve already given them has either motivated their editors to disdain the mirrors we’ve held up to further neglect or encouraged them to actively turn those mirrors into funhouse parodies at costs to women writers as yet untallied. Reason hasn’t worked. The devolution among their ranks screams itself increasingly red in the VIDA comparative charts. At this point, the publications with the “most men” simply do not win

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