Lady writers and their cute little books

27 April 2013

Sure, those VIDA statistics showed that lady writers don’t get reviewed — and nor do they serve very often as reviewers. Pish! I mean, can we really trust women and math? The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles reminds us that he once taught a class that had Elaine Showalter’s “Towards a Feminist Poetics,” so … wait, what were you talking about? So hard to pay attention to those shrill, bitter lady-tones.

Great satire:

Less satirically and on a similar topic, Amanda Filipacchi wrote this week in the NY Times that she’d discovered that Wikipedia had re-categorized us lady writers. No longer are we included under “American Novelists” — rather, we are segregated into the convenient and totally equal category of “American Women Novelists.” The rationale appears to be that the list of American novelists was too long. (Isn’t that the thing about information?!)

Isn’t that a relief? Because when I searching for a list of American novelists, of course I mean male novelists.

I would only hope that they further tidy up the lists by separating out the Black American Female Novelists into their own happy (and, again, totally equal!) page. And the Gay American Female Novelists, and Working Class American Female Novelists, and Latina and Possibly Undocumented American Female Novelists. And, oh yeah, Disabled American Female Novelists. Now that would be convenient.


3 Responses to “Lady writers and their cute little books”

  1. Becky Says:

    Bias can be so subtle, can’t it? Or not! Do you think they consciously realized what they were doing?

    • Didion Says:

      Lord knows what they thought they were doing. I now notes that the negative attention in the New York Times has produced a new message on Wikipedia about how this category is being reconsidered.

      I should have noted at the time that there’s a huge effort underway to add more information about women writers to Wikipedia, where the pages on even top writers can be scanty. Called The Global Women Wikipedia Write-In, it’s a worldwide effort to correct the slight attention given on the world’s most frequently-referenced encyclopedia to women intellectuals.

      See here for a nice write-up, and here for more information.

  2. Hattie Says:

    I liked this, but it bothered me some that the “reviewer” was sounding stereotypically “gay.”

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