And Now for Your Daily Moment of Terror

The VIDA numbers about who gets hired to write what about whom are out. It’s worth reading the quotes they include with the pie charts, but be warned, you will be queasy. Then head over to Catherine Lacey’s post, which ends with “So, yeah, it’s a vicious cycle, blah blah blah, but one thing you can do about it is be a woman and work hard and submit everywhere until you cannot be ignored.” which makes me feel like “Hell yeah!” and “But don’t these pie charts kind of show that it doesn’t matter how hard I work or where I submit, because I’ll still be ignored?”

And then I feel a little angsty.

Edited to add: Oh lord, I forgot to link to Lacey’s post. Here.

5 thoughts on “And Now for Your Daily Moment of Terror

  1. You scared me for a minute, Aunt B. I was scanning this post and saw you advise, “be a woman and work hard and submit everywhere”. OMG! WTF? Oh, a different meaning of the word “submit”. :-)

  2. Oh, god, sorry. No, I promise that, if I ever start talking about women needing to submit everywhere in that context, you can be assured that I’ve probably had a stroke or gotten brain cancer or have been kidnapped and replaced by a fake.

  3. In order to assess whether these ratios represent systematic unfairness, don’t you need to know what the gender ratio of the underlying submissions (or job applications) are?

  4. Ballgame, please read the comments of the Lacey link. The commenters there have already substantively addressed that question. All data sets are incomplete, especially those which have to omit proprietary data due to lack of availability. Editors on the list discuss who submits, who gets called for direct hire jobs, etc.

  5. I’m bothered by this notion that “systemic” somehow doesn’t mean “systemic.” Even if there are fewer women applying for jobs or submitting to magazines, when women make up half of the population and love to write and stereotypically have great language skills and there aren’t as many of us represented in the literary market because somewhere along the line it became not an option for us, that’s still a systemic problem.

    In fact, it’s more of a systemic problem than if women just aren’t interested in being writers.

    Think of it this way. Say that sixty to seventy percent of the kids who are in Little League have brown hair and only forty to thirty percent have blond or red hair. But that they all seemed equally talented on the field.

    But say in the Major Leagues, the teams were sixty, seventy, eighty percent blonde.

    That’s be weird, right? You see those little brunette kids who are good ball players and who seem to love the game.

    So, why would the question of why there aren’t more brunette players in the Big Leagues be off limits or stupid or something to be ridiculed?

    And so what if you found that less brunettes went out for MLB teams? Then wouldn’t you want to see what was happening in the minors or in college?

    Something bad is happening here. And yes, it is systemic. The question is “How systemic is it?”

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