on the media

Being a feministy lady, I sometimes wonder why I read The New Yorker. The only real explanation I have is that I’ve been reading it since I was 4, and that they once published the best article ever. But it seems to be growing ever more male and white these days.

For “fun,” here is a little breakdown of The New Yorker table of contents by gender for three issues (not including cartoons). With more time, I’d like to do a white/non-white breakdown as well – my guess is that it would be 90% you-know-what.

June 25, 2007 issue: an aberration

Male contributors: 8

Female contributors: 5 (2 were short Talk of The Town pieces)

July 2, 2007 issue:

Male contributors: 12

Female contributors: 8 (but 4 of these were short Talk of the Town pieces!)

July 9 and 16, 2007:

Male contributors: 14

Female contributors: 3 (two short Talk of the Town pieces, one poem, no feature articles)

What would be really fascinating, though, would be to document how many of the pieces written by women were about men! This is a frequent NYer tactic. When the womens aren’t writing about the mens, they are apparently restricted to writing about television, shopping, and cutsey little society-gossip type tidbits about Upper East Side women’s hairstyles and what zeitgeistey things they say. The big exception, of course, is Elizabeth Kolbert’s mind-blowing environmental pieces.

6 Responses to “on the media”

  1. zp

    I hear you. Mead on weddings holds no interest for me, but Boo is often hard-hitting. In a paradoxical “women’s issues” kind of way.

  2. zp

    PS. For visual representations of the writers, see the flickr set someone made me, linked in my sidebar. If you think you can tell white/non-white by looking at people’s pictures, have at it.

  3. Katy

    Perhaps most telling would be how many women are submitting to the New Yorker.

    I don’t tend to look at the authors though – just whether the article looks like crap or “self-examinations of my or someone else’s navel over the course of their three decades of examining their own navel.” Or whatnot. I usually look for science articles, the editorial, and the reviews and skip the rest.

    But yes, can’t ditch the habit.

  4. lisa jenkins

    lisa jenkins here again.
    my first question ladies, is why do we need to look to the new yorker or any magazine for insight into our world, minds and habits. you can learn all you want about life and men on a sunday stroll through the city. granted, you can learn a lot of interesting things from different articles, but you get a more unique perspective when it’s through the intelligence and creativity of your own silly brain. it looks cool to quote the new yorker but may look even cooler to quote yourself “where did you get that info from lisa?” actually the source is not harpers or the new yorker…the source is me and my brain as i walked through union square at 11:34 am on tuesday. try that out and you may find yrself alone at the party or the greatest underdog champ since my mom beat my dad in arm wrestling in the 3rd grade.
    that being said. i think there are a lot of issues out there facing women and while i think they should be addressed i think the biggest problem is this staged terror we have in america. it is pure tyranny and right now that is my main focus of activism as we wont have any rights (let alone womens rights) if we have a world of cameras, curfews and staged terror events.

    time to read the new yorker.

    good day!


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