Oops, they did it again: this week’s New Yorker stats (July 30 issue):
Male contributors: 11
Female contributors: 4.
Those stats are a little shocking on their own (do you think David Remnick knows that women are the majority in this country?), but let’s break them down a little: 1 poem, 1 short story, 2 short Talk of The Town pieces – NO MAJOR ARTICLES!!. OK, 5 womanly contributions if you count the cover, which I don’t, because it’s rather cutsey and too New Yorker twee-ish for words.
The good news is that women are allowed to write fiction, paint, draw cartoons, and write useless tiny pieces on subjects like “Miss Manners in Venice.” The bad news is that women are almost never allowed to write feature articles, that first and most important Talk of the Town piece, or profiles of women, which are generally not allowed either.
One of the woman-written TotT pieces was the aforementioned Miss Manners piece, the other was a piece I kept feeling was slightly racist but can’t exactly explain why. It was about Grand Central Hudson News employees’ actions when the steam pipe exploded the other week. Maybe it seemed racist to me because it’s so rare that nonwhities are mentioned in the NYer and this piece was populated with “Sadia, Zain, Dilaria, Adbul, Akhter, Nabi, Balraj, Mia, Moon, Nasrin, and Habib” (which they made a point of pointing out) – most of whom were cashiers. Do you think they would have printed all their names if they were “David, Glenn, Ben, Ian, or Tad”? Maybe. But there is something fucking strange about this piece: