OMG, The New Yorker loves dudes! (Aug 20 2007 issue)

(The NYerWbW is a regular feature whereby my mother and I keep track of the male/female breakdown in The New Yorker magazine. It’s stunning and shocking and not at all surprising, unless you are one of those people who thinks things are perfectly equal in our society and/or that women are naturally inferior writers. Yo! If you would like to keep track of the white/nonwhiteness of the magazine’s contributors on a regular basis, please let me know – photos of common contributors can be found here)

Is the New Yorker Whiteboy Watch a silly project? Readers, please weigh in. It’s so nonchanging, it’s boggling.

I am boggled yet again this week. The stats are almost exactly the same as last week.

I promise have many blog posties planned with pictures! and recipes! and words that aren’t “The New Yorker”! Most of them are about fights I’ve recently gotten in with men, but not specifically David Remnick, at least. Just hold on a bit. In the meantime:

August 20, 2007 issue gender breakdown:

Talk of the Town (short) pieces by men: 5 (1 more than last week!)

TotT by ladiez: 0 (2 weeks in a row)
Features and reviews and misc. by mens: 8

Features, reviews, fiction and misc. by womens: 1 or 2 (see note)

Poems: 2 by men

Drawings: 16 by men, 3 by women.

AND the cover was by a man, too. AND the “spots.” Oh, the spots.

Grand total: 30 men contributors, 4 women contributors

Note: I must give props to TNYer this week because the fiction is written by a certain T. Cooper, who has apparently gone to great pains online to keep hir gender fluid/unnamed. Yay for gender fluidity in the pages of mainstream magazines!

3 Responses to “OMG, The New Yorker loves dudes! (Aug 20 2007 issue)”

  1. ivan

    i don’t really pay attention to the gender ledger, but the last three issues have all been great, regardless of who’s writing. (and the less sasha frere-jones, the better)

  2. Valerie Keefe

    Oh lagusta… hmm… how to politely and gently put down the whole reifying gender arguement? I guess, first of all, I do that just by existing as a generally makeup-hating, piercing-eschewing, formerly-indigo-girls-loving (can’t anymore after I found out their lead singer doesn’t think I exist, though it doesn’t make Caramia any less of a beautiful song) trans lesbian. And yes, it would be totally awesome if I could have ever found a way to express myself as a femme boy… but having tried that, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t attract the kind of people who make me feel valid. It doesn’t make me feel valid. Being some form of male spectrum, woman-oriented genderqueer just doesn’t cut it, doesn’t strike me personally as any less condescending as a mom giggling when her son gets into her girl clothes at age 6, grinning and telling him to put them away before the mother next door comes over with her son, because when that son’s 13, well, now it’s time to grow up and be a man. And that’s not the patriarchy talking. That’s Peggy Drexler.

    You know Dr. Drexler, right? Feminist author, wrote a book on parenting without men? She doesn’t think it’s okay for men to cry, to access their emotions with the same freedom and regularity that women do… so mayhaps feminism isn’t breaking down gender roles. Maybe, just maybe, the reification of masculine stereotypes has become more acceptable. This shouldn’t concern me, really, because I’m a woman, but when those same feminists look at feminine males as failed males, well we take the argument one step further, as Germaine Greer does, and say that trans women are just the ultimate failed male.

    Also the GIANT DOSES! referred to? Most binary-identified trans people just would like their endocrinology to be in the appropriate range for their gender. In terms of life expectancy trans women don’t close the death gap over trans men by more than a year, (life expectancy: 74, and that’s including the explicit violence done to us for rejecting our masculinity) and trans men live to 80 on average, so it’s a pretty specious argument, that transition is horrible body-damaging violence. Having a slightly elevated level of serum estrogen to make up for the last decade and a half of testosterone poisoning isn’t self-mutilation, it is triage. Ideally yes, I would have liked to have a smaller dosage earlier. I would have liked to stop my voice from cracking and from growing to be six-three. But, I don’t have a time machine, and I now need to counteract what my body’s done and what it’s continuing to do. At 26, I can hear the ticking of my biological clock of declining estrogen sensitivity like a tympani drumbeat.

    Also from Men in Ewes clothing, the title alone should have seemed incredibly problematic from a trans-acceptance point of view, but at any rate, let’s quote from the article you rave about:

    …That would be true, except it involves a very superficial understanding of socialization. Socialization, especially something as profound as gender socialization, cannot be totally overcome by a conscious or intellectual decision to be different. The idea that this could occur so easily comes in part from the extremes to which privileged people do not understand how deep oppression runs…

    That’s the fundamental argument regarding cis-privilege. Transmen were forced into a girlhood that was, with every bow, and barette, and indigo girls’ track, an onslaught of oppression, just like every tie, and shaving lesson, and bottle of brut aftershave, was an attack against my gender, and some of it gets through, and some of it is socialized. I remember being 13 and practicing looking at my fingernails ‘the boy way’ because I’d been laughed at that day. So yes, I know the damage done by socialization, the gendered messages I picked up, the internal wincing every time I saw a woman objectified. It’s very much a statement of privilege to assert that trans men didn’t learn male socialization or trans women didn’t get female socialization. We did. We also learned that good girls and boys don’t express those bits of socialization, and then we learn to hate ourselves for wanting something, feeling so natural as women and men instead of as men and women. It’s coming from an inherent place of privilege to deny me my gender because somehow I can’t escape having seen Tim Taylor grunting. It’s an original sin that is conveniently inescapable.

    Please miss, don’t mourn the women you lose to trans, they were never women to begin with. Celebrate the women you’re getting. A lot of us are very sweet, very insecure women who’ve been directly wounded by a forced boyhood, and we’d really love to have someone recognize us instead of mourning men and women who got rather tired of trying to be people they never were.

    • lagusta

      Ok sweetheart. This discussion so hurts my heart because….well, for a million reasons. I’ll keep this short: all I want is freedom. For everyone. Freedom from gender bias, freedom from violence. For everyone. Maybe I have some small qualms with how some people are choosing to bring about that freedom but, as I’ve been told by trans people again and again, since I am not trans I can’t speak to that experience and my opinions aren’t valid. There is a grain of truth in that, I can see it. So, since I can’t speak about it, I will not defend myself when you lump all feminists into one category and seem to say we all believe the same things. I will only say: I wish you all the best. Truly. We are allies.

      Freedom, Lagusta


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