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The Tiny Mechanisms of the Gender Gap

The 2013 VIDA count has arrived - it's a mixture of good news and bad - and its arrival has me thinking back to something I noticed over the holidays, as we all looked back over the last year of writing and reading. Best-of lists abound as the year draws down, of course, but this year I also spotted people dodging the difficulties of creating a theoretically ... [Continue Reading]

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Women We Read This Week

Miriam Markowitz's "Here Comes Everybody" in The Nation So I know we've all read more articles on gender in publishing than we can count, BUT. This one does something different, I swear. Markowitz deftly paints the picture with which many of us are familiar--byline gaps, book publishing, those terribly cheesy book covers they give to works by female writers--but instead ... [Continue Reading]

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The Princess and the Soldier: A Girl Reading

Like everyone in possession of that most impractical English degree (or three), I have read my share of the canon. Those hurtled marble busts of white men, dead or otherwise, pates polished by reverence: I have read their books like a baited fish, trailing after beckoning green lights and yellow butterflies and muddy bottoms. I have dreamt their characters into my own ... [Continue Reading]

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Women We Read this Week

It's exciting and encouraging to note that two of the most significant and widely discussed stories this week were by female journalists. They're reviewed below. Jeanne Marie Laskas's "Have You Heard the One About President Joe Biden?" in GQ Jeanne Marie Laskas's latest piece for GQ could not open in a more Jeanne Marie Laskas way: "Keep going straight here," Joe ... [Continue Reading]

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This Is How It Happens

Try this: Click on our masthead. Look at the photos. Skim the bios. What do you notice? Eight women. Eight white women. Eight college-educated, North American, native-English-speaking white women. We formed Vela to counter the gender byline gap. But what does it mean to have a women-run website, run entirely by one kind of woman? * This last fall, a group of ... [Continue Reading]

A $20,000 Reward For Jonah Lehrer’s Arrogance

This week in my Intro to Nonfiction and Journalism class, I am teaching Rebecca Solnit's "Men Explain Things to Me." In it, Solnit maps what she calls the "archipelago of arrogance," in which men are intelligent and right by virtue of their maleness, regardless of facts or truth, and women are, "in some sort of obscene impregnation metaphor, an empty vessel to be filled ... [Continue Reading]

Bummer, Dude.

Yesterday, Outside editorial director Alex Heard tweeted a shot of the magazine's new cover, and asked, "What do you think? Beautiful? Or too much?" What do I think? I have a lot of thoughts, tangled ones, and some of them are thoughts that I worry about putting out there for fear of being labeled another tiresome, humorless, predictable woman -- and then I have more ... [Continue Reading]

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Not There Yet…

If you were a woman in the 1960’s and you worked at Newsweek, chances are you were a researcher, fact checker, or mail girl—but probably not a writer or editor. If you were a back-of-the-book researcher, you shared your office with a man in a typical “office wife” fashion—his desk by the window, yours by the door. He might tell you, as you go to hand him some ... [Continue Reading]

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“She came out of nowhere.”

Cheryl Strayed wrote a Facebook post this past week in which she took on the popular claim that she "came out of nowhere" to publish her bestseller ... [Continue Reading]