Mind The Gap
In Vela’s manifesto, founder Sarah Menkedick identified the persistent byline gender gap as a driver of the magazine’s creation. In keeping with this mission, the new monthly column Mind the Gap will look at storytelling through a gender lens.
Curated by Roxanne Krystalli, the column seeks to challenge assumptions about what writing “by women” or “for women” looks like. Gender analysis, after all, is not only about identity but also, fundamentally, about power. Mind the Gap is curious about the production of narratives, and particularly about the celebration of certain experiences and the marginalization of others. It asks what accords certain stories credibility and authority. Specifically, it seeks to shed light on some of the often invisible forces at play that influence which stories we hear, which we don’t, and how we receive and react to different types of stories.
An essay does not need to be explicitly “about gender,” or “about women” or feminism in order to beg a gender analysis and an exploration of how identities, privileges, and their perception color storytelling and its effect on the reader. In fact, the stories that often appear not to be gendered, or not to necessitate an analysis curious about power and inequality, are most in need of this exploration.
Essays featured in Mind the Gap will ask: What are the gendered assumptions that underpin storytelling? How do these assumptions manifest in writing? Whom do we consider entitled to a story and which narratives are suppressed or ignored? How do we make sense of the margins, erasures, and silences?