Ladies represent: rant edition.
Being sick and tired in the literal sense provides the perfect back drop for being sick and tired in the figurative sense. After five straight days of mewling sickness, I am exhausted and unable to do any useful kind of thinking. Instead, this is going to be some short and bitchy kind of thinking. Namely, the gender bias in publishing. It is EXHAUSTING. A while back, Robin and I sent out feelers to a ton of female writers of all description, asking them to contribute response to the VIDA count. Honestly, the response has not been overwhelming. Those women who have gotten back to us have had some great things to say. And perhaps the most important thing to do given the under-representation of women in magazines is to keep the dialogue up.
Roxane Gay gave me something to think about when she wrote: ‘Either you give a damn about fostering an inclusive atmosphere or you don’t.’
I want to believe that this is enough. I want to believe that reaching out to women writers to talk about these things, that being a hands-on editor at ILK and clearly a woman, that soliciting women to submit to us and asking others to spread the word, endless social media pleas for women to submit and generally fostering an inclusive atmosphere, as well as not letting submission gender ratios prevent us from attempting gender parity in each issue is enough.
However, a week after opening up submissions for the fourth issue, the submissions queue is 78% male, which is a step up from yesterday, when it was 82%.
It is entirely likely that I would try to examine this more if I wasn’t on my fifth day of staring at the ceiling because that is all I can manage. So really, what else is to be done? How much shouting is too much?