Thursday, March 08, 2007

Blog Against Sexism Day

Today is International Women's Day, Global Women's Strike, and Blog Against Sexism Day. That's a lot for one little day, so here's to the good work and strong spirit encouraged for this holiday continuing year-round and year after year.

In honor of this day, I thought I'd post my first contribution to Indigo Editing's blog. About a month ago, I joined Indigo as Associate Editor, and I've already had the opportunity to work on five editing projects and offer a little bit of marketing assistance. I'm thoroughly enjoying this work, and I look forward to more!

But back to the topic at hand. Writer and editor Ruth Davis Konigsberg tracked the bylines in five well-known national magazines from September 2005–September 2006. Her thoughts and data are at, but in short, she said she did this because she'd "been noticing a lack of female voices in what are supposed to be general-interest (and therefore gender-neutral) magazines." After the year, Konigsberg found that on average the magazines she tracked published stories "by male writers three times more often than they do stories by female writers," and she said that "these numbers are particularly surprising considering how many women read these magazines."

A quick Google search turned up these related articles, and there are probably more out there:
News Max
New York Times
Womens eNews
and because it is a day for blogging, Blogher.

What is the situation your home city or region's newspapers and magazines? Beyond just the bylines, what kinds of stories are women assigned to write (a question Konigsberg mentions briefly on her site)?

(Semi-related to that last question: see Blogher to learn about The Gender Genie, which guesses the gender of an author based on word choice and frequency of certain words. The research on which this is based might be fodder for another post on another day.)

To conclude, if you blog, consider writing against sexism and/or for gender liberation today. More info on Blog Against Sexism Day is at Taking Place.

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