Much Ado About Something...Or Not?

Have Don Draper and Sterling Cooper taken up residency at 'The New Yorker'?  Is there a typing pool with ladies tapping away on keyboards, clad in pastel twinsets, pencil skirts, with an 'up do' so high it will bring tears to your eyes?  These are just a couple of images that flashed through my grey cells when I read this article via Jezebel about a call to boycott 'The New Yorker' for lack of women writers in recent issues.  If you haven't read it, you must pop over there, and read through the comments too.

I'm not a subscriber of this iconic magazine and probably never will be now,-thats not really saying much as I don't subscribe to printed matter in general.  I still love to buy them from my local newsagent.  What this article bought home to me is that whilst the calendar in my kitchen reads 2011. -time can stand still in some establishments...or perhaps there are fewer women writers whose work is worth printing in this hallowed publication. Er, I don't think so.  Many writers dream of having their stories printed in the same magazine that published JD Salinger. 

Another thought crossed my mind, -what percentage of 'The New Yorker' readers are women?   In my humble opinion I suspect more women buy magazines versus men; certainly you only have to walk into a newsagent to view what is on the racks to determine who the target audiences are.  But perhaps all of this is waffle, and much ado about nothing?  I don't know - all I know is that now everytime I pick up any magazine I will browse the name of the writer and wonder...male or female?  So, thank you Jezebel and Ann Hays for bringing this to my attention.  I think you may have reopened a can of worms, it concerns me that women writers may be treated in lesser light at 'The New Yorker'.  Really...and now I must go polish my pearls.  And for the record - when I read an article, I don't judge how great it is by the sex of the writer - I just want to be entertained!

What are your thoughts on boycotting a magazine for the lack of female writers?


  1. I hadn't thought about it before. Hopefully the pressure will cause them to seek out more female writers. I have a feeling they rely on the writers they have used and have gotten positive feedback from readers. And they got lazy.

  2. Hmm, I don't read many magazines, but I often boycott things that don't represent my beliefs or values.

  3. Theresa, Hi! You could be right. I'd also like to see more stats on this though - from this article, it cites 2 back issues. I'd like to see what the trend has been over a number of years. Having said that, hopefully this letter will spur 'The New Yorker' to reassess and seek out more female writers. ;)

    Melissa, I'm a 'mag hag' if I can say that - mainly fashion or interior types...eye candy. I'm also adverse to buying any product that may not be in line with my values too. Thanks for stopping by! ;)

  4. Hi Talei, I love reading mags and like you I don't care if the writer is male/female, I'm either reading a good article or I'm not. I'm quite surprise the the New Yorker is considered a male bastion. I can read it free at my library so I'm never going to be a subscriber. I don't think I'd ever boycott a mag due to gender bias but I might try to get a few Letters to the Ed sent off!

    Thx for reading my #fridayflash and leaving a comment.

    Seeing you're an aspiring scribe you might be interested to know I'm hosting a Publication Party on my L'Aussie Writing blog starting next Wednesday and running for a month. I'm getting published authors to post their journey to publication. I can't wait. It'll be a blast! Hope you can pop in!

  5. Hmm... well I wouldn't be at all surprised if it weren't a boy's club at the New Yorker and I wouldn't oppose a boycott. I don't buy it but I do read it at the library but I don't read it if I know that others are boycotting and I will put my name to a paper stating as much! Readers mean something even when they don't purchase. Letters to the Editor might be a way to start though-- it's not as though there aren't great women writers out there that they could hire! They don't have to find tokens, for god's sake! But sometimes boys need to intentionally open the damn doors!

  6. L'Aussie, Its a date! I shall be popping over to check out your Publication party - sounds like a great idea. And thanks for the reminder, I can always hit the library to read 'The New Yorker' - I'd completely forgotten about that option. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

    Danette, ;) Love it! 'They don't have to find tokens...' - Absolutely.

  7. Wow - interesting. I just posted today about The New Yorker, about giving it a shot, because it is so iconic, but now I may reconsider. What could they possibly be thinking, anyhow? Some of the biggest author names today are women (JKR, Steph Meyers, anyone?). Something to think about for sure - thanks!

  8. Haven't read the magazine in a while, but I used to read it once a week. Could be a slow couple of weeks for us gals but it'll pick up again.


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