Thursday, January 07, 2010


Serious posts kind of bum me out, but I've been reading a lot of things lately that are showing how our culture busts on women...maybe without even meaning to. Felicia Day posted a link yesterday to an article in Vanity Fair about the women of Twitter. Here's the article. But if you click it, promise me that you will also click the link right after it:

You can read it in the url: Why does this Vanity Fair article hate the women of Twitter? The geekweek blogger summed it right up, and Ms. Day herself reposted the second link when someone sent it to her. She said that she was finding it difficult to argue with the blogger's points (although the pic was sweet). It's outright misogyny. I mean, yes, Twitter celebrity is a little bit of a fluffy topic. But the women they chose for this article are highly impressive entrepreneurs, creative powerhouses, and--at the very least--pioneers in the successful use of social media technology. If they were men, this article would be "Six Social Media Pioneers To Watch" or something with equal gravitas. But instead, we get this horrible fluffy profile that talks about these powerful women like they're the frontrunners in the race for homecoming queen.

It reminded me of this article I'd recently read, in which a female author analyzed the new PW Top 100 books of 2009 list. Women in the top 10? Zero. Women on the total list? Twenty-nine. But women are, by and large, keeping the book publishing industry afloat--we are the largest segment of book consumers in the market.

What's going on, here? It doesn't matter, as Ms. Baggott explained, that the author of the offensive VF profile was a woman herself, or that there were women on the committees that chose the PW list. The male hegemony (oh crap, a graduate school I know I'm in trouble) may be so deeply ingrained that outside the domestic sphere, the accomplishments of men are automatically given more weight than those of women. Women have to work twice as hard to be considered as equals (but are still earning, according to some reports, less than 80 cents for every dollar a man earns for equal work).

I've never really considered myself a feminist, precisely because feminists who came before me paved the way for me to have choices in my life--opportunities that women in previous generations only dreamed about. But now I'm a person who has written a book. And maybe someday I'll sell that book. And if it's good, maybe it'll be considered for prizes or honors. But if I were to lose that prize to a man's book of equal (or possibly lesser) quality, simply because the author is a man, that would be pretty soul-crushing. Even though it hasn't happened to me yet, my soul feels a little crushed knowing that it has happened to someone else.

What do we do about it? Is there anything we can do about it?

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