12.21.2004

Baby, to call you a Neanderthal is $100 extra!

Check the new Observer article, by the dashing and brilliant Wesley Yang, on n+1:
"These guys should know from their studies at Yale that, as Harold Bloom said, every generation of young men comes along and kills the father and says they are going to start a revolution and say the things no one has ever said before," said Elizabeth Merrick, the co-founder of the Cupcake Reading Series. Ms. Merrick was recently named New York’s "Best Feminist Literary Whistle-Blower" by The Village Voice for criticizing the established journals of opinion—The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books—for their 80 to 90 percent male (she counts them up) cast of writers. Ms. Merrick admires n+1’s writing, but "the real revolution would’ve been to have half women and half men. Another elite boys’ club—we have enough of those already."

"How can they possibly call us chest-thumping Neanderthals?" mused Mr. Gessen. "I mean—have they looked at Marco?" Mr. Roth’s feline features and wild Jew-fro make for the kind of profile you picture caricatured on a Barnes and Noble bag: the languid eyes, the pallor, the graceful arabesques of a cigarette-bearing hand, the suggestion of innumerable allergies, the diminutive man’s proud hauteur. For Mr. Gessen, the "male-centric" problem will be solved with the next issue, which is slated to have at least three new female contributions, including "a magnificent 20,000-word essay from a six-foot-tall Turkish woman," Elif Batuman, about Isaac Babel.

Mr. Roth concedes "there is probably an intensity to our bonding—and our fights—that being all male has helped." He continues: "The women in our lives are successful professionals. Their attitude toward this project has been one of justified condescension. Now the magazine exists, and we’ll see what happens next."
Dude. I am getting a little sick of reiterating this:

1. We are not suggesting that editors/guy writers are sexist in their personal lives. I know you're not dating your secretary.

2. Our complaints at Cupcake have to do with equal pay for equal work, and about the glass ceilings in the literary world.

3. Three women writers is better than one woman writer. But three of nineteen (the number of contributors to n+1's first issue) is less than 16 percent. So that's 84 percent men. I'm supposed to ignore this because you all date smart women? I love the work you're doing but come on.

4. Just because your woman writer is so tall doesn't mean her contribution counts as two female bylines.

xoxoxoxoxo
love
Elizabeth
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