Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Taking the Times to Task

Bitch Magazine has a piece about the New York Times book review section - Hard Times: At the New York Times Book Review, all the misogyny fit to print. In it, Sarah Seltzer argues that a majority of the reviews are written by men and a majority of the books reviewed are also written by men. She also claims that feminist books are usually poorly received.

Recently, Times editors—in both the daily paper and the Sunday section—have trotted out a particularly insidious formula for bashing feminist authors. First, hire a female reviewer to unleash misogynist tropes in her piece and then, lest she appear prejudiced against her own gender, throw in an illogical, contradictory statement about the importance of a less threatening version of feminism that isn’t so “polarizing,” “provocative,” or “strident.”


From gossip blogger Ana Marie Cox’s review of Katha Pollitt’s Virginity or Death!: “Young, educated, and otherwise liberal women who might, in another era, have found themselves burning bras and raising their consciousness would rather be fitted for the right bra…and raising their credit limit. Katha Pollitt is the skunk at this Desperate Housewives–watching party.”

Side note: feminists taking to the street to burn their bras is a widely debunked myth.

According to Seltzer, none of the Time’s “Top five novels of 2007” was written by a woman and only 13 of 50 on the short list were written by women.

Whether you agree or not, this is interesting reading.

No comments:

Subscribe Now!