Saturday, December 08, 2012

Our Contributors

I've neglected the New Yorker Parity Report in the past several months. My only excuse is that the monotony was getting to me.  During the time I was tracking the female contributor ratio - almost a year - not a single issue of the New Yorker had an equal number of male and female contributors.

The closest to parity was July 30, 2012 issue which had a 38% female contributor rate (parity would be 50%) and would even have made parity except for the three male poets in the issue.

This week (December 10, 2012) the parity rate is 15%.

They no longer allow a non-paywall link to the magazine's table of contents but they do to the "Shouts and Murmurs" pages (posted here for your convenience with a star next to each female contributor) and the list of contributors demonstrates a parity rate of 17%. These are their regulars, not one-off writers, and is probably the real barometer of the New Yorker's acceptance of female participation.

As an experiment, I clicked on a back issue of the New Yorker at random. I got the February 9, 1981 issue - 30 years ago. Out of the ten bylines, four are female. That's right, 30 years ago the parity rate for a randomly-selected issue of the New Yorker was 40%.

At the rate the New Yorker is going it will have an equal number of male and female bylines... never.