Oo-ooh, Someone’s Mad at The New Yorker

A woman wrote in to The New Yorker demanding a refund because two issues in a row featured not very many pieces by women.

We were already alarmed when we flipped through the Dec 20th & 27th double-issue to find that only one piece (Nancy Franklin) and one poem (Alicia Ostriker) were written by women. A friend pointed out that Jane Kramer wrote one of the short Talk of the Town segments as well, though it barely placated our sense of outrage that one extra page, totaling three, out of the 148 pages in the magazine, were penned by women.

There’s lots more, but the barely placated sense of outrage is the best part. Does this bother you? This doesn’t bother me. If you like a magazine, read it; if you don’t, don’t. Also, if you’re mad at a magazine, sounding like a total drag can’t be the best way to get what you want (which is, apparently, a refund for that specific issue or a back issue with more women writers). Pick your battles, etc.

For instance, one good battle is to insist that every New Yorker has a letter to the editor written by someone from Massachusetts in it, even though when you consult an extensive backlog it proves to be more like 50%, or, actually, slightly less than 50%. But that’s still a lot, though, and it really does feel like 100%.