For those publishers and editors who look at their part of the literary world and see no discrimination, the VIDA Count for 2012 is in. I find myself quickly scrolling down through it just looking at the red and blue shapes, rather than the numbers. It is incredibly effective use of graphics, and incredibly depressing. When I came out of university in 1991 I knew a lot of stuff and expected the world to be different and better than it is now. I knew that women and minorities in this country were paid significantly less than men for the same work. I didn’t expect that to be true 20 years later. Bah.
I was looking at the VIDA count last night with Kelly and we wondered for the first time if we should cancel our subscription to the New Yorker. I love their long articles and who doesn’t love Anthony Lane, Hilton Als (educating me about theater against my will with his great writing, damn him), Emily Nussbaum, et al. But if week after week, month after month, year after year the editors don’t see that what they are producing is a magazine that consistently doesn’t see one half of the world’s population’s experiences, then is it worth our money? Maybe not.
Time to put our money where our mouths are. I don’t expect them to notice one lost subscriber, but I’ll write and tell them why. And then instead of being sad about the imbalanced table to contents each week, I’ll wait and check the VIDA numbers and see if they improve. Oh, New Yorker, how I will miss you.
I’m not exactly up on the state of my subscription (I can check the cover, I think, when I get home) but when renewal time comes around, I think we’re going to pass.