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So which sex gets the lion's share of the reviews?

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EC2
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So which sex gets the lion's share of the reviews?

Post by EC2 » Sun February 13th, 2011, 5:22 pm

Here's an interesting set of stastistics.
http://vidaweb.org/
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Tue February 15th, 2011, 7:43 am

That is absolutely pathetic, in this day and age when women, at least in the Western world, are supposed to have gained parity with men! If we had, the ratio of reviews would be reversed, because women not only read most of the books, we also write most of them. Guess it just goes to show there is still a need for the women-only literary prizes which have excited such controversy because people think the inequities have been put to rest.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue February 15th, 2011, 8:06 am

I wish I had matching statistics on how many of the reviewers were men.

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Tue February 15th, 2011, 12:56 pm

This is quite shameful. But for context, it would be good to see statistics on what proportion of published books are written by women vs. men - at least in the categories that the respective publications cover.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Tue February 15th, 2011, 10:08 pm

[quote=""MLE""]I wish I had matching statistics on how many of the reviewers were men.[/quote]

If you go back and look again, some of the larger publications have two charts, one for the gender of the reviewers and one for the genders of the authors of books reviewed.

I would like to see figures on how many male reviewers reviewd books written by women and vice versa. Breakdowns of fiction vs non-fiction could be interesting as well.

Stunning figures.

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Post by Ariadne » Tue February 15th, 2011, 11:38 pm

Ruth Franklin has a followup piece in The New Republic that looks at the gender breakdown with regard to publishing output at some of the major trade presses. Her analysis doesn't include commercial titles or genre fiction - which isn't what most of those publications review (another problem, but a separate issue). That may be shifting the blame to some degree... but I was recently sent lists of forthcoming titles for fall by a couple of big-name literary publishers, and it's true; men wrote the majority of the books.

I'd like to see more titles by women reviewed in those publications, and more female reviewers. But as one of the latter myself, I'd hate to think I was accepted as a reviewer just because there was a quota system in place.

As soon as I read the article on the VIDA site, I looked at my spreadsheet of North American reviewers for the Historical Novels Review - and about 80% are women (though there are many prolific male reviewers). And of the books covered over the last year, ~60% were by women. Quite a difference.

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