The 2013 VIDA: Women in Literary Arts count is out! For years, VIDA (which is not an acronym and does not stand for anything, except justice) has created brightly colored provocative pie charts to illustrate the gender disparity in publishing. Maybe you’ve noticed that the New Yorker‘s table of contents is dominated by dude-writers? In 2013, the disparity was pronounced: a whopping 75% of contributors to that august publication, and several others of its ilk, were male:
Drumroll for the 75%ers: The Atlantic, London Review of Books, New Republic, The Nation, New York Review of Books (actually holding steady at 80% men for four years) and New Yorker. We get it: you’re mighty, unmovable giants.
Some titans have made progress, such as the New York Times Book Review and The Paris Review, so forward-movement is possible! And to speed such movement along, VIDA encourages those of us who care about keeping America’s intellectual life diverse to vote with our pocketbooks:
Support presses that support women writers. Cancel subscriptions to publications that have no real interest in women’s voices.
Which is where I pause. I mean, yes, totally, of course! Except …
Last month, President Obama talked about how he hoped more young people would consider trades and skilled manufacturing as viable careers—that they could make more money in those jobs than they could with an art history degree. “Now, nothing wrong with an art history degree — I love art history,” he said. “So I don’t want to get a bunch of emails from everybody.”
In Forbes, Michael Gibson writes about “the path” a majority of Ivy League graduates take into the industries of finance and consulting, and why it might be problematic: Too many smart, talented people heading to places like Goldman Sachs after college and not to, well, the rest of the labor market looking for smart, talented individuals not heading into the financial services industry. Well, it’s a good thing smart individuals also exist at non-Ivy League Schools who have decided not to take this path!
his Sunday marks the fourth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, and it’s unclear what happened to the billions of donated dollars given towards relief efforts.
Something to talk about with your family around the Thanksgiving table, if your family is anything like mine (super Catholic): Pope Francis just issued an 84-page “apostolic exhortation” about the idolatry of money and the new tyranny of unfettered capitalism.
San Francisco has the least affordable housing in the nation, with just 14 percent of homes accessible to middle-class buyers, said Jed Kolko, chief economist at the real estate website Trulia. The median rent is also the highest in the country, at $3,250 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.
“Affordable housing projects are constructed, and the money set aside for that purpose is used, but the demand is just far greater than what can be supplied,” said Fred Brousseau of the city budget and legislative analyst’s office. Evictions under a provision of state law that allows landlords to evict rent-controlled tenants if they convert a building for sale have more than tripled in the past three years, just as they did during the first tech boom.
To Yelly Brandon, a 36-year-old hairstylist, and her boyfriend, Anthony Rocco, an archivist, the obstacles to finding housing became clear when they spent two months searching for an apartment. At open houses, they said, they were competing with young tech workers, who offered more than the asking price and cash up front.
“People were just throwing money in the air,” Ms. Brandon said.
In the Times, Erica Goode and Claire Cain Miller report about the “backlash by the bay”—how the middle- and working-classes are increasingly being pushed out by tech workers with big bank accounts. Neighborhoods like the Mission District, a once heavily Hispanic working-class neighborhood, has seen a dramatic change. But some of the changes are less about luxury apartment buildings and moneyed residents like Mark Zuckerberg buying homes in the area:
And they grumble about less tangible things: an insensitivity in interactions in stores and on the street, or a seeming disregard for neighborhood traditions. The annual Day of the Dead procession, meant to be solemn, has turned into a rowdy affair that many newcomers seem to view as a kind of Mexican Halloween.
Kevin Starr, professor of history and policy, planning and development at the University of Southern California describes the biggest problem with pushing middle and working class families out of the city: “You can’t have a city of just rich people. A city needs restaurant workers, a city needs schoolteachers, a city needs taxi drivers.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
At Harper’s, James Marcus reviews Brad Stone’s The Everything Store, a book about online retail giant Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos.
At Language Log, a blog run by the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Mark Seidenberg, who studies dyslexia, looks at why Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David and Goliath, is so problematic. The book examines how people who have disadvantages (i.e. those who have a disability, who’ve faced discrimination, who’ve suffered a loss of a parent) often use that disadvantage to propel themselves to success.
— J.P. Morgan (@jpmorgan) November 13, 2013
JPMorgan canceled a Twitter Q+A session with vice chairman and veteran investment banker Jimmy Lee yesterday after they realized that people could be mean on the internet.
In the Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend magazine, Tim Elliott talks 24-year-old Alexander Stepanov, one of the volunteers in a controversial Australian-made documentary about virgins who were willing to auction off their virginity. Catarina Migliorini, the other volunteer, attracted a bid of $780,000, while the bid for Stepanov reached a much lower figure of $2,600. Stepanov says he never volunteered for the documentary for fame or money. “Some people may hate this, and some people may say this is disgraceful, and they have every right to say that,” he now says.