So the VIDA count, examining gender bias in publishing, is out for its third year. Sadly it doesn’t make for very inspiring reading.You may have already read articles about how this is or isn’t important. Just to be clear: IT IS VERY FUCKING IMPORTANT.
For Chris & myself, establishing ILK after VIDA had begun its great work, we have always been attentive to patriarchal bias, and committed to not putting up with it. Simply put, it is not good enough for editors to give vague excuses about ‘the quality of submissions’ etc, etc. You either give a shit or you don’t. You either take action or you don’t.
How do we take action? Well, it might be obvious that we try to publish an equal ratio of men to women. We also hope it is obvious that by doing so no matter what our submission queue looks like, we are signalling ourselves as supportive of women in the arts. What might be less obvious, but important is that we support trans* writers. While VIDA might break down gender into a binary, we are not interested in that. Indeed, some of our ILK may not identify as ‘male’ or ‘female’, and so (for the sake of facilitating an inclusive conversation) we have included the umbrella term ‘trans*’ as a third category in our count. But to put things into a fancy pie chart a la VIDA and share our own numbers with you, here you go: