Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia
A while back there was some discussion on the lit general discussion forum about whether or not women (and not-straight, not-white people) were fairly represented in literature, specifically science fiction.
Some of the responses were, “well, women have won these many awards in the past decade, so yeah, they are more than fairly represented.” I am not convinced, and I certainly hope that someone with more energy and time than me will go to the trouble of finding the truth, backed up by actual numbers, soon.
In the meantime, I continue to hear that women are now ‘over-represented’ all over the place. For example…
Anyone familiar with the “Stuff You Missed in History Class” podcast? Well, it so happens that they keep getting these complaints about becoming a ‘women’s history’ podcast. Poor men are so under-represented, after all. (Which is why there are no women in US currency, and why so many are freaking out that Harriet Tubman will finally* replace a slave-owning white male on the twenty dollar bill.)
At any rate, the good people behind the “Stuff You Missed in History Class” podcast have grown just a wee be weary of receiving the same, baseless, complaint. Their response is glorious–and includes pie charts illustrating the gender split in shows, going back to 2013.
“Even though it should not be a problem to talk about women more than we talk about men, we’ve gone back into the archive and looked, and what we’ve found is that a sound majority of our shows that could be classified as “men” or “women” are about men. Even through dedicated, continual effort to talk about women, we still don’t even come close to a 50/50 split. (We also make a concerted effort to talk about other underrepresented groups, which does include men of various races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions, etc., which accounts for a big chunk of why we’re nowhere close to parity in terms of gender.)”
There will always be people who will dispute facts, but I for one find it lovely when things are in black and white (or, as is the case here, pink, blue and grey).
As for the line, “it should not be a problem to talk about women more than we talk about men,” I can see how some people, mainly men, will feel their hackles raising. My response? Women make up roughly half the population on earth. Women have lived with conversations centered on, research geared for and about, decisions made by, MEN, for centuries. I wonder how, exactly, it would be a problem, or unfair, or discrimination, or sexist, to have an even split, or even to have a few more conversations about women now.
*and by finally, I mean, sometime in the next four to six years.