A Feminist Post

How many people have I driven away with the title of this post? How do you know it won’t be interesting or good just because the title has the word feminism in it? Why judge a blog post by its title?

It is a cliche that one should not judge a book by its cover, but how often do we do just that? That is the subject of this column on sexist covers that men run from. Please note that the author of the column is a man. (True confession: I didn’t read the name of the author and assumed it would be a woman until I got to the part where he says I’m a man. Oops.) He raises some interesting issues on covers and pre-judging books, and shying away from books that are by women, even if they fall into the general category of books one usually likes.

In other feminist news, I picked up a used book at work the other day (this is not news) called Encounter with Books: A Guide to Christian Reading, edited by Harish D. Merchant, published by InterVarsity Press in 1970. I’ve only read the contributor list so far. In this list, as I habitually do, I looked for women contributors to the volume, expecting to find none. Instead of none, I found 4 — of a total of 67 contributors, that is 1 woman for every 15.75 men. Ok, for 1970, not too bad. All the women contributed to book lists under the banner “Humanities and the Arts.” One was a co-author of a list, so only three lists in the book were authored by women only. Those lists are: Drama, Dance, and Children’s Books. Hah. How stereotypical. I’ll get over it soon, but I was a bit steamed last night when I first did the assessment.

And in yet more feminist news, some people are doing a study of the use of feminine pronouns in books using that giant online repository of text, Google Books. Interesting!

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