In college, one of my English professors threatened to institute a “sorry jar” policy for the females in his classes. Like the “swear jar,” the sorry jar would have required a monetary donation any time a female spoke in class and, at some point in her talking, apologized. Apparently his female students—strong, smart women in a top liberal arts college—often (unconsciously, accidentally) apologized, just for expressing their ideas.
In 2011, The Atlantic published 235 pieces men and 91 by women. Harper’s: 141 men, 42 women. The London Review of Books: 504 men, 117 women.
VIDA: Woman in Literary Arts compiles the above numbers every year, one of their many efforts to explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women. Their first annual fundraiser, hosted by Riverhead Books, will be June 18, 2012, in Brooklyn. I suggest you attend—not only to drink unlimited beer and to mingle with Emma Straub but to support this organization and the women writers out there who, every day, are fighting to be heard.