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Not Seen. Not Heard.


Here’s something that’s been bothering me for months now. So I decided to keep track.
The Atlantic Monthly, a magazine that styles itself as one of the nation’s more thoughtful periodicals, has steadfastly avoided running a major feature by a woman writer since the beginning of the year. I’m not joking. And I’m not over-reacting. I have the past four months – that’s the past six months of editorial planning, a half-year, a substantial amount of time – sitting on my desk. I saved them for just this reason.
None of the magazines printed since mid-December carry any substantial written, by-lined contributions by women. What does appear is brief, usually in the back-of-the book critic’s section or in “The Agenda” at the front. And to add insult to injury, the magazine’s one featured female writer, Sandra Tsing Loh, a self-styled celebrity Mom who you may know from NPR, has dwelled for two months in a row on her kids, on her kids’ schools and books about women like her. What’s worse, the headline on this month’s piece makes a joke about schools and “breast-milk-curdling.” Dudes, when your kids are ready for school, most of them have stopped breast feeding.
The Atlantic is a dying institution. And as much as I love and cherish the idea of an intellectually driven, well-written periodical, I’m happy to say “good riddance” to what this once-fine magazine has become. With its run of Big Boy Harvard writers – and Little Lord Fauntleroys on the make – The Atlantic, in its current incarnation, is providing a sad example of what James Wolcott describes below: A self-involved, self-satisfied look at a country that doesn’t exist once you drive more than a few miles west on U.S. 50.
The absence of women’s voices in our political culture is a bias against changing one of the most powerful aspects of our society. That’s why it’s happening here on the web. And, girlfriends, it’s about time.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 11:08 AM | Permalink

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