July 13, 2008
Hey, NYT: Gender politics are not a ‘lifestyle’
As much as it made me nauseous to read Kathleen Parker’s quotes in New York Times‘ recent review of hers and Jessica Valenti’s new(ish) books, it made me even more ill to see that, yet again, gender politics have been relegated to the “Style”-“Fashion & Style” section. That section is also home to “Dining & Wine,” “Home & Garden,” “Weddings/Celebrations,” and “TMagazine.” The subheader to the review title “Endangered Species or Still the Enemy?” (because clearly gender is either akin to biological survival or war) is “Books of Style.”
Books of style? Gender issues have incredible political, economic, and social implications, and books discussing them are ‘books of style’? Seriously, WTF?! Or should I have expected this from a review that uses the antiquated and inaccurate term “battle of the sexes” to describe the problems these books address.
I may be going out on a limb here, but shouldn’t this book review be in, um, books?
Dear New York Times,
Book about gender issues are books. They are neither style nor fashion, lifestyle nor ‘non-news.’ They are not frivolous, expendable, or irrelevant. Gender studies texts are important, provocative, meaningful, and essential books.
Please list them in the “Books” section.