Talk about “gender theory”

This is amusing via PJ Media:

Time Magazine: Evelyn Waugh, Leading Woman Writer

This never would have happened back in my day. David Harsanyi caught the flub:

TIME magazine asks: “What do 1 million reading lists reveal about higher education today?” [Indeed, what?  Are students reading something other than text messages?] Well, what it reveals is that someone at TIME shouldn’t be writing about reading lists.

There are many unsurprising names compiled by the Open Syllabus Project. And according to TIME’s “analysis,” Toni Morrison, Jane Austen, and Virginia Woolf, all rank in the top 10. But for some reason, and this had me laughing out loud, George Eliot was accidentally included on the women’s list.

That’s a joke, in case you don’t get it…  [George Eliot is the pen-name of a women, Mary Ann Evans.]

In any event, college-aged women are devouring some eclectic authors, everything from the individualist tracts of Ayn Rand to the dystopian fiction of Margaret Atwood and Naomi Klein. But I was most excited to see Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited and Scoop, one of my favorite novels ever, sneaking in at #97. She is awesome.

Most of the names on the list are of persons of the female persuasion that you’ve never heard of. Here’s why:

MethodologyThe Open Syllabus Project collected 1.1 million syllabi (of an estimated 80 to 100 million in existence) in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia and Canada that date from the past 15 years to compile a list of the 10,000 most-assigned books, short stories, journal articles and screenplays (the majority of the course assignments are from the past decade). TIME aggregated the top 10,000 titles by author, then used the Notable Names Database to confirm the author’s gender [sex] and generate a list of 100 most-read female authors.

Oops.

Time has issued a correction:

Correction: The original version of this story included Evelyn Waugh, who was a man.

The very masculine author of Black Mischief, Vile Bodies, Scoop and The Loved Onecould not be reached for comment.

It’s funny and sad at the same time.

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9 Responses to Talk about “gender theory”

  1. KAS says:

    Were all those groaners in the SAME article? I agree they were funny. I am glad to see that there are still some good authors on the list.

    Meanwhile, we are reading CS Lewis’ lovely children’s series of books to the 6 yr old. We are, of course, following the order in which they were published because this order yields the greatest sense of wonder in the mysteries. The re-ordering of the books into a ‘chronological’ ordering destroys that sense of wonder by answering the questions before they are asked– and thus gutting this Christian author’s work of much of what feeds the child’s intellect.

    Next will be Tolkien’s Hobbit– the book of course. The movies are locked away in my office until they are fully absorbed the entire Trilogy as well.

    Then, to the horror of some, we will be enjoying the Harry Potter books. I like them because they show resistance to evil, a self ownership of one’s thoughts, a ever developing understanding of the moral and ethical, and how important it is to recognize evil in its many permutations. Better for older children because the reader needs to grasp the ideas from Lewis and Tolkien before they are ready for Rowling. Her themes are less clearly cut, as in the real world these things are less clearly obviously cut, and thus, it takes a bit more on the part of the child.

    Thus the literary development of the mind. Paired with good catechesis, and some nice scripture studies and a comprehensive and integrated study of history– a good education is a complex thing.

    I deeply regret not becoming a librarian.

  2. Kerry says:

    One wonders whether Lucy Ramirez, pen name of Dan Rather is on the list.

  3. bookworm says:

    I’m working right now on another book for the micro-publishing business my husband and I have started. We are republishing overlooked, forgotten or less well known fiction from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in paperback form (it’s all in the public domain). I am finishing up an anthology of utopian and dystopian fiction from that era… it contains a couple of short stories in their entirety, plus excerpts from full-length novels. And yes, one of the novels I excerpted was “Lord of the World” by Robert Hugh Benson.

    What I found really interesting about the project was the variety of different views there were of what would and would not constitute an ideal society. In the 1890s-1900s there were many socialist and feminist utopian stories, about how abolishing private property, overthrowing the “oligarchy,” and placing women in charge of everything, as going to make the world sooo much better. And I suppose they can’t be blamed for thinking so back then, since it was the “Gilded Age” of the robber barons, sweatshops, child labor, etc., women hadn’t been able to vote yet, and Lenin, Stalin and Mao hadn’t yet arrived on the scene.

    However, some were skeptical even then. Among them was a woman named Anna Bowman Dodd. She wrote, in 1889, a novella titled “The Republic of the Future” in which she envisioned a socialist United States in the year 2050, where every need was taken care of by the government, where machines did all the work, women and men were treated absolutely equally in every way — they even dressed the same — and women no longer had to marry or raise children (government nurseries performed all child rearing). And yet, no one was happy. They had nothing to strive for, nothing to aspire to, and no sense of love, family or sacrifice. Some of what she wrote sounds eerily prophetic of today’s gender wars. If you search for the title and author it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

  4. yatzer says:

    I sent this to an English teacher I know who is Catholic. I think it will be an item of discussion when we get together soon.

  5. APX says:

    I don’t think you can be from Canada and not know who Margaret Atwood is…unfortunately. All throughout high school, college and university… I don’t understand the hype about her writing being so great. She’s a staunch feminist.

    If you want to annoy a feminist English Lit prof, bring St. Thomas Aquinas’ work with you and leave it on your desk throughout class.

  6. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    The Loved One has a character with misleading authorial pseudonym, but author and pseudonymous character are both unmistakably (if very differently) male…

    Incidentally, the Wikipedia article (last revised 2 Feb.) notes, in one paragraph, both Waugh’s engagement to Evelyn Gardner, whereby ‘Among their friends they quickly became known as “He-Evelyn” and “She-Evelyn” ‘ and that he was not pleased by ‘the Times Literary Supplement’s references to him as “Miss Waugh”.’ (Plus ça change…?)

    I remember thinking George Eliot was a friend of Chopin’s when I first heard of her, because I’d heard of a woman novelist called ‘George’ who was…

  7. The Masked Chicken says:

    “However, some were skeptical even then. Among them was a woman named Anna Bowman Dodd. She wrote, in 1889, a novella titled “The Republic of the Future” in which she envisioned a socialist United States in the year 2050, where every need was taken care of by the government, where machines did all the work, women and men were treated absolutely equally in every way — they even dressed the same — and women no longer had to marry or raise children (government nurseries performed all child rearing). And yet, no one was happy. They had nothing to strive for, nothing to aspire to, and no sense of love, family or sacrifice. Some of what she wrote sounds eerily prophetic of today’s gender wars. If you search for the title and author it shouldn’t be too hard to find.”

    Sadly, she is, probably, correct.

    The Chicken

  8. The Cobbler says:

    The only thing funnier than this is imagining Waugh’s reaction to it.

  9. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Venerator Sti Lot said: “I remember thinking George Eliot was a friend of Chopin’s when I first heard of her, because I’d heard of a woman novelist called ‘George’ who was…”

    Yup. The French novelist called “George Sand” was also female. Her real name was Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, which goes to show that one can give a girl too many pretty names.