BY LISA MARIE BASILE
Or just shoot them 10 bucks and get another cocktail.
As editor of Luna Luna Magazine, and as a writer / editor for national and indie magazines, I - like many of you - got my start in literary magazines. I won't sugar-coat it: there are a lot of smarmy, egotistical white male dudebros at the top who want to keep brands old and dusty and free from new voices. We need to fight that power. I am glad VIDA was around to pave the way.
In many journals, especially top tier ones, women - women of color, especially - are published at a frighteningly lower rate. I wish I could say "times are changing" with absolute certainty, but we've got a way to go. VIDA is absolutely at the forefront of that by creating a necessary dialogue in order to elevate parity in literary art and create spaces for diverse voice. Obviously this needs to be applauded. And like Luna Luna, they're all volunteer. They're not sitting on mounds of money.
I think back to a time when, in college, a classroom professor suggested that the women in the class were writing in a "typically feminine" sort of way. As if colors and sounds were particularly womanly. Maybe they are? But the inference was that it was too girly, almost silly, like a young girl scribbling into her diary, unlike the apparently (?) more "real" poetry her male counterparts were writing. It wasn't easy to say that his implications were unfair or pandering or reductionist, or – at worst – sexist.
Those amorphous, slightly off-settling situations happen all the time and need to be defended against. The same is true for racial politics. We should be publishing diverse voices, not squandering opportunity or declining rejections or making it so that women and people of color aren't submitting at all. Nope. Support equality.