Women Prizes & Post Feminism

Over at the NY Times, Alan Riding dissects the subject of literary awards reserved for women, such as the Orange Prize. The reasoning behind the prize has been discussed ad nauseam in the press, so no need to revisit it here. The article does have some baffling quotes, though, like this one:

“We found that books written by men were significantly less intimate than those written by women,” Debbie Taylor, editor of Mslexia (www.mslexia.co.uk), said of a study by the magazine. She added: “Men’s texts referred typically to sex, exteriors, violence, work and tools. Women’s texts referred typically to relationships, interiors, clothing, children. Women inside. Men outside.”

She sounds just like my grandmother.

I do wish there were some hard facts in the article, though. For instance, starting with the NY Times, how many titles reviewed so far this year are by men and how many by women? I’d love to see Sam Tanenhaus tackle that one.