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Books of Women Authors Are Priced Less as Compared to Their Male Counterparts

The authors analysed the gender of each author by matching names to lists of male and female names, and cross-referenced with information about price, genre and publication.

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A study of more than 2 million books has revealed that titles by female authors are on an average sold at just over half the price of those written by men, the media reported.
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A study of more than 2 million books has revealed that titles by female authors are on an average sold at just over half the price of those written by men, the media reported.

The research, by sociologist Dana Beth Weinberg and mathematician Adam Kapelner of Queens College-CUNY, involved titles published in North America between 2002 and 2012, the Guardian reported on Monday.

The authors analysed the gender of each author by matching names to lists of male and female names, and cross-referenced with information about price, genre and publication.

The authors analysed the gender of each author by matching names to lists of male and female names, and cross-referenced with information about price, genre and publication.
Representational Image, Pixabay

Books by women released by mainstream publishers, they found, were priced on an average 45% lower than books by men. In a paper published in the journal PLOS One, the academics point out that there are more female authors writing in genres such as romance, which are generally priced lower than male-dominated genres such as science.

But even after accounting for these differences, they found that prices for authors with identifiably female names were 9 per cent lower than for male authors.

“Our study looked at all three types of discrimination – the gender segregation by book genre, the different value placed on these genres, and then finally the difference within the genres,” Weinberg said.

“We expected that taking account of the first two discrimination patterns would knock out any remaining differences in prices within genre.

Also Read: How to File Car Insurance Claim in Case of Theft?

“The within-genre price difference (9 per cent for traditionally published titles) was extremely robust across various analyses. In retrospect, perhaps we should not have been surprised about this difference, since this pattern also mirrors the wage inequality within jobs that we see in the larger economy.”

The study also looked at self-published, or independently published, titles over the same period, finding that when authors priced books themselves, there was far greater equality between the genders – although there was still a price gap of 7 per cent, the Guardian reported.

Inequality was also seen within genres for self-publishers, at 4 per cent compared with the 9 per cent for traditionally published books. (IANS)

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It’s not what you wear, but the way you wear it

Men lack the enzyme which processes self-awareness, which is why we think we look good in Speedos

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A lot depends upon what we wear and how we carry it. Wikimedia Common
A lot depends upon what we wear and how we carry it. Wikimedia Common

Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work.

I expected my wife to veto the idea, but she was okay with it, saying: “It’s not what you wear that counts, but whether you can carry it off.”

Mind you, this was a phone conversation and so she couldn’t see what I was wearing. In the event, going to work in a killer clown outfit was not as bad as it might have been, and the fake bloodstains on the costume proved advantageous. Fellow passengers quickly gave me a seat on the bus — actually, a whole block of seats.

Also Read: Get quirky with your shoes

The main (and possibly only) advantage of marriage for guys is that we are given full-time aides (“wives”) who generally prevent us going out looking too ridiculous. Men lack the enzyme which processes self-awareness, which is why we think we look good in Speedos.

Proof: In my true-crime file is a report about a criminal fugitive on the run in Japan who disguised himself in a girls’ sailor suit school uniform. Since he was a tall man with massive shoulders, he managed to evade detection for only minutes.

Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work. Wikimedia Commons
Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work. Wikimedia Commons

Another true story: Last year, a pair of bank robbers decided to dress as women to scope out a bank in Thomasville, Florida. The result was the opposite of what they expected: They became the centre of attention, of course.

It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman — good taste, and the ability to walk with our feet clamped in instruments of torture known as “lady’s shoes”.

There’s one exception which proves my point. In November last year, the coach of the Thailand women’s kabaddi team was dismayed to find out that males were banned from attending women’s sports events in Iran, where his team was playing. So he wrapped his head in a female scarf and marched straight in.

Also Read: Why Do People Get Aggressive After Drinking?

He fooled nobody but correctly judged that the women would be too nice to throw him out. Smart guy.

Our UK correspondent shared a sad news item about a group of men who raised money for their local hospital by dressing as nurses and pushing a bed around town. The hospital refused to accept the cash as they said it was considered politically incorrect for men to dress as nurses these days.

It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman. Wikimedia Commons
It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman. Wikimedia Commons

This seems unfair, as I have seen marathon runners dressed as bananas, dinosaurs and Q-Tips without complaint from fruit sellers, palaeontologists or people who like to poke things in their ears.

But the political issues surrounding women’s clothes are complex. In 2011 someone organised a “slutwalk” in Canada. This involved scantily-clad females marching down the road with protest banners. When the Slutwalk arrived in Asia, the women were fully covered up and many of the marchers were male; so the event missed the point, a bit like the Animal Rights Barbecue that a friend of mine once tried to organise.

Also Read: 7 Unfailing Ways To Impress Your Lady Love & Swoon Her Off Her Feet

Anyway, like my wife says, it’s not what you wear but how you wear it. By the way, I look great in a Speedo. (IANS)

(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via his Facebook page)