Anyway, I have been thinking about the whole men-not-reading-women thing and the women-not-getting-reviewed thing (which I suspect are related phenomena), especially in the light of Matt Jakubowski's resolution to only read books by women. A cursory Monday-evening web search has not turned up any reliable statistics on the extent to which men don't read women, but I do rather like this piece on the W&N blog looking at what the reasons might be.
Here are the women writers listed by the study sample:
Ursula LeGuin (twice)
JK Rowling (twice, although the subjects actually referred to her character, but let's try not to judge)
Here are the male writers listed by the study sample:
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
David Foster Wallace
Charles Bukowski (twice)
Hermann Hesse (twice)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (twice)
Miguel de Cervantes (twice)
Haruki Murakami (twice)
Milan Kundera (twice)
Paulo Coelho (twice)
Franz Kafka (three mentions)
Now listen, I'm aware that people don't tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on online dating profiles. And you wouldn't want to put down some totally obscure writer because nobody likes a clever dick. And maybe non-single men or men in other cities and other age groups or with other sexualities are all digging into Jane Austen and Judith Butler like crazy. But isn't it fascinating? Only nine out of shitloads of men admit to reading books by women!
I hope the study sample doesn't read this en masse and get upset. I mean, guys, read whatever you like, even Coelho. The solution, it seems to me, is for the women of Berlin to bombard their (straight, single) male friends and acquaintances (in Berlin, between 35 and 45) with books written by women, so that a) they read them in the first place and b) they get a tacit message that women find books by women sexy. Thank you.
*Not strictly scientific
Update: my friend has left the dating site. She found it troubling to "rate" people out of five, especially based on a very limited self-description that tended to make everyone, herself no doubt included, seem either utterly banal and uninteresting or borderline psychiatric cases. Plus the men she liked didn't like her back, and the algorithm suggested she ought to make contact with someone who listed Atlas Shrugged as his favourite book. And don't say 'At least it's by a woman'.