On page 95 of this month’s issue of Wired, whose features were written entirely by men, sits a parting thank-you note to the “wonder women who helped get this issue out.”
Among these women: a CrossFit coach, Michelle Obama, an acupuncturist, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Farther down the list, taking their place alongside “the moms working at Saigon Sandwich” and Coconut the dog, are the talented journalists on Wired’s masthead, from Executive Editor Maria Streshinsky downward.
On Twitter, FiveThirtyEight’s Christie Aschwanden, who first flagged the paragraph, noted the many rounds of editing, fact-checking, and proofing that typically meet each printed page of Serious Publications—meaning that a great many people signed off on this thing.
The colophon was clearly a poor attempt to be tongue-in-cheek. But these sorts of gaffes are never one-offs. Look back through a recent selection of Wired covers, and you’ll notice something interesting:
There was one cover during this span, from May 2017, that featured a female subject. That issue is also the lone example of a female author’s work occupying the magazine’s prime real estate alone. (Women did contribute to the cover packages in themed editions.) Otherwise, all dudes. Call them the supermen who helped get these issues out.
Wired is not alone here. A quick trip to the newsstand reveals two of two features in the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek were authored by men; three of four at Fast Company; four of five in The Atlantic; and so on.
The magazine has several top-level female staffers, some of whom probably deserved a mentioned ahead of a dog. Over the past few months, they’ve added Features Editor Vera Titunik, from The New Yorker and Senior Writers Nitasha Tiku, from BuzzFeed News, and Senior Writer Ashley Feinberg, from right here at Gizmodo Media Group.
Nicholas Thompson, whose tenure as the magazine’s top dog began in January following a run as editor of newyorker.com, responded to some of the criticism on Twitter Thursday:
Streshinsky added a statement of her own, elaborating on the colophon:
Correction: Due to an incomplete archive on Wired.com, an earlier version of this post left out the cover of Wired’s May 2017 issue, which featured both a female subject and author.