Bob Dylan‘s Nobel Prize win means that women were completely left out of the awards this year.
The musician won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, while Juan Manuel Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Men also won this year’s Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Psychology or Medicine and Economic Sciences, making 2016 the first year since 2012 in which no woman has been honored.
For example, two of the winners were women last year and also the year before. However, women have been shut out in several other recent years: 2012, 2010, 2006, 2005 and the years between 1997 and 2003.
Previous female winners have included Marie Curie in Physics (1903) and Chemistry (1911), Mother Teresa (1979), Barbara McClintock (1983), Toni Morrison (1993; pictured), Doris Lessing (2007) and Malala Yousafzai (2014).
On October 13, the official Twitter account for the Nobel Prize tweeted out a message that said, “14 women have been award the #NobelPrize in Literature between 1901 and 2015.” People were quick to point out that “only” 14 women had won the award since 1901. And many were even quicker to point out that “In the 115 years the Nobel Prize has been in existence, 833 men have won, compared to 48 women (and only four of those were black women).”
However, some also noted that it wasn’t just a gender equality issue but also a diversity one. One user said that the Nobel Prize 2016 diversity count equaled “11/11 men, 9/11 white. Just thought I should point this out.”
Shocked Nobel Prize for Literature didn’t go to Africa’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Methinks @NobelPrize has a curious fascination with white men.
Celebrated singer-songwriter Bob Dylanwas awarded the prestigious prize in Literature on Thursday “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” said Swedish Academy permanent secretary Sara Danius. The Academy is responsible for choosing the winner of the prize in Literature.
“He is a great poet in the English speaking tradition,” Danius said in an interview after Dylan was announced as the winner. “And he is a wonderful sampler. The very original sampler. He embodies the tradition and for 54 years now he has been at it and reinventing himself constantly.”