Jillian Goodman saw a problem, and she set out to fix it. The 28-year-old, an editor at Fast Company, has been paying attention to the VIDA Count, a study that looks at how many women contributed to various publications versus how many men contributed. For example, in 2014, only 30 percent of the content in The New Yorker was written by women. The New York Review of Books showed an even broader disparity, with just 20 percent of content produced by women.
Why are general interest publications like these and more, purportedly written for all genders, so dominated by men?
So Goodman set out to right the wrong: while on a road trip, she had the idea to establish a general interest magazine that was 100 percent written and edited by women.
She told MTV News that the time was right for the industry -- make change! -- and personally -- time to take a risk.
"I was on a road trip and had a lot of time to think," Goodman said. "It felt like a good time to do something that was maybe a risk. I felt like I'd developed enough skills as an editor to do right by people. I'm still in my 20s, so it felt like if I wasn't going to do something like this now, why wait?"
There was no particular breaking point, more a sense of "why not try?"
"It's not hard to find instances of imbalance in this industry. It really was just a situation where all of the thoughts and ideas were already in my head and they just sort of came together on that particular trip," she said.
Hence the Mary Review was born. There are weeks left on the Kickstarter for the magazine, which takes its name from Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own," and as of publication, fundraising has far exceeded its $20,000 goal.
Writers like Maggie Shipstead, Megan Amram and Mary Pilon are slated to contribute. The first issue of Mary, which will have a limited print run, will contain art, reporting, fiction, poetry and more. "I want it to be defined by a feminine voice," Goodman said.
Goodman said she subscribes to Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, New York in print, and reads many more general interest magazines, but wants to produce a publication that women, whether they're established writers, budding writers or just avid readers, can see themselves in.
"We all look for role models, we all look for mentors," she said. "What I hope that someone like that will pick this up and see people to emulate. When there aren't women and when there isn't diversity in the power structure you wind up with a bunch of the same ideas and it becomes that much harder for new ones to find a place. Not even to be heard, but to be developed as a talent.
"You're looking for someone who gets you and if there's no one in that position, if the people in that position are less inclined to get you, then it's a problem. It's not, we wind up with more sameness than I think we want."
Right now, Goodman is focused on getting the first issue of the magazine done by next year, worry about future issues and whether Mary can continue in perpetuity later. She's focused on carrying out her vision -- strong pieces by women, paying all contributors, putting necessary thoughts out into the world -- in the first issue, to begin with.
"We hear stories from entrepreneurs all the time, people who have a vision and worked crazy hard to make something of it," she said. "The most successful ones didn't think about am I going to fail, how hard it's going to be. They were so driven by the idea and what they wanted to accomplish that all that other stuff -- I don't want to say that it works itself out, because you need discipline and commitment and to be able to ask for advice when you need it and recognize when you made a mistake or need to rethink something, but I think the most important thing is believing in it."
The Kickstarter campaign for Mary continues until June 12, and Goodman is seeking submissions for writers, artists, designers, photographers and poets.