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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Poor Little Female Bloggers

I don't remember how, but a few days ago I stumbled across this blog post about why there is apparently a lack of female bloggers on Glamour's political blog:
I asked around and heard a lot of different answers. Some say it's because the men got a head start. Jen Moseley, the politics editor at Feministing says, "I think there are a lot of female political bloggers out there. But since most of the 'old guard' big political blogs (funny that something 4-5 years old can be considered old now), were started by men, so they're still looked at as the only ones that matter."

Amy Richards, an author and one of the co-founders of Third Wave, thinks that the amount of attention focused on the boys might be more than just their first-mover status—it's an artifact of their historical control of the media. Richards claims that "Political punditry has always been dominated by men and thus blogging is likely to follow that pattern." Richards agrees that women aren't becoming blogospheric stars as quickly as some of their male colleagues. She says, "I know that women are jumping into this debate with their opinions and perspectives, but because they are doing so in spaces more likely to attract women—they aren't being legitimized."

Ezra Klein agreed with Amy about the ghettoization of female voices, noting that while male political bloggers are known as "political" bloggers, women are more often known as "feminist" bloggers. "There's this rich and broad feminist blogosphere, which is heavily female and very political, but considered a different sort of animal. Is Jill Filipovic a political blogger? Ann Friedman?" he says. Male bloggers are seen as talking about politics with a universal point of view, but when we women bring our perspective to the field, it's seen as as a minority opinion.

But does it have to be that way? Blogs are supposed to be populist and thus it would seem like women could more easily level the playing field here than in other media. Red State's Mike Krempasky says, "You'd think the internet would be the great equalizer or the ultimate meritocracy. 'far from it." Looking at my blogroll, I'd have to agree.

Argh. How do we change that? How loud do women have to shout? Or is it sadly that we have to stop seeing politics from a woman's point of view to get taken seriously?


Whenever I read these kinds of articles, I just want to smack the author in the face. Here's what they seem to be completely incapable of understanding: if you think you're a victim, that's all you'll ever be.

First of all, is Arianna Huffington really the best example of a female blogger she could come up with? I can think of several right off the top of my head: Michelle Malkin (duh!), Pamela Geller, Em Zanotti, LaShawn Barber, Mary Katharine Ham, Rachel Lucas, Melissa Clouthier... the list goes on and on, and these are just conservative female bloggers.

Right Wing News even did two pieces on female conservative bloggers, and most of them looked at being a female blogger as an asset.

I've never had one single person tell me my opinion had less merit because I'm a woman, or that I wasn't as good as the guy bloggers out there. I've seen no evidence of a "boy's club" in the blogosphere; in fact, every single male blogger I have had any kind of communication with whatsoever has been gracious, helpful, and more than willing to assist me in building my blogging career.

And good grief, the "ghettoization" of female voices?! What the hell planet is this Megan Carpentier writing from? Because there are more male bloggers than female, female voices are being "silenced" and "ghettoized"?!

Uh, sorry, honey. Not quite. Maybe if you live in Saudi Arabia you could have a point. But here, the only thing keeping female bloggers back is... female bloggers.

Why, then, are there more male bloggers than female? The answer is simple, and it's feminism's favorite catch phrase: choice. Men, in general, are more interested in politics than women are. Sure, women are interested, but I don't think that there are as many women who are diehard political junkies like there are men. Go ahead, feminists, rip my skin off for stating That Which Must Never Be Said: that women do not have the same interests as men do. Anyways, if you want proof, look at blogosphere readership. Most people reading politics blogs are men, so it stands to reason that most political bloggers would be men as well. This also means being a female blogger is more of an asset, and not just because it gives all your male readers something to ogle at (although that's a plus, too). It means you stand out more, your blog stands out more. And that's a good thing.

Women also tend to be more thin-skinned. The insults female bloggers get are very personal, and very hurtful. They very often have nothing whatsoever to do with what you're actually writing about, unless of course you're talking about how ugly you are or perverted sexual tendencies. A lot of women just cannot take that kind of thing. It's like an arrow to the heart for them. After so much of that, a lot of them quit, because it isn't worth the stress and heartache for them.

And why does the internet -- the political blogosphere, specifically -- need to be "the great equalizer"? Why does it matter how many female vs. male bloggers there are out there? There is not one blog I read because of the gender of the author. I read them because of the content in the blogs, what the blogger has to say. I could give two shits whether it's a man or a women writing behind the computer screen. Putting the emphasis on something as shallow as gender accomplishes what? Instead of focusing on the skin-deep, why doesn't this lady focus on the ideas different bloggers put forth?

I don't know where feminists got this idea that all male-dominated careers were unfair to women unless there are an exactly equal number of women participating in these careers, but it's ridiculous. They need to get over the bean-counting. Living in a state of perpetual outrage or victimhood will get you nowhere.

So, Miss Megan, as long as you live in a mindset where Poor Little Female Bloggers can't make it in the Mean Old Boys' Club, then that's exactly what it will always be for you. Meanwhile, those of us who realize that we can make it if we're willing to work hard enough are too busy enjoying our careers as bloggers to worry about the ratio of male vs. female bloggers. Whining about female voices being silenced when it's not even remotely the truth just makes you look insecure and idiotic.

Grow up, and instead of blaming the mean 'ole misogynistic men for your failures, take responsibility for yourself. Start living in the real world. There are a wealth of intelligent, unique, thoughtful voices out there, both male and female. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to see that.


Physics Geek said...

Grow up, and instead of blaming the mean 'ole misogynistic men for your failures, take responsibility for yourself.

I know women like these and I predict that pigs will fly first.

I R A Darth Aggie said...

take responsibility for yourself

Too bad there's a general lack of that in the USofA.

Took an ARM loan on your house, and now you can't make the payments? don't worry we'll bail you out.

Made an ARM loan to someone who could make the payments at 6% interest but not at 7.5%, and now they're defaulting on the loan? don't worry, we'll bail you out, too.

The rest of us get to pay for those bailouts. Where is my bailout? oh, yeah, I don't need one 'cause I didn't do something irresponsible.

mkfreeberg said...

Women also tend to be more thin-skinned.

Cassy, I tend to doubt this a lot. I think it's closer to the truth to say women, and men even moreso, are compelled to yield center-stage to the women who happen to be thin-skinned to start with. There's a certain 80/20 rule involved with the women we end up watching, 20% of them get 80% of the attention, and that's the 20% that do the most bitching. So the appearance is certainly there.

But when I see little boys learning how to interact with other kids, they develop their social skills by means of a process that is helped along most effectively by means of a thick skin. Then you look at their female counterparts, even the ones three, four, five years younger, and the girls are just chattering away non-stop.

In my case, I know I'm much less likely to get a point across in a verbal medium and I think that speaks for a lot of guys. Necessity is the mother of invention. Girls, on the whole, jibber-jabber much better than boys do, so the boys blog. We take a break from blogging when the jars need opening or the cars need fixing.

Here's what they seem to be completely incapable of understanding: if you think you're a victim, that's all you'll ever be.

Heh. You have a wonderful common sense about you dear, but here again I have to take issue. I think they get that just fine. It's what they want out of life.

Anonymous said...

Just contrast these two female bloggers: Cassy Fiano and Megan Carpenter. Cassy Fiano presents a forceful argument and uses logic and reason to eviscerate her opponent. Megan Carpenter writes like a whiny, giggly, teenage valley girl and blogs at “Glamocracy”. When you use the name “Glamocracy” I think you’re ghettoizing yourself.

Debbie Schlussel said...

Emily Zanotti does not deserve to be on that list, Ed. She defended a Muslim Holocaust-denial death, rape, and torture threat against me, my parents, and grandparents on her site. She was just forced to resign from her job at the Thomas More Law Center over it, after just six months on the job. She also wrote deliberately false, defamatory information about me, which she admitted she made up and had to apologize for because she’d have lost a defamation suit.

I wouldn't say she's "ghetto-ized." Just completely unstable. Sorry you guys are linking to her site, on which the defense of the Muslim death threat remains.

--Debbie Schlussel

Van Helsing said...

It never would have occurred to me that women aren't a major presence in the blogosphere. I've regarded Michelle Malkin as the #1 conservative blogger for years.

Robert said...

Just caught a link to your site from Hot Air. I'm impressed to say the least. Only quality writing and dedication to the craft will bring success.
The desire to use affirmative action to control people's reading habits will not work.
Now if only they could make more women like you in the NJ area I'd be a happy guy.

unkawill said...

I just come here to ogle

mkfreeberg said...

I was doing some more thinking about this. It seems we have some "dry rot" in the blogosphere, people who are blogging, and for the sake of their own sanity probably should not be.

How do we change that? How loud do women have to shout?

The 'sphere promotes equality by failing to embrace it. Let's say some left-wing pinhead says something on TV and it rubs Michelle Malkin the wrong way. Cassy Fiano is also piqued about the same thing. Malkin writes it up with something original; Fiano also writes it up with something original.

I like what Michelle said and I also like what Cassy said. Neither one linked or referenced the other, and they both said essentially the same thing. Linking both of them is pointless. I have a finite amount of time to blog and my readers have a finite amount of time to read.

So I must choose...

...and I'm going to link Malkin because she gets more traffic. And so, male or female, a blog "hits a groove." It gets to the point where it is hit more because it does not need the traffic. It's like a society with the ultimate regressive tax system -- we all get together to help out whoever doesn't need it.

The system works, because it achieves a blend of group-think and individuality. We're all looking at the same stuff...kinda. But we're also looking at our own stuff and forming our own ideas.

The exasperated inquiry "how loud do we have to shout" betrays an immature mindset, one that is accustomed to an all-powerful centralized authority. A "mommy" figure. But a weak mommy figure; one that panders to whichever "child" does the most bitching.

Not that I mean to imply Ms. Carpenter grew up that way. But if I had to bet some money, I'd bet it on the affirmative, and that would go for a random selection among her regular readership as well. The notion that some adequate amount of carping and bellyaching will change the universe to the liking of whoever's doing it, is hideously offensive to me...to most men...and I would add to all "real" women as well. It's a decidedly out-of-date 1960's mindset, one that pays lip service to "choice" but only honors the choices made by certain, deserving people, and insists that everyone else has to follow along whether they like it or not.

How do you make more bloggers female? Might as well make more cars on the road listen to country music on their radios. It's up to the dude/dudette behind the steering wheel, and it seems Ms. Carpenter just can't handle that.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant. On this note I really do like participating in an environment (blogging) that cannot and will not be affected by any governmental "equality" legislation that could ever be enacted by "Well in MY opinion it SHOULD BE THIS WAY" people like the one that you wrote about in this article. Let them whine; without people like them there wouldn't be effective counter-balances like you.

Oh, and I was oggling the pics in the sidebar too.