Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where are the female bloggers?

MissLaura at DailyKos writes
There's this question that the traditional media likes to ask:
"Why aren't there more women blogging about politics?"
or
"Why are most of the big political bloggers men?"
It's an interesting question - why aren't more of the prominent political bloggers women? When I started reading political bloggers in late 2003 or early 2004 I don't think there were many of them. But that hasn't been the case for a long time. Marcia Wheeler, Barbara O'Brien, Digby and Jane Hamsher (to name a few) are prominent female political bloggers. Seven of the leading bloggers at dKos are women: SusanG, McJoan, MissLaura, Georgia10, Plutonium Page, Scout Finch and BarbinMD. There's Arianna Huffington. And just because Michelle Malkin is a horrible person doesn't mean she isn't a prominent female political blogger.

Is there a deficiency of women among the prominent political bloggers? MissLaura concludes
Megan Carpentier wrote a really stupid piece for Glamocracy, and her failure to quote Markos rejecting her premise makes you wonder how many other people she left out because what they said didn't fit her narrative. But she didn't pioneer this kind of stupidity. She was rerunning a hackneyed story the traditional media has been telling about blogging for quite some time. There are lots of different stories to write about blogs and gender -- never mind "prominent" bloggers, why does it seem that state bloggers are so disproportionately male? How do women and men blogging together at group blogs get treated differently by readers or the traditional media? Is it the case that men started the earlier blogs, and if so, at what rate have women been catching up? Whose blogging is more likely to lead to paid work as an institutional or campaign blogger, as a journalist, as a consultant? Do meat-world credentials play a different role in how male and female bloggers are received? These questions don't get asked, going unmentioned to leave room for the fortieth retread of "why are the three bloggers the laziest journalist can think of all men?"
I have no idea if there are fewer prominent female political bloggers than there "should" be. But I don't see any reason to assume that there is a dearth of female political bloggers. There are lots of good questions related to why men tend to be early adopters of technology. But the question of why there aren't more prominent female political bloggers is only valid if there are fewer prominent female bloggers than would be expected. Are there?

[Update Sept. 12, 2014]: Eight years later, this seems so naive. The internet can be a horrible place to be female, with all sorts of hideous comments and threats thrown your way. Granted, it can be horrible for anyone. But the threats seem to get more graphic and horrible if you're female.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tangled Bank #102

Tangled Bank #102 is up at Further Thoughts. Berry Go Round #3 was published a week ago at Greg Laden's blog.