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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

February 23, 2005
Still Reading

I got caught up and I'm ready to leave town. Anything I do for the rest of the afternoon will just start a train of events I won't be here to deal with.

Therefore. The blog!

I went back and read Kevin Drum's blog entry about his perception of a lack of female bloggers in the political arena, and then his follow-up entry and then I read the blog posts he linked to.

Arguments I have seen (cherry-picked, yes):

People link to people whose opinions they are comfortable with

True. I link to very few people who don't, even though smarter than me, reassure me that my own comfy prejudices are the smart ones to hold. Makes me feel smarter than I am, okay? I'm open to linking to people whose opinions are contrary to mine, but I like them to be sensible people who put forth their ideas without pointless i^v@ctiv@ and exclamation! points!!

(In case you're wondering, being sworn at has never, in my entire life, ever changed my opinion about anything. And also? Every exclamation point you use lowers your I.Q. by one point. Proven.)

And that brings us to our next point.

Women can be as nasty as men in the "food fight" of opinion-blogging.

True. Some women are comfortable with being nasty as some men are.

But not all people are comfortable with it. Nor, quite frankly, do all of us enjoy that "blogging" is synonymous, in many eyes, with trolling. (The profanity and ugly name-calling and personal insults? It's trolling, okay? If you'd been on-line for more than 24 months, you'd recognize the techniques. Has about as much to do with an exchange of actual opinions on topics that matter as a cabbage leaf. Part of me is amused by the men who pretend they're involved in serious discussions about serious topics...but who refuse to spend time on any site where there isn't name-calling and flaming.)

So, yeah, women are perfectly able to use bad language and troll other people's blogs but when I think about "blogging" that's not how I define it.

Women might be less-comfortable with the technology

Bite me.

It's a keyboard. Women have been using them for a loooong time.

Publishing? You click the "publish" button.

I'm pretty sure the average woman on the street can handle the high-tech stress of the medium, okay?

Either the medium or the women have to change to even the balance

Please. There's nothing wrong with either. There's a lot of room in the world o'blog. Neither blogging nor women have to change.

There are blogs that focus on the media, on social security, on state politics, on the environment, on the law, on history, on the military, on the 'feminist issues', on foreign policy, and on almost anything else you can think of. Many blogs on these topics are written by women. There's not much territory there that women aren't already writing in with perfect comfort. We can handle the medium, thank you.

"High-traffic" blogs by men don't tend to link to/promote women bloggers

Hmmm. As someone recently made uncomfortably aware that her own blogroll is rather skewed toward male bloggers, I can't answer this one. All I can say is I link to people whose posts I consistently find interesting.

As I told someone via private e-mail today, there are a handful of blogs I read regularly where I couldn't tell you if the blogger is male or female. I don't blogroll gender.

I've run through three dozen blogs written by women today, blogs I've never seen before. I found myself with a vague desire to read two of them again in the future. I bookmarked those two. If they prove to be consistently interesting, I'll blogroll them. But, quite honestly, most of the blogs I read were not interesting to me.

And that...is interesting to me.

I don't know why this is, but I'll certainly be thinking about it over the next few days. 10% or less of my blogroll is female. It's not impressive, I know.

Hmmm.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:03 PM


Comments

Hey, less than a week till Women's History Month, which some of us have also declared Women in Blogging Month. Lemme know if you want any suggestions on additions to the blogroll! By the way, laughed out loud at "Bite me... it's a keyboard." I was using keyboards long before most men I knew. Typewriters too, for that matter.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at February 23, 2005 06:43 PM

The aggravating thing for me is that that particular speculation came to my eyes in a woman's blog.

Feel free to suggest any good blogs, of course. I'm always open for suggestions!

Posted by: Anne at March 1, 2005 10:40 AM