Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 22, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

WOMEN AND BLOGGING....Well, that didn't go well. Here's a roundup of responses:

  • Meryl Yourish: "A (female) blogger sent me this link to Kevin Drum being an idiot (yes, I know, he is often an idiot, but this time, it's personalhe mentioned women bloggers)." And this one, where she doesn't call me an idiot: "The scholarship behind Drum's thesis simply boggles the mind. Why, it's as if he took all of five minutes to think about the issue before he wrote his post."

  • Trish Wilson: "I get so tired of this same stupid question coming up every three months. The guys don't read or link to political women who blog, and then have the audacity to feign innocence every two months (from three, previously). They wonder where we are. As we have said the last three or four times this discussion has come up, we're out there. You just have to take the time and energy you take to link to and read the primarily middle- and upper-class, white, male bloggers and find us. Guys, you have no excuse."

  • Random Thoughts: "I'm tired of this discussion. I'm tired of the comments that say women aren't as analytical, competitive, interested, bloviating, or motivated. I'm tired of reading about the boys network at the top, even though it does exist."

  • Pinko Feminist Hellcat: "Having the gall to point out that yes, we exist, is apparently unforgivable. The attacks women go for this--women who stated this quite civilly were called hysterical and accused of attacking people. They were also called dykes, ugly, manhaters, moonbats, and had their looks derided and their appeal to the opposite sex questioned. Because, you know, that's civil."

  • Brutal Women: "In other news, the fucktards are back."

  • Avedon Carol: "On the other hand, I'm staring you right in the face, Kevin, and even though you've said you read me every day you don't have me on your blogroll. It's things like this that make me tear out my hair when people wonder why women are underrepresented in the top-rated weblogs, or journalists, are whatever."

  • Media Girl: "[Some poor schmoe named Aaron is] nothing like the horses asses and raging bulls that litter the landscape, like the goombas and ninnies who pop up periodically to wonder why women bloggers aren't more popular, or the fuckwits who wield misogyny like a phallic sword."

  • Ilyka Damen: "Having proposed the most supportable theory, that 'there are plenty of women who blog about politics but they don't get a lot of traffic or links from high-traffic male bloggers,' a theory supported by a quick review of his own blogroll, Drum concludes instead that the delicate flowers of blogdom are averse to the medium's 'fundamental viciousness.' What can you say to that beyond, 'Bitch, please' . . . ?"

  • What She Said!: "The saddest part of this all, Kevin, is that there are some really excellent writers out here. There are women writing extraordinary commentary, with sharp analysis and flawless arguments and you'd rather waste time in another gender-jerkoff than reading it."

  • Echidne of the Snakes: "There is one theory about all this that has some merit, I believe, and that is that some men don't want to read what women write (unless it is on sex), so if a blogger can be identified as a woman she will lose those readers whose print looks too feminine...."

  • Ayn Clouter: "As noted below, Kevin Drum has stirred up the usual hornets nest about under-representation of femmes pixelle on the web. This tempest in a herbal tea pot is missing the really big picture far above the heads of all these busybloggers."

  • Sisu: "We can say right up front that the shallowness of Kevin Drum's argument turns off this woman. Maybe we're in a Pauline Kael bubble of our own, but most of the women we know -- fellow bloggers, readers, friends and relatives -- adore fiery political discourse and keep coming back for more."

  • Conglomerate: "I know from trying to get a group blawg together of female law professors, that most of the participants were pressed for time. Blogging is a second (or third or fourth) job after teaching and writing, and a lot of the women that I know have a few extra jobs anyway with child-rearing."

  • Ann Althouse: "Sigh. Why is he assuming that promulgating opinions is a mean and domineering sort of behavior? I've certainly noticed that a lot of bloggers that I find unreadable display this tendency, but I think the best blogs are reasonable, good-natured, humorous, and well-rounded."

  • Long story; short pier: "You want to know what the funny thing is? The ice-edged gut-punching joke of it all? Five minutes spent perusing any feminist comment thread or discussion group would be enough to rapidly disabuse Messr. Drum and his commentariat of the idea that women arent 'comfortable with the food fight nature of opinion writing.'"

  • Loaded Mouth: "In reply to your idiocy, I refer you to What She Said!. Then maybe, just maybe, you could start linking to women bloggers instead of using the old and busted (not to mention repeatedly debunked) 'Where are they?' argument."

  • Dummocrats: "Drum's hypothesis is that opinion writing on the web is too vitriolic and rough for delicate females. Clearly he's never read one of Lucas' takedowns of Michael Moore. But, all kidding aside, he may have a point. Sometimes the comments on the site do get pretty rough. The language is nasty and personally, I refuse to deal with that."

  • Elayne Riggs: "I think, if anything, female bloggers should be thanking Kevin Drum rather than piling on his latest version of the every-three-months "where are the women bloggers/why aren't women bloggers more 'famous' or 'popular' (i.e., listed higher up in a self-selecting ranking system)" discussion."

  • James Joyner: On the food-fight nature of political blogging as a turnoff for women: "It's as good a reason I can come up with."

Hmmm, should I defend myself? Only to this extent: the reason I suggested that women are turned off by the "fundamental viciousness" of blogging and opinion writing is because many women have told me this (and have told me the same thing in non-blogging contexts as well). Men are so routinely dismissive of women and so fundamentally dedicated to playground dominance games that many women decide they just don't want to play.

But hey click the links and decide for yourself. My critics certainly make a spirited if anecdotal case for the proposition that women have no problem being as nasty as men.

Kevin Drum 2:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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