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June 01, 2004

Here We Go Again...

Update: This same post that I made at Feministe has generated quite a bit of heat at Dan Drezner's blog, Insults Unpunished, and even Instapundit. Suffice to say that it's clear from the insults and sexual slurs thrown at both myself and Lauren that sexism is alive and well in the blogosphere.


Just when we've already expended much energy explaining to Matt Yglesias where all the women interested in politics are (and where the female political bloggers are), we get this post from Kevin Drum in The Washington Monthly about an American Journalism Review article about "the intersection of blogs with mainstream journalism." Glenn Reynolds also linked to what he called "blogs impact on big media."

Here's a quote from the American Journalism Review article [as quoted by Kevin Drum]:

"I must confess I don't track a whole lot of them," says Washington Post national political reporter Jim VandeHei....Ron Brownstein, a Los Angeles Times national political correspondent and CNN political analyst, reads campaign blogs, but that's about it....New York Times national political reporter Adam Nagourney...does keep on eye on The New Republic's campaign blog and sometimes looks at Talking Points Memo or InstaPundit, but not regularly."

Guess how many women bloggers are mentioned?

One. Wonkette. If there were more I missed them.

There's more: Dan Drezner linked to the poll that shows which blogs are read by the media.

Guess what, again?

That's right. Top ten - no women. "Elite" responses - no women. One woman (Amanda Butler) was thanked for "collecting and collating the data while displaying the utmost discretion." Women are valued for ... their secretarial skills.

This discussion comes up approximately every three months. Rivka at Respectful of Otters just wrote about it. I last wrote about it in March. Nothing changes. A male blogger (this time Matt Yglesias) asks where are the women interested in politics, or asks where are the women bloggers? We see more media articles that completely ignore the contributions of the large number of female bloggers out there. The guys inevitably say "mea culpa," but go back to business as usual. Rinse and repeat.

We are half the population, and we are nearly half of the blogosphere. We do not deserve to be ignored.

Posted on June 1, 2004 at 09:07 PM | Permalink


YEAH. They can BITE ME.

Posted by: Moi ;) at Jun 1, 2004 10:40:30 PM

What is with these people? Surburban Guerrilla, Sideshow, Sisyphus Shrugged, Bump in the Beltway, Peeved, Collective Sigh, Bohemian Momma, Talkleft, WTF is it now, Elayne, Echidne, et al.

If they are not reading them, they are missing the point of view of more than half of US voters, and the majority of left of center voters.

The problem I have with "the guys" is that they all tend to cover exactly the same points. They miss a lot of the "little stories" that are often the real news.

Wonkette tends to pale when compared to World o' Crap, a slap compared to a stiletto.

Posted by: Bryan at Jun 2, 2004 1:35:27 AM

Matthew Yglesias wrote a follow-up article today in which he states that some sort of definitive study shows that women are less-informed than men and that this is indisputable. I was rather annoyed by it but don't have time to go read the study itself right now, but would appreciate if you had some input on it.

I read many women's blogs every day and often find them better-written than men's. World O'Crap, for example is one of my favorites and S.Z. is a woman. Echidne is a can't-miss daily read.

Posted by: Anna in Cairo at Jun 2, 2004 6:14:34 AM

I posted the same message over at Feministe, and Dan Dresner responded over there. I don't have a trackback number for him, and MoveableType apparently figured out the trackback.

He conducted the survey and blamed the women bloggers for not linking to it. That's why we're not getting high rankings in the survey - it's our fault that his methodology of self-selection is problematic.

This just really ticks me off because the same misleading shit comes up every couple of months. I'm sure they'd view me as some bitter feminist who has no sense of humor, like I'd have no reason to complain about it. When you ignore half of the blogosphere, there's good reason to complain.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jun 2, 2004 7:15:13 AM

Matt's new post is quoting a Pew study, not his own. I think it is general population, not bloggers. His point now is that GENERALLY speaking women are LESS informed than men. (I guess it depends on how you define "informed"?)

Posted by: Anna in Cairo at Jun 2, 2004 7:26:24 AM

OK, I am sorry because I have not posted here before and now I am posting so often, but I checked out the survey. It was from 1989-95 and basically pretty grim news about Americans in general but does say that women in general are less informed than men "except in entertainment".

Here is the url http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=134

Posted by: Anna in Cairo at Jun 2, 2004 7:48:57 AM

I just saw his post, Anna. Unbelievable. So many commenters came close to just outright admitting they think women are stupid.

That study found that most people aren't well informed when it comes to current events. Men answered more questions accurately than women, but that doesn't mean that men overall are better informed than women. Plus, how did the study define news? Just the kinds of questions that came up were evident of bias.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jun 2, 2004 11:05:02 AM

It's so hard to point out how the "women are dumb" fallacy feeds itself. Someone who believes it can't be corrected because he can't listen to women correcting him because women's dumbness means their opinions aren't worth listening to. *sigh*

Posted by: Amanda at Jun 2, 2004 11:32:15 AM

We can't win in their game. If we are informed and have opinions, then we're humorless, man-hating dykes. Otherwise, we're dumb. There's no middle ground in a patriarchial dichotomy. I don't have a solution yet, but I think I've at least identified the problem - we are going to have to change the game. This one is fixed.

Eventually, they will have to deal with us. I know I, for one, am not going away.

Posted by: Morgaine Swann at Jun 11, 2004 3:19:47 AM

Argh! Isn't that macro built yet? :) (Seriously, let's just put together a macro and plug it in every time someone does the "why aren't there famous women bloggers" thing...)

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at Jun 19, 2004 11:37:56 PM

Oh, and I also want to say that, while being valued for one's secretarial skills may be seen as a sort of subtle sexism due to the pink collar ghetto and all that, in reality I've run into more people who are kind of amazed at my secretarial/organization skills, so I don't take it as a put-down at all. It's astounding how many folks, even if they're creative and clever and all that, seem to lack organizational skills. They've always been second-nature to me.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at Jun 19, 2004 11:39:25 PM