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February 21, 2005

Oh, Not Again! And A Month Early

Update February 24, 2004: Howard Kurtz from The Washington Post has linked to this post. Welcome, all you Washington Post readers. Please read my update to this post below if you're interested in reading more of my blog. My blog focuses on feminism, family law and family issues, and criticizing the damage caused by fathers' rights activism. The fathers' rights movement is harmful to mothers, children, and fathers.

Update: I see that Kevin Drum linked to this post. For those who are new here, welcome. Most of my posts are about family law and related social issues. I'm a finalist in the 2004 Koufax Awards for "Best Single Issue Blog," so if you'd like to find out why, read my posts under these categories:

Family Issues and Family Law

Fathers' Rights


The guys are getting ahead of themselves. Now, this topic has come up two months later. I didn't post about the last time because I was sick of it. I wrote about it the last time in August.

That thread-worn question is "where are all the women bloggers?"

Every two or three months, a white, male political blogger asks this stupid question as if it's something new he's discovered and he's proud of himself for seeing that women politicial bloggers either don't exist or they don't get much attention and traffic. Oh, what to do about that horrible dilemma? This time, the question comes from Kevin Drum. Here's a portion of what he wrote:

The political blogosphere provides another clue. Although its geeky Usenet roots were (and are) testosterone laden affairs, there are still no formal barriers to entry here, no old boys club in the usual meaning of the word. Yet if you take a look at the Blogosphere Ecosystem, which for all its faults is probably the closest thing we have to a consensus measure of popularity for political blogs, you will find exactly two women in the top 30: Michelle Malkin and La Shawn Barber. (There are a few group blogs in the top 30, but those are very heavily male dominated too.)

That's a grand total of 7% of the most popular political blogs. And to gaze even more deeply into our collective navel, that 7% is 100% conservative. On the liberal side, Wonkette weighs in at #33 and TalkLeft at #48 — and that's it for liberal women in the top 100, unless I've missed someone.

So what's up? There aren't any institutional barriers in the traditional sense of the word, which means either (a) there are fewer female political bloggers and thus fewer in the top 30, or (b) 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.


Which begs another question: does this mean that women need to change if they want to enter the fray, or does it mean that the fray needs to change in order to attract more women? As usual, probably some of both. Unfortunately, the blogosphere, which ought to be an ideal training ground for finding new voices in nontraditional places, is far more vitriolic than any op-ed page in the country, even the Wall Street Journal's, and therefore probably turns off women far more than it attracts them.

Women need to change? Oh, spare me. Kevin at least acknowledges that "the fray needs to change," but the fray has not changed in the three years I've been in the blogosphere, despite it being reminded repeatedly that women political bloggers exist and how to find them. Women have been saying for the entire three years I've been in the blogosphere that the main reason women's blogs are not noticed is because the guys don't read us or link to us. It's not women's fault. Most blogs are written by women. In fact, most blogs are journals written by teenaged girls. However, the question usually gets down to women's political blogs. Oh dear, where are all the women political bloggers?

I remember the last time this subject came up that Roxanne had said the issue was really about why the male bloggers think they may not get as much media attention as they would like. That's an interesting thought, considering that Kevin had written in a post only two days earlier that he wondered just how influential the blogosphere really is. He's definitely referring to the mostly white, male political bloggers, both conservative and liberal, who like to think they brought down Trent Lott, Dan Rather, and Eason Jordan. So maybe the question from the guys isn't so much "where are all the women bloggers" but "why doesn't the media pay more attention to white, male bloggers - bloggers like me"?

However, I'm not here to appease male egos who don't think think the media takes them seriously. I'm going to tackle the "woman blogger" question. Again.

Morgaine from The Goddess responded to the woman blogger question the last time it popped up by creating What She Said!, which is chock full of women bloggers. Rad Geek started FeministBlogs to give more attention to feminist bloggers, most of whom on that group blog are women. Then there is the group blog by women, XX.

Look at the 2004 Koufax Award finalists for more women's political blogs. I made the finals for Best Single Issue Blog, and I am happy to report that I am getting a lot of votes.

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. You've been told repeatedly where the women political bloggers are. You have chosen to ignore most of them, and then get all wide-eyed with wonder when you post that insulting question every two or three months. I'll just leave the guys with the "woman blogger" question again and also leave them wondering what is really on their minds: why the media doesn't take them seriously.

More posts on this subject:

Morgaine from "What She Said"


Elayne Riggs

Ayn Clouter at The American Street

Roxanne at The American Street

Make sure you read Flea's take on the Where Are All The Women Bloggers question. It's hilarious.

Posted on February 21, 2005 at 10:30 AM | Permalink


there's also the interesting issue of how we even know which blogs are written by a male and which by a female

once at the philadelphia drinking liberally i asked duncan black/atrios if he had any good gossip about any famous bloggers. he told me that one "semi-big name blogger" is actually the opposite gender than what most people assume (i.e. people assume she's a male when in fact she's female, or vice-versa). duncan added that this blogger has never claimed to be a different gender, it's just s/he's never corrected people's mistaken impression either. duncan wouldn't tell me who it was, however. he says i need to figure it out myself.

i have a guess of who it might be. the gender genie says i'm wrong, but it only correctly guesses the gender 70% of the time

Posted by: upyernoz at Feb 21, 2005 12:10:53 PM

So... who is it? ;)

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 21, 2005 12:16:05 PM

Bah! I'm tired of this shit, and Kevin Drum is full of shit. It's simple, really. We are being ignored, and they have a very strictured idea of what is "political". "Politics" to these twerps refers to political parties, heads of state, lawmaking, public policy and such. They don't consider abortion, equal opportunity, family issues, etc. "political"---those are "social" issues. Well, I'm a firm believer in the personal is political, so to me those are indeed political issues. What-the-fuck-ever.

As far as I'm concerned, they can continue their little circle jerk, and we can continue to do our thing. Speaking for myself, I don't get a whole lot of links (and I kinda like it like that---quality, not quantity!) because I don't post every day. Fact is, I don't always have time to post every day, because there are things I do and like to do besides blog, plus all the mundane stuff (job, cooking, housework, yardwork, etc.) needs to be done too. And I'm a single mom too! So yeah, time is an issue. And I think time tends to be more of an issue amongst women bloggers than men bloggers. The second shift is real.

Posted by: La Lubu at Feb 21, 2005 1:29:32 PM

Did anyone ever apply for that Evergreen Grant thingy I mentioned a while back?

I said then I thought maybe some of the issues for women bloggers were time, but also lack of money...as it's not so cheap to have a blog if you want a lot of 'bells and whistles' on it anyway, or even if you want to do some in-depth blogging about some serious issue...

Even doing the research for something you want to post or write about can take time and money...I mean I have access to good resources (both real and on-line) for free as I'm an alum from an Ivy League School (and it's finally turned out to be good for SOMETHING) YET there's a lot of things I would like to look into (like social work, psychology journals and census data, for instance) that frankly cost quite a bit of money to access...

Very rarely is anything free anymore, except for maybe the initial abstract...but if you really want to see something, to read and study it, maybe pull something out of, you need to be a subscriber...

So perhaps that's the problem...do we go into enough depth with things?

Trish overall I think you do...but I'm not sure about other women, but then I've only seen a few of the other women's blogs...but you, I think, are pretty good at getting into issues in depth...

Just throwing something out here for discussion as possibilities...

I mean are they looking for other Matt Drudge reports (hope I spelled the man's name right)? But could that be it? Do we even HAVE anything close to a female Drudge out there (God that sounds horrible)? But I think you know what I mean...

Obviously people have recently become very interested in blogs, so this is a good time for bloggers to think about these things and where they want to go with this...if anywhere...????

Since sometimes attention can be worse then no attention; and I think I read somewhere that some big names are going to start having people comb the internet and blogs to see what is being said about them and if it's slanderous...

So that's the flip side of getting attention...instead of just a group of self-selected friends chatting about this or that issue, suddenly you have to watch what you say if a lot of people are going to be quoting you or trying to catch you in something because they don't like your POV...

Again, just some thoughts...

Posted by: NYMOM at Feb 21, 2005 2:22:56 PM

NYMOM, the only Evergreen Grant I could find was one for urban aquatic habitats. I know I don't qualify for that. ;)

Do you have a more complete name for the grant?

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 21, 2005 2:30:35 PM

And guys wonder why we women bloggers are so pissed and shitty every time we blog. How can you be so stupid to not notice all of the women bloggers out there?!!! Just plain STUPID!! Damn, they're like Larry Summers, they just don't get it!

Posted by: Pseudo-Adrienne at Feb 21, 2005 3:01:08 PM

I'll try to get one...

But I like that other one...was it an urban aquatic habitat...is that a fish tank?

Posted by: NYMOM at Feb 21, 2005 3:12:03 PM

No, NYMOM, I think it refers to people who work in aquatic biology, like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and such.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 21, 2005 6:12:30 PM

It sounds like this guy is saying that a lot of men into politics are verbally abusive crude types, and so women need to be verbally abusive and crude?
And that makes sense how?

I'd rather not be heard at all, than heard and seen as a vitriolic ass. LOL.

As for "The Gender Genie"...
I took all paragraphs written by me from my 4 most recent blog entries...

Words: 1194
Female Score: 1801
Male Score: 2882
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

Of course fortune cookies have been known to mistake me for a man too, not just genies. haha!!!

Posted by: Chloe at Feb 21, 2005 11:59:01 PM

"Guys, you have no excuse. You've been told repeatedly where the women political bloggers are. You have chosen to ignore most of them, and then get all wide-eyed with wonder when you post that insulting question every two or three months."

I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: tz at Feb 22, 2005 1:22:13 AM

Yes, but, but. . .you're being mean and uncivil Trish! And you're not being rational. Didn't you know that TTLB is *the* be all and end all for gauging popularity, links, and the blogging population???

Posted by: Sheelzebub at Feb 22, 2005 9:21:51 AM

Sheelz, don't know you there is a picture of me next to "mean and uncivil" in the dictionary? ;)

I must be doing something right. I got over 900 hits yesterday.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 22, 2005 9:46:58 AM

So perhaps that's the problem...do we go into enough depth with things?

Well, considering Instapundit is one of the highest-rated blogs out there, and a substantial proportion of his posts consist merely of a link and "Heh" or "Indeed," that can't be it.

Posted by: zuzu at Feb 22, 2005 2:13:56 PM

LOL zuzu!

Posted by: Chloe at Feb 22, 2005 5:50:19 PM