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Poor Little Female Bloggers

I don't remember how, but a few days ago I stumbled across this blog post about why there is apparently a lack of female bloggers on Glamour's political blog:

I asked around and heard a lot of different answers. Some say it's because the men got a head start. Jen Moseley, the politics editor at Feministing says, "I think there are a lot of female political bloggers out there. But since most of the 'old guard' big political blogs (funny that something 4-5 years old can be considered old now), were started by men, so they're still looked at as the only ones that matter."

Amy Richards, an author and one of the co-founders of Third Wave, thinks that the amount of attention focused on the boys might be more than just their first-mover status--it's an artifact of their historical control of the media. Richards claims that "Political punditry has always been dominated by men and thus blogging is likely to follow that pattern." Richards agrees that women aren't becoming blogospheric stars as quickly as some of their male colleagues. She says, "I know that women are jumping into this debate with their opinions and perspectives, but because they are doing so in spaces more likely to attract women--they aren't being legitimized."

Ezra Klein agreed with Amy about the ghettoization of female voices, noting that while male political bloggers are known as "political" bloggers, women are more often known as "feminist" bloggers. "There's this rich and broad feminist blogosphere, which is heavily female and very political, but considered a different sort of animal. Is Jill Filipovic a political blogger? Ann Friedman?" he says. Male bloggers are seen as talking about politics with a universal point of view, but when we women bring our perspective to the field, it's seen as as a minority opinion.

But does it have to be that way? Blogs are supposed to be populist and thus it would seem like women could more easily level the playing field here than in other media. Red State's Mike Krempasky says, "You'd think the internet would be the great equalizer or the ultimate meritocracy. 'far from it." Looking at my blogroll, I'd have to agree.

Argh. How do we change that? How loud do women have to shout? Or is it sadly that we have to stop seeing politics from a woman's point of view to get taken seriously?


UGH.

Whenever I read these kinds of articles, I just want to smack the author in the face. Here's what they seem to be completely incapable of understanding: if you think you're a victim, that's all you'll ever be.

First of all, is Arianna Huffington really the best example of a female blogger she could come up with? I can think of several right off the top of my head: Michelle Malkin (duh!), Pamela Geller, Em Zanotti, LaShawn Barber, Mary Katharine Ham, Rachel Lucas, Melissa Clouthier... the list goes on and on, and these are just conservative female bloggers.

Right Wing News even did two pieces on female conservative bloggers, and most of them looked at being a female blogger as an asset.

I've never had one single person tell me my opinion had less merit because I'm a woman, or that I wasn't as good as the guy bloggers out there. I've seen no evidence of a "boy's club" in the blogosphere; in fact, every single male blogger I have had any kind of communication with whatsoever has been gracious, helpful, and more than willing to assist me in building my blogging career.

And good grief, the "ghettoization" of female voices?! What the hell planet is this Megan Carpentier writing from? Because there are more male bloggers than female, female voices are being "silenced" and "ghettoized"?!

Uh, sorry, honey. Not quite. Maybe if you live in Saudi Arabia you could have a point. But here, the only thing keeping female bloggers back is... female bloggers.

Why, then, are there more male bloggers than female? The answer is simple, and it's feminism's favorite catch phrase: choice. Men, in general, are more interested in politics than women are. Sure, women are interested, but I don't think that there are as many women who are diehard political junkies like there are men. Go ahead, feminists, rip my skin off for stating That Which Must Never Be Said: that women do not have the same interests as men do. Anyways, if you want proof, look at blogosphere readership. Most people reading politics blogs are men, so it stands to reason that most political bloggers would be men as well. This also means being a female blogger is more of an asset, and not just because it gives all your male readers something to ogle at (although that's a plus, too). It means you stand out more, your blog stands out more. And that's a good thing.

Women also tend to be more thin-skinned. The insults female bloggers get are very personal, and very hurtful. They very often have nothing whatsoever to do with what you're actually writing about, unless of course you're talking about how ugly you are or perverted sexual tendencies. A lot of women just cannot take that kind of thing. It's like an arrow to the heart for them. After so much of that, a lot of them quit, because it isn't worth the stress and heartache for them.

And why does the internet -- the political blogosphere, specifically -- need to be "the great equalizer"? Why does it matter how many female vs. male bloggers there are out there? There is not one blog I read because of the gender of the author. I read them because of the content in the blogs, what the blogger has to say. I could give two shits whether it's a man or a women writing behind the computer screen. Putting the emphasis on something as shallow as gender accomplishes what? Instead of focusing on the skin-deep, why doesn't this lady focus on the ideas different bloggers put forth?

I don't know where feminists got this idea that all male-dominated careers were unfair to women unless there are an exactly equal number of women participating in these careers, but it's ridiculous. They need to get over the bean-counting. Living in a state of perpetual outrage or victimhood will get you nowhere.

So, Miss Megan, as long as you live in a mindset where Poor Little Female Bloggers can't make it in the Mean Old Boys' Club, then that's exactly what it will always be for you. Meanwhile, those of us who realize that we can make it if we're willing to work hard enough are too busy enjoying our careers as bloggers to worry about the ratio of male vs. female bloggers. Whining about female voices being silenced when it's not even remotely the truth just makes you look insecure and idiotic.

Grow up, and instead of blaming the mean 'ole misogynistic men for your failures, take responsibility for yourself. Start living in the real world. There are a wealth of intelligent, unique, thoughtful voices out there, both male and female. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to see that.


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Comments (27)

On a similar vein, but diff... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

On a similar vein, but different venue, did you see this piece responding to some similar whining?

If you go looking for miser... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

If you go looking for misery, "bitterness," then you will certainly find it.

Too much navel gazing by the feminazis always gets them in trouble.

I've always thought that there is a significant minority of any group that will never succeed because they can't help themselves but be, for lack of a better work, losers.

I rarely find a conservative loser, but we all have multiple examples of them on the other side.

um... what about <a href="h... (Below threshold)

um... what about The Cotillion? Granted, we're not all political bloggers, but I'm pretty sure the majority of us at least touch on politics more than just once in a while.

uh- can someone with editin... (Below threshold)

uh- can someone with editing privileges please fix that busted tag for me? Thanks.

I agree that Michelle Malki... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I agree that Michelle Malkin is the best female blogger to ever live.

Her reporting on Jamil Hussein was breathtaking in its breadth and accuracy.

jp2, would that be the same... (Below threshold)

jp2, would that be the same "Captain Jamil Hussein" that got the AP to admit it had violated its own rules about "no pseudonyms for sources," whose most outrageous stories turned out to be utterly bogus and had to be continually revised and corrected by the AP every time another detail didn't pan out?

http://mediamythbusters.com/index.php?title=Captain_Jamil_Hussein

J.

Ouch! JT, that was a fact. ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Ouch! JT, that was a fact. JP2 and most of the lefties ignore them.

Cassy, you are right on. The people who live as victims will die as victims. ww

Does it make me a traitor b... (Below threshold)

Does it make me a traitor because my top three favorite bloggers are men? I don't mean to sound sexist, but women tend to write with their feelings. No, not all of them do. Dr. Sanity and the Anchoress are two great female bloggers. There are some women out there who use their intellect and I thoroughly enjoy their commentary. But while feelings are an important part of our daily lives, they have no place in politics and few women can separate them. I think that maybe men are better equipped psychologically to put feelings aside when writing about some things.

You're right in that some female bloggers get the worst and most disgusting sexist insults. And correct me if I'm wrong, but conservative women seem to get the worst of it. Is it better that sites like Feministing or women like Maureen Dowd are so sexist, perhaps with more subtlety, but with no less vigor?

•shameless plug•Th... (Below threshold)
CZ:

•shameless plug•

This young lady writes an outstanding blog. Check it out, I do every day.

www.sistertoldjah.com

It does seem like if you're... (Below threshold)
SteveC:

It does seem like if you're not a leftist gal who is blogging, you have so much hatred and vitriol thrown at you. More so than the men it seems.

So the poltical blogosphere... (Below threshold)

So the poltical blogosphere is heavily male. So what? No one can read the entire blogsphere. There are planty of female bloggers to read.

I do think sex, matters. I like to get some perspective from the fifty-three percenters.

As to Michelle Malkin, I don't prefer to view her a "female blogger." Michelle is a great blogger, who happnes to be female. She can blog with anyone

"I've never had one single ... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

"I've never had one single person tell me my opinion had less merit because I'm a woman, or that I wasn't as good as the guy bloggers out there."

Well . . . yeah. That's because you are a conservative. Conservatives judge other conservatives by their content, not their container. Liberals (it grates me to use that honorable word to describe the illiberal reactionaries that have higjacked it as their title) use identity politics as their touchstone. What is said (as long as it agrees with their views) matters less than who says it.

SteveC, could the leftist f... (Below threshold)

SteveC, could the leftist female bloggers be largely exempt from the "hatred and vitriol" because they tend to spew so much of it in the first place? Maybe there's some sort of rule -- if you don't dish it out, you can expect to take it?

J.

jp2, Michelle's reporting o... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

jp2, Michelle's reporting on "Jamil Hussein" was more accurate than the reporting AP did relying upon Jamil Hussein.

Beth,I can underst... (Below threshold)

Beth,

I can understand being hurt by being left off Cassy's list. She's so influential, I'm amazed that I made it! Thanks, Cassy!

Good blogging is not gender-specific. The writing is either good or it sucks. There are many great women bloggers. My blog roll is full of them. And there are also loads of guys, too. These whiny women need to knock it off--they sound weak, and girlish. Yuck.

Cassy: Last time I looked ... (Below threshold)

Cassy: Last time I looked I was still female (albeit a somewhat elderly one being 65 now) and I was still blogging. I've been blogging for what seems like forever! I can hold my own with any male blogger and I don't ask for special treatment because I'm an older female! So what kind of unadulterated horse chips is Ms. Megan trying to peddle? Another one of the perpetual victims who have become so TEDIOUS of late!

To my mind, the commitment to quality and the ability to write in a semblance of coherence is all that is required. Last time I checked, a tripod wasn't required!

"jp2, would that be the sam... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"jp2, would that be the same "Captain Jamil Hussein..." -Cassy's Bulldog, JT

I think I'm referring to the Jamil Hussein whom Malkin stated didn't exist. She apologized and retracted. But hey, best female blogger evah.

And careful dude - her boyfriend is in the military.

"First of all, is Ariann... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"First of all, is Arianna Huffington really the best example of a female blogger she could come up with?" -- Cassy

Arianna Huffington is the best example of a female blogger that ANYONE can come up with.

The Huffington Post rules.

jp2, as I recall, Michelle ... (Below threshold)

jp2, as I recall, Michelle Malkin's retraction was very short-lived as yet more muddiness was stirred up. I just double-checked her site, and can't find her saying anything along the lines of "oops, Jamil Hussein is a real person and gave the AP correct info after all." If you go to the Media Mythbusters site that I linked to, you'll see that the story has YET to be fully told, and the AP isn't talking any more about their mysterious source.

If you have a link to Malkin's retraction, I'd like to see it. Because while she might have gotten one or two details wrong, the AP published countless stories they had to keep revising and changing and rewriting as more and more people noted that Captain Jamil Hussein's "tips" were complete and utter bullshit.

J.

"If you have a link to Malk... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"If you have a link to Malkin's retraction, I'd like to see it." -JT

Great research skills again, JT. Kind of like your Harry Reid article you retracted. But hey, the entire just of her argument was completely wrong and she lost all credibility - still though, it's okay if you are a Republican. Best. female. blogger. evah.

"Because while she might have gotten one or two details wrong..."

This is low, even for you JT. You are really stretching here - she stated Jamil Hussein didn't exist. That's not "details." If any other reporter in the world got a story 180 degrees wrong they would lose respect and their job. Why on earth would you ever defend such poor and inaccurate work?

"I relayed information from multiple sources-CPATT, Centcom, and two other military sources on the ground in Iraq- that the Associated Press's disputed source, Jamil Hussein, could not be found. As I noted on the 4th, the AP reported that the Ministry of Interior in Iraq has now said a Captain Jamil Hussein does work in the al Khadra police station. I regret the error."

http://michellemalkin.com/2007/01/06/corrections-3/

And yet, jp2, the story tha... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

And yet, jp2, the story that made people suspicious of Capt Hussein has been proven false.
AP's pattern of misdirection invites more questions and suspicions.

Hmm... I did miss that one.... (Below threshold)

Hmm... I did miss that one. Thanks for pointing it out for me.

Especially since it reinforces my point so well.

The full paragraph, of which jp2 only quoted half:

"I relayed information from multiple sources-CPATT, Centcom, and two other military sources on the ground in Iraq- that the Associated Press's disputed source, Jamil Hussein, could not be found. As I noted on the 4th, the AP reported that the Ministry of Interior in Iraq has now said a Captain Jamil Hussein does work in the al Khadra police station. I regret the error. But no blogger should apologize for raising legitimate questions about AP's transparency, its reliance on local foreign stringers of dubious origins, and information that sources such as Hussein have provided the AP. I will continue to pursue some of the unresolved issues related to this.

January 8, 2006.

Note that all Malkin is saying is that, despite earlier reports, there apparently is a Police Captain Jamil Hussein working in Baghdad. He exists. Whether or not he was the source of all those AP stories of atrocities is still unknown. That many of those stories were bogus is unquestionable.

If you go to the Media Mythbusters page I linked to prior, jp2, you will see quite a few developments AFTER the Michelle Malkin piece you partially quoted, and the fact that the AP's stories were utter bullshit -- and caught by bloggers -- is not in dispute.

Let me sum up:

The AP ran repeated stories, citing "Baghdad Police Captain Jamil Hussein," describing numerous terrorist atrocities in and around Baghdad.

Many of the incidents could not be verified as to have actually happened, and many of them were thoroughly disproven. (Destroyed mosques were discovered still standing, bodies were taken to morgues in hospitals that don't have morgues, and so on.)

The AP first insisted that it doesn't allow sources to use pseudonyms, then said that "Jamil Hussein" was a pseudonym.

The Iraqi government and US officials said they could not find any Baghdad police officer named "Jamil Hussein," let alone a captain.

(Insert Malkin correction here)

The Iraqi government later discovers one Captain Jamil Hussein, who insists he was not the source for the AP's stories.

TO THIS DAY, we have no idea who supplied the AP with those stories. TO THIS DAY, the AP has not admitted that the stories were bullshit. TO THIS DAY, the AP has not admitted that it went back and heavily revised and corrected several of its "Jamil Hussein" stories after details began to fall apart.

And all this makes Michelle Malkin look bad how? Especially when compared to the AP, with its layers of editors and fact-checkers and global resources and high journalistic standards?

J.

JT - I agree with you that ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

JT - I agree with you that the media is awful and that in general, the AP/MSM sucks. I don't trust them, and I'm not here to defend them. (Case in point the horrible "debate" that occurred last night)

However, you can't have it both ways. You accuse the AP of supplying "bullshit" and constantly criticize them - which is proper when they do screw up.

But Malkin, like many right wing bloggers including yourself, is chock full of an extra helping of BS that is combined with a raging bias - but you are willing to defend her to all extremes, no matter how dead wrong she is. You would never give any AP reporter a second chance, just as you can't go a day without making a Kennedy/alcohol quip.

You clearly didn't know the facts about her crusade against the AP and her retraction - just be more careful with your sources.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=tt_YcQlYxyY

jp2, I didn't mention it be... (Below threshold)

jp2, I didn't mention it because it was TRIVIAL to the point at hand -- a trivial diversion which YOU brought up.

Michelle Malkin -- like the AP, like me -- screws up. But unlike the AP, we don't claim infallibility. We don't claim decades of experience and multiple levels of checking and verifying and correcting oversight. We don't demand your blind trust and faith. And we don't claim some sacred obligation and privilege to spread our "truth."

You just don't get it. You touted Malkin's retraction of one tiny element of one slight part of her part in exposing the AP's utterly fraudulent series as some grand failure of the blogosphere -- when it by rights ought to be one of blogging's greatest triumphs. We (the bloggers -- I personally didn't have anything to do with it) stopped the AP cold from an ongoing series of fake news stories and exposed their hypocrisy ("we don't use pseudonyms for sources"), and you're crowing because one tiny bit of their lies turned out to be true?

Man, if it wasn't for Puckhead yesterday, you'd be the biggest laughingstock around here.

J.

"You touted Malkin's retrac... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"You touted Malkin's retraction of one tiny element of one slight part of her part in exposing the AP..."

MM: Jamil Hussein doesn't exist
AP: Yeah, he does.
MM: I retract a tiny element of one slight part of my story - he does exist.

lol

You aren't worth the effort.

Let's continue the conversa... (Below threshold)

Let's continue the conversation, jp2:

MM: Was he the source of the stories you cited him in?
AP: No comment.
MM: Did you have any other verification of the stories he allegedly reported?
AP: No comment.
MM: Do you have any other evidence that those incidents you attributed to him ever happened?
AP: No comment.
MM: Would you like to look at this other evidence that most of those incidents were either exaggerated or made up entirely?
AP: No comment.
MM: While I have your attention, would you care to discuss your photographer, Bilal Hussein?
AP: Yes, he was finally released from his unjust imprisonment. We are delighted that justice was served.
MM: Would you care to discuss the circumstances of his arrest -- with an Al Qaeda leader, with bomb residue on his clothing, and refusing to identify himself as a photographer for several days after being arrested?
AP: No comment.
MM: How about how he wasn't exonerated, but released under a general amnesty law that applied to many former insurgents and terrorists?
AP: What part of "No comment" don't you understand?
MM: Anything else you'd like to say?
AP: What happened to the good old days when you people simply didn't question your betters?
MM: I beg your pardon?
AP: Er... no comment.

J.

The blog world is an equal ... (Below threshold)

The blog world is an equal opportunity
employer.




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