February 22, 2005

Majikthise on Women Political Bloggers

Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise has an excellent post on the recurring alleged lack of women political bloggers. She offers a list of female bloggers doing top-notch work (I dissent from one of those, but never mind), and points out that they are big players in the blogosphere.

But I do think there's a bit of a marginalization program. Read a lot of the most prominent male leftish bloggers (like the "Politics" section of my blogroll, excepting Obisidian Wings which is neither all male nor all leftish--Crooked Timber is not all male either, but most of the regular posters are male*) and you'll find a lot of links to each other, and not so many links to these women. So, when I read political blogs--which is not quite so much, lately--I find myself reading men's writing much more than women's.

Here it doesn't matter how much--if at all--differences (socially conditioned or whatever) between men and women contribute to the lack of attention I for one am paying to female polibloggers. If that lack of attention is a bad thing that should be addressed, and if systemic discrimination has any contribution to it--which I think is unquestionable--then there's a way to address that. Make an effort to seek out, read, and link more women polibloggers. It's the same way with any discrimination you may not know you're practicing. Check yourself to see if everyone you've read lately has been male--and if so, do something about it.

Now, I don't actually intend to do anything about it in my daily blog reading, because I think the less poliblogging I read the better. (Yes, this is kind of hypocritical.) But I think the same lesson applies to the most prominent male lefty bloggers, who are in a position to do something big about the systemic discrimination, and should have the inclination to do something about it. Ask yourself if you've been reading the same guys lately. If you have, try to read some women. You may find something you like and want to link. That could help break down the gender barriers.

I'm going to do one tiny little thing here, and that's to add some of Majikthise's (and other) links to my blogroll. I don't read everything on my blogroll, but if anyone happens to look for poliblogs from my site maybe I'll have done that little bit for gender equity in the blogosphere.

*And I hear one of the Fafbloggers is not male. And Left2Right isn't all male either, though I think the two people who post the most are male. Let's make it the "Politics" section as it stood when I started the blog.

Posted by Matt Weiner at February 22, 2005 06:30 PM

I had sort of assumed that the fafbloggers were all the same person.

Posted by: ben wolfson at February 23, 2005 01:25 PM

b-wo, I heard it here--scroll down to cmas's comment. This has all the probative value of an anonymous internet comment--and that's a professional issue for me; I think it's not none on this subject, but not much. The identity of at least one fafblogger is known; I think its name was Chris, which establishes nothing.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at February 23, 2005 03:23 PM

I think it's reasonable to assume that, recent shenanigans at unfogged to the side, for the most part at well-behaved blogs like Crooked Timber, John & Belle, etc, we're dealing with persistent pseudonymy, not anonymy, which is very different. (Unless the anonymous comment you meant is that of the little bird that whispered to cmas.)

Posted by: ben wolfson at February 23, 2005 04:46 PM

That's true, tho' cmas is e-mailless, so its identity is more concealed than many.

Anyway, cmas has left five comments on Unfogged, which seem not insane. But I'm not in a good position to judge overall credibility. I'm still inclined to say that the comment has just a bit of evidential force (but nonzero).

Posted by: Matt Weiner at February 23, 2005 04:49 PM