posted by catherine / March 10, 2004 / 5 comments
whatever, cjr. i realized this months ago. though this article is way more in-depth and brings up good points as to why there are few female political bloggers and why male blogs might attract more readers:
Blood, who has written a book about blogging, argues that for a weblog to attract a wide audience, it has to have a narrow focus, a formula that works against women bloggers.
"A lot of the women who have weblogs will post about a lot of different things," she says. "They generally won't focus only on politics. I think that writing style tends to strike people as more personal, even when it really isn't."
...Ana Marie Cox, a.k.a. Wonkette, acknowledges that she would have had a hard time breaking into the upper echelons of the blogosphere without the backing of British publisher Nick Denton (Gawker, Gizmodo, Fleshbot), who Sreenivasan refers to as "the New York Times Company of the blogosphere." "I was running my own personal blog for a while, and I like to think it was pretty good, but it didn't get anywhere near the attention Wonkette! gets," says Cox. She argues that there would be more female political bloggers if more women were led to believe that their opinions matter. "Vestiges of hundreds of years of gender stereotypes are still with us," she says. "Women get a different message from men about how to express their opinions. Women are not as encouraged to shout out their opinion. At times they're actively discouraged."
...Reynolds acknowledges that the differences between Martians and Venutians are deeply ingrained, without getting into whether they are culturally-mandated or intrinsic: "Men are programmed to show off to impress women and impress other men, and so blogs where you can be outspoken are naturally appealing to them -- although if anybody thinks blogs are impressing women," he adds, almost parenthetically, "they're in trouble."
"I think being one of the top bloggers requires some level of obsession," says Drum. "Women tend not to get quite so obsessed with things. (he obviously has not met me.) They tend to have more diverse interests."
what do you think? why are there more male political bloggers than females, and why do blogs run by men get more hits?
update: i realize that probably no one actually cares. i know i'm not like, furious about this disparity and i don't think it's the new glass ceiling. i just think it's interesting and would like to hear speculation.