Friday, August 10, 2007

"blah, blah, blah," Indeed

Insty links to this Ann Althouse takedown of an Ellen Goodman column lamenting male domination of the blogosphere, including -- gasp -- the "progressive" political blogosphere known as the "netroots." I hadn't heard Ellen Goodman's name in years -- I had no idea that she was still alive, much less writing.

Goodman's column is utterly predictable. She starts with the bad puns -- "E-male" is the title of her column. Isn't that so 1996? Can we stop it with the bad puns about this newfangled internet thing already?

In fairness, the bad puns aren't quite so dull as the rest of the article. She claims that most of the top political bloggers appear to be men. And then she's off to the races with the tired, utterly-predictable explanations. It's the "angry voice" which apparently belongs solely to men. (Nobody tell Ann Coulter. Or Rosie O'Donnel, for that matter.) It's harassment. It's because (I kid you not) "men raise their hands first in class."

And it gets better from there: "Blogger Adele Stan suggests white male bloggers have a network of 'funding, linking, quoting, or bookings on political talk shows.'" Oh please -- the whole point of blogging is that you can do it with zero funding in your pajamas. As to the bit about political talk shows, that's so Old Media. Sure, a few bloggers get booked on TV shows, but it's after they've made it. As to "linking" and "quoting," is there any evidence at all that men won't link to women bloggers?

Does anybody other than me emember the Libertarian Girl Hoax? Back in 2005, a new blogger who went by the name "Libertarian Girl" emerged and became a top blogger in a hurry. Men were more than happy to read and link to her, until it was discovered that the Libertarian Girl bore an uncanny resemblance to a Russian Mail Order Bride named Viktoriya. It turned out that Libertarian Girl was a guy, but when "her" blog was kicking butt, the people who read it and linked to it thought it was a woman's blog. Which rather demonstrated that the claim of male domination of the blogosphere was nonsense. As Dean Esmay put it at the time:

There is no boys' club keeping women out of political blogging. How could there be? There are no barriers to entry, and no "glass ceiling" is even possible. Furthermore, any time a woman does enter the fray of political blogs, she is warmly, even eagerly, welcomed.


Particularly if she looks like a Russian Mail Order Bride!

Anyhow, Professor Althouse observes that Goodman "really doesn't have too much to say." Which is correct, and it's why Althouse entitled her riposte "Gender difference in the blogosphere... blah blah blah..." The "blah, blah, blah" because you knew exactly what Goodman was going to say by the time you finished the second sentence. The truth is that I don't think that Goodman ever had much to say, but it's more obvious now, because she's competing with people who do.

So here's my suggestion for Ellen Goodman. You think that the liberals need more female bloggers. (Conservatives have Michelle Malkin and libertarians have Jane Galt.) So why don't you stop bitching and start your own damn blog? And then you can say nothing, at length. Just like the guys!

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