The New York Times on Female Bloggers

This is the sort of thing I should really be sending by email to a handful of people as opposed to posting. This is for the benefit of those I’ve known going back to before this blog was started. The New York Times has an article about the problems many women bloggers have being taken seriously. Vox Popoli responds with five things women bloggers must do to be taken seriously. I am not indicating agreement or in any saying these problems apply widely. The post caught my attention primarily as the final two apply so well to one particular situation, and again I am not accusing any other women bloggers of this:

4. Don’t threaten to quit blogging every time anyone criticizes you.

5. Learn how to defend your positions with facts and logic instead of passive-aggressive parthian shots fired off as you run away.

Some will know the situation where this applied and see how this fits perfectly. For others, it doesn’t really matter. There is another aspect of this post where I agree with Vox in citing Megan McArdle as a female blogger who “merits being taken seriously.” Megan would be high on my list of female bloggers I take seriously, even when I disagree with her. There is a contradiction in dismissing the complaints of female bloggers while citing Megan as one who merits being taken seriously. Megan is quoted in the article as agreeing with many of the complaints:

Other prominent female bloggers who did not attend the BlogHer conference agreed that there are unique challenges that women in the blogosphere face. “Women get dismissed in ways that men don’t,” said Megan McArdle, an associate editor at The Atlantic Monthly who writes a blog about economic issues. She added that women are taught not to be aggressive and analytical in the way that the political blogosphere demands, and are more likely to receive blog comments on how they look, rather than what they say.

While I’m certain there are many examples of woman bloggers getting dismissed, this is not always the case. The strongest argument I can provide for not dismissing this female blogger is the number of times I have quoted her work.

Of course there are also many other female bloggers who merit being taken seriously. Another example is Digby. She is critical of this story for being in the style section. I agree that based upon content this should be classified more as technology than style, but I wonder about how it wound up there. If this was a case of an article which was written and then someone decided where to put it, then I totally agree that placing it in the style section was the wrong choice. However I wonder if was due to where the author works (or which editor she has connections with). During a quick search for her previous articles every article I looked at was in the Fashion and Style section. I suspect that this placement was simply a matter of how newspapers work.

Since we are ranging from technology to Fashion and Style, I’ll even the playing field slighty by showing that not only female bloggers deal with matters beyond hard analysis. While I certainly won’t get involved in the type of comments on clothing which Digby rightly mocks, I cannot resist also noting that the first point I noticed in the article was how the conference took place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. I’ve stayed there in the past and it was an excellent place to stay. Of course no trip to San Francisco can be considered a hardship.


  1. 1
    deepseas says:

    I agree. As a female blogger, I must have passed the test as I’m frequently referred to as a “he” in responses.  Another point to make is when someone tries to intimidate or bully us online, we don’t need to dignify the attack by responding. By leaving that poster alone to fume and moving on to a responsible poster, you take the wind out of their sails. Don’t respond to everything.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Don’t respond to everything

    That’s something bloggers should keep in mind regardless of sex, and not limited to attempts to intimidate or bully females. There’s a tremendous amount of hateful nonsense posted in the comments to blogs. It is best to either delete or ignore them. There’s far better things to do than to waste time responding to every idiotic comment submitted, and to devote the comments section of a blog to responding only serves to lower the tone of the blog.

  3. 3
    MsJoanne says:

    As a woman, I wholeheartedly agree that facts and logic are the best ways to go.  Also, being confident in your writing and not couching it with “I think” or “I feel” and other such statements.  This is typical in any male/female communications class one might take.

    I also think that being argumentative isn’t helpful.  Strength comes from facts and knowing what you are writing about.  (Mind you, I am not always so fantastic at this…sometimes I do love a good round of Whack-a-Troll (R).  What can I say?)

    The other thing I find is that since i started blogging, I am much more conscious as to how much I swear.  While that was always a part of my normal vernacular, I find it distracts from the message.  Now, when I swear in my 3D life, it’s almost one of those OMG moments, where before, I never would have thought twice of it.

    There’s my two cents.  🙂

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