Friday, August 10, 2007


This column that appears in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is a must-read for all female bloggers, particularly those of us who strive to have a political voice.

Goodman confirms some things I've been stewing about for quite some time now. (I know -- stewing gives you wrinkles. At least when I die my loved ones will say, "That woman earned every damn wrinkle she had! And she gave me the ones I have, too!")

Is it any wonder some women choose to write under a man's name?

Here's an excerpt -- and be sure to follow the link to read the essay in toto.

The blogosphere's new boy network

I began tracking the maleness of this media last spring while I was a visiting fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. An intrepid graduate student created a spreadsheet of the top 90 political blogs. A full 42 percent were edited and written by men-only, while seven percent were by women-only. Another 45 percent were edited or authored by both men and women, though the "coed" mix was overwhelmingly male. And, not surprisingly, most male bloggers linked to male bloggers.

Personally, I think we have an excellent atmosphere (or should I say "Burghosphere?") in Pittsburgh for female political bloggers.


  1. i will hope and work towards better than it seems to be going
    but until women with opinions other than what detergent to use are no longer called bitches and worse, we've got a long way to go, again.

  2. With almost every form of writing, it rings true. J. K. Rowling ("Joanne") was even persuaded to use initials, rather than her first name, so the first release of Harry Potter would draw more readers.


  3. I'd go so far as to say this is a problem we do not have in the Blurghosphere.

    The racial skew is far more of a concern. There has got to be a breakthrough minority blogger soon.

    As to my contribution -- if I have daughters, I will argue with them for fun.

  4. Oh, I absolutely think it is a problem in the Burghosphere. Which bloggers are quoted in MSM more frequently? Who gets more media invites -- David or Maria? Why is a white male blogger pinch-hitting for Lynn Cullen, for God's sake (even though we love David)?
    Why aren't MSM outlets like the Cullen show actively courting female bloggers to substitute? Seriously, wouldn't Maria and I make for good radio? :-)

    When it does come to female bloggers, which one is the most popular -- PittGirl which taps into just about every stereotype associated with being female?

    None of the Burgh Report bloggers identify as female -- there's a default assumption they are male. Some of us have our suspicions about that assumption. But say the Burgher is a woman, why would feel compelled to hide that?

    The good news is that we are having this dialogue WITH male bloggers here in the Burghosphere.

    Now if the blogfests would just move to a smoke free environment ...

  5. we do seem to have a lot more blog interaction with male bloggers than most cities. i think that's a great thing.
    while i recognize the inequality that still exists as well as the foolish and sometimes hurtful or aggravating sterotypes i still believe the key is to treat everyone as a human being first and to deal with each personality as their own unique personality instead of automatically thinking that it's a "male" trait or a "female" trait or a (take your pick)gay/straight/black/white...whatever
    if joe down the street is a basically nice guy, then "joe" is a nice guy. if he's an ass, then "he" is the ass, not every one that's equipt with an outie.
    same with the woman a few doors down.

    same with bloggers and i think interaction breeds not only better understanding but damn fine reading.

    my thoughts.

  6. You think it's hard out there for a female blogger??

    Try being a white male blogger once everyone is already accustomed to one or two white male bloggers, and then all of a sudden everyone's liberal guilt kicks in. Seriously.

  7. i've never understood the meaning of liberal guilt. truly.

  8. It is not to be associated with "Jewish guilt," which is also poorly named.

  9. i understood catholic guilt because i was practically strangled with it until i worked the knots loose. but that was an indoctrination of a sort. i understand survivor guilt until you come to the mindset that some things happen for no good reason but liberal guilt?
    why? i am a liberal but i do not espouse it because of any guilt over my being born into my circumstance vs anyone else's.
    i am a liberal in most things because i think it is just the right way to be.

    i always think of the old tv series maude. i remember 1 episode where she realized that she was sort of liberal from afar, impersonal. i think she might have had this liberal guilt. if people do good things because of guilt i guess it's better than not doing anything but i think it doesn't come from the heart then. the results are the same i suppose and so?
    just me rambling. : )

  10. Bram,

    You mean white male bloggers might feel like tokens? GASP! That having one or two around is fine, but too many and they start to change things? Oh my. :-)

    Thank goodness you can take off the bathrobe, walk up the stairs and go back to your happy place where privilege just settles around you like the air we breathe ... ahhhh.

    Seriously, I think we should take a moment to reflect on Chris Potter's comment that the Burghosphere is a bit inbred at this point (my words, not his) ...
    it would behoove us all to get more people READING blogs and commenting. All kinds of different peoples. Then we can push 'em toward actual blogging.

    We need a marketing plan, by golly!

  11. In re privilege -- ah Sue, now there is a term that I never understood. It sounds kind of insulting, but I guess I can't blame you 'cause I don't understand it. I'll never apologize for enjoying the privileges that come from being human and a citizen, and I'll never believe anyone can't enjoy those privileges if they just act like there's no other way to live.

    In re "inbred" -- now, those words are even more unfortunate than Potter's, and his own were objectionable enough. I'll blog on that another time. But as far as "marketing"; we may not need marketing, but we need PR. The Burgher may have been way ahead of us on that.