Katha Pollitt on Bloggers (Male and Female)

So about blogging: I try not to spend all day reading blogs, which I could easily do, but the political ones I follow are mostly by women. Before the election, I read male political blogs obsessively, and still get a lot of useful information from them. But … how can I say this in a nice way? … I find that (present company and all my friends excepted! I am making gross and unfair generalizations here) the voices don’t wear well: the range … of tones, of topics, of approaches to topics … is too narrow, and the mutual admiration society too exclusive: some blogrolls read like those interlocking directorates of railroad companies in the 19th century! There’s too much boasting and crowing, too much scorekeeping, too much self-anointment as instant expert and public executioner. If I look at the blogroll and see only male blogs, I assume, perhaps unfairly, that the blogger is promoting a narrow view of politics and boosting his male network and his own career. What a fine point Boygenius made over on nogirlsallowed.com! Thanks for the plug, NumberOneSon!

To me, women political bloggers are so fresh and smart and full of fascinating underplayed news items, not linking to them really is a kind of misogyny. And since linking is so important in raising one’s own visibility, Garance may well be right when she suggests that male liberal bloggers shoot themselves in the foot by overlooking women political bloggers, who are disproportionately liberal. (This would parallel the Democrats’ inability really to go after women’s votes by talking about issues women care about … like equal pay, childcare, affordable housing, domestic violence, the whole range of women’s health. I mean, weren’t you shocked that John Edwards looked as clueless as Dick Cheney when Gwen Ifill brought up the high rates of HIV among black women during the vice presidential debate? It’s not some big medical secret … but it’s black people, and it’s women, and it wasn’t on the talking points. But I digress.)

Even if you don’t normally read Political Animal, it’ll be worth paying attention to it as long as Katha (now that she’s blogging, I feel I can call her by her first name) is guest-blogging there. It’s also sad and depressing to read some of the comments; the “we shouldn’t even be talking about these petty chick issues, now when we have important issues to be worried about” argument comes up over and over again. This has always been the argument used by sexist leftists; if feminists had listened to them, then we’d still be waiting for suffrage today.

Regarding Edwards’ utter lack of clue when asked about HIV among black women, I’m not sure if I was shocked, but I was certainly appalled.

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6 Responses to Katha Pollitt on Bloggers (Male and Female)

  1. 1
    Amanda says:

    It’s funny–I follow the writer/last name, blogger/first name rule, too. Anyway, I’m glad she plugged me.

  2. 2
    Kat says:

    I read the blogs I read because of the content, not because they have male or female authors or stick to politics or whatever. Silly, silly me.

  3. 3
    Brad says:

    I agree there are differences in the tone, etc…of male and female bloggers. I happen to enjoy the variety that each brings to a conversation, imagine how boring life would be if you only spoke with members of your own sex.

    However, May I propose that these differences may be due to inane differences in the the way men and women think?

  4. 4
    Kat says:

    On a side note, I’ve finally got a link up to your site.

  5. 5
    alsis38 says:

    inane differences

    Beautiful, if my womanly self may say so. :D

  6. 6
    Brad says:

    While “meaningless” differences, they are appreciated.