The last question came from a woman law prof who asked (1) why there were so few women law prof bloggers, (2) why there were no women on the panel, and (3) why no women had even asked a question of the panel despite the large number of women in the room. Much discussion ensued about the gender aspects of blogging.I'll have to wait for the CALI podcasts to come out to hear what in all that "much discussion." Or maybe someone who was there can tell us more in the comments (or email me a description).
There was a time when a question like that would be not only anticipated, but feared, and an effort would be made to include a woman on the panel. But the heydey of feminism in the legal academy was about 15 years ago. Anyway, I think I can safely say that virtually no effort was made to include a woman on this panel.
UPDATE: Christine Hurt was there. (Via Instapundit.) She notes, quite correctly, that there are no barriers to starting a blog, once you decide you want one, and goes on to say:
I am beginning to think that the disparity may be due to something called a "preference."I'll just say that back in the heyday of feminism, the "lack of interest" argument was a subject for vigorous, skeptical scrutiny. To be specific about blogging, most lawprofs, male and female, don't want to blog. We are talking about individuals. And the number of female lawprofs writing their own blogs and covering legal topics is absurdly low in proportion to the number of women law professors. And keep in mind that women law professors are already a group that is not as representative of women generally as the the group of male lawprofs is representative of men. Moreover, there is no reason to think that women aren't eager to express themselves in writing. Are women less verbal than men? I'm not an expert on the scientific research on gender difference, but I think the answer is clearly no. This is not a subject to be brushed off with an analogy to preferences for ice cream flavors!
Marketers make zillions of dollars a year recognizing that women like some movies, TV shows, books, magazines, and food items, and that men like others. There is some overlap, but generally there are preference differences between genders. Why is this hard to accept? I worked at Baskin-Robbins for a year, and every 16-year old BR employee can guess what kind of ice cream a 35-year woman is going to order. (In 1986, this was Pralines & Cream.) We didn't think too hard about why more women than men liked this flavor, and I never thought there was something insidious in the way women were socialized to believe that they like it. Maybe more men then women like to blog. What's so hard to understand about that?