August 10, 2007

Gender difference in the blogosphere... blah blah blah...

Ellen Goodman ponders the political blogosphere:
[T]he liberal political bloggers mimic the conservative talk-show hosts. The chief messengers are overwhelmingly men -- white men, even angry white men...

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos and namesake of the convention, said unabashedly in an ABC News interview last year, "I learned to talk the way I do in the US Army. And we don't mince words. In politics, I don't see it any different. I see it as a battlefield." The American Prospect's Garance Franke-Ruta, who was on the panel notes, wryly, "If you're an angry man you're righteous. If you're an angry woman, you're crazy or a bitch."
Hey, that's especially funny to me, since I once expressed anger at Garance Franke-Ruta and got called a crazy bitch!

Back to Goodman:
Is it harassment?... Who knows how many women are scared silent.

Is it because men raise their hands first in class?...
Goodman doesn't really have too much to say, but I note that she doesn't come up with one idea that's not about how men are a problem. Somehow women never have any shortcomings. It's really a shame, because if you're a woman, then there's nothing you can change about yourself to do better. But Goodman is just following that lame old rule of journalism about gender difference: men, bad; women, good.

ADDED: Captain Ed says:
Instead of actually acknowledging the blogosphere as an open market, Goodman tries to imply that the "new boy" network keeps women out through intimidation. "Who knows how many women are scared silent," she writes after describing two cases of harassment, only one of which actually chased the blogger out of political commentary. Does Goodman ever ask the obvious question of whether harassment happens to men as well? No. Nor does she reveal any evidence that either of these two cases have any link to a conspiracy by The Man to keep women in their place....

Women have all the access necessary to this market to join and excel, if they want to do so. That should be the limit of the concern over diversity in the blogosphere.

48 comments:

Fen said...

Markos Moulitsas: I learned to talk the way I do in the US Army. And we don't mince words. In politics, I don't see it any different. I see it as a battlefield.

Except Markos has never seen a battlefield.

And he allows others to refer to him as a Gulf War vet in his presence, even though he never served in theatre [stationed in Germany].

Maxine Weiss said...

They don't call her Ellen Good"MAN" for nothin'.

Simon said...

"'Franke-Ruta ... [said that] "If you're an angry man you're righteous. If you're an angry woman, you're crazy or a bitch."' Hey, that's especially funny to me, since I once expressed anger at Garance Franke-Ruta and got called a crazy bitch!"

Yeah, but she's angry about Bush. That's different. That's a subject that it's acceptable to be angry about.

Doyle said...

Hey, that's especially funny to me, since I once expressed anger at Garance Franke-Ruta and got called a crazy bitch!"

But, but you were a crazy bitch to GFR.

Zeb Quinn said...

But Goodman is just following that lame old rule of journalism about gender difference: men, bad; women, good.

Maybe that's how she sees it.

Joan said...

Maxine: ha!

This is one of the laziest columns I've read in a long time. Goodman takes the trouble to cite only one female political blog, the "funny and bracing Feministing," steadfastly refuses to recognize that two of the most widely-read blogs of all, according to the TTLB Ecosystem, are authored by women: Michelle Malkin (number 2 overall), and Tricia of Tricia's Musings (#10). Tricia's apparently apolitical; I'd never heard of her before today. But two of the top three blogs are by women, because the HuffPo comes in at #3 -- I know it's a group blog, but it has a significant female presence, doesn't it? And of course we could never forget Althouse, who may not be a Higher Being, but is still highly evolved.

If Goodman looked beyond the simple number of blogs and took it one step further to the amount of traffic generated, would it really be that lopsided? The top-tier blogs get orders of magnitude more eyeballs than the the little guys do. And if Goodman had bothered to consider both liberal and conservative blogs (not to mention our host's, somewhere in the middle), she wouldn't look like such an idiot.

Henry said...

If you're an angry man you're righteous.

She's kidding, right? Maybe if you agree with the angry man, you think he's righteous. But if you agree with the angry women you think she's righteous too.

People who don't agree with Moulitsas or Limbaugh don't consider them righteous. They consider them deranged hatemongers.

If there is a gender difference among pundits and bloggers it's not that angry men get a free pass; it's that angry men don't seem to mind the blowback.

Dave said...

I read the column, and there are so many things wrong with it that it's hardly worth thinking about. I did notice that Goodman is apparently unaware of the abuse and vitriol heaped on Malkin. Of course, maybe women of color should just be maids or other hired help instead of conservative political commentators.

Karen said...

"scared silent" and "raised their hands first"

Who is this this woman and where has she been for the last twenty years? She certainly hasn't been in a classroom, because those phrases apply to girls now, not boys! American public schools have become totally feminized. Boys have to be on Ritalin to handle a modern school day.

(himself) said...

Here's a thought experiment. Question: Suppose Goodman had a blog. How much harder would she have to work in order to attract eyeballs? Answer: it's beyond comprehension.

Meade said...

There are "women's issues" blogs like the funny and bracing Feministing.

"Let's just [brace] these bloggers... [funnily]."

Simon said...

Here's what baffles me: Goodman says that "half of all 96 million blogs are written by women. But in the smaller political sphere, what is touted as a fresh force for change looks an awful lot like a new boy network." Anyone can start a blog, for free. There are practically no rules about form, and fewer still about content. People tend to blog about what interests them. So if people blog about what interests them, and there are many female bloggers, does it not occur to Goodman that there may be a painfully obvious reason why there aren't so many female bloggers blogging about politics?

Gina Cooper's theory that "one reason for the demographics is that educated, economically comfortable men were the early adapters to the technology and took the lead" isn't persuasive either. Again: Anyone can start a blog, for free. Perhaps Cooper means that readers are in that class, and ferret out blogs written by similar people, which is even more absurd.

Roger said...

Ellen Goodman stopped having original thoughts quite a while ago; as Joan noted, Ms Goodman has also demonstrated her total ignorance of the blogosphere.

Jeff said...

"I learned to talk the way I do in the US Army. And we don't mince words. In politics, I don't see it any different. I see it as a battlefield."

Please. He picked up his JD in Boston, and now lives in Berkeley and he says he learned to talk the way he does based on three years in Germany 15 years ago? I'm betting he learned it more from Boston and Berkeley. But attributing it to living in those two places doesn't remind everyone that he is a gulf war (era) vet.

ricpic said...

Ooh, angry white men. They're so scary!

K T Cat said...

And now a word from a sexist, traditional male.

Maybe the problem is that the female bloggers like Tricia and (best of all IMHO) Scribbit are posting useful and beautiful things instead of yelling at people.

Why is it that the only way you can be active in the community is through politics? I get lot more out of Scribbit than I do out of the best of the political bloggers. What has anyone ever gotten from reading Ellen Goodman that they can actually use in their lives?

AJ Lynch said...

If Ellen Goodman were a man, would she need to be angry to keep her column?

Kirk said...

"Goodman doesn't really have too much to say"

Yeah, like that's something new and different.

guene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Goodman is a boring AA baby.

Does on anyone with access to the net care about her column?

Roger said...

Isnt there a site called Fire Dog Lake with some angy white women as bloggers?

Dave S. said...

"This is one of the laziest columns I've read in a long time."

You must not read much Ellen Goodman. She's the most intellectually lazy columnist in the world. The fact that she continues to be employed boggles the mind. She would have to make a Herculean effort just to reach "vapid."

Dave S. said...

"Is it harassment?... Who knows how many women are scared silent...Is it because men raise their hands first in class?..."

I love feminists who advocate for women by pointing out how delicate and easily frightened the poor lasses are. It's pretty much Ellen's default position.

MadisonMan said...

She would have to make a Herculean effort just to reach "vapid."

Maybe she should start work as a TV Guide copy editor.

cheerful iconoclast said...

So why doesn't Goodman just start her own blog? Instead of complaining about the alleged problem, she could be fixing it.

Jay Manifold said...

"Ellen Goodman [is] the most intellectually lazy columnist in the world."

Ellen Goodman is a triathlete compared to Maureen Dowd, who should be forced to get a real job immediately. Having said that, it sure doesn't look like Goodman broke a sweat writing this one.

Pat said...

"So why doesn't Goodman just start her own blog?"

Isn't it obvious? Because the Patriarchy is preventing her from doing so. The fact that she doesn't say this is just proof that they're censoring her columns, too.

rcocean said...

So why doesn't Goodman just start her own blog?

Answer: Because no one would read it. Oh, and doing a daily blog would actually require effort on Goodman's part.

Are we sure that Goodman actually writes her columns?

I've come to conclusion, she has a computer program with all her old columns; and she simply punches in the topic and waits for the computer program to generate a draft. A few edits here and there & Ellen's off to beach.

sharinlite said...

Ellen Goodman is the typical female I worked with most of my life. The female type that took over the Women's Movement and turned it into an "entitlement without effort", much like the majority of entitlements created for almost every single individual citizen since the advent of the l960's. Unless, of course, you are white or a white male. That she should make the assertions she does should tell decent,intelligent and reasonable women that this is the lament of someone who may have had her job and career because she was female, rather than because she has the talent...OR, she is deathly afraid to put her words out there on a blog for free because she could not handle the response!!
Posted by: Sue at August 10, 2007 11:53 AM

GPE said...

"It's worth remembering that the blogosphere is still so new it baffles spell check. For that matter, if I type 'blogger' on my screen, my retro software offers alternatives like 'loggers,' 'floggers,' and 'boggler.'"

That's how I know something is worth paying attention to - it shows up in my spell checker, which, by the way, still suggests "booger" as a correction to "blogger." Well, nice reading this blog, Althouse, but I'll have to tune out for a while now until you become important enough to earn a place in my spell checker.

GPE said...

Oh, and another thing...

"Blogger" seems to baffle more than just Goodman's spell checker.

Joan said...

That spell-checker business was beyond stupid, too. Apparently Goodman doesn't know how to (on Windows platforms) click on the right mouse button and use the "add to dictionary" function. I'm sure there's a Mac equivalent. (In fact I'm sure the Windows version was ripped off from the Mac.)

More evidence of laziness -- it doesn't occur to Goodman that she could do something about her spell-checker. She's content just to whine about it until someone else fixes it for her.

rhhardin said...

But Goodman is just following that lame old rule of journalism about gender difference: men, bad; women, good.

Women send men on quests ; something is wrong and the man is sent off to do something about it.

In the normal course of a relationship, the man returns, having screwed up or not, and the woman finds a way to show him she's satisfied with him.

If no particular man is in mind, it's feminism : something is wrong and you men have to do something to fix it.

If a particular woman gets stuck in this mode with a particular man, it's nagging. She doesn't find a way to show she's satisfied with him. These are first wives.

But with feminists and all men in general, it's just formalized bitching. They're stuck with an abstract man and an abstract relationship.

Still, the women get to participate, and that's what's in it for them.

The men take it because they're wired to accept being sent on quests. They just pay not much attention to the feminist version.

It's not a double standard, but each sex playing its side, be it well or truncated and badly.

P. Rich said...

"Is it because men raise their hands first in class?..."

These days, in K-12, if a boy raised his hand too often he would probably be sent to the school nurse for tranquilizers. In the further grades, he would be set upon after class and beaten to a pulp by a gang of angry lesbian feminists. That question and the assumptions upon which it is based are out of date.

paul a'barge said...

...steadfastly refuses to recognize that two of the most widely-read blogs of all, according to the TTLB Ecosystem, are authored by women...

Anyone speaking of the Mutt Goodman in any terms other than snark are missing the basic fact that this feminist is a moron. She wouldn't know a TTLB from the on-switch on her double-tipped vibrator.

jimbino said...

That men are over-represented in the Blogosphere is no surprise. Make a list of the professions that make a difference--men are in the vast majority and at the top of almost every one, whether economics, physics, engineering, haute cuisine, haute couture, film making, etc, etc.

Women surpass men in numbers and acclaim only in those professions not subject to market forces, where government has a heavy hand and where excellence is almost never rewarded, such as public school teaching, nursing, breeding, and civil service jobs.

SGT Ted said...

"I learned to talk the way I do in the US Army. And we don't mince words. In politics, I don't see it any different. I see it as a battlefield."

I've spent 24 years in the Army and I never learned to spew leftwing anti-semitic political cant. He must've learned how to do that at Berkeley.

I also learned to be able to distinguish BS when I hear it. Which is why my BS detector redlines everytime I read anything on D-Kos.

ricpic said...

Breeding isn't subjected to market forces?

Maxine Weiss said...

"So why doesn't Goodman just start her own blog?"

For the same reason Nora Ephron doesn't write her own blog:

http://maxinesplace.blogspot.com/2006/10/halloweens-scariest-ghouls.html

Fen said...

This reminds me of an old study [~1993] re blacks and the internet. Polling discovered that new users were leery of the net because of its color-blindness - they weren't accustomed to operating in an arena where they couldn't exploit white guilt.

wayne said...

Someone should introduce Ms. Goodman to Julliette Ocheung "Baldilocks" or La Shawn Barber.

I'd love to see anyone try to intimidate either of those two.

They'd get handed their heads if they tried!!!

deb said...

Breeding is not subject to market forces to the same extent that growing corn, cotton, peanuts and sugar aren't.

All are heavily subsidized by government, breeding in the form of SCHIP, WIC, tax credits, tax deductions, public education, and so on. Indeed, breeding is less subject to market forces than any of the others!

Beth said...

American public schools have become totally feminized. Boys have to be on Ritalin to handle a modern school day.

That's the meme on the right these days, but where's the proof? Not anecdotes, proof. The assupmtion is that since girls are doing better, and more are attending college, it must be at the expense of boys. But where's the evidence that boys are doing poorly--or are worse off now than they were before feminism? I'll certainly agree that Ritalin is overused, but so is Prozac.

Beth said...

These days, in K-12, if a boy raised his hand too often he would probably be sent to the school nurse for tranquilizers. In the further grades, he would be set upon after class and beaten to a pulp by a gang of angry lesbian feminists. That question and the assumptions upon which it is based are out of date.

Once a meme becomes a parody of itself, can we drop it?

Beth said...

I suppose I ought to make an on-topic comment: Goodman's column is one more example why one should pay little, if any, attention to what print columnists say about blogging. I'm sure there's a meaningful discussion to be had about gender and blogging, but don't look to Goodman, or any non-blogger/blog reader to frame it.

Helen said...

Beth,

You ask, "But where's the evidence that boys are doing poorly--or are worse off now than they were before feminism? I'll certainly agree that Ritalin is overused, but so is Prozac."

You can start with these stats:

* Boys make up 80 to 90 percent of disciplinary problems.
* Of children diagnosed with learning disabilities, 70 to 75 percent are boys.
* Of children diagnosed with behavioral disorders, 80 percent are boys.
* More than 80 percent of schoolchildren on Ritalin or similar drugs are boys. As of 2004, the number of boys on Ritalin approached five million.

Source: The Minds of Boys

Beth said...

Thanks, Helen. But none of that tells me that our schools are "feminized" as the other writer alleges. Would the same statistics hold up at the turn of the previous century? Does the so-called "bell curve" that finds more males at both ends of the intelligence and behavior spectrums account for any of those stats?

Simon said...

Beth said...
"That's the meme on the right these days, but where's the proof? Not anecdotes, proof."

I'm not one to often quote Nancy Pelosi, but she recently came out with a quote I thought was outstanding: "the plural of anecdote is not data." :)

Helen, with all due respect, you cite symptoms and ask us to infer that the cause is feminization of schools. That's something of a reach (although maybe the book you draw these from makes the link more explicit). Even setting aside Beth's query above, saying that "[b]oys make up 80 to 90 percent of disciplinary problems" might form part of an argument that schools have become feminized, but freestanding it doesn't help.