Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Blogchicks, Part Deux

Lots of us blog-gals (apparently "bloggal" isn't taken either at Blogspot; what a great word, I hope someone grabs it!) have taken note of Ms.' new blog - link now (as opposed to NOW) at left bar, along with links to blogs by Lisa English and Natalie Davis. In looking for my last post on this subject (responding to Jeanne d'Arc's entry about Tapped having apparent trouble linking to femblogs - yes, there is a "femblog" at Blogspot but it seems inactive), I noticed an interesting comment from Beavis Christ, who I hope doesn't mind if I pass his/her words along: "What a crock today's NY Times delivers: A story that tries to trot out page 476 from the journalism cliche book and relate it to blogs: Are blogs male-dominated? That kind of quotathink does not work here for two simple reasons: (1) Anyone of any gender who wants to start a blog can. Nobody will stop them. So you can't argue that some bigger power structure -- blog executives, the old blog boys club -- is stopping them. The only thing stopping nonbloggers from not blogging is themselves. That, after all, is the whole point of this new medium: It's anybody's. It's everybody's. (2) There are many, many great women bloggers. I don't need to start listing them. You know them. Even the writer has to admit that there is no frigging point to her story: 'But women are, in fact, blogging in big numbers.' So why write it? Why print it? Just because it fits?" I more or less agree here, blogs are pretty much self-starters. However, even if there are lots of women bloggers their relative (that's the key word when you're comparing one population sector to another) invisibility as compared to male bloggers may be worth exploring insofar as it relates to women's relative comfort level with technology, for instance. As I said before, I think blogging is all still too new to come to any sort of definitive conclusions that don't begin with versions of "I suspect...", but I think it might be a nice idea for LiveJournal or Blogger or somesuch to try to amass a gender survey among their users (and perhaps track this over time) so we can move from talking about this in purely anecdotal and subjective terms towards something approaching actual numbers. It still wouldn't necessarily address root questions like relative gender invisibility, but neither do other surveys concerning women in the newsroom, women in the comics industry, women gamers, etc., and the lack of a concrete catch-all solution shouldn't stop us from amassing the info and asking the questions.