Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Monday, February 21, 2005

An Embarrassment of Riches

I think, if anything, female bloggers should be thanking Kevin Drum rather than piling on his latest version of the every-three-months "where are the women bloggers/why aren't women bloggers more 'famous' or 'popular' (i.e., listed higher up in a self-selecting ranking system)" discussion. All the responses from the many women on my blogroll, and particularly the comments sections of those responses, have elicited at least a half dozen new female-run blogs I'd never heard about, all of which have gone into the "Gals in Waiting" section of my Bloglines blogroll, which I peruse (as I do with the other "in Waiting" sections) whenever I get through the 300+ blogs I read regularly. [The only thing I didn't like about Kevin's thread was that there doesn't seem to be a place in his comment section for people's blog URLs unless they code that into their responses, or I'm sure I'd have gotten lines on even more new-to-me blogs.]

As I've noted countless times before, both here and in comments on others' blogs, all of these types of questions start with a phallfallacious premise - that there is a definitive, quantifiable method of judging popularity, and that said method is not self-selecting. Whenever guys would wonder aloud why there aren't any famous female writers and artists in comics, I'd respond by asking them to define "famous." Does Marjane Satrapi count? What about Rumiko Takahashi? If not, shouldn't you be asking yourself what the hell criteria you're using to quantify popularity? Wizard magazine? American comics published by Marvel and DC?

So it seems to me the real question here is, if part of the self-selecting process for blog fame is that a blogger needs inbound links in order to get noticed, why aren't more famous male bloggers linking to more female bloggers of quality rather than bemoaning their (our) invisibility on a continuous loop? Let's put the onus where it belongs for a change.

Oh, and folks are welcome to peruse the aforementioned "Gals in Waiting" section of my Bloglines blogroll; during March, which is Women's History Month, I plan to add to my main blogroll/sidebar at least one new female-run blog a week, based on Pen-Elayne readers' suggestions. (I was going to say "one a day" but I already have over 300 blogs I read regularly, and if I'm away a day or two it takes forever to catch up as is...) So get ready to vote for the Gal in Waiting of your choice!

Update: Well, as most women on my blogroll (and Gals in Waiting section) know, the number of responses continues to grow, to the point where at least a half dozen blogs are compiling them for easy reading (thanks for making this one of them, folks!). Also, Ginger Mayerson at Hackenblog has declared this Women in Blogging Week (which I'll be bowing out of because of the Women's History Month blog thingie mentioned above), and MadKane wrote a poem that made me giggle, the way girly-girls do.