Diversity Weblogging

No, that’s not true

Recovered from the Wayback Machine

From David Weinberger I found out about a “Blogging for Women and Girls” workshop in Boston. According to the event description:

Blogging is emerging a powerful opinion-making force, but though the technology is fairly cheap and widely available, most blogs are still written by men. This workshop will teach women and girls the basics of blogging, from the technical aspects of blog publishing and maintenance, to developing a personal voice, style, and area of focus, to how to drive traffic to your blog

…most blogs are still written by men No, this is emphatically, and unequivocally NOT true. This is based on rumor and hearsay and people’s ill-formed opinion, and that unfortunate and biased Technorati 100 (and other Bloated Ego lists) and I for one am getting sick and tired of this myth being perpetuated.

At LiveJournal, the ratio of women to men is 2 to 1 or some such thing. According to statistics of weblogs outside of LiveJournal, the ratio is about 1:1.

We’re not being heard, or being linked. Why? A lot of factors are involved, but one of them is NOT that there are fewer of us! What does it take to get this communicated? A bloody act of God? Do we need to part the male sea?

We don’t need hand holding and a sensitive, nurturing environment. We don’t need little group blogrings made up of Progressive Women webloggers. Progressive Women – what is that? Liberal People with Breasts?

We don’t need to be ghettoed because of our gender, and categorized as some form of tech deficient po’baby, and helped along like pathetic half-lives just because we don’t have a penis. “Ewww, computers. Hold hands, ladies. Don’t let the bad technology scare you.”

Do you know how much this demeans us women?

What we need is to be visible. To be heard, and to be visible. And this starts with both men and women opening their eyes and their ears and treating women with equal respect; adding a thousand more women, ten thousand more women, isn’t going to make a difference. We have to make a difference, by being seen, and being heard, and listening and seeing each other. Not just those liberal politicos who write critical and thoughtful essays. Not just the people who write about social matters and other Things of Great Importance. And not the city dwellers who talk about this play or that great and profound book. All of us, babe. That means you’ll have to slum it with us non-political webloggers. You know, those people who write about something other than the American election.

The fringes.

If the women like Ms. Davis didn’t ignore the other women–those not on the Progressive Women’s Weblog Ring– and what we’ve been saying for months, years, perhaps we wouldn’t be having these conversations again and again and again.

Am I angry? You damn right I’m angry. Let’s solve the one problem we don’t have – get more women involved in weblogging. Yeah, more women to be ignored. More women to be be invisble.


What is frustrating is that I tried to get more women involved in the Kitchen effort; tried to bring both sexes in equally–make this as open and equal environment as I could. But what response did I get? As grateful as I am to all those who are helping, and I am tremendously grateful, the ratio of men to women is still about 4:1 or higher.

Does it take involvement from people like David Weinberger or Dave Winer or Joi Ito or some socially acceptable and sophisticated and ladylike venue to get women interested? We bitch about wanting to be seen and to be heard, but from what I’m experiencing, only if it’s being seen and heard by the right people.

So maybe what I’m feeling now is great disappointment rather than anger.

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