Diversity Weblogging

Who is Matt Yglesias

..and why should we care because he doesn’t have a lot of female readers?

He wrote:

I’m a bit surprised that there hasn’t been more discussion of the overwhelmingly male (on the order of 80%) cast of political blog readership. At first glance, one might think of this as an internet issue, related to hardy perennials regarding women and technology in general, but I think it’s a manifestation of the broader fact that women don’t seem very interested in politics. All the political magazines have overwhelmingly male readerships, and surveys consistently show that women are less informed about politics than men, even when you do controls for income and educational attainment. I saw one book which alleged that women are even less likely than men to be able to correctly identify a candidate’s position on abortion, despite the CW that women care about this more than men. Indeed, the research even showed that women do care about this more than men, in that among those who knew where the candidates stood, it was more likely to be a factor in women’s voting decisions.

Hasn’t been more discussion on this.

Sigh. I wonder if he thinks he’s the first to raise this issue? I bet he does.

When he received pushback for writing such broad statements with little or nothing to back his views, he then quotes major magazine publication sales (again, without mentioning any specific publication), as well as pointing to a Pew Study done in 1995. Yes, that’s 1995.

He is right, though. I don’t read a lot of political weblogs written by men. Most of the politically oriented weblogs I read are written by women, with a few exceptions; I didn’t really notice this, until this issue came up. But I found out about this discussion thanks to Trish Wilson and Ms. Lauren.

I don’t read a lot of political magazines either, primarily because I haven’t been able to afford a magazine subscription in years. Since, in this country, most single families are headed up by women, and since women still make less than men, even in the same professions, I can imagine that not having the discretionary income to buy a politcal rag might be a truer indicator of women not reading political magazines than lack of interest in politics. Besides, I don’t know about anyone else, but I get most of my political information online from various publications all over the world. Why buy what I can get for free?

Come to think of it – it’s a bit broad to assume women aren’t interested in politics just because we don’t fawn all over the male political bloggers. That’s the same as saying women aren’t interested in technology just because only a few of us women were fool enough to get involved in the Atom/RSS syndication squabbles.

Reading what else Yglesias writes about various topics, I’m not overly impressed with his reasoning, or his sense of sureness that everything he’s saying is fact. I see this too much within many of the male-dominated political weblogs, which is primarily why I don’t read them. If I wanted to have my opinion handed to me, I’d marry a fundamentalist and be the little woman.

But this absolute sense of surety sure sells, doesn’t it? Young Mr. Yglesias seems to be popular. I guess political smugness and inuendo is the coin of the realm nowadays.

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