Ellen Goodman, after taking a swipe at talk radio, laments the lack of women bloggers, especially in the political arena:
But this is not just about counting, not just about diversity-by-the-numbers. It’s about the political dialogue — who gets heard and who sets the agenda. [Gina] Cooper asks herself: “Are we going to do the same thing we’ve done all along, but with computers? Or will we create a new institution that allows for marginalized voices?”
Yes, most liberal bloggers are male; yes, women may be harassed on the internet. Yet, no one is stopping women from blogging. There is no evidence that Comcast routinely denies internet connections to women-headed households to keep them out of the blogosphere; wordpress, blogger, and godaddy are all quite happy to give or sell their services to women. If women are not adequately represented in this arena, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Affirmative action is insulting enough in universities; we need not have it in cyberspace.
While it is difficult to get good numbers about the demographics of bloggers, a handful of bloggers have attempted a census. Newsweek reports that the blogosphere is dominated by white males and blames a preexisting power structure. My Direct Democracy reports that 3/4th of bloggers are male. No one, however, can seriously say that women are somehow marginalised in the blogosphere.
In other news, the British Psychological Society reported that men (i.e. 25-year-olds) who insult their partners (such as by denigrating her attractiveness or accusing her of infidelity) are more likely to engage in “mate-retention” behaviours (such as following her when she goes out). Now, the BPS wants to further examine this practice of insulting women to determine its evolutionary basis and its function in courtship.
This pachyderm, however, is unsurprised that men who are emotionally abusive and distant are also controlling. The shock value is right up there with reports about sexual assault at the Playboy Mansion. Perhaps such things have an evolutionary advantage, but the “evolutionary advantage” argument also applies to theft, rape, and murder; as civilised, moral people, we do not ask whether something is effectual, but if it is right.