Posted by: bridget | 12 August 2007

Leftism Run Amok

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.

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Responses

  1. I read this and thought of you.

    —————————-
    The labor pains were coming, so Jessica Hodges got going. The 26-year-old bank teller from Burke sped toward Inova Fairfax Hospital, but before she got there, the law got her — 57 mph in a 35 zone. Reckless driving.

    Hodges’s labor pains subsided — they turned out to be a false alarm — but the agony from her ticket is mounting. She was found guilty of the July 3 offense and given a $1,050 civil fee on top of a judge-imposed $100 fine and court costs, making her one of the first to be hit with Virginia’s new “abusive driver fees,” which have been greeted by widespread public outrage.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/11/AR2007081101352_pf.html
    —————————-

  2. “Or will we create a new institution that allows for marginalized voices?”

    She sure is whiny. Hey Ellen, just read the Pachyderm’s blog – she’ll set you straight!

    Or Ellen could read MZ’s, Michelle’s, or MomLovesBeingAtHome’s blogs and have a stroke over how bright women are choosing not to have careers for now and even (gasp!) homeschooling their children.

    Sounds like the BPS needs some psychiatric help themselves if they consider abusive behavior part of courtship or are so wedded to their Darwinian dogma that they can’t just say something is evil. Sheesh.

    As you point out, getting better at evil isn’t progress.

  3. Judging by this blog, at least women have quality if not quantity.

  4. How about a game of spot the bogus/out of context/ridiculous statistic?! Try this one out…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070812/lf_nm/texas_executions_dc

  5. Women live longer than men. Must be discrimination.

  6. TT – thanks, I’ll comment on that in a few. :)

    As for Texas – let me guess at the statistic in question: does it have to do with the fact that Texas has a lot of people?

    Neil,

    Right on. Now, my objections are when women are expected to be home, for no other reason than possessing ovaries. I also get cranky when women are mommy-tracked, whether or not they want to be. But MZ, MomLovesBeingatHome, and Michelle are all women who love what they are doing and would fight for it. Power to them.

    It’s always good to see male role models who don’t swallow the idea of evolution-favoured behaviour as per se good or “natural.” Civilisation isn’t natural; it’s natural to massacre each other and live in caves.

    Grrrrr.

    SST,

    Thank you! :)

    UnderEducated Opinion,

    You said it better in a sentence than I did in a few paragraphs. I’m a big fan of free will (being a crazy libertarian). It’s not like anyone is stopping us from blogging, or stopping us from linking to each other.

    What do you make of the fact that married men outlive unmarried men but married women die sooner? Less chance to discriminate? ;)

  7. Here’s what baffles me: Goodman says that “half of all 96 million blogs are written by women. But in the smaller political sphere, what is touted as a fresh force for change looks an awful lot like a new boy network.” As you note, anyone can start a blog, for free. There are practically no rules about form, and fewer still about content. In addition and to some extent consequentially, people who blog tend to blog about what interests them. So if (a) people blog about what interests them, and (b) there are many female bloggers, does it not occur to Goodman that there may be a painfully obvious reason why there aren’t so many female bloggers blogging about politics?

    Journalists like to generalize from personal anecdote, so perhaps Goodman – a woman, as far as we know – should ask herself why she doesn’t have a blog.

  8. does it not occur to Goodman that there may be a painfully obvious reason why there aren’t so many female bloggers blogging about politics?

    Journalists like to generalize from personal anecdote, so perhaps Goodman – a woman, as far as we know – should ask herself why she doesn’t have a blog.

    Excellent points. This reminds me of the complaints that young women are not voting enough. If they are willing to voluntarily disenfranchise themselves (or, in the case of blogging, not participate in the political sphere), should we forcibly stop them? Or should we disadvantage those who do care to participate so as to “level the playing field?”

    Re: Ms. Goodman not having a blog. Well, she is certainly famous enough to get a few people to link to her, if she would start one.

    I just file all of this under “Personal problems.”


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