August 11, 2007

Random Thoughts concerning sexism in the lefty blogosphere:
1. By and large, political bloggers generate 90% of the publicity, but get only 10% of the traffic, in the blogosphere.

2. There is no female blogger, or female-centered blog, on the left that has anywhere near the traffic or the influence of Michelle Malkin, who has two sites in the Technorati 100. Arianna Huffington's blog may be bigger, but the fact that she lends her name to a site does not change the male-dominated world of the lefty blogosphere.

3. Much of the success of the lefty blogosphere in the last election cycle stems from the fact that it was an excellent tool for fundraising, organizing, and publicizing. When the entire government is run by the other side, and the Fourth Estate seems little more than a mouthpiece for the organs of power, an angry, fighting populism is the most effective way to rally the opposition. Bloggers who have the testosterone flowing are more likely going to get traffic and influence debate than bloggers who are more studious and calm in their approach.

4. That sort of attitude occurs more naturally in men than it does in women. Female anger manifests itself in a different way than male anger does; when female bloggers attempt to ape the style of an Atrios or a Kos, they tend to badly misfire, as the John Edwards campaign learned to its regret a few months back. To quote Garance Franke-Ruta, "[I]f you're an angry man you're righteous. If you're an angry woman, you're crazy or a bitch." When the Democrats take over after the 2008 election, that sort of testosterone-laden anger won't be as pivotal, and female bloggers on the left will gain more influence and relevance.

5. While there are a few female bloggers who are ensconced among the Queen Beez of the lefty blogosphere, their influence and importance tend to be a fraction of their patrons at Daily Kos, MyDD or TPM (which, contrary to what Jane Hamsher says, is a blog, and not a direct rival of CNN). Little Green Firedogs, Feministing and Pandagon are popular sites, but tend to be more in the nature of novelty acts than blogs which set the agenda (Ned Lamont got his ass kicked, remember, and Kobe Bryant and the Duke Lacrosse players were ultimately freed).

6. Digby has the best political blog, right or left, in the blogosphere. TalkLeft is the best issue-oriented blog. Period. Neither site is run by a man. There are plenty of good blogs out there that are written by women, even good political blogs. But it's pointless to pretend that the lefty blogosphere isn't afflicted by the same problems as the rest of society, no more than major league baseball or the performing arts, to name two predominantly white, male institutions, are.

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