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Go read what Shakespeare's Sister said…

I’m too brain-dead today to go into the weak, very weak recent Kevin Drum piece on why there is a dearth of female political bloggers. Actually, most of my response is the comments section of Shakespeare’s Sister’s take on it, “Bloggrrls“. Go read and put in your two cents. A clip:

DRUM: There aren’t any institutional barriers in the traditional sense of the word, which means either (a) there are fewer female political bloggers and thus fewer in the top 30, or (b) there are plenty of women who blog about politics but they don’t get a lot of traffic or links from high-traffic male bloggers.

My guess is that it’s a bit of both, and the proximate reason is that men are more comfortable with the food fight nature of opinion writing — both writing it and reading it. Since I don’t wish to suffer the fate of Larry Summers I’ll refrain from speculating on deep causes — it might be social, cultural, genetic, or Martian mind rays for all I know — but I imagine that the fundamental viciousness and self aggrandizement inherent in opinion writing turns off a lot of women.

So let me get this straight. In the same breath that he says he won’t speculate on “deep causes,” he surmises that the reason we don’t find as many women in the top 30 blogs is because women are turned off by viciousness and self-aggrandizement. I’m not sure exactly what it would take for something to qualify as a “deep cause” by Drum’s definition, if not a presumed aversion to something, anything, on the basis of one’s gender. If women are somehow innately indisposed toward those traits, that sounds like a pretty “deep”—or insurmountable—issue to me. (And let’s take note, shall we, that Drum was trying to refrain from such speculation to avoid suffering the fate of Larry Summers, by which I assume he meant being called out as a sexist, as opposed to the fate of actually being a sexist, with which Drum seems rather comfortable.)

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding