Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why do some women bloggers want special treatment?

Well, why is that? Why is it that, instead of getting by on their merits or taking the same route that everyone else takes, these women have decided that they must get special treatment?

Of what do I speak? Why, 'tis the Scottish Blogs Roundup which is populated by particularly stupid comments by women this week.

Now, think about it: the Scottish Blogs Roundup has a very, very easy to fill in form, right there in the sidebar,using which you can nominate posts. If it is anything like the latest Britblog Roundup, the administrators would love as many nominations as possible and I assume that, like the Britblog Roundup, you can nominate one of your own posts. So, have the ladies taken this route? No.

Here's Indygal, introducing this week's Scottish Roundup.
How did I end up doing this roundup? Well, you see, it all started when I complained that my blog was rarely mentioned in the roundup.

I don't suppose that could be because your blog is shit, could it? I have no idea whether it is, I'm just asking the question. Because, you see, these Roundups are meant to highlight the best of the blogosphere, not just any old crap.
I noticed one week that NO female bloggers were mentioned and thought it might be quite funny to wind these guys up - sexism! Shocking behaviour. I thought it would “force” them into plugging me the following week.

As opposed to getting off your fat arse and using the damn form to nominate either yourself or someone female blogger, of course.
I was laughing on the other side of my face when they suggested that I do a guest editing spot! That’ll teach me.

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to do a female only roundup.

Why? Why subvert someone else's idea, changing it from the best of the Scottish political blogs and making it into your little fiefdom? The guys have worked extraordinarily hard over a couple of years to build up that Scottish blogs roundup and you thought that you'd just waltz in and use it to fulfill your own agenda, did you?

How fucking arrogant and pathetic is that? Answer: very.
But I couldn’t find enough - funnily enough there are more men like to spout forth their views than woman. Can you believe that?!

Fuck me, really? Who woulda thunk it?

Anyway, Indygal has decided to do a "comparison" of male and female blogging style.

Anyway onto the birds vs blokes thing. Okay not “vs” but I think there is a real difference in how men and women communicate in the blogosphere. And I think it’s this - women tend to relate whatever they are commenting on to something personal whilst men tend to simply state opinion.

For what it's worth, I think that Indygal's generally correct: men tend to relate their politics to other systems and to political writers and theorists and women tend to talk about themselves. In other words, I have learned about expansive ideas and unexpected theories from male bloggers: I have learned universal truths and interesting concepts.

What I learn from a female blogger is why she likes or dislikes such and such; and because I don't know her and have very little interest in getting to know her, I find this rather dull.

It's just a personal opinion, but it is one that is echoed—even less diplomatically than in this post—in the comment by Lab rat.
Dear lord, this is the worst roundup yet. It’s filled with blogs which are purely mentioned to namedrop a mate, and most of the content is banal chatter rather than giving us a tour of the best blog posts that have been on the go.

Please don’t let this blogger loose on this fine site again, it’ll set back the reputation.

Now watch, as the charmingly-named Slutty McWhore takes him on in typical female fashion.
Lab Rat’s response made me realize why I left Scotland in the first place. It’s filled with misogynistic pricks like him! It’s quite ironic that he refers to Indygal’s VERY FINE entry as “banal chatter” when in that same entry she was referring to the differences between male and female bloggers. In other words, this so-called “banal chatter” is just a more feminine, chatty, personal style of writing.

All I can say is you did a very fine job today, Indygal,so please don’t let yet another, narrow-minded Scottish male get you down.

Please invite her back, in fact, because it’s true that this site rarely mentions female bloggers (perhaps because wommen don’t have time to blog. We’re doing more important things instead - like working full-time, for less money than men, while still being expected to bear the brunt of housework and childcare!) and it badly needs a female (and feminist!) presence.

Note how the very first sentence brings it back to her own circumstances; thrill as she throws in some hard-done-by-wimmin issues in the last paragraph!
And she's not finished yet! Oh, not by a long chalk!
As I already said, I liked Indygal’s post but I do have a problem with the above paragraph because it makes light of sexism and seems to suggest that the guys involved in Scottish Roundup couldn’t possibly be guilty of that. She’s just “winding them up” about it (although, of course, she couldn’t come right out and denounce them as sexist, as she’s involved in a little blogger community here and obviously doesn’t want to rock the boat). Perhaps I won’t go so far as to say that the Scottish Roundup guys are sexist but they, and countless men like them, are guilty of ignoring the female point of view and the way in which women express themselves. Like it or not, women do express themselves differently to men, and we do write about/care about different topics. Whether that’s nature or nurture, I don’t know, but it is a fact.

Lab Rat’s comment echoes countless similar petty remarks made by men throughout the centuries (I’m thinking right now of Nathaniel Hawthorne and his hatred towards female writers - “that damned mob of scribbling women”), and it really is quite disheartening to see that, whenever a woman finds her voice, there will always be some guy like Lab Rat to dismiss it as “banal chatter”.

Note the accusation of sexism and the implication that the only reason that Indygal didn't come right out and properly accuse the Scottish Roundup team of outright discrimination is that Indygal is in their clique and "doesn’t want to rock the boat". Perhaps Slutty McWhore thinks that the guys will beat up and then ostracise Indygal as so many men have throughout history. For fuck's sake, it's pathetic.

And, yes, Slutty, women do write about different things—there are excellent women bloggers out there, but they do not tend to write about politics—and they do write in a different way and ultimately there are very few of us who are actually interested in you.
In the meantime, we wander over to J Arthur McNumpty's blog, for he—as one of those blokes who has put a lot of time and effort into the Scottish blogs rounup—wishes to try to address this whining harridan's issues.
What does the Roundup focus on? Primarily, Scottish political blogs.

Is it true that more men are featured than women on the Roundup? Undeniably, yes.

Is this a problem? No, it is a symptom of a wider problem.

The fact is, it can't just be a case of us being male chauvinist pigs: IndyGal was doing the Roundup, she was preparing it all day, and she couldn't find enough posts by women bloggers to justify a full roundup using only posts by women, as she admits. So there's more going on than us snubbing women. The problem is wider: either there are fewer women blogging than men on the subject, or there are more women blogging but they haven't yet come to our attention. Both of these problems can be fixed, but not by us.

Quite. So if you are a female political blogger, or read female political blogs, fill in the fucking form rather than whinging about how you are overlooked.

Get pro-active and stop waiting around for the praise to be lavished on you. You are not in a packed bar on a Friday evening wearing a low-cut top and an "I'm easy" smile: this is a political writing environment and you are up against stiff competition.

And, as with all of these Best Of Roundups, you have to not only write but write well. And if you think that you are writing well, then you have to get up off your arse and promote your writing.
If the problem is that we haven't encountered the blogs yet, then I would say this: we can't be everywhere, we can't find everything if we don't necessarily know where to look - the Scottish blogosphere isn't as small as Slutty McWhore thinks and the Internet is a big place - and we tell people how to nominate blogs and posts. Take advantage of that, get the free publicity!

Or, as I have said before and shall no doubt say again: fill in the fucking form.
The problem is that fewer women seem to do politics than men. We can hardly be blamed for that.

So, when I'm doing the Roundup, what do I do? Do I go for gender balance, or do I try to reflect the demographics of bloggers? In fact, the answer is neither. I pick the posts that get my attention - gender doesn't come into it.

And here we come to the crux of the matter: it is quality that matters. Positive discrimination is as wrong as negative discrimination: you should always simply pick the best person for the job. Or, in this case, the best posts for the Roundup.
However, the conclusion I have come to is that it serves no one to have a quota system for everything, ensuring that n% of any group is from Group X, even if that means we have to turn away people from Group Y whose presence would be valuable but simply belong to a group that is already well-represented. No, I take 'equal opportunities' in its most literal sense: that everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, race or religion, has an equal opportunity of progression and is considered on their merits.

Quite. And the whole of his post is as well-measured, well-intentioned and absolutely on the side of right as the sections that I have quoted: I do recommend that you read the whole thing.

Luckily, Slutty McWhore is back to tell us all what she thinks about it in the comments. Whoopie-do!
Right, OK, OK, I concede that it was unfair of me to suggest (and "suggest" was only what I did) that you or Duncan might be sexist (but, to be honest, I'm glad I did, as at least it provoked an intelligent, thoughtful response from you).

Oh, for fuck's sake, grow a spine.
What concerned me more was Lab Rat's comment, which rubbished the first (as far as I can tell) "Roundup" by a woman, and seemed symptomatic of a wider problem. No wonder there aren't more women bloggers if they're shot down as soon as their open their mouth (or put a finger on their keyboard)!

Fucking diddums. If you think that Lab rat's comment is the worst that you are going to get as a political blogger then you need to grow up. People are going to disagree with you; they are going to attack you. You cannot start weeping, or get your boy-friend to come and protect you. So, start cultivating that thick skin.
Perhaps you would find more women bloggers if you broadened your definition of what is actually "political".

And maybe you and the other women political bloggers could FILL IN THE FUCKING FORM!

Or, of course, start your own Scottish Political Female Bloggers Roundup. Hey, send me the link. Then I can block it and make sure that I don't ruin my day by stumbling across your fucking whinging.


Newmania said...

In other words, I have learned about expansive ideas and unexpected theories from male bloggers: I have learned universal truths and interesting concepts.

Why thankyou DK.... that was a bit long for me .

Ms Robinson said...

Well except for me I mostly agree with you.

JuliaM said...

If a blogger is good, and write informative or amusing posts......who cares what sex they are?

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Some people like to whine. There was a spate of that among US blogs as well; until the bloggers collectively told the whiners to stfu. Those leading the stfu-fest were generally...fellow female bloggers who were annoyed as hell.